I have been in a pressure cooker. These past several weeks I have felt like cracking. I have many trials looming.  My work load is incredible.  My free time is consumed with helping my girls with their homework; running them to their jobs; taking them to their activities; and keeping milk in our fridge. I have been overly tired. 

Don’t ask about the cleanliness of the house, the existence of home-made cooking, or why the laundry is hip high. 

I am barely keeping anything domestic together.

I have trouble sleeping with all of my work stress and worries.

Added to my turmoil:  I have a new love interest. This is just what I was searching for right? 
Isn’t this why I have injected myself into the petri-dish of the internet dating world?
I discuss all of this with Amy.  I confess to her on our much needed road trip that I find myself looking forward to his e-mails, text messages and our dinners. I am finding that I am not afraid of him.  I find him too agreeable and accommodating.  I find he can take any side of an argument and flip it and then land full circle.  I find he makes me laugh.  I find that he makes me think about things in a different context.  I find I am truly attracted. 

(I secretly wonder if I give him anything back.)

I find it endearing this man stocks his fridge with milk— for me.  I do not feel a guilt or a want to reject any of this man’s presents.  I find that I really want to spend time with him. I know how often I use time as my escape and my excuse. 

I find extra time like I find extra money stuck in the pockets of my well worn jeans.

I am closing my eyes trying to feel this out.  I do not know if I am projecting my doubts.  Amy says I have to say something or nothing is going to change.  I am not sure if I want to know the answers to my many questions.  I don’t want to talk out loud.  

If this was an E.K. or a Porsche Man my response would be:  So what, who cares, big deal.  I have work to do. 

Now I am bordering on a real caring.  I am not so sure footed.  I seem to be paralyzed.

Today I am poking at this thing with a stick.  I am wondering if it will suddenly jump up and bite me.     

We all know I boarded that plane to Cabo alone.

We all know I had to hail a cab.


I can let the reminders of disappointments tarnish anything. 

But this is the point:  I still don’t trust myself.  Are my doubts self-made?  Or are these doubts evident by their very existence?

I wonder if I am like a John Knowles’ Gene. 

These dried leaves; this tired dirt.  My dirty imagination.

It would be so easy for me to wreck it before it starts.  A child kicking over a younger sibling’s sand castle.  He, of course, can do the same.

We can just call someone else.  He will call his bond girls.  I can go up the street to Grill 111.  He will be sitting at the edge of the bar and he will ask me where I have been.  He will want to know if I am ready to date him.  If he has changed his mind I can send a text to a Mr. V.P. I can let him know that I have changed my mind.

For me there is no joy in any of these potential conquests.  I cannot speak for him. 
I am afraid to ask where he finds his joy.

I can only disclose that I don’t want this season to change.  It’s me on the swings with Trent seeing how far we can put our feet into that 5th grade sky.  It’s me and my four year high school crush is asking me to homecoming. It’s me and I am at the drive-in with my college sweetheart and our heat streaks car windows.  These relationships broken and interrupted by youth and time. 
Not out of a weariness, a worn rejection, or a relationship flaw.  

I keep these thoughts to myself.  I am not ready to talk out loud.  I don’t want to face another  moment where I am at that ticket gate or hailing a cab.   

Instead of asking him questions I take that road trip.  Its wine on the edge of a dock in Cedar Point, North Carolina.  I spread my work all over in my upstairs suite. They cook my dinner and feed me breakfast.  We learn new words playing scrabble.  We fall asleep together on that big comfy couch watching late night movies.   I shoot pool with a guy named Shane and I scratch on our eight ball.  I eat oysters with horseradish, jalapeño, and saltines.  I want Jeff to explain how I need to top this rooster creation with cocktail and hot sauce.  I drink blue moon and suck on that sticky orange.

I listen to Cher, Train, Mumford & Sons, Pink and all sorts of Amy’s pre-selected mixed music.  I visit my sister and she takes us to lunch.  I tease my niece Janis—I threaten to pop her balloon.  I dress up like bat woman, wear leather pants and go to that school carnival.

I drive most of the way back in silence.  We limit ourselves to a simple sharing.

I don’t want to know the future.  I don’t want the telling of any fortune.