Only as alone as I want to be
Passing all the people standing on the street
The fallen fruit of a family tree
A crystal ball and the odyssey
Did you find whatever you were looking for?
Had to open every single door
I get the feeling you’ve been here before
From a missed connection
Lyrics from Missed Connection by The Head and the Heart
When I sat thinking about the prompt ‘missed connections’, some snippets from my life sprang to mind. I guess some of them can be classified as a missed connection, but in most of them there was a connection that actually meant something.
He was just a friend
Back in my teenage years, a young man came to our house a couple of times. My memories on him are not very clear, but I believe he was someone who worked with my father when my father was in the army for a couple of months. I will have to check this with my dad; see whether he remembers.
What I do remember is that the young man had the same surname as we did, which must have made us feel connected in some or other way. The scene that came to mind was him and I sitting on the stairs at the front door, talking and I remember that he was quite smitten with me. He might even have said something about it, but I wasn’t interested in him. Not as a boyfriend, that is, only as a friend. I believe by then I was already involved with the father of my firstborn, and too much in love to explore the advances of this young man.
To me this was not a missed connection, as I do remember he was someone I could talk to, but he might think differently about it.
Funnily enough, now that I am researching my paternal family tree, I came across many instances where young women married young men with the same surname as they had — cousins of the third and fourth generation, and again in the generations after that.
Definitely a missed connection
By the time I joined the army, I was a divorced mom of two, and as I settled into my new military life, and the ‘newness’ of living in Cape Town wore off, the loneliness set in. My life was set into a routine, and when by half past seven in the evenings the kids were in bed, I looked at long lonely evenings with no one to talk to.
At work there was this young man who showed interest in me, and I was quite interested in him too. To be honest, when I look at it now, I know that I was grasping at straws, desperate for some kind of adult connection. He started visiting me at home in the evenings, and soon we became an item.
There is one moment between us that really stands out in my mind. The lounge of the flat I lived in was in the middle of the house, with the kids bedrooms on the one side of the lounge, and mine on the other. This gave some privacy and meant whatever happened in my bedroom didn’t wake the children.
This one evening sexual tension was running high between us, but I made sure he couldn’t touch me like he wanted. I teased him. At one moment I stood up and went to the bedroom, wiggling my bottom at him as I walked away. I hadn’t seen him following me, and the next moment I knew, he grabbed me from behind, threw me on the bed and in a flash he was inside me.
What I clearly remember of that moment is how exciting I found it. My heart raced, and that was the best fuck we ever had. He apologized afterwards, and he never did it again.
Knowing what I know about myself today, I understand the excitement I felt. The way he took control of the situation, the way he fucked me… that was something I needed, something I had been looking for, but only learned to understand many years after that. To me that is the missed connection, the fact that it took so long for me to understand what I needed.
I wanted to marry him
Still in Cape Town, and after the relationship with the young man ended — he was transferred to another unit — I was back to feeling lonely. I sometimes had a friend over for a cuppa in the evening, but mostly I was alone. My connections were with my colleagues, during office hours, and one of those colleagues became a close friend. Since he too had the same surname as me, we joked many times how we are family. I can’t tell you how many times he just grabbed me in the office when I stood at the printer, or walked by his desk, danced with me to the music playing and then swing me around, and put me right on top of one of those 4-drawer filing cabinets. It’s with fondness that I think back to those days, to those colleagues!
We started seeing each other outside of work. Just as friends, nothing romantic at all. He was as lonely as I was, but it would be years before I would learn the reason why. Back then I thought it was because he was gay, and just keeping to himself because of the military environment where we worked and lived.
One day he, I and my children drove out for a walk on the beach. It was on that drive that I had this crazy idea: I should ask him to marry me. He was lonely. I was lonely. He loved my kids, and they adored him. It could be a marriage of convenience. He never talked about being gay, and some people didn’t believe he was. Thought he was just waiting for the right girl to come along. If he and I married, we would at least have someone to talk to in the evening, and we could take care of each other.
I never asked him. Never mentioned it to him.
This wasn’t a missed connection. I very much connected with him, and now, even 21 years after he passed away on 1 August 1999, I still think about him. Not only on the day of his passing, or only on his birthday, but frequently. My kids still talk about him too. He was very much a connection in my life, someone who taught me so much, who meant so much, who was so damn special. He is sorely missed.
© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay