Sunday, January 27, 2013

Joyride to Hell

August 2012
Brad; One of the guys that responded to my 24 Hours on Craigslist Post  He was younger, Caucasian (white) with green eyes and a nice body. He was in IT, my kind of guy; I love me some geeks. I am a closeted geek myself. (oops, did I just come out?) He had recently moved to Connecticut from Florida and like me, was looking to make new friendships. We first emailed, then texted, which to me was exactly the same. I asked him to call, he said he was going to but had to warn me that he sounds lame on the phone. Ok, sure! We talked on the phone for about an hour then he had to go. He had to visit his grandparents.  Not random at all.

We texted every day. Every now and again he would call. It was a mission to get him to call though. I think he genuinely believed he sounded lame on the phone. While texting with Brad, Sam was calling daily. He wanted to meet again. He called me day after our first date. I was at home, feeling lazy, enjoying getting to know Brad, I didn’t really enjoy Sam’s company, so I asked to see him the next day rather. It was Saturday, our first date was Friday night. He was going to hang out with his friends and wanted me to meet everybody. ALREADY! It was a nice gesture. Soon after I turned Sam down, Brad needed to do his thing with the grandparents and I was bored again. Darn it! I tell you weekends were the worst for me in Connecticut!

A few hours later, Sam called again and told me he was going to be at my place in 20 minutes. Great, looks like I have no say in this! I got ready, he was there in time. He had Michael Jackson Sunglasses on. And the same outfit as the night before. He seemed off-ish. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It got late and dark and he still had the glasses on, I was like dude, are you gonna take those off? He did and his eyes were blood red. He was laughing the entire time. Just giggling and nothing and everything. I asked him if he was high. He said Yeah, well hehehe I smoked about two hours ago, I’m ok now, I’m sober. It takes me about 3 hours to sober up. I was like, well then you’re not yet. ‘yes, I am , I smoked at 2, it’s 6 now’. Uhm, didn’t this guy just say he smoked 2 hours ago,not AT TWO? Oh well. Lord, my life is in your hands amen.

He wanted to show me where he grew up, where he went to school, the little bit of schooling he had. His family moved a bunch, so he showed me all the places they lived, at least those that were in Connecticut. He told me stories about him driving and getting involved in accidents as an underage kid that had no right to be driving. His parents let him drive. It was his parents’ car. He giggled his way through the drive. I was holding on for dear life. We were driving way past the speed limit, he was all over the high way, from this lane to that to the other. I was worried for my life. Every now and then he would doze off and snore. I’m not lying to you! You may be asking yourself why I didn’t ask him to take me home. Well, I DID! He didn’t understand why I felt unsafe. He was a good driver who had been driving for more than twenty years. (he’s 32).

At some point, we were in a secluded road. There were no other cars but us, and just trees. Trees on either side of the road. Don’t get me wrong, they were beautiful, Green. But it was scary over there! It was dark, I was in a car with a stranger who had been smoking. Two hours prior. Or Four, who knows? Who cares? I felt unsafe! I texted T and told her where I was, just in case something were to happen to me. He got thirsty some more! He ran out of his soda. He had been drinking the entire time, who knows what was in that Coke? We stopped at a gas station (garage). He asked if I wanted anything. I didn’t think I did. He got himself a can of coke and a chunky bar of chocolate. I changed my mind when I saw Cheetos. I love Niknaks/Cheesenaks so Cheetos are a very close second. I told him I wanted some. He said, “Oh no, I feel so bad, I got no money, hehehe hehe, I’m sorry, he he he. Plus they’re expensive here, they’re probably a Dollar, I really haven’t got any more money on me. I’ll have money next Friday. Can I buy them for you then?”
So you’re telling me you don’t have a dollar on you? (I mean that’s less than R10 in South African money). Is this guy kidding me? How much did he have with him? $4.50? I went in and got them myself and made sure I got the bigger bag just to prove a point. He told me he used all his money when he took me out the night before. Well guy, you should have thought of that when you spent money on a movie nobody was going to watch! I didn’t tell him that but I thought it, still do! He drove further. Like I said dude and his family moved around a lot, there were lots of places to see. I just wanted to go home. Finally, we approached a nice big town, just as we did, he saw cops at the traffic light. He turned toward oncoming traffic. Great! Just the perfect time to do that! In front of the pow lees! They didn’t catch him. He was following GPS directions, don’t know what happened there, but that was enough to freak him out, he turned around.

