Pop Quiz. Jesse has been absent from blogging because:
A) He was commissioned by the state of AZ to paint a mural in the courtroom of downtown Phoenix.
B) He's been sick.
C) His mathlete team advanced to the finals and he had to go on tour.
D) He's been busy with various peeps.
E) He's lazy.
No matter the answer, I apologize for the delay. This story is long enough as it is(Somewhere between 23 and 27 parts), and the last thing we need is a long break in the middle. So, back to blogging.
This part of the story hits a bit of a downturn, but I think it's important to fill in some of the gaps for anyone who's been reading for a while. It's important to note why the blog needed saving. Despite the language used here, no need to worry about me. Things only get written about once I'm okay with them.
My condo was one of the few in the building that wasn't remodeled, and as such I had moved in much earlier than anyone else. I'd spent months a bit worried that I'd end up with some pain-in-the-ass person next door and we'd fight forever. This wasn't like renting an apartment and having a bad neighbor. I was here indefinitely. For better or worse, this place was mine.
In early October, I could hear my new neighbors moving in next door. I really wanted, all day, to peek out and introduce myself, but I wasn't sure how awkward it would be, so I spent most of the day cleaning and running errands. On my final trip home for the day I would finally run in to the two girls who would end up changing my life forever.
The encounter was nothing more than a brief passing in the hall, but even then I knew it was something more. The next day I would sit down and write about it. At the time I even started a new series of blog entries called "Nerd Word(s)" in an attempt to help document and explain the stupid crap that comes out of my mouth.
Day 31 (November 10th, 2006) -
In one of the boldest moves of my life, I walked across the hall and knocked on the pink door of 11-L. I had hoped to invite Ruth and Rachel hiking with me, but I ended up with a lot more than a simple hiking trip.
An hour later I had been whisked away, and found myself on a balcony talking to Ruth, who I was immediately enamored with. While I joked that it was hard to tell them apart, it wasn't. Not really. Rachel was an instant best friend who could make me laugh or smile without effort, but when Ruth looked at me, my little nerd heart lept out of my chest.
The feeling never made sense to me. It couldn't be a physical attraction difference. They're identical, and Rachel was the twin that seemed best matched to me. She is the loud, crazy, obnoxiously funny one. I spent some time trying to figure out why I felt the way that I did about Ruth. I asked their friends what they thought the differences were between the two. I paid attention to the way they acted. I looked for anything that could be the cause of these feelings, but eventually I relented and just gave in to it.
It didn't matter if the connection made sense. It was there, and it was obvious to me.
When I was sad, she was there with a hug.
When she was cold, I was already taking off my hoodie and putting it on her.
When I needed reassurance in a social situation, her hand would slide towards mine under the table.
When she was hungry, I was already making dinner.
There was no need to verbalize a want, it was already done. The connection was so strong for me that for the first time in my life I was confident with a woman. I didn't need to rush anything with her. It all seemed so inevitable. That confidence would prove to be my undoing.
Day 45 (November 24th, 2006) -
My Grandmother passed away on her 88th birthday, which also happened to be the day after Thanksgiving. She had long been fighting dementia, so her passing was a bittersweet ending to an exceptional life. My mother spent the week making the arrangements for her mother's funeral, and I told her that I wanted to say something. Public speaking ranks as one of the last things that I ever care to do, but in this case, I had a story to share.
Ruth's boyfriend was in town for Thanksgiving, and they spent a good portion of the week arguing and fighting. It was a relationship they both seemed to know was over, but neither had yet verbalized it. His trip seemed, in my eyes, a goodbye (for both).
Day 54 (December 3rd, 2006) -
I found myself in Arkansas for the funeral. We visited with relatives, and stopped by Grandma's school. She had been the principal for her small town for many years, and when they built a new elementary school, it was named after her (Dean Martin Elementary).
I made up my mind on that trip. It was time to tell Ruth exactly how I felt. It was time to make something happen. I returned and entered their condo with my newfound confidence.
I was greeted with a hug and an excited statement, "I met some guy at Sheri's party on Saturday!"
Day 74 (December 23rd, 2006) -
The rest of December passed by without major event. Living next to Ruth and Rachel was like living next to the Spice Girls. What once would be described as a "major event" had become quite common place. There were models, singers, ballet dancers, blue men, and actors stopping by on a regular basis, and I quickly learned to take it all in stride. It was quite the departure from my friends who's diversity ended at a Canadian, and that one guy with two level seventy characters in WoW.
Two days before Christmas, Kendall had what she named "The Urban Family Christmas". It was a dinner with friends, and I was had been invited! It was at this party that Ruth would meet the man who would win her heart. He was a pre-med student,, and like most men, he was enthralled by the twins. More specifically, my twin.
At this point in time, Ruthie had numerous suitors, and her main objection to me seemed to be the fact that I was not a member of the Jewish faith. He had that on me, and for that reason I actually encouraged her to go out with him. I was still ridiculously overconfident in my relationship with Ruth, so a small delay couldn't matter.
Day 115 (February 2nd, 2007) -
For my thirtieth birthday, the twins threw me the biggest party of my life. I usually shy away from crowds, but I actually found myself having a good time. At the end of the night, after most people had left, I found myself alone in my room with my neighbor crush. Despite the fact that she lived 5 feet away, we never found ourselves alone. It was time to make my move. It was time to tell her everything.
And then there was a knock at my door. It was him, and he was looking for Ruth. I would soon realize that aggressiveness has it's advantages, and that I had no aggressiveness.
Day 308 (August 14th, 2007) -
Ruth's boyfriend was accepted to medical school in Ohio, and she informed me that she was considering moving with him. The last six months had been a whirlwind romance for her, and she told me that she would spend the next two months deciding.
Maybe it was selfish, maybe it was foolish, but I couldn't bear the thought of her leaving. For the first time, I decided to take action. For the next sixty days I wrote a reason every day for her to stay and posted them in a private blog for her and her alone.
Day 341 (September 16th 2007) -
The new blog ended on Day #34 when Ruthie told me she was moving.
Day ~417 (December 2007) -
As 2007 came to a close, I was broken. I wasn't sure where to go next, but the last thing I wanted to do was write positive, humorous things on a blog. My writing limped along for a while, but eventually I decided it was over. The story I had convinced myself that I was writing had gone the other way. Like a spoiled brat who hadn't gotten his way, I was tired of writing it.
Screw you guys, I'm going home
When I had convinced myself that I didn't care if I quit writing, I got an unexpected letter from Mandi. It was a brief message to let me know that she was still reading and enjoying my blog. It ended with an surprising remark, "My mom reads it too and really likes it!"
Somebody else's mom reads my blog?
It was the mother's guilt trip that I needed. I couldn't possibly quit now.