He screwed me beyond repair but I'm still giving out my number.
Sunday, 12.12.2010 - 10:07 pm.

My best friend Victoria hosted a Christmas party this afternoon. I was happy to go but I knew there would be a lot of people I didn't know. And I know me, I know I'm lame and I lack the skills to mingle.

I was the first one to arrive and I found Victoria and a good friend of hers preparing everything. They had some sort of catering service for lunch and were setting everything up. Victoria's big brother offered me a drink, a glass of vodka, and we talked a lot about Iron Maiden -his favorite band- and his business and whatever.

People started to show up, the music began blasting. Most of these people were Victoria's coworkers and they gathered around in groups. The only people I knew there were Marce (from high school), her boyfriend and another boy, whom I call Brad Pitt and who's hung up on Victoria, but she's decided to pass on him for reasons that go beyond the scope of this journal.

I spent most of the afternoon alone. I'd read on some website tips on how to mingle at parties and I tried the one about taking pictures of the guests. I burned that card in less than one minute and then got back to sitting by myself, occasionally exchanging impressions with people that came and went.

I don't dance. The only time I've danced was with JC at a party. It's not so difficult but I'm very shy, I guess. I had a conversation with a friend of Victoria's, who kept dancing the whole time, even when eating. I told her I couldn't dance and she replied, "oh, everybody can dance". Which was a nice thing to hear. But that didn't make me get up.

Lucky for me, it turned out that Brad Pitt and I had something in common: we love Aerosmith. Well, Bon Jovi is his Aerosmith but that was good enough to keep us talking for a while. I felt sorry for him because of his unrequited love. I could go for him but (a) Victoria saw him first (even if she doesn't take the chance) and (b) there was no spark between the guy and I. He is hilarious, though, someone I'd love to hang out with.

I thought of leaving halfway through the party; I really had no one to be with and I wasn't going to start dancing anytime soon. But I thought that I was better off there than at home: my eardrums overstimulated by the loud music, people dancing, a glass in my hand. I was actually having fun, I only thought of leaving because I think I looked slightly pathetic. But me, I didn't feel like that at all. I rarely get invited to parties and I, being such a loser, have fun by watching people have fun.

Victoria's brother kept checking on me, asking me if I was good or I needed a refill. Come to think of it, I drank vodka the whole afternoon. I sip so it takes me some time to finish the glass, and that also helps my body metabolize it all before it goes to my head.

At some point, he saw my tattoo and was just bedazzled. I think he got a major crush on me after that. An innocent, intention-less crush, simply out of surprise. He refers to Marce and me as his other little sisters, because he's known us for so long. He's a charming guy (not always, if you ask his sister, Victoria, and I believe her) and we can talk about rock music and now about tattoos, because he's thinking of getting one. He good at making drinks, too.

He introduced me to a friend of his, who shall be named Q. I greeted him and immediately thought about Skeleton Guy and the guy I talked about a few entries ago, with whom I have great intellectual chemistry but zero physical attraction. "Oh, no", I thought. "This is the one of the types of guys that are attracted to me", the geeky-looking type. He was tall, thin, wore glasses, his hair neatly combed to one side. It's a very unfair judgment, you may rightly argue, but there you go.

He also didn't have anyone else to talk to at the party, he only knew Victoria's brother, they went to high school together and had recently gotten back in touch. So at first it was the usual ice-breaking questions and I didn't see much future, but before you know it, we were talking astronomy. Thank you, Google Reader, for nurturing my knowledge with feeds on memes, comic strips, art, science, politics and a long etc. I knew a few things about stars and galaxies.

We actually hit it off pretty well. I thought that I could like the guy. And he seemed into me, too. I didn't feel such a strong connection, but it was enough to keeps us asking each other questions about our lives and what we do. So I learned he is 28, he studied something related to business and marketing, is currently into astronomy, he once wrote an essay that took him to Geneva for 3 weeks, etc. Victoria's brother was playing Matchmaker, perhaps since the beginning, he'd check on us here and there and encourage us to keep talking. He made a few remarks, too. I laughed it off.

And eventually Q asked me for my phone number and said something about going to the movies. People left and in the end, it was Victoria, her brother, Marce and her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, Q and I. I prefer small groups, and we had a couple of laughs, all of us.

As I was leaving Victoria's driveway, Q called me. He was in the car behind me, saying he was going to "drive me home", that is, he was going to follow me in his car to my house. I KNOW, CREEPY! I found that offering a bit stalker-ish, BUT...on the bright side, that means I can count on having a ride if/when we go out. Which sounds exciting for me, considering I've been wishing for such thing. For once not having to drive myself to the place.

So he learned where I live. I parked my car in the garage and went to his car to thank him and say goodbye to him. It was dark by then, it was about 6:30 pm and in the dark he reminded me of Joseph. He doesn't look like him...it's the bone structure, I guess.

So I got home and realized how much Joseph has screwed me over. When talking to Q, I was sort of imagining how we'd look together...and the thought that came after that was about Joseph seeing the picture and saying "Ha! That's the best you can do?". I suppose that the fact that Joseph left me for a girl that's much prettier than I am has me longing to find a guy that's more handsome than he is. Which is an impossible task, in the sense that I don't attract particularly handsome guys, for obvious reasons. Joseph was the exception to this rule, and his impact on me has been strong enough to keep me with a high standard. Even if I know I can't live up to it.

Second, I don't think I will be able to love someone the way I loved Joseph. I fell in love with him before I met him. I saw him walk by the ice cream parlor on the corner of my university, days before I met him, and I said to myself with incredible confidence: "that's the guy I'm going to marry".

Beyond accepting how badly Joseph fucked me up, I say this: I like Q enough to give it a shot if he asks for one. He seems like a smart, knowledgeable man, with direction in life (*cough* unlike Joseph), and geeky and all, he has the body type I like (*cough* like Joseph).

And hey, I don't have to be *in love* like I was with Joseph. He was a once-in-a-lifetime happening (it's a bit sad to say that, though). I don't think I can blame this idea on Joseph, but somehow it is tied to him: that the guy I'm dating is the one I'll settle with eventually. And so I say to myself, "dude, chill: it's not like you're going to, or have to marry the guy you're dating". I'm entitled to explore, right?

I'm excited, but not giggly excited. Let's say I'm glad. I'm not aroused the way I get with Lighthouse, for example (and all in all, he is just a bro). Today, a year ago, I had sex with JC. Five days after getting laid, he broke up with me, and since then, I haven't felt any kind of excitement over someone. So as little glad as I feel, that's still more than I have felt in a long, long time.

I am hoping Q will call one of these days. I'm willing to get to know the guy a little better. But it's moments like this one, however few, when I remember that Joseph really killed something in me. I'm not saying I'm shutting myself off to future romantic escapades, should they happen. I'm just saying I have to make an extra effort to deal with Joseph's ghost.

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