Templates - Story #8

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." - Leo Buscaglia

Friday 11 p.m. June 17

*Exit Florence + The Machine*

Wednesday 1 pm June 15

It's my lunch break. I'm in a small Japanese restaurant on Bloor with Patrick. Both of us are standing in a short line waiting to be seated. We have yet to utter a word outside our mandatory greeting acknowledging each other's presence. We are, at the moment, preoccupied with our Blackberries. Not necessarily for business purposes, but I guess in some circles you could say “it was business as usual” – to put it delicately.

I don't claim that it's hard work, the upkeep of various women, incessantly responding to their text messages on a minute-to-minute basis. In fact, together we've established a system consisting of various templates which spit out text messages with the touch of a few keys, making the rate of response to females exceedingly efficient. It’s a simple system – the less complicated, the easier to manage. Already my memo pad has over thirty templates suited for different responses. I guess you can say it's a tad impersonal but it’s a small price to pay for meaningful efficiency.

My phone beeps as the hostess informs us that our table is ready. A message from Raquel reads, “Hey you, haven't heard from you in awhile. Are you avoiding me? lol Anyways, you free this weekend?”

I think for a moment. Raquel: met her a couple of times, she seemed pretty down to earth then – out of nowhere – she turned paparazzi-crazy… Text message ratio is easily 13:1 in her favour. Catch and release.

Raquel: Looks 6, Personality 5, Clinger Factor 10.

Copy + Paste: “Hey stranger. Been meaning to get at you. Sorry, I can't this weekend or for awhile. Work is insane. Ill be out of town for the next little while. Take care.”
Send

We follow the hostess as she motions us to two seats at the Sushi bar. Patrick pulls out the seat beside me and passes me one of the two menus handed to him by the Japanese waitress. He looks over the menu for a minute, turns to me and asks, “How are things with Jessica?”

Eyes still glued to the menu I answer indifferently, “Good I guess.”

Continuing his probing, “How long have the two of you been dating anyways?”

A couple of months. Who really knows?” I passively answer.

He refocuses his attention on his menu and with a hint of condescension proceeds, “I wouldn't have thought she'd be the kind of girl you'd date. I still can't believe you went over there in the rain like that. Does she still wear flip flops everywhere?”

His remarks and questions aggravate me, but instead of defending my sort-of-girlfriend, I say, “Well its not like we're officially together. No commitment has really been made. Besides I'm still sort of talking to Megan.”

Patrick nods in approval to both of the latter statements. Megan is a hot bartender that Patrick and I met one night. We had been innocently texting each other back and forth over the last couple of weeks, but had never met up. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and has since been texting me more frequently – each text becoming exponentially more flirtatious. Although I told Patrick that Jessica and I weren't officially together, I know deep down that to do anything with any other female would be betraying Jessica's trust. You don't need official titles to break someone's heart.

Later that day I get a text from Jess. The message reads: “Hi you! I miss you! Guess what? I got two tickets to that band you really like, Florence and the Machine. The concert is Friday night. Please say you'll come? :)”

If I had one word to describe Jess it would be amiable. This isn't the first time she's surprised me with something thoughtful. She's the kind of person that selflessly does things for other people. She regularly manages to make me smile, effortlessly.

Jessica: Looks 7, Personality 10, Cling Factor 5.

Copy + Paste: “Hey stranger. Been meaning to get at you. Sounds good I'll get at you then.”
Send

A couple of hours after, right on cue, I get a tempting text from Megan. Her message reads: “My place. 9 p.m. Saturday. Bring wine and take out. Don't be late”. I think for a moment. I guess a little dinner and drinks couldn't hurt.

Megan: Looks 9.5, Personality 2, Cling Factor 0.

Copy + Paste: “Hey stranger. Been meaning to get at you. Sounds good I'll get at you then.”
Send

Like I said, impersonal but efficient. I'm a utilitarian at heart.