South African drivers, motorists are allowed to make a u-turn at the traffic light (robot) here. I still cringe every time someone does it with me in the car. I wonder if there are no cops around or a camera. Anyway, on our way back, we stumbled upon a traffic jam. Sam tried to overtake until he got to the very beginning of it. There had been a car crash. There were bodies on the road. It was a mess. He didn’t care, he asked the police if he, just him, could drive through. They ignored him This is the same guy who was so shy just 24 hours ago, sweating bullets and opening doors! He wasn’t about to wait there for the Emergency people to clear the road, he reversed all the way back to the onramp. In a very straight line. I was impressed, I have to say. WE took a different route home. When He dropped me off, he pulled that stunt again of trying to reach out for a kiss, I ducked it and went in for a hug.

I vowed there and then I would never go anywhere with that man every again.

Backtrack to Thursday, at T’s She cooked for us as usual. I always enjoyed her home cooked meals. I got a call from THE PERSON! We just pulled in from the store. He asked me a few question about myself and work experience when.... my cellphone battery died! NOOOOOO!!!! I have been waiting for this call for EVER! I asked T If I could use her phone. She didn’t mind, only I didn’t have the person’s number. I had to wait until mine charged and turned on, which as we all know was going to take no less than five minutes. That’s a lifetime to someone who is looking for a job. If you’ve looked for a job before, I know you know! I called him back, we talked some more. He seemed like an ok guy. He was a lawyer looking for a private nursing aide for his client who was as he put it going to die any minute, she had less than a month to live. All they wanted from me was patients. Lots of it because apparently she was very feisty. She was still on hospital, he was going to call me as soon as he knew when she was going to be discharged. I GOT THE JOB!

New job! Maybe?

Beginning of August 212
As usual, I went to the library, first thing in the morning. Just before I left, N asked me how job hunting was going. She told me to hang on while she made a few calls. She called about 3 agencies, gave them my numbers and asked them to hook me up. I thought that was nice of her but couldn’t help wishing I would find a job soon but not from any connection of hers. She then went on to tell me that if T and I had been nice to people and didn’t think that we were better than most, I would have been working by then. There are lots of vacancies looking for someone like me out there, thing is T doesn’t communicate, blah blah. Also, Some people, she wasn’t going to name names, but someone had a strong lead with an agency that pays very well, but someone didn’t want me to work for that agency from the get go. They want me to suffer a bit because they did too when they first arrived in the country.
T called, her friend had got two job offers, one by her agent and another one was a referral. She wanted me to have the second one. T was so excited! Call me a glass half full kind of gal but I have had too many false alarms to still be that naive. I was supposed to call a man and talk to him about the job but not tell him where I got his number from. Which was tricky considering they gave me his cell number. I stepped out for a second to call him, he wanted to know where I got his number from because, apparently, he never have away that number. He told me to call his office on a number he quickly mumbled and then hung up before I could grasp it. Fortunately, I by some miracle had managed to cram the number. They were on voicemail. I think they were closed that day or something. I got back to T, she got me the right number to call, which turned out to be that man’s number again. When I told her that, she said to call the man again, surely he was willing to help. Uhm, I just talked to the man, he blatantly hung up on me!  “call him back, Brook, I’m sure he will help you!”

When someone who is helping you with just about everything from roof over your head to job to everything tells you to call someone back who just hung up on you and told you never to call his number again, YOU CALL THE NUMBER BACK! No ifs ands or buts! I called the man back, feeling like a complete fool. He didn’t pick up. I was almost relieved he didn’t.

