Thinking about people from my past reminds of some of the better times in my life and some that weren’t so great. The people are milestones of sorts.
One day I was reading the website of a newspaper in our state, when an advertisement caught my eye. P was mentioned by name in the advertisement.
In the months before I met P, my life had fallen apart. I was broke, my long time boyfriend had broken up with me, I’d had to drop out of school and I wasn’t getting along with my parents at all. Despite the fact that I’d had to drop out of school I still decided to keep living in the college town where I’d went to school. I am not proud about this time of my life and wish I could have found a way to navigate things along the way
It was a learning experience. I’d spent much of my life around very achievement oriented people, and in a college town there tends to be more of them. My long time friends started treating me differently. I could tell when I met new people there was a sort of silent judgment related to the fact that I currently wasn’t in school. I’d read somewhere in a corner of the internet that guys don’t care if the women they date have a college education. If the guys are college educated…yes they care.
When I saw P on the website, I did a little detective work. The internet persona and the P I knew from years ago didn’t seem to mesh entirely. But something I have learned over the years, many people have two sides to their personality…the hidden side is sometimes darker than the side they choose to reveal to the public.
I met P at a party when I was trying to rebuild my life. My sensible side should have told me to stay away from men for the time being. Despite being shy though, back in those days, if I saw a guy with a certain vibe, I(with the aid of a couple of beers) could do my best to put my laser like focus on getting his attention.
P reminded me a bit of Val Kilmer. Val Kilmer from Top Gun, not the aging Val Kilmer. I generally prefer guys with a quieter vibe, P had a bit more swagger though. He didn’t have the best skin I remember that. P had been in the military before starting college…that made him older than me but I can’t remember by how much. He was studying finance or something related to that.
P and I went out for a while. From the beginning I knew he had the impression that I was less than because I’d made the choice to drop out of school. I suppose I was so grateful to have someone interested in me that I didn’t see where things were headed. Looking back I think P leveraged the fact that I was not in the best place in my life to think I deserved little. He wanted me to be his dirty little secret, or a booty call, but not much else. It was definitely one of those situations where I would handle things differently if I had the wisdom I have now.
Back to seeing P on the internet. I found out P had served overseas in the military. He was active in his community, handing out oversized checks to people. He was married. He seemed to be an all around pillar of the community. His swagger seemed to have faded away a bit. Was this the P I had really known years ago, it didn’t seem possible.