As salaam alaikum,
Alas, I'm derailed a bit because Dropbox didn't sync one of the files I needed this morning. I briefly contemplated going back home and getting my computer before I decided that it won't hurt starting all over again with my notes for my paper. I didn't spend that much time reading and compiling what I already had, and since I've already read some of the papers, my work will be streamlined. Whatever. Dropbox has only just now let me down...I'm still not sure why it didn't sync the file.
I was typing up notes about the epidemiology of lupus and suddenly, I thought about B, how we went to see The Town last night (and crap-talked through the whole thing...I will take all of my roommate's movie recommendations with a grain of salt from now on!) and how he's taking me to this MIT dinner party/house warming thing on Sunday. I'll know no one, he'll know some people, so as if the Nigerian conference weren't enough for me to feel like the girlfriend being introduced to the friends (haha, though it was without a title...I was just Chinyere), this is totally going to be one of those situations.
And then I did my usual thing, and I thought. I remember something my other roommate remarked when I talked about him. She said she didn't really feel like I liked him, she couldn't hear it yet.
I told her all sorts of things, like, I've been there, done that...no more liking someone wildly, fancifully, crushing on them absently for years. No more thinking about the person every second of the day (because I don't, actually...not at all like MQ in 2004-2005), no more imagining being together, none of that. Plus, I'm very reserved in the first place when it comes to describing these things...I don't know what she expected me to say.
And I asked her, "What, do you want me to describe how it feels when he touches me?" At which point, I insulted my other roommate's sensibilities. I then started singing "He Loves Me" by Jill Scott.
"When you touch me, I just can't control it...when you touch me, I just can't hold it!"
"Inappropriate," said my other roommate. We were walking to Kendall at the time to the cinema to see...something, I don't remember.
But thinking about what my roommate said, that it doesn't sound yet like I like him...maybe I don't.
Maybe not, I can't say for sure.
But I'm obviously excited to see him, excited to hear from him. I enjoy his (at times awkward) company. We're so remarkably similar that I can't help to feel like some aspect of this was meant to be...but I do come at the whole thing, even my own emotions about the whole thing, in a very practical manner.
I don't think I like him, emotionally speaking.
There's too much background noise, I'm not able to tell. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't like me, either.
I mean, the signs are there...he keeps inviting me to things, we keep "hanging out," he keeps paying for things, there's the proximity, the gestures, the words...but a little bit, I feel like we're just going through this as a matter of course. We're remarkably similar, we're both incredibly intelligent, highly educated Nigerian Americans at two top institutions who happen to be living now within area codes of each other...I feel like maybe we both feel like, well, this is good...we should take advantage of this.
There's something missing, though, something that maybe only time will concede. I feel like, sometimes I talk a lot and he has nothing to say because maybe he's thinking, wow, why am I with this woman right now? And in those times of silence I wonder if maybe I'll end up telling the same stories, and then we'll have nothing left to say in the end.
I considered myself to be coming at this very practically, but maybe it's even too practical for me.
Why do I like him? We have a similar sense of humor...evidenced by the fact that we find each other's comments in a movie amusing. That was the first thing. Sense of humor, that he's well-read, self-educated while also getting his PhD, so institutionally educated as well. He's up on current events, he's conscientious, he's ambitious, has pretty clear aspirations for the future. He's like me in ways that I can't describe because we both have Nigerian parents (or parent for me) and grew up in this country, so we're both in it and not. We're both Igbo and black, we go between both populations seamlessly. He's underground hip hop, I'm neo-soul, which is a nice complement, at least I think.
And like I said before, a big plus for me was the fact that he knows I'm Muslim, respects that, respects me. That's something I've always wanted. I've been with Muslims that didn't respect how I was Muslim before, to the point of wanting to rename me. No, I'm Chinyere, and I'll always be. My mother changed her name but that's my mother. I am different from my mother by at least half.
These are all important things. Like I said before, the fact that we would be together makes all the sense in the world...maybe too much sense?
He's more like me than anyone I've ever met. Just like that Africa Night where I met the woman who looked like me, I'm now in a relationship with a guy who is almost the male equivalent of me, and while we are obviously not completely the same, we're enough the same that I'm not especially intrigued, except for the fact that this is another human being that I'm relating to.
It took me a while to do this, because there is no comparison between human beings, but I'm comparing him now to MQ. MQ followed a similar pattern...I started liking that individual because he started liking me first. As soon as I saw that he was interested in me, intrigued by my intelligence, wanting to spend time around me, that piqued my interest...I wanted to see what this guy was about.
Why would he, who was so different from me, who was like no one I'd ever met, be interested in me? Is there something about me that I don't know? Who is this boy, and what world is he coming from? He's coming from a world that I don't know, and somehow, here we are, existing in the same realm, having feelings for each other, and it's the most wonderful thing I've ever felt in life...
That was MQ at it's purest. That whole experience inspired me to write A Rose Much Desired. No joke.
This...is different. Like I said, it all feels like a matter of course. It's like, well, you're you, and you're here, and we have these things in common...let's go forward.
Which is fine. This is not me backing out. This is just me realizing...we're getting to a critical turning point in which something's got to give.
Too many sitcoms joke about the friend's zone, and if you don't make a move with a female you'll find yourself in the friend's zone. I see it now, and it's really simple as to why it happens. Right now, I have to know if he likes me. If he doesn't let me know in some critical, concrete way (like saying, you know what, Chinyere, I like you), I'm going to assume that he's not that into me, and I will lose interest. I mean, after all, I like you right now because you like me and I'm intrigued by that fact and I'm trying to get to know this man who finds me attractive, right?
I'm not going to "let's just be friends" this guy, though. Why?
I think we're both in the same boat. I can't know for sure, but I feel like neither of us have very much experience in this being in a relationship thing, from the way things are going. Either that, or we have different styles. I think that's the most accurate, the different styles. But anyway, I feel like we're both in this because it's a matter of course...sometimes.
Sometimes, though, from the way he looks at me, I think he really likes me.
Hahahaha, I think the answer is, dude, he needs to let me know! Or else I'm going to be on to the next one!
How do I feel right now? I like him, but at the same time, I don't like just him. I like the idea of being in a relationship. I like not worrying about maybe being incapable of relating to another human being in a way that may someday lead to my reproducing. I like not feeling like I'll be forever single. It's kind of like Ramadan removed the Satan element so you knew what was really in your heart, what were your shortcomings. Removing the element of fear of singleness has helped me tomar uma atitude about so many other things in my life...get things done, realize that apart from that, I really am burned out from medical school and I need to get my crap together.
It makes me more efficient, but less in the joyful way that my short-lived relationship with MQ did. I seriously believed I could fly after that.
Maybe because I was young and fanciful, and if this Pakistani kid liked me, a black Nigerian American girl, then anything was possible.
Whereas now, it's like, yeah...if someone were to like me, B would be the one. Maybe I am not, in fact, incapable of relationships. ...okay, back to studying.
That's what it's like right now. I'm not 19 anymore, though. I'm 25, and nearly done with this year. Four more good months of it, and I'm on to 26. At 27, I'm going to be someone's resident physican. All insha'Allah.
I'll never be 19 again. A lot of life has passed and made me into who I am today.
Yet, no matter how this all ends, I refuse to resign myself to a relationship for a relationship's sake, one that is a matter of course, just because we're two bodies with two spirits that should go together and we're forcing them to fit together. Because if things continue as they are, they'll start to feel forced.
There's a natural progression to things, and we're almost missing the mark.
Sunday. We'll see.
Back to work!