I like to make fun of myself. I like keeping things light and superficial and laughing in the darkness. That’s why when friends are down and crying and broken, I give them a hug and make a joke to get them laughing again. It’s also why when things are tough for me, too tough for an easy joke, I tend to fade into the background. Sometimes the dancing monkey falls out of step and the clown…well I actually hate clowns so let’s not go there.
Atlanta was not what I had hoped for. And it’s hard to admit that. It’s hard to actually admit what I was hoping for when I hopped on that plane. Because I should know better. Despite the hardness and cynicism I’ve cultivated, there is inexplicably a little girl inside me that believes in fairy tales. Inside this hard-hearted Amazonian woman, there is a little girl who danced around to sappy songs on the radio, who wore a tiara and her mother’s high heels, and she believed in the power of a story. She believed that when things seemed to fall into the contours of a fairy tale, there was a reason for it, and the reason was happily ever after. And she believed that because the story seemed to be written that way, she would arrive in Atlanta to find a friend transformed into a prince. Except that you can only write your own story, and when other characters appear, you can’t write their lines for them.
Taz is wonderfully, stubbornly him and nothing more. He is the guy who single-mindedly pursues what he wants from his life, taking every necessary step to get there, and I can’t help but admire him for that. Especially since I’m spinning around like a little girl in a princess dress, not really choosing a direction to follow. But here’s a secret that is so making me cringe to write (or even think). I had hoped that landing out of the blue, of putting a face to the words he reads in the conversations we share, that somehow, magically I could weasel my way into that plan of his. Wince.
Of course, that didn’t happen. Because my life is neither a fairy tale or a romantic comedy. Instead, we met and hung out as friends. Good friends, comfortable friends, friends who always had something to talk about and could laugh at each other over nothing. Which is awesome…right? Friends are awesome. Can you see my face as I’m writing this? How enthusiastic I am about that last statement? Yeah. Thought so. Friends are awesome, unless you want them to be more. And then they suck and make you pouty. And they make you want to cry when you hear your thirteen-year-old doppelganger talk about the boys she’s in loooove with, knowing that she will someday have her heart broken and because you don’t yet have a happy ending, you can’t in all sincerity tell her that it gets better.
Here’s the silver lining, thin though it might be: the little girl in her tiara and mommy’s heels isn’t as lost as I thought she was. She’s not gone forever. There is still, strangely, irrationally, an innocence in me. There is still a belief in happily ever after, despite all that I know which seems to prove that to be not only untrue, but impossible. Taz is not my Prince Charming, despite how hot he’d probably look perched on a white horse. Wait…I need a moment to enjoy that visual. Okay, I’m good. So as I said, Taz is not Prince Taz of the Shining Armor. I’m not sure that my Prince Charming actually exists in the traditional sense of the rescuing and the sweeping off the feet. After all, I’m not all that good at the whole damsel in distress thing. I pretty much leave that to Princess Roo of the Nearly Obscene Cuteness. But somehow, somewhere, even though it seems impossible, happily ever after does exist. I think. Maybe. We’ll see.