Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Writing to you is a waste of time part one: March 11, 2015

I documented everything.
I wrote it all down.
Everything we did.
They were all letters to you.
But writing to you is pointless.
Writing to you is a waste of time.
A huge waste of time.

    Everything happened so fast. We met, we dated, we fell in love, and then...I’m not sure. I sit at night and wonder, what the heck happened? Let’s look back at all these letters to you, shall we? Maybe hidden amongst the muck and the mire of my poorly handwritten letters is a clue. Something. Anything. Just a tidbit of what the heck happened.

March 11, 2015………………………………………………………………………………....
    Today I met you. I think you might be wonderful, and I’ve only known you for a few moments. Literally. We met and you made me laugh and it was magical. I think it was at least. You asked me about myself and I asked you about you (#redundant), and then we just kind of kept on talking. I think you might be wonderful.

    I don’t really see anything in that one that points to any kind of answer. I remember that day though, like it was yesterday:
    I walked up to the group that had gathered at the soccer field. These are my people, I said to myself as I ripped off my sweatshirt in preparation for a hard game. I jogged onto the field, cleats laced and shirt tucked in, it was gonna be a good day.
    “Yo, Brightman! Get the heck out of my spot, no one touches center d, but me,” I yelled at Brightman, he shook his head at me, but hustled off to left mid where he normally played. I nodded my head, all was well with the positions. I surveyed the players to my left and right, expecting to see Jones and Slaski, but there was someone new to my right. I jogged over to him quickly.
    “Hey dude, I’m Elizabeth Lewellyn,” I said, extending my hand to shake his.
    “Nice to meet you, I’m Edwyn O’Keefe.”
    “So, you’re playing my right?”
    “Yes ma’am.”
    “Cool, I want you to know we play a high defense. We’re always up, and I mean up.”
    “I can handle that.”
    “Great,” I said and jogged back to the middle of the box.
    The game started without a hitch. We had possession and were rushing the goal, but the other team’s defense quickly consolidated.
    “O’Keefe,” I yelled, “move in for the drop!” Edwyn did exactly what I told him, moving into an open position to catch the drop and passed forward to me, maintaining our triangle formation we got it back to the forwards who went in for the goal. The keeper caught it and punted it full steam ahead.
    “Let’s bring it back guys,” I yelled at my defense as we shifted our line further back towards our goal.
    The game ended pretty square. We had won, 2-1. I walked over to Wood and O’Keefe.
    “Good game guys,” I said patting them both on the back. Wood tackled me into a very forced hug.
    “This girl,” he said over the top of my head to O’Keefe with a grin, “Lew, you gonna come with to celebrate?”
    “I dunno, Wood, I think I might need to head home,” I said glancing at my watchless wrist wear I was greeted with only freckles, “it’s getting kinda late and I need to feed the babies.”
    “You have kids,” Edwyn asked me, very surprised.
    “Noooooo, no, no, nothing like that. I have to feed the animals,” I explained.
    “Oh, gosh, I was gonna be like, okay, that’s cool, but animals is better than kids.”
    “What about you, O’Keefe, you gonna come celebrate,” Wood asked.
    “I think I might be able to do that, but only if Lewellyn goes too,” he said and winked at me.
    “I guess I could be convinced,” I said, “but only for a bit, I really do have to get home to the animals.”
    “I got you,” Wood said and ran ahead to tell the rest of the team.
    “So, how do you all normally ‘celebrate,’” Edwyn asked.
    “I’m reckoning we’re gonna go grab some dinner somewhere and take it back to Rogers’ house to eat and have a few friendly rounds of ping pong.”
    “Oh man, I can kill at some ping pong.”
    “You mean be killed at ping pong, because I’m undefeated,” I corrected him and nudged him with my shoulder.
    “Competitive, I like that,” Edwyn smirked down at me. “Okay, serious question, how the heck are you so short and so good at soccer?”
    “Low center of gravity, my balance only operates in beast mode,” I replied with a laugh.
    “That explains everything,” he replied dramatically.
    “Yeah, see, your problem is that you’re too tall, you gotta get on my level.”
    “Maybe if I kneeled.”
    “Okay, ouch, low blow dude.”
    “Well, you’re too short for tall blow.”
    “Fed that one to you,” I shook my head.
    “And swoosh,” Edwyn said, dunking an imaginary basket, “I win that round.”
    “We’ll see about that,” I said and started walking to my car.
    “Can you send me the address,” he asked.
    “Sorry, bro, I don’t have your number,” I said, laughing, and got in my car. He stood at his car with his hands in the air. I rolled down my window. “If you can keep up you can follow me.” Edwyn jumped in his car and we headed to the restaurant.

