the inquiry

About 21 months ago…

I was back in my cubicle at the offul, sticking out late winter in middle America, thinking about Max. I had noticed he was not wearing a ring. How was this possible? Was he a playboy unable to commit? Recently divorced? How old was he, anyway? And why was I suddenly obsessed?

To comprehend the relative importance of this crush, one must understand that it had been months since I had felt wanted or loved, since someone of the opposite sex had shown genuine interest in me, since I’d been touched. Frankly, Max had done none of these things…yet the hope that had sprung up so suddenly inside me reminded me of how badly I needed these things.

So I sent a note to another work friend in Max’s region. I told her how nice it had been to see her, how much I enjoyed meeting her family, asked what the story was with that cute guy Max, and promised to make time for cocktails during my next trip. In journalistic parlance, I buried the lead. And then I waited.

A few days later, I got a reply:  The usual pleasantries — and the news that Max was to be married in a few weeks.

You’d think someone with whom I’d spent only a few hours would be easy to forget, but I found myself nursing a powerful work crush — and pondering what type of woman Max was about to marry. I imagined she was twenty-nine, a bottle blond, and had a beach body complete with fake breasts. Surely he deserved someone with more depth and experience, someone real and, well, more like me!

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About failedatforty


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