Friday 9 p.m. June 17

I step out of the cab and make my way to the entrance of Kool Haus. I see Jess waiting by the door. She's got her huge perma-smile on. I've got my disinterested snob face going, as usual. She greets me with an affectionate and sincere hug – no one gives those in the city anymore. I give her the ass out, one arm, body tilted to the side hug back – the typical apathetic Toronto greeting. I don't know why I'm in a bad mood. She's been amazing to me. I think it’s partly due to the fact that I feel that I had to give up my other life to be with her. By other life I mean 'entertaining' different women on a nightly basis. In the last few weeks I've sent this about 10 times:

Copy + Paste: “Hey stranger. How are you? Good, I hope. Listen, I've been meaning to get at you. My life is just really busy right now. I don't think I can give you the attention you deserve. I hope we can still be friends...”
Send

I have yet to actually inform anyone that I have a girlfriend and am, therefore, unavailable. Sometimes I think that I can't come to terms with it myself. I tell myself that I'm just taking baby steps and easing myself into the transition of being in a relationship; in all reality even I know it's complete commitment phobia. How cliché.

Jess and I step into the venue and grab a couple drinks. We talk and share the events of our respective weeks; not failing to disappoint, our conversation is effortless. She somehow manages to hold my interest with her routine stories of her daily subway experiences and her dog Juggles (she rescued Juggles from the pound – of course. I know, right). A couple minutes later the band gets on stage. They open by performing their less popular songs. While Jess's attention is held by the band, I'm nonchalantly and flirtatiously text messaging Megan. I'm an asshole (I know, right).

Waiting on Megan's next text, I hear Florence Welch chanting, “Happiness hit her like a train on a track. Coming towards her stuck still no turning back. She hid around corners and she hid under beds...”

I love this song. Admittedly, it's extremely moving. Excited, I look up from my text messaging transient state. Let down, I find no one in the crowd is really vibing with the band. The entire place is filled with hipster zombies, too cool to even sing along to the music that they all came here to supposedly pay tribute to. Instead, everyone seems to be too self-aware to let themselves feel any form of liberation, unemotionally sipping their alcoholic drinks, exemplifying a non-committal fear of true expression. Have I become one of these people? Not only at this show, but with life in general? Have I been copy and pasting myself into an passionless oblivion?

I look at Jess in hopes of finding answers; surprisingly I do. She's swaying back and forth without a care in the world, singing and dancing to the song. She turns to me and smiles. She looks cute and silly. I adoringly laugh at her. She playfully sticks her tongue out at me and continues to sing along. There is certainly something undeniably disarming about a girl who can just act silly and live free in public. I have never met anyone like her – at least not since grade school. Too many people, myself included, are so wrapped up with how we look to the outside world that we've lost the ability to truly have fun and enjoy life. This life moves pretty fast and if you can't let loose and just live, you'll never be able to truly enjoy every fleeting moment that it has to offer.

Unintentionally being myself – and thereby committing myself to some form of vulnerability – I ask her, “Do you believe in happy endings?”

Without missing a beat, she answers, “I think they get a bad rap but hey, anything's possible right?”

She giggles, kisses me on the cheek and continues to sing, “The dog days are over. The dog days are done...”

She killed me softly with her song. She's breaking down every wall I've ever put up. She's buying me tickets to my favourite band (of the moment) and making me happy in the simplest of ways. And what does she get from me in return? Text message templates to every slut in the city. I decide then and there that I would send my two very last text message templates. Ironically enough, both template messages were the only ones of many in my Blackberry memo pad that had yet an occasion to be used. They were my “use-in-the-event-of-pigs-flying-and/or-hell-freezing-over” templates.

To Megan: Copy + Paste: “Listen. I think you're really hot but I'm actually seeing someone and I think it would be unfair to her if we were to hang out. Sorry.”
Send

To Jess: Copy + Paste: “You make me happy. I think I'm in trouble. I think I'm in love...with you.”
Send

6 comments:

  1. "Sometimes I think that I can't come to terms with it myself. I tell myself that I'm just taking baby steps and easing myself into the transition of being in a relationship; in all reality even I know it's complete commitment phobia."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Posted on November 26, 2010
    Pretty funny…
    Reply

    Posted on November 26, 2010
    A good read on my Friday afternoon. Thanks for the break from all my (Megan) clients.
    Lorenzo: Looks 9, Personality 9.5, Cling Factor 10
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    You’re right I am clingy but mildly attractive! Thnx homie!
    Reply