I went back to the library. I got another call from T. She told me her other friend had a job lead for me. It was in New Jersey. Someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone was going to call me sometime that afternoon, I have to tell them that I know somebody who knows somebody who knows this girl, they will then arranged with the person who knows the person that knows the person who knows the friend to call me and interview me. Confused yet?
I had a good feeling about that job. Unlike the previous glass half empty,this time it was half full. Not too long thereafter, I got a call from T again. She sounded down. I freaked out. It was N. She had called again. And asked T when I was going to move out seeing as it had been weeks since she told T that she didn’t want me there and I was still there.  I needed that job more than I thought I did, and I knew I needed that job! T told N that she was looking for a place for me to stay, apparently N wanted to know when she could expect me out of the apartment. She said, as soon as we find something. Good heavens, what am I going to do!
There was a middle aged African-American man behind me, who was constantly on the phone. He was as loud as can be. And very polite. At least to the  people on the other side of the phone, a double standard for someone on the phone in the library. ‘Good Day, am I through to Shoprite? May  I pleas speak to so and so? ...’ Over and over and OVER again. Nobody cared. That library is obviously not as strict as the ones in South Africa. I waited and prayed and prepared for the call from the person all day. Around 5pm, I got up just as Jack did (Hello, is this Shoprite? Guy). On our way out, I asked if he finally came right. He seemed shocked that (a) I can talk (b) I speak English (c) I talked to him, either or all the above. He looked me deep in the eye; “Hi, I’m Jack” (we’ll call him that). ‘I’m Brook, very nice to meet you’. I see you all the time at the library. You usually said over there, right at the back and you’ll be busy on your laptop and I’ve always wanted to talk to you. You’re beautiful. Whoa! You’re pretty!
AW thank you very much, Jack, you’re too kind. Seriously! I think you’re gorgeous! I talked to T on the phone, she gave me a number and told me to call it anytime after 9pm. It was about the job. You know I called that number at 9pm on the dot, right? I walked slowly towards hell aka the apartment. How do you feel walking toward a place you’ve been kicked out of twice by someone who is so nice to you  in person, but turns around and tells your friend and the only person you know in the entire US of A that they want you out? On my way out of the apartment, I bumped into Jack, he happened to be lingering about the parking lot. He smiled and approached me. He asked where I lived. I told him where I stayed. He asked if we could grab  A SLICE OF PIZZA next door. He meant it!

We went next door to the library and had a slice of pizza each. We talked and laughed, he laughed at just about everything REALLY LOUD, I laughed at him! He proposed marriage. I said NO. He asked me to at least move in with me. Tempting as that was, especially at that point in time, I had to turn him down. I really didn’t want him to see where I stayed but it was on his way to his place. WE exchanged numbers. I did so just to add to my social circle. I wanted to have someone I knew out of the circle of T. Someone not from South Africa.

I arrived at the apartment to find N with an online friend. They were sitting in the living room; talking very softly to each other. It started raining, I couldn’t excuse myself and give them privacy which they would’ve had if they had just gone to her bedroom. But it wasn’t my apartment, I had no rights. I read some old magazines. T had given me all her old magazines, about 20 of them. They were about a month, two months old. 90 percent of them Had Kim Kardashian on the cover. South Africans, count yourself lucky, it could be worse! The Kardashians are everywhere here. It’s insane!

Around 8pm, T called me, I couldn’t talk and it had stopped raining. I went for a long walk and talked on the phone. See, I can multitask? I can walk and talk. How many of you can do that? Haha. Just before 9, I told her to hang up. Nine o’clock on the dot, I called Kat. She asked me one or two questions and told me she was going to talk to someone else then either she or that person was going to call me the next day. The next day was Thursday. My off day. You know when I got to go to T’s. On my way back to the apartment, guess who I bumped into? Jack! He was all sweaty, on his way back from the direction of my apartment. I asked what’s up. He told me he wanted to buy salt at the store, but they had already closed. Interesting. I told him, well, Shoprite is still open. Suddenly he didn’t want the salt anymore. Go figure!

Back at the apartment, the internet friend had left. N was in a good mood again. This is the same person who kicked me out earlier on via my friend. I got a call from Jack, Around 10pm. He wanted to invite me over for dinner. Uhm, no thanks Jack, it’s 10pm! He was like, so what? We’re friends. You can spend the night if you like. Nah thanks.

24 Hours on Craig's List (more online dating)

“Single South African lady looking for love”  or something to that effect, I posted a picture or 3. As soon as I hit SUBMIT, the responses came flying in! I’d never seen anything like it! I got a message from, let’s call him Isra, an Israeli Guy who lived about 30 minutes from me.  Sent from my iPad was at the footer of his email. He included a photo of himself DANCING IN THE STREET WITH A WOMAN IN A RED DRESS! He had a hat on. I saw more the woman than him. I had to ask him for another picture. He soon sent it, he was in a garden of some sort, his feet were covered in plastic bags, he was with someone in the second picture as well, this time a man. They both were carrying their shoes. Clearly Isra didn’t take that many pictures by himself.  We emailed back and forth, for about an hour. He then told me  he was on his way to drop his son off at his ex-wife’s, we exchanged numbers. We arranged to meet up on his way back.
Frozen Green Tea, Never leave home without it

