Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Math Teacher: Part UNKNOWN


"Math is a lot like love - a simple idea, but it can get complicated..."


We set out into the dusky muggy, drip-droppy drizzy Dupont night to find some food for the Math Teacher. He had recently had dental surgery and the diet of soft and liquid food was starting to wear on him.


"Where can I take you?" I said to him aloud. "What do you feel like?" I asked him. "Soup is probably a good idea" he said and kind of shrugged, his arm wrapped around me casually. "Ooooh, I know," I told him. "I've got the perfect place."


We strolled along 18th street along the east of the Circle talking and laughing and making faces at one another. He kept trying to kiss me with his tender or perhaps even gross post-op mouth and I kept pulling away in horror and laughing.


Amidst the normalcy and fun and yes, for the first time in a long time, giddy happiness, I realized, with dread, that we were approaching an unhappy spot. The spot where I got dumped. Just walking toward it. Closer and closer and closer...


Isn't it amazing, and even unfortunate, how a location or smell or person or activity can make the vividness of its corresponding memory flood back over you? All the details. All the pain. The look on his face. The way he tried to rub my back but I pulled away. The things he said. Him walking away.


"We're having such a nice time. I don't know sometimes whether I should tell you stuff or not. But then sometimes telling you the bad stuff makes it less bad you know? I can sort of throw it away? Or at least you just know all about me. The things that I've been through."


"Just tell me..." he said. So I did. He put his arms around me tighter. "That's tough," he acknowledged giving me a little squeeze.


We went on to dinner at the deliciously Korean, spectacularly serviced Mandu where we sat and talked and ate and laugh and lingered with no sense of anywhere to be anywhere else anytime soon. I ordered the spicy soup, "extra extra" spicy and we all were hesitant as I took my first bites. Both the waitress and the MT were hoping I would be in for disastrous consequences for ordering my soup "kill me hot," but I prevailed. "It could be spicier," I commented nonchalantly and gave a "hah" look at them both. Then, I cut up MT's dumplings into baby bite size pieces with my chop sticks so he could better handle them with his "injury" and we both told stories of how we love driving and road trips and one time where he got stuck driving near a cliff and had to call AAA.


When it was time to go we headed down the street, the drizzle a little more prevalent. "You realize you're carrying a little leopard print umbrella?" I asked him entirely amused. "If I were by myself, it might seem a little strange," he admitted, "but with you I can get away with it."

We continued on, until that spot, the dumping spot, was in my sights again. "Ugh," I thought, "if only I could get passed this. Him. The Dumping. The dumping spot. All of it." Then I got an idea...



"I want you to help me make a new memory of this spot," I said. "Because its otherwise such a lovely place and I pass by it all the time." "Okay," MT said. (as willing to do whatever I asked or needed or wanted as ever.) "What do you want to do?" I walked over to the rock ledge that I had sat on while being told exactly why I wasn't the right person for and by the one person I had ever thought was the right person for me. I stood on it this time and gestured MT to come near me. "Kiss me" I said with my arms stretched out wide overdramatically. "O" -"kay" he said with gusto. He came over and put his arms around my waist. I leaned into him and gave him a sweet, gentle kiss. And then...


We both looked over toward the street. There was a young guy (maybe 20?) in the backseat of a car with the window rolled down taking our picture. What?


"Hi guys!!" he said waving with one hand still taking a picture. "Hi" I said hesitantly waving back and smiling confusedly as he and his friends in the front seat burst into laughter and then drove off.


"What was that??" MT looked at me incredulously. "I don't know!" I responded bewildered. "Were they high," he wondered? "Or drunk?" I added. "Although they didn't seem that drunk," I continued... "Maybe they were on a scavenger hunt?" I pondered hopefully. "Come on!"he said with a crooked smile, "a scavenger hunt?" "Okay, okay, I don't know then. We weren't kissing crazy. We aren't dressed crazy. We don't look like a weird couple do we?"


