Lost in Translation
Emails, text messages, Skype, FaceTime and phone calls. We’re all familiar with these forms of communication that move at lightning speed and yet, somehow, we are still left in the dark by these messages. Messages that we are either responsible for or messages that we receive. The unnerving part of this entire modern way that we communicate, at least for me, is that it’s taken all human decency out of the equation. We rely on modern technology to do our dirty work. To rid us of the guilt of having to take responsibility for our actions. If you are late; you send a text. If you miss a deadline; you blame it on spotty internet service. If you no longer want to date someone; you simply disappear. When it comes down to all of these forms of communication are we getting lost in translation?
When I was dropped off at the Path train last Monday morning, I considerate it business as usual. It was slowly becoming a ritual with J.C. and I. I was enjoying the part of the morning where someone is wishing you to have a good day. I was becoming part of the hustle and bustle with the fellow commuters and I had the entire routine down. I knew what car to get off on in order to put me right with my connecting train. I was messaging J.C. when I arrived at my office and things were slowly but surely becoming…well…comfortable. Our communication was a mixture of both text messages and phone calls. Yet, with the amount of communication that we did; something in the back of mind always wondered if it was enough. In the almost two months that we’d been hanging out; I still didn’t know much about him. He was never the guy to ask me about my life; so most of the time I just volunteered stories about my life. Hoping that it would spring into a deeper conversation. It never did.
On Tuesday, the day didn’t start off like it normally had been for the past almost two months. Usually, every morning I was greeted with a “morning” message from J.C. That’s how we’d start our day of communicating. This was a man that would text me that he was walking to the train and send a selfie along with it. So, when I didn’t get the “morning” message; I reached out to him. He responded with telling me all about his day and what he was going to accomplish. Then, in the late afternoon, he got quiet. I instantly began to be concerned. My dating instincts told me that he was beginning to pull away. It might sound a tad dramatic but if you’ve been at this for as long as I have; you know certain behaviors right away.
I decided to immerse myself with the gym and then a friend of mine reached out to me to take a walk with him that evening along the Highline. I was grateful for that because if not; I would’ve been left alone with my neurotic thoughts. I picked up my friend at his apartment in Chelsea and from there I updated him on the latest with J.C. Of course, most people, myself included, would give the advice of, “Let him reach out to you.” However, before we even got to the Highline, I couldn’t take the silence anymore and so I sent him a text. He responded quickly with, “Bad night. A friend of the family passed away. Drinking in memory for her.” I felt terrible, in the almost two months that we’ve been dating; he has lost a total of three people in his life. I, instantly picked up the phone and tried calling him. He didn’t pick-up but two seconds later, I got the message of, “I’m not in the mood to talk right now.” I simply offered my condolences and told him that if he needed anything to please let me know. It put a dark cloud over my mood as my friend and I walked along the Highline. We ended up walking over to the Frying Pan, where we sat along the Hudson River with New Jersey fully lit up. As I looked at Jersey City; I couldn’t help but think how close I was yet still so far away.
Wednesday morning, I woke up and looked at my phone. No message from J.C. Part of me took it personally while the other part knew this man had just lost a family friend, he’s exhausted and is probably trying to get the rest that he needs. I knew he had to work that morning, so I just went about my business and got ready for work. When I got to the office, I knew I needed to give him time to process his loss and I felt terrible for his unfortunate news. So, I looked up a local florist in Jersey City and sent over a small bouquet of flowers to his salon. It was the only form of communication that I could do that meant more than a lame text message. A few hours later, I got a message from him thanking me for the flowers. He sent a picture of them and I thought we were back on track with the way we communicated with each other.
That evening, after the gym, I went over to my friend’s apartment where we discussed their upcoming reception, my disastrous state of affairs that ranged from my finances to my current situation with J.C. While at dinner, J.C. did manage to send a few random text messages but they were all about what he was eating that night or how the wake for his friend was the next day. I, once again, offered my support but he declined. The only thing I knew at that point, was that we were to have a beach day with me, him and his friend on that upcoming Sunday. That was the next time I would see him and I just hoped that my physical presence would make him feel better about all that he was going through. I went to bed that night, feeling slightly better.
Thursday. The day of the wake and I knew he was going to be working during the day and his mind would be in a million places. I decided that my best bet was to lay low with communicating that day. If he wanted to reach out, he certainly knew how. I barely heard from him that day and again, his lack of communication spoke louder than if he had actually communicated with me.
