Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Happened in Barstow

I met the love of my life on a Las Vegas turnaround that didn't quite make it to Las Vegas.

The UPS man at the job I'd just quit had invited some of my girlfriends, who in turn invited me. So on a weekend when I was supposed to be picking up extra work formatting a dreadfully dull RFP, I found myself on a bus instead.

Our bus tour didn't take us to the famed Las Vegas Strip. It took us to the Nevada state line, where a few random, low-rent casinos rose randomly, but not necessarily majestically, out of the desert. The kind with old ladies and nickel slots.

There on the bus was a cute, cute guy. I guessed him to be in his mid-late 30's. 6'1". 180 pounds. Brown-skinned. Kinda wavy hair, with just a hint of grey. Big eyes.

Cute.

He didn't talk to me. I didn't talk to him.

But I definitely noticed him. And as it turned out, he definitely noticed me. (He later confessed that he followed me around the casino, where, in his words, I flitted like a butterfly from slot machine to slot machine.)

On the way back, the bus pulled over at the McDonald's in Barstow.

We were in line at the same time. Our eyes met.

That was all.

I was almost 27 years old.

It had been six months since I'd escaped from my Great Aunt and moved into my own apartment. It had been a year-and-a-half since the worst of my casting-couch experiences.

And it's probably no exaggeration to say that I was experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. I had nightmares about Stripper Pimp and the other Hollywood users and losers who had crossed my path.

And I had a new wound I was trying to heal. A month before, I'd had a one-night stand with a guy who came inside of me, even though he knew I wasn't on the pill. So on top of feeling easy and terribly unloved, I was also worried about pregnancy and HIV.

When I saw the cute guy on the bus, the question that arose from deep inside of me was, Why can't I ever have a guy like that?

Nearly a month later, I got a surprise phone call from one of my girlfriends at the former job. Some guy from the trip was looking for me. He'd given his phone number to the UPS guy, who gave it to my girlfriend, who gave it to me.

I hoped and prayed it was the cute, cute guy from the bus.

It was.

And he totally changed the trajectory of my life, mostly for good.

(Brown Diaries Part 1 of 18: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 | Lessons Learned 1-3: 1 2 3)

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7 comments:

E.Payne said...

I'm glad this chapter of the story turned out well.

What happens next?

Tina said...

Awww...that made me tear up. What a great story. And I thought nothing happens in Barstow.

izzie said...

Awww hun!
Great to read this...
As most girls (? generelazing here!) I'm still waiting for that to happen to me... I thought it had... but I was kinda wrong...
So now... I'm in need of a bus trip ;)

Love,

sospokesaroj said...

YES, I <3 stories that have that "their eyes met across a crowded room" sort of quality. Good things always seem to pop up at the most random times, in the most random ways.

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

It is just about asking for the right thing at the right time. I am glad you did that. ;)

Kisses.

LLnL said...

This brings back so many memories. I can relate to all of those stories, maybe not 100% but they all remind me of different times in my life. That you fro sharing in detail what you have been through.

I come to believe that you have to own where you been to be confident where you are.

Cheron L. Hall said...

Okay, this was what I was looking for...I was a bit confused...I thought Olaf was the love of your life for a minute, lol...okay...I'm back in stride...sounds juicy...

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