"You know what I think it was," I finally determined. "What?" he asked me seriously. "A sign," I said. "A sign not to take life or one's self too seriously. You sit on a ledge you get dumped. You stand on a ledge kissing someone and some crazy teenagers or scavenger hunting frat boys take your picture. It's just all a little ridiculous."


"Well one thing is for sure," MT said. "What's that?" I asked him. "You wanted a new memory and you got one. Now it's the spot where the creepy dude took your picture."

And he was right. A new memory. And lots of other new memories that night too. Because you never know when a creepy dude is around the corner to make you feel a whole lot better about a whole heck of a lot....


To new memories and cheers,
T

15 comments:

Jolene said...

awww!!! LOVE this post!!!! And daresay, I love MT too. I think he's great for you, and you for him. I love that he helped make a new memory and then made it even better by saying that it now is the spot where the creepy dude took a pic, to make light of a crappy past memory. Yay!

Sarah said...

I hear ya at wanting to avoid certain places because of the memories. I've had to give up entire city districts.

Paulette said...

If there was a Like button, I'd hit it. :)

bupkiss said...

Well this sounds a lot more like what a new relationship should feel like :) Hoping you have more days like this as the bad memories drift further into the past.

Toddy said...

Jolene - you are always ALWAYS always SUUUUUUUUUUPER enthusiastic. Its hard to keep up, hah.

Sarah - I WOULD give up entire city districts but I work and the Math Teacher live in the ex-bfs living and working district. Besides I've lived here my whole life (so has the ex) but I'm not giving up my beloved DC for any man (or any other person for that matter). I do still have a panic attack when I have to go to a bar I think he could be at. oh well...

Paulette-yay! so glad you liked it girl. cute no?

bupkiss- yes -- I promise -- the beginning of the relationship with MT was VERY VERY BUMPY and confusing and strange and not always good. But how could it be when I was just dumped by someone else who I was deeply in love with and thought could potential be the one? but of course he couldn't be the one because if he was the one then he would've been the one right? As for the Math Teacher soooooooooo much has happened. I just gotta get around to writing it!!!!! Cheers, T.

Kissing and Other Disasters said...

new memories are awesome.
and I can remember being a teenager and thinking it would be "hilarious" to take pictures of strangers.
i'm glad things are working out with him.

-K

Vittoria said...

aw i love that. especially because if you had just "made" the memory, you might have felt weird about it later. but instead, the memory happened! i love it!!

suki said...

aw that is just so lovely. ;) rv gets a kick out of making new memories with me of places i'd been to with an ex. san francisco is small, and there are a LOT of fun places that i go to over and over again, so it's nice that he cares that he's creating something new with me...

D said...

I can't help it, I like this guy! And also LOVE your idea of a new memory!!

Susanlee said...

The math teacher is adorable. And a good sport. I -really- want to know what the picture was all about though. You're right, must've been a sign.

Toddy said...

Kissing-- hah thats so random n funny. Well who am i to deny people their fun? I was out in the public domain so it was legal!

Vittoria- i agree. I dont think i wouldve felt weird if the weird picture thing didnt happen but yes! The memory just happening is why i told this story. So random! So strange! So cool!!!

Suki- glad to hear im not the only one that does this!

D and Susanlee- glad you like him. I like him too.

IntrigueMe said...

That's really sweet. I'm glad you have a new memory of that spot now, and seriously... I still like the Math Teacher, I think he's sweet.

Storm. Kat Storm. said...

I think thats the sweetest thing I've ever heard, and who knows, maybe your kissing picture will become famous, like this one:

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue9911/images/C_20.jpg

Clicking Frogs said...

Awesome! And made even better by picture taking boys.

Toddy said...

IntrigueMe- I can assure you that the Math Teacher may NOT be many things but he is DEFINITELY sweet! Good catch...

stormkat- I certainly hope not!!! I'm in the post-dumped chubby stage. hahahahah.

ClickingFrogs-glad you liked it.

More coming on the MT...check it!

T