Wednesday, June 6, 2007

myspace, yourspace ... dot com ...

last year, on this day, my former roommate planned to celebrate his birthday satanically. his cousin, the athiest, a perfect circle screaming, self-loathing, reptile seducing, walking graffiti board, death messenger and woman intreguer, had been pimping my former roommate for this day for years: 6/6/06 -- his 22nd birthday.

two of his friends arts and crafted a beer pong table, while chanelling top gun. goose and maverick versus the ice man and hollywood or something. christmas lights celebrating "out of bounds." a glass casing to deflect beer spillage.

the night unfolded without apocolyptic incident, lest you consider my former roommate passing out in a pool of his own sweaty drool at 6 p.m. something worthy of marilyn manson lyric. as for everyone else:

two people threw up in the backyard.
one person couldn't make it because of a mother-daughter threesome.
we ran out of beer.
one enraged man tried to walk from central hillside to two harbors.
i doused his face in grain belt before he left.
he fell out of a lawn chair before i doused him.

like many pedophiles, 14 year old girls, crappy hair metal bands and irrelevant actors, i had recently been introduced to myspace.com. i spent many a drunken night browsing this horrific site. i went through four lourdes high school yearbooks and my lists upon lists of former boyfriends and people i hated in college.

after i tired of that, i developed an interested that hadn't been picqued since i stopped browsing match.com without actually buying a membership: i would search the site for men with photos between the ages of 28-36 who were within a 20 mile radius. i was not looking for a boyfriend. i was looking for evidence that, within this sleepy town, men my age ... attractive men my age ... single men my age ... single attractive men my age who weren't scary in their ATV obsessions ... existed.

on june 6, 2006, i proceeded as usual.

one photo killed me browse after browse. his name was familiar; i recognized it from a local bimonthly publication i apprciated. greatly. my friend hank, also a fan of said publication, would read his stuff and say: christa, i can't believe you aren't sleeping with him. you need to sleep with him. sleep with him! but that had been five years earlier. while i didn't necessarily latch on to his specific genre, he had the kind of name that sticks with any f. scott fitzgerald fan or person with just an ear. and so i looked at his photo often. black and white. a coffee pot. flannel shirt. hot. sexy.

on this day, a year ago, i sent him a message. drunk. after celebrating a satanic holiday, dousing a reveler with grain belt and finally cozying into my comfort zone. it said: "i want to meet you."

he wrote back the next day. something like: "2:34 a.m.! were you drunk?"

what he didn't know: i'm always up at 2:34 a.m., drunk or sober as a drunk driver.
what i didn't know: that, upon receiving a myspace message from a stranger, he'd google the fuck out of her and find a) her blog; b) st. thomas track and field results; c) short stories writen as a sophomore in a college fiction writing course. he would go encyclopedia brown all over her flickr.com account. survey the landscape and decide if he wanted to get involved with a person with a magnetic poetry kit stuck to her fridge.

we corresponded a bit after that. i had, what i like to call, a blog crush. this based solely on things i found out about him online. [i, too, know the powers of investigation. i'm like veronica mars. sassy.]

a month later, i was quoted in a star tribune front-page story on blogging. you know, back when i had a blog that didn't smell like church basement bingo? he, too, was quoted in reference to his site. i sent him an email: "what are the odds that we both turn up in the same star tribune story?"

a month after that i had one of those peppermint schnapps, internet access, pensive nights, "this keyboard feels nice, dear online diary" nights. after i wrote that i was listening to "thunder road" by bruce springsteen on repeat, he sent me the version by bonnie "prince" billy. "why [myspace boyfriend]," i wrote. "i never realized you were reading my blog."

i emailed him.
he emailed me.
i emailed him.
he didn't email me.

this went on. i told fannie, my best friend about him. she'd actually heard of him. when his messages popped up in my inbox i was excited. i began, backwardly, looking for him everywhere i went. bars, target, grocery stores.

on august 21st, 2006, i went to the subway at 27th avenue west. i was wearing target variety gaucho pants, a sweatshirt i found at the pioneer. a pony tail, ballet-styled slippers and a crappy ass pony tail. a longish tank top. i walked into the sandwich shop and immediately thought his name.

he may have been the guy in front of me.
i shifted myself to get a closer look.
maybe too short. ... ?
i looked away. turned around. and there, behind me, was him. walking from the pop machine to a table.

he looked at me.
i looked at him.
i looked at him. a lot.
he looked at me.

i laughed. i held out my hand.
"i knew i'd finally meet you," i said. "i'm christa."
"i'm [chuck]," he said.
"strange," i said, "to recognize someone from their flickr photos."
"join me?" i thought he asked. and apparently he did.

i lost concentration and forgot the name of the bread i wanted. i looked at him to share my idiotic moment, but he was busy eating a subway club. he was nervous. and i only say that to deflect from the fact that I WAS NERVOUS. SHE WHO DOES NOT GET NERVOUS OR EMBARRASSED OR FEEL SHAME felt nervous. it was an awkward meal. i won't lie. he was on a dinner break. i was unaccustomed to meeting people i like.

he asked me why i was at that subway.
"i come here because it takes me one cigarette to get here," i told him. "and the subway in the holiday center always, like, runs out of bread."
he laughed. he laughed really big. i didn't realize then that he is prone to such things.

me? i wanted to hear that sound again and again and again. his laugh is an explosion of giggles that could give you a heart attack. fucking kill you dead with happiness that you made a funny. i've met men who think i'm cutish. i've met men who think i'm smartish. i've met men who don't necessarily think i'm funny. but i am. and that is the first thing you need to know. and he got that. there was a lot of stuff i didn't understand until i met him. now it seems funny to picture when we were strangers.

we began dating about 10 days later. our first event was my 31st birthday, and i'll get to that story later.

but the important thing for you to know is this:
i fucking met my boyfriend on myspace.
and i couldn't be happier. literally.
and it was a year ago today.

8 comments:

Maurey Pierce said...

Awwww ... that's a great story.

I thought of you this morning. MPR was doing a story on a community-pride campaign in Rochester. It's called 'Rah-Rah Rochester.'

No, I'm not kidding.

ps said...

now that's a story, sweetheart! i effing love the way you two met. xoxo.

Clare said...

Wow. That's just too cute not to be optioned into a screenplay for a quirky romantic comedy. I'm not sure why, but I see Zooey Deschanel playing you. Maybe it's because every time I think "quirky romantic comedy," Zooey Deschanel's face just pops into my head.

whiskeymarie said...

What a great "it could only happen in our world at that exact moment in time" story.

feistyMNgirl said...

cool story. i was waiting for a shocking conclusion, but reeling in the boyfriend was a better end.

christina said...

thanks everyone. now i'm google imaging Zooey Deschanel.
as for "rah rah rochester" ... ugh. more like blah-blah rochester.

christina said...

oh! i like her.

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

super cute story! i would totally watch the movie.

and rochester? definitely blah blah blah-chester.