Thursday, July 28, 2005

"I Have This Ex.."

Speaking of dating, which I have been trying to write about, but have been slacking on, a certain Shaggy song came on and brought back memories of the two months I had with Tracey. Yeah, only two months, and I am not really sure how much of that was only about me. I remember at the time, the kids at school used the "it wasn't me" line in the classroom a lot, quite oblivious (though probably thinking I was) to the meaning of the whole song.

Early in the morning after the night I first stayed at her place, I asked her what, if anything, the night had meant to her. She asked if I would consider seeing her exclusively, or if there were other people I was also seeing. I was taken aback by her even asking that. I thought I had been clear about just meeting one other person at the time and I was even up front about J and how I had never met her and how I didn't think we ever would because she lived far away. She wanted assurance that I wouldn't meet anyone else. As soon as I turned it around and asked her the same questions, she dropped it and was very sweet again asking if I would be her girlfriend.
Oh my.... how naive, but as I said before, I smile as I write about Tracey because, quite simply, the one thing I needed at the time she had already given me.
Shut up! I know! :)

Soooo, we lived an hour away, not close enough to actually keep tabs on each other. She worked evenings bartending and I volunteered my life away at work like a good little Christian girl, not realizing that my girlfriend just might not be working as hard as it seemed. I am quite sure the first month she was really into just me. We chatted by phone every possible moment of the day and were together on weekends. It was as great as the first evening we spent with her friends and family.

The second month, things started to change on several fronts. First of all, I was very uncomfortable with Tracey's daughter being around when I was there. I knew that Tracey had her when she was like 17 years old and had a very hard time raising her on her own. Her parents stepped in and it was kind of like dual parenting. I thought Tracey was hard on Ali in several ways, and it always seemed that there was conflict between them. I tried not to say anything, but I sometimes spoke up and it was always to take Ali's side. I remember Tracey breaking down one night while telling me that Ali admitted she was afraid to bring some of her friends to the house. Ali was involved with her grandparent's church and had really good friends who might not understand the way her mom lived. As you might figure, I was not good with the subject at all. I was silent, secretly feeling responsible for all the grief this teenage girl was experiencing. After that, I would not stay overnight if Ali didn't have plans elsewhere. Tracey assured me that Ali was working it out, that she would be living more with her grandparents and that the gay parent issue was around long before I knew her.
Later I realized I was supposed to be the girlfriend not the social worker. If I had to do it over though, I would be the same way.

One night Tracey asked about my family and how they would react upon meeting her. She asked if they would be more shocked to know she was black, or that she was a woman. I remember hesitating, I mean that was actually a good question. We went on to discuss the closet issue and the fact that there were no African American people in or around my hometown.
The more we talked, the tougher the situations seemed to get. This was never going to work, but I didn't see the end coming.
One night Tracey made me promise that if we abruptly broke up, we could invoke a last meeting call. We promised each other one last shot at talking face to face in the event either one of us wanted out.

Very early into the second month of dating, Tracey called and cancelled plans for the evening. When I asked her what was up, she got quiet.

"What's up, I thought you wanted to grab some dinner after work tonight?"

" I did, but somethings come up."

"Something with Ali?"

"No, well.... I have this ex."

"You What?"

"I have this ex, she is kind of upset and I need to talk to her."

"Does this have anything to do with you?"

"You've got nothing to worry about."

"That makes me think I have something to worry about. Tracey, come on what's going on?"

"The end, she had a hard time accepting the end."

"The end, I didn't even know there was a...... What the hell, it's been a month Tracey!"

"You have to realize, I am a bartender at a place you refuse to visit. Everyone visits but you. If you would come in they would back off."


"I will call you later, please don't worry."

In a nutshell, Tracey bartended and this ex named Kim would still come in when she worked and try God only knows what. I was given the truth in our final face to face at the end of the month. Supposedly Kim came out to Tracey's car when she was leaving one night and Tracey admitted to a kiss. There was a lot of blah blah blah after that and it isn't necessary to go into it all.

It never was the same after that night. We argued about the bartending job and I absolutely refused to go to that bar. I was not a bar person I certainly wasn't going to meet up with some ex-girlfriend.

I know this all sounds pretty juvenile it was. I was way in over my head with a player who had no intentions of dating me exclusively.

At the end of that month I got an email breakup. I remember I was eating a piece of dry chicken at the moment I read the email.

"I think we should just be friends. We could even be friends with benefits if you know what I mean. That way, you wouldn't have to worry about who I was with when I wasn't with you. I don't think you are ready for this kind of relationship."

I nearly had to be resuscitated from the dry chicken stuck in my throat.
I was very upset by the email. I desperately tried to get ahold of Tracey.
I called and emailed, but she wouldn't answer that night. In the morning she emailed and said she wasn't really serious about the benefit part, although she thought her email would have gotten me into the bar to at least try to get her to change her mind that night. I remember crying, even though I should have been running from this person, I was very upset. I had strong feelings because being with someone the first time wasn't something I took lightly. Nobody does.
I went into work the next day feeling broken, but nobody there could help me, this didn't even exist to anyone but me in my life. My room was right next to the chapel and I could't even face it at that time in my life. It took Yo, and then the time to repent clock a few months later to get me to relax about God and being gay.
At that time also, I had an issue at work about to blow up. I will detail that fun event also.

I requested a last face to face meeting and Tracey told me to come out to her place. I was crying and I believe I told her she needed to grow up. I wanted to know if there was anyone else she was seeing and then I told her not to tell me. She gave me the whole Kim story and I remember slamming the door on my way out. I remember going home and emailing J a little about Tracey. She wrote me the sweetest email which probably made me confuse friendship with something more. That of course is another whole ordeal to be written only after a bottle of wine.

The story should end right there. But, remember the disclaimer a while back. I never did the juvenile behaviors of youth and I guess it was my time.
I did go back to her house one more time about three weeks later. This is getting long. I think I will continue later.


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