So things with Patrick didn’t work out. I realize now that it was a poor choice of words (and really, he ought to know better, considering how often he wrote to me how he could tell words were important to me.) His response to my email dug the hole deeper; it was a long defense about being a while male and how many activities he has been involved in to help minorities and the LGBTQ community. It was unclear to me if it was an attack on me as well in some way.

I realize we probably both misunderstood each other’s words  But I was still very disappointed that he failed to tell me how old the photo was, and in that sense, I felt deceived. Can you still be friends with that sort of deception? I emailed him some days later, openly asking that question.

I received no response.

So the march continues onwards. I hope to still make new friends out of the connections I am making. 

I hope to hear from Brian (age unknown–40s?). By far, he is the one who draws my curiosity the most. He emailed me the clues to a note he left for me somewhere in Berkeley. Thus began a series of scavenger hunts, both of us leaving notes and clues for one another. We crossed cemetaries, historical landmarks, and famous shops. We shared poetry. It culminated in his leaving a work address somewhere in SF. I checked Google Maps, and it is a studio building with a directory, and I am not sure which one he works at. I know he is a carpenter, but several carpentry businesses reside at that address. I sent him a week ago and left my work address in return. I have yet to hear from him, but I do hope to. In the very least I would like to meet this amazing person who single-handedly delivered the best response I ever got to my ad. Romantic potential? Unknown–but let us at least be friends! What a fucking cool dude!

Of the penpals from Craiglist still corresponding with me regularly, these are the most interesting ones:

1. Kevin (45), a full-blooded Irishman from Wales. Romantic potential? Maybe. I am fond of accents from the UK, but I have yet to hear his voice. There is a deep sadness in him. He has shared some stories about his loss and loves traveling by train as I do. He would love to return to the UK, and I do miss London.
2. Seabiscuit (55), who takes beautiful landscape photographs and shares them with me. Romantic potential? Unlikely as he is married but separated, but I think he would make an interesting friend. I enjoy emailing him. I laughed at his last proposal–to swap awkward family stories (me with my father, him with his daughters) and share perspectives from those opposite points of view.

3. Chris (29), a PhD student at Stanford. He is highly optimistic of things and the world (including grad school). I haven’t said it, but am certain his being a white male colors the optimism he still carries about being able to change things. Romantic potential: unclear. Friendship seems more likely.

4. Alex (35), who recently began writing me. He moved here from the Ukraine when he was about 10. I normally feel that my respondents can’t keep up with me, but with him I worry I am the one who can’t keep up. He writes a lot and of so many things; it feels like he’s moving at the speed of lightning while everyone else is the pace of raindrops. Romantic potential: Maybe.

So that’s where things are at for now. Who knows where any of this is going? On the bright side, no matter what happens, all this correspondence has been helping me feel motivated to get back to work on my novel again. And that is a good thing.

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