But, somehow, Reality tossed me a bone. I’ve met someone who’s significantly turned not just my head, but what’s inside that hardened bony protuberance above my collarbone. And she’s no unicorn, she’s as real as they get. We’re feeling it out, taking it slow-ish. I’m into what’s happening, taking it day by day, without regard for possible future regrets. But, in my defense, we’ve been in contact and chatting for months, already. I hear ya. “What’s that? You’ve been chatting for months - and hadn’t met?” Well, yeah, and there’s a story there.
I connected with B on the Bee app pretty quickly after arriving here in the tropics back in January. We weren’t located particularly close to each other to facilitate a spur of the moment, in-person meeting. She was in Panama City, me in Coronado. We chatted back and forth for a couple of weeks, and no red flags. Heck for me, not even an orange one. (You color people can take a hike if orange isn’t somewhere between green and red on a color scale. It is in this case for illustrative purposes. So stick that in your color wheel and take it for a spin.)
After a time, B agreed to drive out to Coronado. By my calculation, she was making the trip less for to see me, and more to be able to swim in the ocean, (she’s a triathlete, and a studette, so yay!), but I figured I could carry her towel and be a cheerleader on the sand. The quarterback falls for the cheerleader in all the media, so why not the triathlete? My diabolical plan was put in motion.
She’s driving, and gets stymied by an accident on the Pan American highway. It’s delays for fucking HOURS. Much to my (unexpressed) chagrin, she’s decided to turn back to PC, delaying our meet for another time. On the phone, we decide on a mid-week day the next week to try again. All ducks aligned. All signs pointing forward. Thunderbirds are go.
Reality steps in and says, “About that...” You see, B works for a humanitarian aid agency, and lo! a humanitarian crisis emerges in Eastern Europe. Fuck you, Putin. She’s shipping out in a couple of days and doesn’t have time. Thanks, Reality, you can stuff it. It’s a month-long stint. No problem, though right? I can do a month standing on my head juggling pints of bad beer and not spilling a drop.
One month turns into two (really? I mean, really?!). But B is finally scheduled to return. Yay! Where am I? I leave to the States the day before she returns to Panama. Well, heck. Reality, you’re really starting to piss me off. On the bright side and much to my surprise, B is continuing to maintain contact with me. But she’s only got photos and my sparkling personality to go on. She hasn’t yet felt the disappointment of in-person me yet.
I gamely make a date to meet in-person the day I return to Panama. I usually book a hotel in PC the night I land, and make my way elsewhere the next day. It’s what I’ve done pretty much every time. Turns out, my usual hotel is an easy walk from her building, so we arrange to meet at a tapas bar for beers and in-person convos.
Fast forward several weeks. We’ve spent a lot of that time together, eating, drinking, consuming media, and sweating (running in the tropics is sweaty business. Keep your minds out of the gutter, you pervs!) I like the direction we’re moving, but time will tell. I have to leave in about a month for at least a month. If B wants me to return, I will happily and eagerly do so. If she wants to meet me somewhere in the States or Canada for a while, I’m down for it. If she decides that she’s had enough of me, well, my eagerness, and excitement will be on a different, much lower, level. I’ll accept it, por supuesto, and never regret a single moment we’ve had together. Well, maybe a slight regret for the OH MY GOD IT BURNS after one run, when I forgot to account for sweat-soaked sag-shorts, but that’s a whole different Regret Path.
But finally meeting and spending a significant amount of quality time with an amazing woman regardless of whether or not it works for longer than six weeks? For that, there are no regrets.