Thursday, November 15, 2012

Then and Now 50 - Tina Warms Up

Then and Now 50 - Tina Warms Up
Time: Mid-2007, single and at my apartment.

This was the first time I had with Tina after her apology email in Then and Now 39, where she needlessly said that she was sorry that she didn't speak up more often. When I met her on this day, the change in her wasn't night and day, but it was still significant. She and I met up in the train station, and she smiled brighter than I had seen her smile before. Together, we went to an underground mall which went several miles from one part of town to another.

One of the first things we went by was a man playing a violin in a corner, collecting some money from passerby. Beyond a little fountain, we came to the dancing kids area that I saw in Then and Now 16, but that day, Tina and I only saw some families resting by little fountains. We passed by several hundred stores down there, including a local video game shop, a kids' book store, a bunch of clothes stores and a pottery shop, talking all the way about life and fun we'd had in the past few weeks, until after about an hour, we popped out of the underground market and back onto the street.

Outside was a movie theater that played movies that had been out for a while, only at a discounted rate. There wasn't really anything I wanted to see back then, because I had already seen Harry Potter 5 back at my bud's aunt's place in Then and Now 24, but I made a note of the location for later.

Tina and I then went to lunch at a local restaurant. The door was open to the heat outside, but there were some fans inside keeping everyone cool. We got a table off to the middle-right, with a few people surrounding us in the front and back. I had some breaded meat, she had a simple bowl of soup, and we talked more openly than the times we spent together before.

Finally, after lunch, we walked around until we got kind of lost, and found ourselves alone in an alleyway with a couple of cozy houses around us. We sat down in front of someone's planter, and Tina pulled out a little book from her pocket to show me a trip she had taken with her friends. I was happy that she was finally opening up enough to share something more about herself.

The previous summer, she and several of her friends took a road trip to the other side of the country, where they stayed in one of her friend's vacation homes. She had a lot of pictures of this trip in her book. One was of her and her friends piling their junk into their friend's tiny car, another was of them all standing outside the cute little vacation house, and she also took several pictures of herself standing atop a cliff looking out on the ocean. I felt really happy at that moment, and not just because she was finally sharing with me. I felt that she, like I, was living her life happily with friends and journeys across the land, and really living life to the fullest. Her life was going as great as mine.

She showed me a couple dozen more photos, and recounted her experiences shopping and walking around in the beach town there, for a good thirty minutes. Unfortunately, she soon had to go, so we went back to the train station and said goodbye. I almost immediately met my next hang-out "date," but with the number of friends and acquaintances I had when I was single, I don't even remember her name.

As for today...

I woke up at 7:30.
I went to work by train, and played video games on the way.
I taught students.
I came home by train, and played video games on the way.
I ate lunch.
I drove to another school.
I taught students.
I came home.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I started a load of laundry.
I surfed the net.
I hung up wet laundry.
I slept.

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