I went on one date with her. We had an okay time, I guess. Four hours or so. We talked, we did a crossword puzzle together, we ate lunch at P.F. Cheng's (a rather nice Chinese cuisine resturant here in Nashville), went to the Frist Museum. All in all, it was a fairly innocent and quiet date. No kiss, no making out, nothing really more than just sharing some time with a person I'm quasi-interested in.

That was, like, a month ago.

At the time of the date, she was preparing for a road trip to New York City and D.C. She'd made plans to go long before the 9/11 incident, so her intent wasn't to gawk at our nation's wounds; she was going to check out a college in New York and see the They Might Be Giants concert in D.C.

I had no idea of it at the time, but it was quite a major thing for her. Apparently, she suffers from an anxiety disorder and driving long distances, sleeping in hotels and eating in strange places makes her wig out. Like I said, I didn't know this about her at the time- we were barely learning to recognize each other's faces when we'd gone out on our first date.

I'd seen her at the cafe lots of times before I screwed up the courage to ask her out. We'd talked on a few occasions, sharing ideas and thoughts on relationships, goth culture (they're not "her people", though she dresses like them sometimes, and they are so not my people that they're like aliens to me sometimes), life, pets, writing, our mutual love of playing the piano... "safe" stuff that people talk about when meeting strangers who seem mildly interesting.

One thing I did (and still do) know about her is that she is quite fetching. Every once in a while she wears this goth-like cheerleader outfit that makes me drool in ways that should be illegal in public. She's in her mid twenties and has a brilliant mind, and sexy, too.

She made her own website (horridly designed with a purple background and poorly formatted text, but the pictures are cool as shit), where she posts journal entries and whatnot. On it, she posted an account of her "adventure" on the Eastern American seaboard- New York and D.C. After having read it, I can tell that the young woman has some "issues", but I kept asking myself, "This anxiety thing she has... if I were to seriously pursue her, could I deal with it? I've got my own share of anxiety issues... would she and I be like mixing two complimentary chemicals together that might cancel each other out or would it be like mixing two volitile substances that weren't meant to be together?" Chemistry, indeed. I never got past Earth Sciences in high school...

I saw her last night, at the cafe, when I was supposed to be in a business meeting with our web host/client. I tried to stay focussed on the meeting, but the whole time my mind kept going back to her, knowing that she was in the other room and doing crosswords and being generally alone in a sea of people, much as I prefer to do. I wanted to get up from the meeting, excuse myself, and join her in her aloneness. But I didn't do that. I stuck to my guns and stayed in the meeting until it was over (fortunately, it wasn't very long). As soon as the meeting was over, I bolted for the front of the cafe, set eyes upon her and was glad of it in some weird way.

I joined her, asked how her trip went (I still hadn't read her account of it yet) and listened to her talk about how New York is merely another big city to her, one amongst dozens. She didn't sound impressed with it. Once I got home and read her newest website posting, I realized why. For her, it had been hell. It had been a force of will that she'd committed herself to and hated every second of. She hadn't accomplished what she'd set out to do in the first place, visiting that college she's considering, but she did see TMBG in D.C.

I tried to intimate some level of understanding for her ordeal by explaining about my experiences in New Orleans. I felt kinda like an idiot when I brought that up- the whole time, toastido was hovering nearby, clearly wanting to play pool.

I wish I'd called her during her trip. I probably would have, had I known her cell phone might accept a call from Nashville, just to see if she was okay and safe and having a good time, so far from home. While she was gone, I'd thought about her a few times, wondering how the trip went, not knowing that it would be such an ordeal for her.

Last night, as I was preparing to leave to play pool with toastido, I told her that I want to see her again, perhaps to talk some more. I promised I'd read her latest addition to her website. Now that I've read it, I find myself pensive. Part of me wants to pursue this young woman, while another part wants to run away screaming.

I've been what I jokingly call "terminally single" for so long that it would probably depress some hermits. Part of the reason why is that I have utterly no clue what to do when I'm interested in the opposite sex. I know I'm attracted to women, God do they make my hormones carbonate!, but when it comes down to the brass tacks I'm all thumbs. "Uhm... Well... uh... hmm..." Some of my female friends probably wouldn't know it, after having some conversations with me, but I'm easily intimidated by women I'm attracted to. Understandably so, I've had my heart stepped on a few times and I've since been running in the "once burned, twice shy" mode.

Why do we, humans, argue against our better judgement based solely on our attraction to others?

On a totally unrelated note, I have decided to use my level 4 votes (30 a day) for something worthwhile. I don't spend votes very often. Usually I use them to upvote only the writeups that give me food for thought or really catch my attention. I rarely downvote, choosing positive karma by upvoting whenever possible. Anyway... I've decided to spend my votes on the September 11, 2001 daylogs- all three titles. I will only upvote the ones that convey positive/humanistic commentary. There's a shitload of 'em, so it'll take me a few days, but I figure good karma is worth investing in. I will not downvote on this voting spree, though.

A lot of those writeups didn't get much attention, many of them being overlooked because they were at the bottom or there is just so many of them. Each person who posted, who took the time to type out their thoughts on that day, deserve some sort of recognition. Many of them have, but I intend to add to their prosperity.

After all, what am I gonna do with 30 votes in a day?