She offered to invite me inside for dinner and dessert, but I turned her offer down as I wasn't hungry. We stayed outside her house, cracking jokes like old times, poking fun at each other about how we were both gaining weight, and playing with her adorably sociable pug Bailey. When I told her I came from this year's auditions for the Accenture Chorale, Denise asked me to sing...and I sang her the tenor part of "The Lord Bless You and Keep You."
After all these years and failed attempts, I guess I haven't really gotten over her. She was the one...or someone pretty close to being the one. Yet I already know she will never look at me as anything more than a good friend. Still, I wonder if there's any truth to what Auntie Carole said when she saw that photo of Denise and I on the phone I lent her during her stay. When she heard my story, Auntie Carole told me not to give up hope and that things may change in the future.
There's something different this time, however. The JM of three months ago would have moped and sulked and wallowed in self-pity about the hopelessness of the situation to no end. I still feel all those emotions now, but I'm strangely detached to them, as if I had taken a shot of novocaine. I feel the distant warm fuzzy happiness of being in love, but a very muted sense of the disappointment as well---so mild, it doesn't even bother me.
I can almost say I don't mind the null possibility of Denise and I ending up together. As long as she is happy and I can remain in her life, I feel I can be content.
Perhaps I've learned to tune out most of the emotional bullshit I used to feed myself so often in the past. Perhaps I've actually grown up a little after all the drama and misery of 2007. So is this what they mean by becoming "emotionally mature?"
Being the animal of emotion I am, this is strange. But I think I can grow to like it.