Devastating. Not devastated, because through the surprise and sudden disbelief, I was trying to figure out who these women were when they had been girls.
I was dreaming, some time in the night, and I hadn't felt like this in a dream since many months ago when a brunette had been so happy to see me, after a conference/seminar thing, that she ran to me and kissed me. I felt total joy, and was deflated when I woke up.
During this dream, and when I woke up from it, I was trying to figure it out. Many notes were handed to me, some that looked long enough to be letters, but had only covered the front and back of a sheet of paper. On these notes were some shocking revelations. Different girls I had apparently known in middle school and high school told me that they had had crushes on me during those years. Me? Where were these girls? Why hadn't I noticed these girls?
I was very focused in middle school and high school. I knew what I loved and I stuck with it. I loved aviation, so I spent my days in the relative infancy of the Internet (moving toward graphic-based interfaces, away from total text) looking at photos of planes, commercial airliners, as well as photos of plane crashes, considering a possible career in the NTSB, investigating plane crashes. I began writing more fully in 1998, leading to joining the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Teentime pages in 1999, and so I focused on my love of movies, which I think most likely began in 1992, when I was 7 years old and copied by hand the Orlando Sentinel review of the animated comedy "Bebe's Kids" onto a sheet of posterboard. I also remembered the first two movies I had ever seen. I was 5 years old, it was 1990, and Mom had taken me to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in April, and then Dad had taken me to see "Jetsons: The Movie" in July.
So I had aviation and movies. Also, I'd been reading since I was 2 years old. My 3rd grade teacher actually called my parents in once because he was concerned that I was reading on a level far above my classmates, exemplified by the John Grisham novels and other novels I had been bringing to class to read. Go figure.
So then, aviation, movies and books. These were my three preoccupations in middle school and high school. At lunch, I'd read. I wasn't into social circles or cliques. In fact, I didn't even notice much of any cliques in my schools since there were so many students that it didn't seem like there was any time for any of those to form.
I knew a few girls, had crushes on a few girls, was let down easy by two, but I didn't go beyond that. There were movie books and other books to read. One of my favorite sights growing up in Florida was at the Main library branch of the Broward County Library system in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, and there were long, long shelves stocked with movie books. I wanted to take them all home to read.
How did I know these girls then? And how in the world could they have noticed me like that? I wondered if maybe they noticed the confidence I exuded without effort. I remember in my 11th-grade Algebra class, I asked the teacher to let me out in the middle so I could go to the librarians' office to watch the announcement of the Academy Award nominations. My mom worked in the library as an assistant, so I had an easy in. And he did.
Maybe they saw that I knew what I loved and I embraced it, without concern for social reprecussions. Maybe they didn't want the macho boyfriends they saddled themselves with, and wanted someone they could have an ongoing conversation with, someone perhaps sensitive to what they were, what they wanted, and what they needed. I could do all that. That ties right into unfulfilling relationships. They wanted something more. I could be that more.
Could that have been the same reason I had received those notes? Were they in the same rut they had put themselves into in middle school and high school? Did they now have unfulfilling marriages? Did they realize finally that they're not immortal and that they should do something completely pleasing for themselves?
Nothing like this has happened to me, nothing that could have triggered this dream. I wasn't disappointed that these girls, now women, had waited this long to tell me how they felt, but I did wish that they had acted much earlier. My experiences in middle school and high school were interesting enough on my own, what with all the voracious reading (I've realized recently that my one true passion in life is reading. I like writing, but I love, love, love reading much more), but would they have been even more fascinating had I gone out with these girls, had dated a few of them, maybe even found The One amidst them all? I don't know. My life might have become incredibly tumultuous. I don't wish I had tried more back then. There's no reason to wish. I'm not there, I'm here. I will try more now, provided we move to Nevada soon enough already.