Oh, You Know. Love and Stuff and Awkwardness.

Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk- real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.

-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

My housekeeping friend came over to me at breakfast this morning when I was on my second bowl of cocoa puffs. I love this hostel – I was getting so sick of corn flakes and this one has four different cereals that will turn your milk chocolate. Plus I got upgraded from a sixteen mixed to a five female dorm for free, it came with a towel and cute bartender I straight talk don’t flirt with gave me two brownies for the price of one last night. I love Nice. I’m just going to keep staying here.

My housekeeping friend came over to tell me he talked to Her last night. Just talked, he didn’t ask her out. “I’m going to, I will. Man, I just like her so much. She wants to go to South America, help kids, save the world or something. She amazes me.

And you know, I, I don’t have intentions with her… Not those intentions, you know? I just… I just like being around her.”

Well, my breakfast just got a little sweeter. Boy is in love. We exchanged contact information so we could catch up if he’s ever back in New York, or as I see it, so I get invited to their wedding. Whichever comes first.

We talked awhile longer and I shared more of that tried and true dating advice.

First, follow signs.

If your ex-boyfriend texts you “Are you still looking for someone?” when he clearly knows you’re single and really the only answer to that text would be “No, in the six months since we dated for three weeks I’ve come to realize that, at age twenty, there is no hope for me,” don’t accept his offer to set you up on a blind date with his coworker’s friend. Especially when he sets it up at a restaurant and table where he will be the waiter.

See the signs? See how red the flags were?

Well, I sure as hell didn’t, so on my way home to shower for this date, fate punted my car across the biggest intersection on my college campus at 4p.m. on a Friday.

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Could you imagine being the guy I was supposed to meet? Getting that text from his friend? “Hey man, she can’t come… She got in a car accident.” Sure, sure she did.

Second, stay hydrated.

Once upon a mid-June this year, I had a most brilliant idea. If I had to be at work at 8a.m., I could get to the coffee shop at 7:30, read Rick Steve’s Best of Europe 2011 while drinking coffee #1, and have plenty of time to go through the line again for a refill.

Yeah, you do that. Do yourself a favor and order a tall. Don’t bring your giant refillable mug that you’re only going to be a quarter of the way through at 7:53a.m., because 20oz is a hot lot of coffee to chug.

My mother would ask me later that night, “…why didn’t you just dump it?”

Well, I didn’t want him to catch me!

Twelve minutes and forty ounces of coffee into my workday, I am bouncing off the walls in my boss’ office.

“How are you this morning?”

I… have had… so much caffeine.

“What… Why?”

I’MINLOVEWITHTHESTARBUCKSBARISTA

Not something a normal person exclaims at 8:13a.m. in their boss’ office.

Fast-forward to the next evening, caffeine intake still at an all-time high. I slammed my finger in a door at my cousin’s house and while icing it, passed out in his arms in a golden moment.

JANAE. JANAE. ARE YOU WITH ME.

I came to and said, “Yeah, I’m fine.”

YOU’RE NOT FINE! YOU’RE NOT FINE!

It was only then I realized I was sitting on the kitchen floor.

The only other time in my life I fainted was on a hot summer day in a standing-room only church. Dad kept telling ten-year-old me to stand up straight, and so annoyed, I defiantly locked my knees.

I sure showed him.

The next morning, avoiding caffeine as much as I could, I ordered a tall decaf. I’d decided a water bottle was only acceptable at lunch on a really hot day, and I’d already done that once. Thank god the cute boy behind the counter said “That’s okay, hydration is important,” because I was secretly panicked this thought would backfire. Only obnoxious snobby jerks buy $4 water bottles.

My tall decaf coffee was free that day. A sweet gesture, then highlight of the summer – probably because it was the biggest “Why even bother?” coffee order.

I know… Why…why bother. You don’t know… You still don’t know why I bother…

Sigh.

Today, my hostel offered a short free tour of Nice. The highlight absolutely was a knob at the end of a staircase the tour guide very seriously told us you rub “for good fertility.”

The four boys in the group all let out sounds translating to “ew, gross.” The other girl and I both took a rain-check on that offer.

Afterward, I wandered and avoided the touristy areas. To be honest, I’m a little afraid of running into Sefan. Our coffee was lovely, and I am not on this trip saying “I’m seeing someone” in my intro to every guy I meet… But somewhere I missed a window of opportunity and the offer was out there for dinner. “I’ll come to Nice on the bus and pick you up, we’ll take the bus back to my town for dinner, and I’ll take the bus back with you to Nice so you don’t get lost.”

I have plenty of freedom, but I’m not quite up for being candlelit-dinner-single. But instead of saying something to that effect, because I’m a slightly ridiculous and apparently mildly competitive person, my reaction to “so you don’t get lost” was “Sefan, I’m on my 28th European city by myself. Villefranche is seven minutes away by the slow train.”

In maybe not my most shining moment as a human being, he has my cell number and I have his email. My cell functions… when charged. If I didn’t know better, I would think I have massively bad dating karma coming my way.

So I’ve been avoiding running into Sefan, who I know is on vacation until Friday…

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I wandered out to the lighthouse today. Out with a bunch of old fisherman, away from tourists, not really even sure if I was allowed out there. I completely missed the paved path to the edge, rather taking the lower path full of 2 foot gaps. At one point, I climbed off a block I knew I wouldn’t have the arm-strength to climb back up. I figured I had a couple hours sunlight to figure that issue out. I sat out on a block for hours tanning, listening to music… Not writing, because I’ve lost my magic pen. Just thinking.

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Beautiful day. Life is beautiful.

That’s all for today. With (lots of) love,

Nae

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