As virtual realities go, YaHell dating is about as close to “relationship” as China is to New York. Early in her single days, Liza had discovered the world of chatting. It was a cheap and cowardly alternative to bar hopping in search of men. It was also very addictive.
During a leave from work for surgery, Liza ventured into the world of chat. Early on, she met Rvrguy late one night.
Rvrguy: I’m a musician in Memphis.
Eliza_jane: what kind of musician
Rvrguy: damn good one
Rvrguy: yep, I’ve been told that before. I think I’m horny.
He was a divorced father of 3 grown kids. Catholic. Wrote music for “jingles” and for the Air Force band. The friendship developed slowly, as real friendships do. Since his work was mainly on computer, he was always online.
Eliza_Jane: DING! Hey smartass….whatcha doin?
Rvrguy: headstands in bullshit…arggghhh
Eliza_Jane: I’ve been out for a walk with the dogs. Weather’s great!
Rvrguy: so umm…how are you in bed? I’m usually sleepy
Eliza_Jane: I don’t remember. It’s been awhile. Are you married?
Rvrguy: was once….now THAT was scary
Eliza_Jane: I’ve been divorced for 6 months
Rvrguy: hmmm….not long
And so it went for weeks. Mark tired quickly of Liza’s “wordiness”. She pounded him daily with the longings of her soul by email. He rarely responded, though he was enchanted with her naïvete and honesty.
Liza’s divorce from Noler had been done quickly but not painlessly. When Babygirl approached the home stretch of senior year, Liza realized that the marriage was a sham and its’ reason for being was about to leave the nest. She had always had a thing for Jerry, their mutual friend. Suddenly it dawned on her that it was now or never time for true love. Claiming her love through a handwritten letter to Jerry Lee, she mailed it to him and waited for a response.
I learned in my days in therapy that sometimes the only way to get something out from under your skin is to write a letter if the person you want to talk to isn’t around anymore. Since I can’t find you and know that your e-mail gets checked, I guess this is my only means to let you know what’s on my mind.
I think that until I woke up on New Year’s Day I was a pretty sensible person, like I tend to be. I had convinced myself that it was okay that me and Noler don’t really have a marriage and that some things you just endure. After all, I was the one who hounded him until he came back. But nobody’s been happy since then, and on that day when I laid on the couch and watched you sleep it kind of came home to me what I’d missed. We’ve been through a bunch of shit together through the years and that’s what friendship is about. You are so much like me it ain’t even funny……like the crying jags we both get on and the sentimental stuff and the family stuff. I guess maybe that’s why I first fell for you a long time ago. Not because you’re a “pretty boy” or because you’re generous or all the other stuff……but because I see the best of me in you and recognize my dark side there as well.
I went to Cool Springs cemetary to talk to your Mom about all this the other day looking for answers. I thought I heard her tell me to go after you, but when I got there you were already gone back to Pammy. That’s the story of my life……I sit and listen to guys that I love cry over other women just like a good “buddy”. Been doing it all my life. Guess I’m a slow learner, huh?
Your sis asked me if you knew how I felt about you. Said I should tell you. Only you’re “invisible” again so I guess this will have to do. I hope that things work out for you the way that you want, whatever that is. I love you enough to want you to be happy because life is very short and we spend too much time chasing bullshit when we don’t know if we’ll be alive long enough to enjoy it. I will always be there for you and I hope you will remember that. If being with Pammy is what makes you happy I hope that she’s good to you, because if not I’LL KICK HER ASS! Keep the faith baby……………………Love ya, Liza
A silent week after mailing that letter, she went to find him. It was late January and he came to the door in sweats and with apprehension on his face.
“Did you get my letter?” she asked.
Jerry looked at the floor uncomfortably and back into his friend’s eyes. “Yes” he said. Tears began to fill his own eyes as he fought to maintain control. “I don’t feel the same way about you. I’ve never thought of you as anything but a friend”.
Now Liza began to cry too. She and Jerry had cried together many times……during the illness and death of his mother. When she first met him, it was while she was divorced the first time from Noler and pining away for him to come back. Jerry Lee had listened to her pain and pumped up her spirits during those bad times. She had held his hand during the worst parts of his life.
This kind of raw emotion can’t be tolerated for long. Liza returned home to Noler with a resolve to end it and move forward, wherever that might lead.