I am apparently a 12 year old girl and it doesn’t feel very good. I think I’ve opened a big can of worms and if I’m right, it can not be closed. Oh dear God what have I done? I think I misread just about everything, and now I’m embarrassed by my actions. If I could take them back, I would.
I arrived at work this morning at about 9:15. I knew we were having the first half of our fire drills this morning and that I was expected to be ready to go and waiting in the main lobby of our building at 9:30. I got to the lobby a few minutes before and went straight to my manager to get the schedule and critique sheets I needed for the observations. I saw that the fire fighters were already on site, but I didn’t look at their faces and I didn’t go over to meet them, partly because I had paperwork to fill out and partly because I had a feeling of foreboding and I wasn’t ready to know yet.
I sat down in one of the chairs in the lobby to fill out my paperwork and as I was finishing, I glanced in their direction and what to my wondering eyes should appear? “Oh my God! It’s him. He’s actually here today.” What were the chances? There are tons of Oakland Fire Fighters. I had no reason to believe he’d be back, but he was. And as it turned out, I knew him as soon as I saw him. And then, my boss assigned us to work together and I was thrilled… and then I was terrified. I posted this to Twitter:
Now what? I mean, I have a job to do and that’s no big deal, but what was I supposed to do or say with Jesse? It ended up not being important. Nothing happened. He didn’t seem even remotely interested, not that I would recognize it if he were.
I acknowledged that I remembered him from last year and he remembered me as well. “Great,” I thought, “now I just have to be engaging and interesting…” I couldn’t think of anything to say. We did talk a little bit, but for the most part we didn’t talk much. He didn’t ask any questions or try particularly to engage with me either.
After the second round of the four today, another fire fighter (I believe he was a superior of some sort) came to find us. He had been assigned to our chief engineer to observe what happens in the Fire Control Center, but he quickly got bored (there’s really not much to see down there) and decided to come looking for more action. After that, Jesse and he talked a lot with a lot of inside jokes and such. That’s to be expected, but it made it difficult for me to insert myself into the conversation.
The fire drills ended for today at about 11:30 and after saying our good-byes and thanks and shaking hands the Fire Fighters got back on their truck and drove off into the sunset… Well drove into the fog, anyway.
I’ll admit it. I was disappointed. I don’t know what I really thought was going to happen, but I hoped for something, some sort of progress. I thought maybe some sort of acknowledgment of sexual orientation or attraction (it would have been mutual.) More optimistically, perhaps a date or, ya know, happily ever after! But probably not.
I should have left it at that. If it was meant to be, it would be and clearly it wasn’t meant to be. I should have accepted that nothing came of our meeting, that I might never see him again and that if I do, I shouldn’t expect anything to come of it. That’s what I should have done… Instead? I stalked him.
I came back to my office already mentally composing this post because I knew all of you would want to know that, against all odds he had actually been here in the building and had been assigned to me again. And I knew you’d want to know how it went – or didn’t went.
I was preoccupied with thoughts of Jesse and my deflated hopes and expectations. And I was really curious to know if I had gotten it all wrong. I’ve spent the last year thinking, “Deb said, ‘For future reference, when a guy says you have nice eyes, he is flirting.’ I think she must’ve been right. He is gay and I just wasn’t with it enough to catch on.” For a year, I’ve remembered nothing more than his comment about my eyes and Deb’s words and I built it up in my mind. But now, now that he’d come and gone yet again without any further acknowledgment, I was puzzled.
So I Googled him. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? People Google other people all the time. That doesn’t make me a stalker… Turns out, my Fire Fighter – when did he become my Fire Fighter? – my Fire Fighter received a commendation from the Oakland City Council, late last year for heroic acts, (swoon) and that’s about all I could find. There happens to be a rather prominent (apparently) African American minister that has the same name and there were quite a few hits for this minister, nothing for my Fire Fighter.
Then I did a search on Twitter… There’s nothing wrong with that, right? People follow people on Twitter. That doesn’t make me a stalker… There are 26 people with his name, none of which was very obviously my Fire Fighter. One of them, however, had a picture of a kid that did look like it might’ve been him at a younger age so I read on. This twitter account holder is definitely a resident of the Bay Area and made mention of activities in Oakland in his feed. There are comments about office jobs being too confining for his taste and how his schedule is “unusual”. There’s a recent post where he talks about seeing a guy pee on the sidewalk “across the street from my station” and a comment about having narrowly escaped “mandatory overtime.” Mandatory overtime is something I heard him mention today.
“This sounds like my guy!” I thought.
Then there’s also this: “my 4 year old is better than me at piano, but I still got him in soccer.”
My heart sank, though it had no right to. Why, in this day and age, do I still automatically assume that a man having a child means he is straight? It was the only mention of family in his entire twitter feed (other than brothers) and undoubtedly, there is more information to be had. But it felt like more proof that I’ve been wrong about the whole thing.
I wanted to follow him on Twitter. I wanted to monitor his feed and find out if I could be surer that it was he… And yes, I wanted to see, however unlikely it may be, if he would say anything about me. I clicked follow and immediately went to my profile to try to erase my picture. This person doesn’t have many followers and so he’d likely notice a new one. I hoped, somehow, that deleting my picture would make it less obvious that I was his new follower (even though my name would still be visible.) So, I followed him on Twitter while purposefully making myself somewhat anonymous. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Lots of people do that, right? That doesn’t make me a stalker… right?
At 3:10 this afternoon, he posted a new status on his twitter page. Nothing significant to this story, just a random update. And my first thought was, “This must not be my Fire Fighter. My Fire Fighter is on duty till 8:00 tomorrow morning. I know ‘cause I asked him.” Immediately followed by, “Of course there must be a lot of downtime at the fire house. He could easily be hanging out surfing the web, waiting for a call to come in… Maybe this is my Fire Fighter.”
By this time, I totally stressed myself out over the whole situation and had worked myself into a jagged bundle of nerves. And that’s when I saw it.
For anyone who doesn’t know how to read this information, /riggledo/ under Page Title represents the front page of my blog, where you go when you click on just http://riggledo.typepad.com/riggledo. The fact that the Referring address column is blank, I thought meant that the person had clicked on an actual link or typed in the URL.
I’ve just discovered that’s not true and I was going to remove the last three paragraphs and the graphic from this post, but it all goes to explain my hysterical state of mind this afternoon, so I’ve left them in place for your amusement—er, edification.
I thought, after comparing those two times that my Fire Fighter (or whoever it is I’m now following) had logged on twitter and noticed that he had a new follower and went to investigate. I thought that upon finding my profile page on Twitter he had clicked on the URL to my blog, only to be greeted with this and this!
OH HOLY HELL!!! While jumping over to my blog site to pull the URLs I needed for “this and this!” (I type all posts in Word first) I now see new stats that suggest that he may be reading it for real RIGHT NOW!!!
This day started out with such hope and optimism and now? Now I think I’ll go home and hide. Don’t get me wrong. I know this will pass and I’ll live through it but right now? My mind is racing with all kinds of probabilities, none of which seem very good for me. It seems I’d better quit while I’m ahead!
I am apparently a 12 year old girl and it doesn’t feel very good.