That evening, I met up with Feather’s husband and another girlfriend of ours at Dallas BBQ. It had been awhile since I had seen either of them, so it was nice to finally catch-up properly. The drinks started fast and furious. Two big margaritas later; we were all feeling the love of the tequila. We decided to go over to the bar, XES, and invite some additional friends. It was official, we all were drunk and I even ran into an ex of mine from earlier this year. Fantastic. I’m dancing to the song, Fancy, and he walks in with his new boyfriend. We hugged, kissed each other on the cheeks and proper introductions were made. He went his way and I went back to my friends. It wasn’t late but we did start the drinking on the early side. As we all said our goodbyes, I thought it was a good idea to call J.C. and see how the wake went. No answer.
I didn’t hear from him at all on Friday except for a message that told me the wake ran till 10 p.m. and he was so exhausted that he came home and passed out. There wasn’t another word from him for the entire day. I got out of work early, met up with a friend where we had lunch, walked along the water and relaxed on the piers. After soaking up the sun, we walked over to the Monster for a couple of beers. Then we all got the plans from our other friends that we all were meeting at Pier 25 to get on this boat and have cocktails.
As we arrived to the docked boat, I sent a message to J.C. to see how he was doing. Turns out, he was doing just fine. He spent the entire day at the beach (so much for grieving) and that he was now cooking dinner. I told him to have a good time and to keep me posted on the weekend plans for I was still uncertain about what we were doing. Once again, I was greeted with silence. I was totally lost in our translation. This was a man that would send me a text message from the beach, from his bathroom, from his bed, etc. etc. and now it was sporadic. I was getting the distinct feeling that he was sending me messages either out of pity or guilt because he didn’t want to be the person to say, “I’m losing interest. I don’t like you any longer or I don’t think this is going to work.” It was apparent that he wasn’t sitting at home grieving but with his friends and family and I wasn’t to be a part of any of that.
I decided to enjoy the amazing evening with my friends. If he didn’t want me to be a part of this, I certainly wasn’t going to force his hand. After we watched the sunset, we all were hungry. Since we were in Tribeca, we all decided to go to, Bubby’s. It was apparent that we all were hungry for we cleared all our plates. After dinner, we went to the east side to a friend’s apartment where we got freshened up and headed down to the East Village and got drunk at the Boiler Room. It was past 3 a.m. and I was so happy that I had such an amazing cast of characters to enjoy the night with and to keep my mind busy.
Woke up feeling tired and dehydrated. It was a slow moving day and still no word from J.C. Around noon, I left my apartment to run some errands and my phone at home to charge. When I got back there was a message from J.C. saying “Hi.” I wrote back, “Hi.” Our communication started with him telling me he was at work, he asked what I was doing and then I still wanted to know what exactly the weekend entailed for us. He said he wasn’t sure when he was getting out of work. Right then and there, I knew that he had checked out of our relationship.
When you are dating someone, especially this new into it. No matter how tired you are…you make the effort. I hid behind my communication to him and said I was getting in the shower and will see how he’s doing later. So, I got ready and when I told him I was all showered, he came back with telling me that he is tired, wants to take a nap and isn’t even sure about the beach day on Sunday due to the weather. I wrote back, “Ok. Take care of you.” He then responds back with “I don’t know what you even have in mind.” I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that. What did he mean by him not knowing what I had in mind? I had in mind that it’s been a rough week for all of us, it would be nice to see the person that you’re dating and that my time should be respected. I told him that it simply would be nice to see him and that we didn’t need to do anything with a big production but that relaxing even sounds nice.
It was my last message to him and I haven’t heard from him since. It saddens me to think that his last communication to me would be the words, “I don’t even know what you have in mind.”
After the silence, I took a nap and then got ready. I was thankful and appreciative that I have such amazing friends that will drop whatever it is and be there for you. We started at Flaming Saddles and then we bounced around the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. We went to Barrage then onto Ninth Avenue Salon that ended us at Bartini. I walked home and while I was so happy that I got to be with my friends; I knew that I was missing J.C.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling lost. Lost in what happened along the way that J.C. would suddenly disappear. Was it something that, in fact, get lost in translation? I can sit and analyze every single scenario but the truth of the matter is; he vanished. I couldn’t let my lost feelings show because I had to make it over to Brooklyn to support my friends who were having a BBQ for their trip to Burning Man. It was nice, I met some eccentric people and was home by seven.
Getting lost in translation is a very easy thing to do. We can all misinterpret an email, a text, hell, we even misread an emojicon. The point of all this communication is so that no one gets lost, that we all fully communicate properly and be responsible for our actions. Seeing how easy it is to get lost in all our or forms of communication, maybe it’s time we stopped getting lost and begin finding ourselves again.
- Posted in: Uncategorized