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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a small part of the story part 1


     It is the very beginning of 2002; the calendar is still mostly unmarked, full of numbered white boxes representing days that haven't happened yet.  I had received a scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance's winter session (yeah, I realize that's a mouthful), and was gearing up to go to New York City later in the day.  It is a Sunday, placing me at church, and it has just begun to snow outside.  Drew walks up to me and we begin to talk. Haltingly, a little awkwardly, we find a rhythm for our conversation.  

     See, it has now been three months since I broke up with him, but after being so special to each other and sharing so much, it is hard to know quite how to relate to one another.  Do we pretend not to know the details of each other's lives and just ask what the other ate for dinner, or how their family is doing?  As if the level of interest stops there?  As if the carefully planned show of polite disinterest is the only thing we feel now?  But who am I kidding, Drew was never very good at pretending he didn't care--not when he told me that he wanted to go to my shows at Uarts simply because he enjoyed watching dance--you know, it's a beautiful art form, Jess, and not when he asked if he could stop by my house because he was hungry and wanted toast (toast, Drew? really? couldn't you think of any other reason to stop by--something that wasn't quite so transparent, at least?).  I never doubted that I was special to him--not during the whole three months when we were broken up and his poor heart was hurting and my brother and all his friends who wanted to see his eyes not look so sad anymore told him to give up on me. That it'd be better that way, he'd see.  

  Anyway, I mention to Drew that I have to drive to the city later in the day and now it is snowing and now I really don't want to do it.  Very nonchalantly, he offers to drive me.  Really? You would drive me to New York?  You have the time, there's nothing else you have to do? I ask. Carefully, so as not to reveal an eagerness that might scare me away, he answers, Sure. I enjoy driving and I have a friend I'd like to see in the city anyway. It would be no problem. Well, great.  Drew is a friend and a good driver and I now don't have to go to the city alone.  We head out, and pretty soon are on the turnpike.  

  I am feeling really comfortable with Drew now--but maybe something else, maybe something more.  I like sitting next to him very much and so do what had, at one point, been only natural: I reach over to take his hand.  But, I remember that we are not together, that I broke up with him, that I wanted this not togetherness, so I stop my hand in mid-air and quickly pull it back to my own lap where it belongs.  I can only hope he didn't notice.  He breaks the silence with, Why did you do that?  I play stupid and ask, do what?  Just now, he says, you pointed at my crotch. Why did you point at my crotch?  Now I am facing a dilemma--do I let him think I am a freak who randomly points at crotches, or do I tell him the truth that may be even worse; the truth that may let him hope for something that five minutes ago I didn't think would ever happen?  What to do, what to do?  He obviously won't let me evade the question, so I simply say, I was reaching to hold your hand. To which he says a quiet oh.  And then we sit in silence until one of us welcomes the other's inane and completely unrelated comment like a long-lost friend.  

   

  


11 comments:

Peaj said...

You oughta marry that boy. He sounds sweet.

sarah said...

im so glad you guys are together!! love you, jess!!

KathieK said...

I love hearing/reading these romantic stories of how people get together!

Jessica Latshaw said...

yeah--I am thinking about marrying him...:-)

Anonymous said...

toast...hmmm love that latshaw toast!

mom said...

Jess...did I ever dare hint that Drew's the guy for you :)!!!! I just love to say this: I knew he was the one and I told you so.

Even moms can sometimes be right.....

drew said...

Thinking back . . . it was kinda weird that I assumed that you were pointing at my crotch . . .

Jenna said...

haha yeah drew that is kinda weird.

jason said...

drew, if I remember correctly (jessica, that was for you)...

that used to be your standard greeting with EVERYONE you talked to.

"Were you pointing at my crotch."

It made you very popular at church.

Jessica Latshaw said...

If I remember correctly--HA!

Tiffany said...

I'm laughing so much at the comments. Thanks for sharing the story. Waiting for the rest. Stinking at doing pilates on my own. Tiff