The story below is entirely fictional.  However, I cannot deny its plausibility at certain phases of life.  Does everyone have these sorts of internal debates?



We said we would meet in the morning and walk around the lake.  It was my suggestion, and she readily agreed, much to my surprise.  I left the party feeling like I knew what I was doing.  I was a player.  I had obtained her name and phone number and e-mail address and an actual DATE.

“No way she’ll show up,” I told myself, upon waking up the next morning.  “I must be delusional. It’s probably not even her real number or e-mail address.  What was I thinking?”

I dragged myself out of bed feeling like a loser.  A debate preoccupied my mind:  “Do I go to the lake or do I skip it?  How much humiliation can I endure?  Well, that’s ridiculous.  No one will know but me if she doesn’t show up.  But that’s bad enough.  I would know.”

“But what if she DOES show up, and I’m not there?  What a jerk!”

I shaved and dressed and drove to the park.  I arrived fifteen minutes early and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  As the minutes passed, I tried to convince myself that I would prefer if she did NOT show up.  “I didn’t even think she was interesting.  And she’s definitely not my style.  I’m not attracted in the least.  I shouldn’t suggest getting together with just anyone I meet.  What’s wrong with me?  I don’t want to get involved; that would disrupt my entire life.”

I observed several other visitors enjoying the park.  Some were walking dogs.  There were couples holding hands and others that appeared aloof.  One couple caught my attention because they appeared to be arguing.  Looking at them from a distance rekindled my internal debate:  “She’ll probably bore me to death.  Or maybe I’ll bore her to death.  Who wants a ‘relationship?’  They always end badly.  Independence is what I want.  I’d be happier alone.  What was I thinking?”

I resolved to leave right away, stop for some coffee, and head home.  It felt great to be clear again in my mind.  Certainly, I would not put myself in this position again.  I retrieved my key from my pocket and looked up.  There she was, smiling, walking right towards me.   My heart skipped with a burst of adrenaline.

“She looks great!” I enthused to myself, reliving my first impression from the previous evening.  “This could really be something.”  I jammed the key back into my pocket, and tried to look as though I had never harbored any doubts.