    Posted on November 26, 2010
    I really liked this one, dude. Very well-written!
    Reply

    Posted on November 26, 2010
    Am so in love with your writing…
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    My three favorite words in the English language: love your writing.
    Reply

    Posted on November 26, 2010
    Very impressive! Good mix of humor & the ugly truth!
    Oh & lol @ Ernest. Ur hilarious!
    Reply

    Posted on November 27, 2010
    OMG! LOVE IT! Keep it up, amazing!
    Reply

    Posted on November 28, 2010
    theres my boy!!!!!!
    Reply

    Posted on November 29, 2010
    Hi i’ve been reading your stories pretty hilarious and at times very true. Love the templates LOL.. Keep it up
    Reply

    Posted on November 29, 2010
    Fantastic piece, I love the ups and downs and all the biting humour. Keep it up!!
    Reply

    Posted on November 29, 2010
    I think I almost cried at the end! lol
    This is a great reminder, as a female it’s ok to be silly and fun! We all get caught up being “cool”. When at the end of the day we’re all silly and just want to play and have fun!
    Outstanding writing Lorenzo! Outstanding!
    Reply

    Posted on November 29, 2010
    Copy + Paste:
    “Hey stranger. Another great post! So great that I gave you this completely heartfelt and original comment”
    Send
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    To Rev Copy + Pase:
    “Dude. Im outside the club, can you get me in? Plus 4.”
    Send
    Reply

    Posted on November 30, 2010
    wanted to take a break from my crackberry and say that I liked this story lol
    Reply

    Posted on November 30, 2010
    I know by the end you were/are ready to give up on the texting templates but I have to say pure genius! I will be stealing that idea. The rating part is funny to me as this girl I’ve been talking to recently asked me if guys really do that…my responce “Nah, if anything a guy will give a rating to a buddy to indirectly ask him what he thinks”
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    lol No worries. Templates are definitely a great time saver. Just be careful not to send the wrong template to the wrong person. That’s a whole other problem. lol. And we all know as guys that the rating system exists…lol
    Reply

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  3. Posted on December 1, 2010
    interesting and Funny read
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    Guys thank you for all the comments and support! And spreading the word. Without word of mouth no one would read my stuff! I’d still be just writing random stories on my lap top and emailing them to my mom. And she’d say, “I like it! But please get a real job. I’m tired of paying for your rent”. So ya, thank you. It was getting super embarrassing. Now she only pays my cell phone bills and my groceries. Moving on up!
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    Good read man.
    Reply

    Posted on December 1, 2010
    god i love your mom but yes your def movin up! keep it up lil bro! im proud
    Reply

    Posted on December 2, 2010
    Yo. Just read your stuff for the first time. Very well written.
    Reply

    Posted on December 4, 2010
    I first read your stuff at the YEP grad. I’m Melissa and Anthony’s cousin. Just spent the last hour reading your stuff and I gotta say it’s amazing! Keep up the great work. I’ll be looking forward to the next one.
    Reply

    Posted on December 7, 2010
    Guys, I can’t say this enough: thnx so much for the support! Without everyone sharing my links no one would even know to read my stuff. So as always thnx and keep sharing my work! lol
    Patricia – I remember meeting you at YEP. I’m glad like you my stuff. It’s hard sometimes putting your life out there but its totally worth it when people can relate. Feel free to add me on facebook – Lorenzo Raymundo
    The site is having a bit of problems right now – You can’t access earlier stories but if you’re interested I’ve archived everything on my personal blog:
    http://www.lorenzoraymundo.com/2010/06/exes.html
    http://www.lorenzoraymundo.com/2010/06/paris-nights-toronto-mornings.html
    Feel free to check it out and spread the word!
    Reply

    Posted on December 8, 2010
    *Like.
    Reply

    Posted on December 17, 2010
    s*** I read this on my blackberry! lol
    Good story one of my top ones
    Reply

    Posted on January 6, 2011
    One of my FAVS
    send

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  4. Posted on January 10, 2011
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    Reply

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    Reply

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  5. I really enjoy your work

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