Living in a small community has its high points. In mine, we've three local gathering spots: the gas station, post office and cafe.
I usually stop off at the cafe in late afternoon when it's quieter than normal. That's 'cause the place is crowded to the rafters from the breakfast gang followed by the luncheon crowd. Sometimes it's the same people who don't leave for hours, only to segue from one meal to another. They're a very close clique. For an outsider like myself, it's virtually impossible to break in.
Then, there're other outsiders, namely the town's mortician, Cord, another local resident. Every time he enters the cafe while the breakfast gang's there, they seize up in unison. Don't get me wrong: they adore Cord. It's his vocation which freaks them out. Considering they're all old geezers one step away from Cord's ministrations.
Late afternoon's my preference, for that's when the gang usually plotzes from overeating except for those hardy souls who can still inhale a snack. It's also the time when my boyfriend phones me from work via FaceTime. Since we're in a committed long distance relationship, we need ways to keep it vibrant and current during the time spent apart. Which I find rather fascinating considering how people used to maintain long distance relationships by snail mail. But in today's ADD society, it's virtually impossible to keep people interested over time and distance if there isn't a virtual element.
It's nearly a month since we had our last vacation. I didn't bother him about the next time until I realized he hasn't said a word as well. Intrigued, I asked while seated at the cafe in late afternoon, holding my iPhone in one hand, coffee in other while wearing my custom-mangled ear buds, "When are you making your way back here again?"
He responded with a grin on FaceTime, "Soon."
Now, I'm no virgin when it comes to long-distance relationships. The moment I heard, "Soon," I knew it wasn't going to be soon. Soon is the death-knell word for any relationship, particularly when time, money and distance are involved.
"I take it we're over," I said.
"What're you talking about?" he yelled. "What the hell's your problem? How can we be over when I FaceTime with you every day, sometimes three times a day! Where do you get these ideas?"
Pouting, I stated, "You said soon."
"Yes. Soon means time will move quickly and I'll spend two weeks with you in May."
"MAY?" I shrieked. "That's two months away!"
I hate when he makes decisions without my input. Like the decision to block me on twitter and Facebook after the Valentine's Day debacle. It has been two weeks, yet, not a conversation escapes an allusion to this by either of us, an event that'll go down in the annals of our relationship.
In the midst of my rants and raves, brought on from the combination of Valentine's Day, nicotine withdrawal and ingestion of organic amphetamines, I DM'd him countless times on twitter. My messages were filled with the various ways he destroyed my life with supportive evidence.
After the initial 140 character messages, he DM'd me back, "I'm really busy at work. Let me phone you after." Ignoring him, I continued to write, interspersed with the following messages from him:
"What's going ON with you?"
"Okay. Let's talk when I'm done with work?"
"What part of busy at work don't you understand?"
"Are my texts not getting through? Can we talk after work?"
"I'm still at work btw."
And then he blew up. "I'm going to block you, so you're no longer victimized by me."
That got my attention, especially when he did! Also on Facebook. I phoned him and received his voice mail. In seconds, he texted me, "I WILL TALK TO YOU AFTER WORK."
A week later, he said in passing, "We made a good decision in blocking each other on twitter and Facebook."
"What do you mean by 'we' Kemo Sabe?" I responded. "It was all your decision!"
"Yes, but it was a good one."
It was. We do NOT get along well online. Which is quite strange since we met on twitter.
Blame our relationship on twitter.
Nearly a year ago, I tweeted to solicit free advice about my defective Macbook Air 11" since Apple stonedwalled in helping me. Several tweeters recommended my boyfriend. Funny enough, he was the only one who didn't help me. But, we had a great conversation on twitter which segued to google chat. Over a period of several months, we then videochatted.
Incidentally, to those people with wicked minds, no, we didn't do anything sexual or inappropriate online. We were chat buddies with the knowledge it would never move from virtual. Until he flew to Manhattan for vacation.
And then we met face-to-face.
Since we spent so much time videochatting, the transfer from virtual to reality was not momentous. From friends to lovers natural. From lovers to committed relationship smooth and easy.
Yet, as tweeters who follow each other, disastrous.
Even though the parameters of our relationship changed, his online twitter persona stayed the same. It chafed me to no end as it doesn't resemble who he is in the real world. I went ballistic on Valentine's Day when he flirted with his twitter crushes, yet I, the one woman in his real life, got bupkas. Once he nipped that nonsense in the bud after blocking me, our relationship smoothed out.
Except for a few skid bumps. My friend, Jane, gave me the best advice while I ranted and raged after our FaceTime chat in the cafe, The Bake House, where she's chief baker and proprietor: "You gotta look at this like a bond and take the long position while ignoring the daily changes."
Although this is a wonderful point of view, it's not one I can easily embrace: I'm not wired that way. I'm more of a worrier. Or, as he tweeted today, the man who insists he never subtweets about me, "Yes, by all means. Worry about everything, as it's totally useful."
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