All Photographs + Text Copyright 2012 Christopher Keeley

Blowing me off
Stomach Pain Basilica

The Dating Saga continues, but I am hardened from the disappointment of being let down so many times in the past. I ask this girl if she wants to see the movie The Geisha. I have to see movies, when I want to see them, the day they come out. She's not willing and we make arrangements to get together the next day. Now she is almost the exact opposite of my previous movie date. When you drop her phone number in Google you get her escort service and a very seductive voice enticing you into her web.

The new date is an ex-Mormon with three kids and a soon-to-be ex-husband recently released from the State Jail. Do I know how to pick them or what? I learned my lesson from going out for three years with a girl from work, and make every attempt to not cross that line again, not being one given to learning experience from past previously made horrendous mistakes. The 28-year-old mom's kids associate a ladies orange handbag in church with the deadbeat dad's orange jumpsuit. She is a photographer and I know we have a lot in common, even though my spirituality is not religious. We make plans to do some photography and share our common interests, music, art, and politics.

I wake up early and wait to call her at 9:45 a.m. She calls me back at 10:45 a.m. She says I have one thing to ask you, what church did you grow up with, what religion are you? Not a tough question for me, because I have none. So I say: Well, Episcopalian-- because my only memories of church are going to Sunday school at an Episcopalian church at number one Chevy Chase Circle. I know the address because I would send Homeless people to the same church, as that church gives unfortunate people ten dollars to help them obtain their Identification document, which in turn helps the Homeless get much needed assistance using their I.D. card in these days of Big Government.

So I tell her that I only went to Sunday school and I would spend the money I was supposed to put in the church basket at the High's Drug Store, which later became the Peoples Drug Store, on tons of candy, before I arrived at the Sunday School. I have a vague memory of the Nun or whoever was conducting the Sunday school telling me I didn't have to put anything in the basket. I told my date that I grew up all over the world and we really didn't go to church. She says I would like to go to the Basilica. I said I went to Catholic University and got my MasterÕs Degree in Social Work, I know all about the Basilica, we can burn some candles, and get close to God. I don't dare tell her that I had a terrible time with the overly zealous Catholics and the religious aspects of the school. So I say: So you like burning candles? We can burn some candles over here.

What's amazing is, as I write this story, many appropriate songs are playing on my I-Tunes, all lovesick songs. Beatles: For No One, Jefferson Airplane: Somebody to Love, Jimi Hendrix: Room full of Mirrors, and the Rolling Stones: You can't always get what you want. I am laughing to myself.

So the date says: I have to take a shower before I come over. I say okie-dokie-smokie-artichokie, see you in an hour, as I know that she lives in bumfuck Virginia. She says I'll be over at 1:30 p.m. I say cool, you know I didn't take a shower yet myself because I didn't want to miss your call. She then says she has to hook up with friends at 5:30 in Georgetown for dinner that evening. I say coolio, I have to make coffee for a group, and I like to buy the supplies at 6:00 p.m. IÕm due at St. Albans at 7:00 p.m., so we can go to Georgetown too. I have no idea that I am going to be blown off completely. I watch a great movie on the Independent Film Channel, to kill some time and not obsess about her for the next 1.5 hours.

I am thinking I do want to kiss her on the cheeks. Then I think it would be lovely to kiss her on the neck when she arrives, or just hold her in my arms. I have no idea what her intensions are.

About two hours pass with no sign of her, and the strangest thing happens. I unlock my door and a few moments later there is a knock. I open the door and it is the Police with the neighbor across the hall. My stomach sinks because I think something terrible has happened to the date, but no, itÕs because another neighbor was robbed and broken into at 1:00 p.m.

Completely unbelievable. The neighbor says we heard someone so we thought we would check it out. Apparently the other neighbor went grocery shopping, leaving his apartment unlocked. I left my condo unlocked for 16 years. Now I am locking it. He says they broke in. There were visible signs of breaking and entering, even though the apartment was unlocked. I make an assessment, because my victim neighbor could be an addict, as I have seen him completely trashed at Blues Alley on a Friday night, Cocaine paranoia possibly. He says that they took $500 from his cabinet, leaving a Nano I-Pod and his computer. I am willing to believe his story because it seems so strange. No one in our Condominium will believe that someone has actually had a break-in. It's so bold. It's such a quiet building. We have had thefts of clothes from the laundry room.

I find it easy to occupy myself with all my multi-tasking. Scanning old negatives on my scanner, making mixed music cds randomly for friends as I listen nostalgically, fixing web pages. The funniest thing was I had one friend on the cell phone and the other on my landline at the same time, and they were both originally from New York. The older friend was going through some changes and couldn't handle me talking with the other friend at the same time. I had one phone at each ear. I was doing quite well with both conversations. I was tying up the line in case the Late Date phoned in with a report about her being enormously late, but no such luck. I was blown off completely. I later learned that she text messaged my home phone. Ditzo, how in the hell am I going to get the text message on my home phone? I must have left her three messages up until eight p.m., calling every hour. My stomach was hurting from the thought that something bad happened, yes something bad happened. My love sickness via rejection, exuberated by some strong Kenyan coffee, which didn't help my sudden sense of loneliness. At 4:00 p.m., I ordered a Quattro Pizza, four cheese pizza, which saved the day. I learned from the date later that evening at 10:00 p.m. that she had a problem with her children and that was the reason that she never made it to my apartment. I am trying to practice on a daily basis unconditional love, patience, tolerance, and acceptance. No more dates for her is going through my mind as I delete her from my cell phone, not going to make that mistake again. An appropriate Beatles song comes on: In her eyes you see no one, you think she needs you, you see nothing behind her.

Chris 12.10.2005

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