    We always got our post-winning-game-celebration-food from a place called Hal’s. It was an Italian place that served the best Chinese in town. We loaded up with food and all headed to Rogers’ house. When we got there we filed into the house with our takeout containers and plopped down on his living room floor.
    “So, the MVP award for this game goes too,” Rogers said while grabbing a fortune cookie, “Cranky Frank,” he said while presenting Edward Frances Asheland the Third with his trophy. Everyone laughed and cheered.
    “Alright, why Cranky Frank,” Edwyn leaned over to me and asked.
    “Well, when Eddie first started playing with us he was a bit of whiny bum, so we started calling him Cranky Frank, and it kinda stuck,” I explained to him.
    “Gotcha, poor guy, that’s quite the nickname.”
    “What about you, O’Keefe, what do people normally call you,” I asked him.
    “Well, I’ve had a few nicknames here and there,” he replied, evading the question.
    “Uh-huh, such as?”
    “People have called me Ed and Eddie a lot.”
    “Well, those are pretty tame, we’ll have to come up with something better than that,” I replied with a smirk, “Let’s see, Edwyn, hmmm, I’ve got it! Winnie. Henceforth you shall be known as Winnie,” I laughed.
    “If you call me Winnie I won’t just beat you at ping pong, I’ll wipe the floor with you too,” Edwyn said, sincerely affronted.
    “We’ll see,” I said.
    “What about you? Do you have any nicknames,” he asked.
    “Yeah, most of the guys call me Lewellyn or Lew, but my family mostly calls me Eli.”
    “So you play pick-up soccer with a bunch of guys, you go by two male names, should I be drawing conclusions here,” he joked, and I laughed.
    “Naw, nothing like that. I played soccer through college and I’m just not done with the sport yet. And these are a great group of guys, I like being a part of this team.”
    “Yeah, and she’s one of the best center d’s in the league,” Aces said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder, “we’re pretty protective of her,” he said in his british drawl. “I’m Aces, mate, nice to officially meet you,” he said, extending his hand.
    “Edwyn O’Keefe,” Edwyn replied and eyed Aces with his arm still around my shoulder.
    “How’d you hear about us,” Aces asked.
    “Um, I googled pick-up soccer games in the area and just showed up. Apparently you guys were short a player.”
    “Cool, cool, you’ve been hanging out with Lew most of the night, why don’t you go mingle with everyone else for a bit.”
    “So subtle, Aces,” I said, as I rolled my eyes.
    “Subtlety is my specialty,” he replied, “but seriously, dude, I gotta have a chat with our girl here,” Aces turned back to Edwyn, “I promise to deliver her back to you in one piece.”
    “Hey, that’s all a guy can ask for,” Edwyn chuckled and went to talk with Wood.
    “Alright, Aces, what’s up,” I asked.
    “I don’t like him,” he replied.
    “Really, that’s why you shooed him off?”
    “Yeah, that’s why.”
    “Isn’t that a bit harsh, you don’t even know him,” I said, a bit miffed about Aces thinking he could just control all of my interactions with guys.
    “I don’t have to, he looks like a yuppie.”
    “He’s in Adidas and a jersey, please tell me what’s so yuppie about that.”
    “Look at his hair, it’s combed over, that guy is way too cookie-cutter for you.”
    “So he combs his hair, big deal, you have a man-bun, you’re yuppie too.”
    “No, I’m the pleasantly hipster Englishman, I’m filling a stereotype, he’s just a preppie dude.”
    “I don’t know why we’re even having this conversation, he’s not interested in me.”
    “Oh he is, I can tell. He’s very interested.”
    “Well, we just met, and I’m not interested in him, I don’t even know him.”
    “Remember that, will you Eli, you don’t know him yet, so don’t rush into anything.”
    “I appreciate you being so concerned, Adam, but I’ll be fine. I’ve been taking care of myself for awhile now.”
    “Famous last words,” Aces said.
    “No, just the truth. Now, are we gonna stand here and argue about this or are you gonna let me school you in some ping pong?”
    “You can try,” he replied and we started walking toward the basement where Rogers’ ping pong table was. “I don’t want you to get hurt again, Eli, that’s all. Josh was a jerk and you don’t deserve to go through that again.”
    “I appreciate it, Ace, but I think I’ve learned from my mistakes.”
    “Cool, now let’s play some ping pong.”
    Aces and I played seven, and he conceded after I skunked him. Edwyn stepped up to the table after Aces admitted defeat begrudgingly.
    “It’s not your fault you suck at ping pong,” I called after him and he just waved me off.
    “To the core, Darling,” he replied back clutching his chest before he bounded up the stairs.
    “You wanna play,” Edwyn asked.
    “Sure,” I said, and we started rallying to warm up.
    “Do you play ping pong a lot,” he asked.
    “No, but I do play tennis, and it translates pretty well,” I explained, “I really only play when Rogers lets us come invade.
    “Do you guys get together often?”
    “About once or twice a week for practice, and every once in awhile Rogers invites us all over, a few of us play in a band together.”
    “Oh? Who all does that?”
    “Well, there’s me and Aces, his name is Adam, and Wood and my friend Casey,” I replied, “that was a good shot,” I said as the ball caught just the edge of the table.
    “What can I say, pure skill,” Edwyn smirked smugly.
    “We’ll see about that,” I said, “you ready to ping it?”
    “Let’s go,” he replied and I served. The game got pretty intense with a lot of trash talk on Edwyn’s end of the table, but in the end I won by a two point margin.
    “Good game, better luck next time,” I said, giving him a condescending pat on the back.
    “Hey, I was close to winning, and I will someday,” he retorted.
    “Of course you will, Buddy, keep telling yourself that.”
    “So tell me more about this band, what kind of music do you all play,” Edwyn asked as we headed back upstairs to get something to drink.
    “Mostly super hipster folksy stuff.”
    “What do you do in the band?”
    “I play a few instruments and sing on occasion,” I replied.
    “Oh cool, what do you play?”
    “I play the harmonica and guitar mostly, I dabble on the keys sometimes.”
    “I bet you’re just being modest.”
    “Naw, dude, life’s too short for modesty, I’m really not that great.”
    “Sure you’re not.”
    “Fine, don’t believe me, I don’t need you too,” I said while filling my cup with water.
    “I’ll guess you’ll just have to prove me wrong,” he replied with a grin, and I felt a little annoyed. I didn’t like it when people just decided to challenge me for the heck of it, some things were all in good fun, but this was just because he wanted to be difficult.
    “Yeah, sure,” I said and walked out of the kitchen.
    “You good,” Edwyn asked catching up to me.
    “Yeah, I’m fine, I’ve just really got to get back home so I can feed the animals.”
    “Oh, gotcha, well, it was nice to meet you, I guess I’ll see you sometime next week for practice.”
    “Yeah, it was great to meeting and playing with you tonight,” I said, “I’m gonna go find Aces and Rogers to say goodbye.” I said and walked away.
    I left Edwyn staring after me and it made me feel strange. He seemed like such a nice guy, but that whole end of our conversation kind of rubbed me the wrong way. But, still, he was pretty cute, and that covered a multitude of sins, right?
    I ran headfirst into Aces.
    “You a little distracted there, Eli?”
    “Apparently,” I said, rubbing my forehead, “I came to say goodnight, you seen Rogers?”
    “Oh yeah, he’s over there with Frank the Crank, hey, we having band practice this week?”
    “Yeah, Thursday right? I’ll text Casey and make sure she’s good for then.”
    “Cool, see ya, Midget,” Aces said and gave me a hug. I walked over to Rogers and Eddie.
    “Hey Rogers, just came to say goodnight, thanks for hosting again.”
    “Someday we’re coming to your farm instead of my house,” he joked.
    “I’m all for some team building exercises mucking out stables and milking the cows,” I laughed.
    “Seriously, next time we go to you,” he said while hugging me.
    “You got it, Bro. But, we both know it ain’t gonna happen,” I chuckled and he waved me off. “See ya, Eddie,” I said.
   “Later, Lew.”

