Friday, November 03, 2006

Half a World Away and Still Able to Surprise Me

A week ago, I turned 28. On that day, I opened my AOL email account, an account I use infrequently (since switching to gmail and a school account) but maintain because it is the one I've had the longest. I was stunned to find an email from Andriy (fake name in the original post) and wrote a quick blurb about it on this site. There was some nice comments, sentiments that made me smile. I know that Andriy is a man I'll never forget. I know that all men I've met since have been compared to him (rarely standing up to him).

I wrote the phrase, "He's happly married, working hard, and making a life for himself." Well, I guess I jumped the gun a bit. The last I had heard, he was married, working hard, and making a life for himself. I assumed the bit about, "happily."

Last night, right before bed, I pulled up my email again and found another message from him (as well as some other emails I need to respond to). He was able to shock me again. I was expecting more news that would make my stomach hit the floor - something along the lines of, "My wife and I are now the proud parents of 2.5 children who are absolutely beautiful and the center of our world." You know, something that just proves that there is no chance, how little, in the world that I should hold onto.

What I did not expect was the line, "As to my family, it broke apart even not a year of living together." Oh, great. He's divorced (or had the marriage annulled - I'm not sure of details).

Okay, I can deal with this. It's still absurd to get my hopes up over a man that I spent 4 weeks with 8 1/2 years ago when I was 19. It's crazy.

The rest of the email contains bits and pieces (coherent, and utterly adorable broken English) about the computer battery I had helped him purchase and shipped to Ukraine. He gives a solid reason for not contacting me for the last three years. As it turns out, his laptop fell shortly after getting the battery and broke into pieces, unrepairable, and the hard drive (where my email address was) was completely destroyed. Then he spent the last three years searching the Internet for my email address (okay - so he's not a detective and this took too long - I will give him the benefit of the doubt here in the fact that my name is pretty common). He did offer an apology for losing contact. He wrote, "I was looking for any possible information about you via Internet. But it was all no result. I lost any hope to find you."

Then, just randomly surfing Yahoo, he looked for my name and included my state. He found a genealogy site for a program that I haven't used in years but had my oldest email account, one that I've considered getting rid of but never quite did, listed on it. He wrote about how he was happy and lucky. Between the two sentences, there are 19 exclamation points (I did not count them until James made a joke about counting them, so there.) He was obviously happy to fin me.

He's been promoted at work, vice governor of his state. (Because that's not impressive - no, not at all. Bah!) He's quite passionate about his work, having finished law school.

Oh, and then there is the part where he asks me to come to Ukraine, anytime I want. He wrote, "It would be nice if you could come to Ukraine, whenever you want - I'll be happy to see you here." Sure, when's the next flight? Ha, ha, ha. Someone is laughing out there, right? You should. It's funny. Because it is driving me insane.

He sent me three photos of himself. He wants me to send him a picture of me (I may just send him my Flickr account address - plenty of pics there with easier upload/download times). And he is "looking forward to [my] answer."

I have no clue what to write to him. How does, "Baha blkah knjahkn nanabyada ebada, Always, Beth" sound? Because that's what is going through my mind.

Don't get hopes up - this is what I keep telling myself. It is crazy to think that this would ever work out. I'm not moving to Ukraine and I can't honestly think he would move to Minnesota and give up what I'm not prepared to leave behind. And who knows, I'm probably reading into all of this too much. Maybe he's just a rose-colored glasses memory. Maybe he's just dedicated to maintaining contacts in his life. There's an ocean between us. We were both 19 when we knew each other. We've both grown and changed in a million ways.

And I still see him in my mind's eye walking down that ramp to the airplane, turning back one last time for a final glance.