A. Definitive Post
Final exams are just beyond the river bend, so I really should be attempting to sleep or study right about now, but before I can efficiently do either of those things, I need to make one conclusive post about A, who I have made reference to quite a few times these past few weeks. Before I continue, I would just like to preface that I don’t know how long this post will end up being, so apologies if it ends up reading like a novella.
So, where to begin… Yesterday night, I met up again with a lawyer who I had initially met on Tinder. Anthony, if I told you about some intricacies surrounding his circumstances, you would be highly amused. Anyway, long story short, I respect him on many levels, but I know I could never date someone like him. I feel like our relationship is mutually platonic though (albeit, unilaterally flirtatious from his end), so I’m happy to have formed another friendship in Vancouver. The contrast between what we look for in a potential partner is one of the most jarring differences between us though- his ‘list’ involves many external characteristics like earning potential, height, and fashion sense, while mine revolves around more internal characteristics like altruism and passion. I’m not trying to demonize him for his preferences; once upon a time, money-matters would have placed high on my list too. Where does A tie into all of this, though…? Well, more on that later.
It was around 2 A.M. on a Saturday morning when I first met A. I had been tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep as I’d been stood up for a first date that I had been pretty excited for nine hours earlier. As I lay on my mattress, staring into the dark and feeling pathetic about myself, my phone buzzed beside my ear. I lethargically reached over and felt around for the device, pressing the tiny power button on the head of the slim black case and narrowing my eyes from both the glare of the screen and that tiny, flame-shaped icon taunting me.
Sigh. What the hell do you want, Tinder.
I opened up the app, rolling my eyes sarcastically as it loaded and halfway determined that I’d be uninstalling Tinder right after that instant. But then, I saw A’s face staring straight back at me and my fingers instinctively started dancing away on the screen to compose a witty one liner. Pomegranate bodywash.
Oh, his eyebrows lift like this: / \
Blood rushed to my face. I hope he replies.
But a few minutes later, reply, he did. Our conversation got really serious, really quickly. He shared some heartbreaking and personal information with me and in return, I felt more at ease sharing some of my insecurities with him. A was immediately validating and affirming of my unhappiness, even though I wasn’t explicit in relaying the details of my previous night. He even insisted that we all seek closure in relationships and that I wasn’t uniquely affected by such negative emotions. I asked him whether it was okay that our choice of topics was so heavy for fundamentally, a first ‘meeting,’ but he refuted that this was the best way to get to know another person. This was the type of connection that I’d been missing with my male friends (especially the emotionally dense, bro-types) who had remained in Vancouver. One and a half hours later, A began feeling drowsy and said he needed to go, but before he did, he inquired as to whether I was feeling better/alright, referencing something that I had mentioned within the first five minutes of our conversation.
In that moment, I did something that I don’t think I’ve ever done. For once, I didn’t want to wear that mask and pretend that I was feeling okay so someone else would not be inconvenienced. No, I’m not alright. Asking outright for someone’s help is really the Achilles heel of an INFJ. It does not come naturally. So, I let myself be selfish, and replied, “Would it be very melodramatic and lonely hearts of me if I asked you to stay a bit longer?” His reply? “Not at all.” Right then, I sensed that this boy was both a NF and also registered that he was special. A proceeded to stay with me for another forty minutes until he really couldn’t stay awake any longer, but after I closed Tinder with a smile, I was finally able to drift off to sleep.
A is a student in the faculty of management, so I think networking is pretty hardwired into his system. During our conversation, he was pretty specific about certain details and people in his life, which made it subsequently easy to ascertain his identity. I didn’t do anything with this information though, as amused as I was with this revelation. Before we ever got a chance to have another conversation, though, A uninstalled Tinder without saying goodbye. So much for closure from him. I immediately regretted not asking for his number while I had the chance to. How could I forget about something that had started out with so much promise? Sure, I found his physical appearance extremely agreeable, but at this point, I wanted to see into his mind which I had just been offered a tantalizing glimpse of. Everyone I talked to subsequently told me to forget about him, but how could I?
Why did he leave without saying goodbye? Maybe that conversation meant absolutely nothing… Maybe I should just leave it. And, the cycle repeats itself…
With exams and other distractions, I did manage to leave it, although he was always in the back of my mind. But one day, while helping a friend in another business-related endeavour, serendipity would have me stumble across him again. A had mentioned that he was part of a conference when we had talked, but I hadn’t realized his role would be so publicized. As I was scrolling through pictures of this particular conference, I stumbled across one and thought, Oh, this boy is cute, moved on, then backtracked ten seconds later. Wait… A minute. Oh… OH… It’s A. My mouth hung in disbelief. Here he was again, thrown into my face. If I had attempted to forget about him before, the universe was now playing an extremely cruel trick on me.
From there, A’s very many (public) social networks became available to me. Everything I saw only increased the curiosity and interest I had for him. His passion for his work mixed with his adorable personal segues made for an intoxicating combination. I contemplated whether I should reach out to him or whether to remain a silent, anonymous follower forever, quietly supporting his work from the shadows. I tried, using Facebook, as a means of closure if not for anything else. Unfortunately, with the invention of the ‘Other’ inbox, my message was never read (damn, why do I have 0 mutual friends with you when one of my best friends has 40+?!). I realize that all I have are those few hours of virtual communication to reflect on, but I want to know more. At this point, I’m only left with an overwhelmingly positive but unrealistic construction of him in my mind.
As I gushed on about the merits of A to lawyer yesterday, I realized that there was nothing else for me to lose. As lawyer began to rag on A, I stared back at him with a deadpan face and replied, “You need to show some respect for him. I like him and I don’t appreciate you talking about him like this.” I did not go and dig inappropriately to find out what I know about A and I deserve closure, if nothing else. Even nutrition boy provided closure in a blunt, hurtful way, and that had only been driven by a one-dimensional interest in his face. My mental construction of this ‘amazing’ boy is really not healthy, but I can’t help but feel, what if. What if he really does live up to these ideas I have of him?
I’m going to do something active on my part so I will have no more opportunities to ask, what if. By doing so, I risk having many unsavoury labels tacked onto me- creep and stalker immediately come to mind. I don’t think I want to orchestrate a falsely organic first meeting anymore, but if I’m denied, at least I will finally be able to shut this book. Regardless of what happens from here, I hope you are all able to bear witness to the fact that my intentions are fundamentally pure.
Just one moment can change everything
Edit: I wrote this while in a very emotional and sleep deprived state (I’d been reading about historical war crimes for three hours), so please forgive some of the weird flow and transition. My thoughts also haven’t translated very well down here, but the general sentiment still remains.