    I walked out of Rogers’ house and got into my car. The drive out to my farm was a bit long, but I loved driving at night in the country. I passed fields bathed in moonlight and the sound of cows lowing came through the rolled-down windows. Night was the time of day that I most romanticised. The time when no one was out but yourself, and you could only see as far as your headlights. All of that darkness full of potential if you’d only go out in it and grab it.
   But, as I drove home my thoughts strayed to this new guy I had just met. I was hooked. He was nice, and smart, and funny, and I liked him. I kept trying to remind myself that I had only just met him and knew, practically nothing about him - it was too soon. But, I still liked him.
    I pulled into my long driveway and prepared to do late-nights. The last check of the night where I batten down the hatches and make sure everyone is fed and tucked in for the evening. I started with the cows and normally ended by calling the dogs inside. It was a bit tedious, but still something I enjoyed. I loved my animals, and I loved my farm.
    It didn’t take long for me to finish, but even then my thoughts were still on Edwyn.
    “I’m just really impressed with what I saw,” I said to my dog, Bushes. He just looked at me with sad Basset Hound eyes. “That’s all it is, I don’t like him that way, and I’m not jumping into anything. I’m just getting to know him.”
    Bushes yawned.
    “You’re right, Bushes, I need to focus on other things now, like this new project at work that I’m not looking forward to starting at all.”
    Bushes’ eyes started to slow blink.
    “I think I’m just still a little burned from Josh, I can’t start anything with a stranger, that would be stupid, and if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s stupid.”
    Bushes was now asleep.
    “Exactly, I’m not stupid, and neither are you, you doge,” I said while rubbing his velvety ear between my thumb and forefinger. “Alright, c’mon, let’s go to bed,” I said.
    Bushes was asleep.
    “Alright, I’ll just go to bed then,” I said and got ready for bed.

    That was the day I met you, and I know now I definitely liked you then. Almost the minute I met you, but definitely solidified when I saw you play. I guess we started out as friends, how did we get to where we are now? I have no idea. I hope I can figure it out.