Friday, February 03, 2006

People-watching All the People People-watching You and I

A recent post on Cleaver’s blog got me thinking about something. So, go read her post and then come back to mine.

The day Huw left Texas was a sad one indeed. I had already started to feel the sadness creep in even before he arrived. I figured, if he visited, that would mean that eventually he would have to leave, and merely that thought made me want to cry. He would tell me, “Well, don’t think about that now, concentrate on me visiting in (however many) days.” I would do that, get excited, then remember the inevitability of his departure some 2 weeks after his arrival, and would become disheartened again.

I really started to understand what was going on the night before his last full day and night in Texas. Pretty soon, I thought to myself, I would be back in my bed alone, without the sound of his snoring to lull me to sleep. After a short cry, I realized that I still had another day and a half with him, so I decided to suck it up and make the most of it.

Heavy hitting sobs came the day and night before his last half-day in Texas. I cried and he held me, telling me such sweet things that made me wring out every last tear I had in me. Until the following day.

We were both in morose spirits when he was packing, and oftentimes, I would have to excuse myself to have a good, shoulder-shaking sob in the bathroom. I would return to him red-faced and puffy-eyed, where, upon seeing my tear-stained face, he would embrace me tightly, which would only serve to set me off again. When we finally managed to get him all packed up, he said his last goodbyes to Herman Froglegs and the apartment he had come to know so well, and we set off to give him his last Texan meal before returning to the UK. He chose Taco Cabana.

I must have started and stopped crying at least 5 times in the 3 minutes it took us to get to the restaurant. In line, as I was wiping away my tears, the (really nice) man behind the counter said something that, for some reason, prompted me to tell him, “Oh, he’s my boyfriend from London, and I have to take him to the airport to go home today.” He sympathetically shook his head and wished us luck. Which, you guessed it, made me want to cry even harder.

We got our food and sat at a sun-lit table, quietly and robotically munching on our tacos and nachos. Although the bean and cheese nachos were delicious, I couldn’t find a way to taste them, and every bite reminded me that I was one bite closer to having to say goodbye to him. Slowly, I lost my appetite. Huw would reach over and stroke my hand or leg. I don’t know if it was just the overflow of emotions I was feeling that day, but even his touch made me want to break down, buy a passport and a ticket, and hop on a plane with him back to the UK. Instead, I cried. Some more.

I know the thought passed through my head at the time, but it was merely a moment that it was in the forefront of my mind before my thoughts were consumed with what I was going to say to this amazing guy before he got on a plane that would take him away from me for 4 more months. Once he left, though, and I had time to cry and process my sadness, I started to wonder: What did people around us think when they saw us?

Imagine. You’re an innocent bystander in this, the saddest of days for two people you don’t know. You’ve strolled into Taco Cabana for a quesadilla and a Coke, and you notice at a table not too far from you, a couple. Or so you think. You dissect the situation piece by piece to draw a conclusion. There’s a boy and a girl. They are sitting close to each other, not one across the table. They touch, but not too often and you haven’t seen them kiss yet. No visible signs can point to them being any more than friend or relatives. Then you notice that the girl is constantly wiping away tears. The guy eats in silence, looking preoccupied but still paying attention to the girl. But wait…aren’t we close to the medical center? you think. And then you figure, yes, that’s it…someone they are close to for some reason must have died or become gravely ill. But that scenario just doesn’t seem to fit. You decided that you’re better off not knowing, and as you get up to throw your trash away, you take one last, long look at the couple over at the next table, and see them share a longing stare and a small kiss. But the girl is still crying. Even though you don’t know who they are, visions of their positions in their chairs, the guy’s saddened expression and the girl’s tears frequent your thoughts. The last thought before you go to sleep that night, surprisingly, is them. And then you hope everything worked out for the best.

I’ve seen these types of situations before, but usually, they are pretty cut and dry. A girl is yelling at her boyfriend in front of the movie theater for accepting a phone call from an ex-girlfriend. A boyfriend is clearly avoiding his girlfriend’s attempts at touching him or holding his hand for some unknown, but very powerful, reason. But what do you make of a situation where two people, clearly a couple, are visibly upset but still continue to dote upon each other? Quite a thought, if I do say so myself.

It’s funny how everyone in this world has a life, a series of events they participant in from day to day, and yet, we know nothing about most of these people. The ones we do come into contact with usually demonstrate normal behaviors, none too out of the ordinary to make us do a double take. But then there are a few people whose lives you will always wonder about. For Cleavers, it was the couple on the train. For someone else, it could have been Huw and me. Such an odd thought.

Sidenote: The countdown to London in May has officially begun, as you can see on my countdown timer to the right!

and a P.S.--How sad is it that I know this guy. I went to elementary school with him.

Insignificance Conveyed @ 9:47 AM   11 GabbyGabbers

11 "Sure was sweet of you to drop in":

At 12:52 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake "told me"

So, that's where he dumped you, right there in the Taco Cabana? The cad.

(At least, that's the picture the evilest of us could have gotten. I'm so happy for you, Lanette, that you're going to get to go to London -- and do it all over again!)

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Me Over Here "told me"

Thanks, Mr. Hoss, that means a lot to me!

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Chris "told me"

I've been wanting to tell you about my girlfriend, April, who moved away to Atlanta when things were just getting to be phenomenal between us. I still, to this day, consider her one of the greatest loves of my life. And I was going to tell you about how she used to visit every 3 or 4 months, and I was going to tell you how I stood at the airport terminal with helpless tears rolling down my face when it came time for her to leave. And if I told you this, it would only go to show that I, to some degree, completely understand.

If I had a time capsule, I'd mail it to you so that'd it already be time to go to London. Unfortunately, I don't. My car doesn't even halfway run right anymore, much less.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Huw "told me"

Yoinks, that was beautiful.

(Lanettey readers, between you and I, my eyes might not have been that dry at the time either.)

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Tim-tambolini "told me"

That was such an excellent post. If I were an onlooker I may have thought that you and your boyfriend just found out you were pregnant. You would have been crying tears for many reasons, in that case, and the boyfriend would have been digesting the ramifications of the situation, yet, obviously was contemplating 'doing the right thing' and proposing to you.

Just a thought. I'm an intense people watcher.

At 4:48 AM, Blogger Cleavers "told me"

I'm touched that my post inspired such a lovely post from you.

On your behalf, I can't wait for May!

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Lauren "told me"

VERY cool post, Twinny. I watch people all the time, and it is very interesting how some people just strike us and we randomly think about them after we thought we'd forgotten them.

Actually, as I was reading your post, before I even got to the "I wonder what we looked like to others" part, I was thinking, "I wonder what other people thought as they saw them?" Interesting.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Chris "told me"

A lovely post, and one I deeply sypathise with, myself being a man with a horrible track record for falling for girls who are perfect in everything except the geography. You got it spot on, that look, that mystified look as they try to place you. Keep the faith m'dear, that dready feeling is a minor obstacle. You'll be in his arms in London before you realise it.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Curly "told me"

That's a wonderful post L!

It's touching when you see people THAT much in love hurting so much - as a human you want to help out, but you know that there's no-one in the world that could help ease any pain other that the couple themselves. Or maybe a clown, with a giant red balloon.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Me Over Here "told me"

Oh Curly, not even a clown could have helped on that day. Plus, I'm one of those people that gets freaked out by clowns ever since I saw "IT".

And I love when people call me "L".

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Léonie "told me"

That was a beautiful post. I am willing the months to pass quickly for you, although I'm not wholly convinced it will help.

London is waiting for you, Lanette...!


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