Crap! I had to freshen up! It was so hot, you cannot even imagine! I took a shower, fixed myself up. I couldn’t believe I was to meet someone I only started talking to in... what? Two hours? I was up for it. It was bored as heck. He called when he arrived at the Shoprite Parking lot. My pick up spot. He picked me up in his silver Toyota Prius. He asked where I wanted to eat, I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been yet, which wasn’t going to be that hard considering I was new around. We went over to a steak house. Our waiter, a middle aged man either had a crush on me, or I was revealing too much cleavage. He was dropping dishes, acting so nervous, I was embarrassed for him. Even Isra noticed. I had steak and fries. I enjoyed it. He had salad, and I can’t remember else. We were there for about an hour. Conversation was flowing smoothly. He told me about Israel, his life there, and here. He had been here for ten years and married that long too. He was newly divorced.
I suggested he dropped me home, before we ran out of things to talk about. We were the only people at the restaurant. He dropped me off and gave me a kiss on the cheek when I hugged him. He texted to thank me and to arrange date number two when he got home. I agreed. I thought he was a decent guy; different from anyone I’d ever dated. There’s something about him that intimidated me, just a little bit. I don’t know if it was the fact that he seemed richer than anyone I’ve ever dated. I was up for the challenge! We agreed to meet Monday night.

No word from him Monday all day, nor Sunday! I thought that was interesting, but ok. N, the roommate was home Monday night, I told her about Isra, she told me to text him a hello or something, so I did. He was apparently on his way to a meeting in New York, he promised to call me thereafter. I had a feeling he wasn’t serious and didn’t deserve anymore of my time. I was ready to go to sleep when he called around ten. He was only then on his way back from New York, we talked for about two hours. That’s how long the drive is from the city to Connecticut. He even talked to N for a bit, N lived in Israel for a few years. The actual number of years she lived there varies, depending who she is talking to, so whatever.

As soon as he got home, he just went, “ok, bye” and hung up. Uhm, what’s wrong with this picture? He had asked to take me out Wednesday. Tuesday, he texted me. I asked where we’re going to go, he said it was up to me, but it was going to be very late, so I had to choose wisely. I didn’t know what he meant by that. There I was trying to be all cute, telling him I had just the place in mind. In my mind, I was thinking of going somewhere by the beach. He asked me if I wanted to go to a hotel. I was like, er nope! Why? He said because that’s what your ad said! That you are looking for a f*ck buddy! Uhm, NO IT DID NOT! I wasn’t going to waste my precious time explaining my ad to that guy, I told him, sorry, he’s not what I was looking for. He told me I am a nice girl but we started off on the wrong foot, it would be weird if we tried going out as a couple.  I still think he is either married or lives with someone from the way, he hung up that night and how he only talked on the phone when he was on the road, never at home, he only texted or emailed when home.
One of the first guys to respond to my ad was Sam, he was Hispanic, he lived 30 minutes away from me, he worked as a carpenter Mon-Fri, was free Weekends, had his own car, lived with parents, his younger brother who in turn lived with his girlfriend. Very nice guy! He sent me a picture of himself with an NY  cap on, sitting on the floor behind a table. He would send me really long messages, that gave me an impression he was serious. I appreciated that. We chatted for a few days, before exchanging numbers. For some reason, he didn’t have enough money on his phone and had to call me only when home from his house phone. He was a nice guy.
WE agreed to meet the following Friday. WE probably started talking Sunday before that Friday. As we got closer to the meeting day, he got nervous, he went, ‘oh yeah, something  I forgot to talk to you about! How tall are you?’ I was like, well, average height, 5’3-5’4 (163cm). He said, ok good cos uhm, I’m kinda short, at least you won’t be that much taller than me. Ai ai ai, what am I going to do with this situation now! Ugh! I had to be nice, we were on the phone! I kept as straight a face as one can keep on the phone. I knew there and then it was going to be one of those Nicole Kidman / Tom Cruise Cases. I was going to have to wear flats on our date. A first for me! He said he was 5’2 (160cm).

I asked for a full lengthy picture, partly because he had seen mine and because I wanted to see how short he was. I knew in my heart of hearts I was never going to be Sam’s girl, but I had to find out how embarrassed I was going to be out with this person. No offense to shorter people, I am considered short myself, especially here. That’s not even why I wasn’t interested in him, he was just not the guy for me. He was 32 and had never been in a relationship. He had dated here and there, but never anything serious. Plus, I  want someone independent, not a 32 year old guy who still lives with his parents, his siblings and a sibling’s girlfriend. With all due respect to all those who prefer to live with their families.
He took a full length picture of himself while at work especially for me. Which was sweet. This was the day before our date. Too late to cancel, well, I wasn’t going to cancel because he seemed like a nice person, we could always be friends.
Friday came, he picked me up at the Shoprite Parking lot (yeah you guessed it) around 5pm. It had got a little cooler. His car was spick and span. He ran toward my side to shake my hand and open the door for me. He looked better in person, lookswise, but is really very short. He ran back towards his side and got us going. He played music off his phone, he somehow connected it to the car, so the sound was great. We drove for about an hour to the restaurant;  TGIF. Cool name! I was excited. Oh and I had my flats on. I must say, it’s rather comfortable to be on a date in flats. Very different.

