Crash and burn

Something was revealed to me today that I did not want to see. Now my mood is as gloomy as today’s skies, and I’m wondering where to go from here.

I wanted so badly to get a haircut this morning, to look good for Thanksgiving dinner later this week. I usually go to the barber college in Ohio City, because I get good buzz cuts there for only five dollars, so that’s where I was headed when I arrived downtown. But I just could not get there for some reason. I kept missing bus after bus, then started walking to the next bus stop further east only to miss another bus that whizzed past me. There are several different bus lines I can take there from downtown, but I just could not get on one. It was like some mysterious force was holding me back.

So I went to the library for awhile, then to the 5th Street Arcade food court for Indian food, and figured I’d just skip the haircut and take the 12:30 bus going west that James usually rides home on Mondays.

At first I didn’t spot him. He wasn’t sitting in the one backwards-facing seat like he usually does. I figured he was not on today’s bus and made my way to a seat near the back.

Then I saw him — to the left and a little in front of where I was — and a young woman was sitting next to him.

At first I wasn’t sure it was him — didn’t recognize the coat and hat — and he didn’t get off the stop near his street like he usually does. They both continued to the end of the line. Is this James, or isn’t it, I kept thinking. The ride seemed oh, so long.

The young woman kept putting her head on the guy’s shoulder, and I think I witnessed a brief kiss or two at one point.

I couldn’t see all that well… I kept thinking it was not him… but at one point I heard the guy utter one syllable to the girl, and it sure sounded like James’ voice.

All of us exited at the end of the line. I got in a glance as stealthily as I could… and now I’m 99 percent sure it was James.

I made no effort to speak to him, just continued on my way, on foot, to the McDonald’s another five to seven minutes away. The two of them started walking in the opposite direction.

So…. All this to say that it appears that James has a girlfriend.

My heart sank. Even though I’d already decided that a friendship with James was my goal, and not a sexual or romantic relationship, I still felt totally deflated.

Did the Universe stop me from going to the barber college because I needed to witness this?

And what now?

I think I’m going to continue on my current course of action. I’m not going to give up on James. (I didn’t give up on Carl even though I knew he had a girlfriend… the only reason I finally gave up on him is that he evidently left town and moved back to Michigan.)

Besides, I keep hearing that many young people today identify as “bi”, so that possibility is still not out of the question.

I’ll still ask James to lunch at some point, but it’s not likely going to be this week.

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