WE found parking space, it was packed! He jumped out of the car, ran around toward my side to let me out. Then ran back to his to lock. We went in, suddenly I felt self conscious. Out of character for me, trust me, I have been on ‘dates’ with men twice my age. Men who did things on dates! WE found a nice table. They brought us out starters; tacos and sauce. He seemed nervous, he was sweating. You could tell he had showered but his hands still had a little bit of oil on them, especially around the nails. At least they were short. Which is more I can say about some of the guys I’ve gone out with. He dipped into the sauce, and double dipped eeewwwww! First of all, the fact that we ate from the same dish was already an issue with me. I don’t know this man, why am I eating from the same dish as he? And the double dipping? What’s next? Is he going to spoon feed me? God forbid! The waitress came around to take our order. He ordered FOR BOTH OF US! Uhm, What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I choose my own dinner? He caught me so off guard, I automatically went, ‘oh, you’ve already decided what I’m gonna have?’. He went, ever so nonchalantly, yeah, yeah hehehehe. Awkward moment for the waitress. She left, he seemed to have thought about it for a second, and went, ‘unless you wanted to order something different. Let me call her, ok, I’ll get her to come back’. No! No! No! It’s ok! I just assumed, I was going to make my own choice of dinner, it’s very thoughtful of you to order for me. You’ve been here before I’m sure you know what’s good. I didn’t mean it a word of that!
He ate and ate and ate, my appetite was ruined by the double dipping from earlier and the fact that he ordered for me. If you want me to lose interest in something, anything at all, take away my freedom of choice. This does not only apply to food. It could be something I like, if you force it down my throat, I stop liking it.I tasted here and there and took the rest home. I was tired and sleepy by the time we left the restaurant, more than anything else, I was bored and ready to go back to the apartment. He suggested we went and saw a movie. I told him, I would probably fall asleep. He insisted. Then he asked me what types of movies I was into AGAIN. I told him AGAIN. He asked if I had seen Batman: the dark night (again). I (again) told him no, and I am not into those kinds of movies. He said, “I’ve seen it. It was great! I’d see it again with you if you wanted to see it. But because you’re so sleepy, we’ll watch a comedy, that should keep you awake.” Deal! Aaaaand yawn.
The movie theatre was another 20 to 30 minutes from the restaurant. He burped all the way there. Bleh! We arrived at the parking lot, he told me to stay in the car, he was going to get us tickets, then come and get me. It would have saved us time to but the tickets together seeing as the next show was about to begin. He ran in and came out with two tickets for....... BATMAN; THE DARK NIGHT RISES! How many times did  I tell this man, I DID NOT WANT to watch this movie? Dear Lord! He was so excited, the show was about to begin, let’s run, he bounced over to my side to open the door for me. By now, I was so over it. There was something about him opening the door for me, that was super annoying.

The movie theatre was freezing. Sam had a sweater on, I didn’t. It was the hottest summer I’ve ever experienced, I wasn’t about to walk around with a sweater (jersey). At some point, he let me use his sweater which was another ew moment, seeing as he was sweating so much earlier. And it was way too small to even wrap around my shoulders. He was enjoying his movie, I fell asleep within the first minutes. I remember waking up to him trying to quietly put his arm around my shoulder to ‘warm me up’. Awkward. This dude better not try to kiss me!

What seemed like ten hours later, the movie was finally over! Whew! I felt bad that I fell asleep through the whole thing. He could have just let me sleep in the car while he watched his movie for the second time on our first date. He wanted to show me around his neighbourhood, I really wanted to go home by then, I was dying! He took me home. He did that thing of running (more like bouncing) to my side to open the door for me. I hugged him quickly, to make sure, he didn’t gain access to my lips. From the way he was looking deep into my eyes, I could tell he wanted more than a hug. I got a kiss in the cheek and ran into the apartment. He texted me when he got home to thank me and to ask if we could meet again soon.