Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Well, This Is Awkward...

I've had two long-term relationships in my life.  The first one ended in the mid-1990's and the second one started around 2000.  There were a few years in the late 1990's when I was single and romantically unattached.

During that period, my interest in motorcycles emerged and grew into a passion.  I rode all the time, met others who ride, and took numerous passengers for their first ride on a motorcycle.  Here a picture of me from back then.



During that period, I went to a festival of art-films.  I arrived by bike, which was obvious from my carrying a helmet, and a middle-aged woman approached me.  She asked me about my motorcycle; we talked about riding; she told me of her lifelong attraction to motorcycles and said she'd never been on one.  I gave her information and advice on how to get into the activity.  Later, I met her a few times for coffee and took her on a few short motorcycle-rides.  She seemed to enjoy them and I thought we were friends.

I didn't feel any romantic chemistry and assumed it wasn't there.

Later, we corresponded occasionally by e-mail.  I hadn't heard from her in a few years when she wrote me last week.  She said she'd gotten married, which I said was nice.  She said she'd written a memoir about her life; I said that was nice.  She mentioned that I am in her memoir.  I was surprised since I didn't know I'd played any kind of significant role in her life.  We are casual friends who went on a few motorcycle-rides and had lost touch over the years.

She sent me her memoir.  Oh, my...  In it, she confesses in great detail to an infatuation she had for me.  From our first meeting, she had feelings of intense romantic attraction.  I was completely unaware of those feelings.  I remember the particular events she describes but perceived them in a totally-different way.

Has this ever happened to you?  Is it possible for one person to secretly be attracted to another without the other person knowing it?

I'm not going to reveal any more about this woman, except to quote a portion of her memoir that concerns motorcycling.  She asked if I was okay with her publishing it and I said she can print anything she wants.  We're all entitled to our perceptions and should be free to express them to the world.  Here's what she wrote:


I asked Ralph to take me for a ride.  It was a clear, crisp day in the fall of 1997, I was soon to be 41.  I wore the closest things I had in my closet to what I though was biker babe gear: a Members Only leather jacket, flat, soft leather boots, and a leopard patterned scarf.  What was I thinking?! 

I met Ralph in the parking lot of his office.  He had an extra helmet, which was much bigger than my head.  He got on the bike, and I climbed on in back of him.  Climbing on was not that easy.  I’m short, plump and awkward, and I held tightly to his shoulders while I stepped on the peg and swung my leg over the seat.  It was all Ralph could do to keep the bike stable. 

We started out of the parking lot and my stomach dropped to the street; I had a moment of sheer terror.  As Ralph drove through town, my body became the wind or the wind became my body or maybe the wind just blew around my hair, but my body was having an out of body experience.  There is that moment after orgasm, usually a very short moment, when nothing matters, where your body has just melted into the mattress and only good exists in the world.   I melted into Ralph and the motorcycle seat and sniffed his leather jacket until the smell surrounded me. 

We stopped at a Starbucks for coffee, and so Ralph could check in to make sure I was all right.  I had no words, I was speechless, and I was overwhelmed by the experience.  We got back on the bike, rode around some more, and Ralph drove me back to the parking lot.  When he asked me again about my reaction, I said, I had a vibrating machine between my legs and I was wrapped around your body.  How bad could it be?  Over dinner, Ralph pressed me to be more specific about how riding the bike felt.  I tried to articulate my experience, but could find only the most trite expressions to describe how I felt: I was one with the universe, I felt an extraordinary sense of freedom, I was hooked.  The smell of leather and gasoline had become the most powerful aphrodisiacs I had ever experienced.

30 comments:

  1. It's totally possible for someone to be secretely attracted to someone and the other person not know it, although, it's probably because you weren't looking for the signs. ;-) My brother is big into motorcycles and I've ridden with him a few times. (Although I had a ride for the first time when I was very young, like 10 or younger.) It is exhilarating, but also scary because I know getting into an accident is much worse when there is no car wrapped around you for protection. When I was younger, and less paranoid, I wanted to learn to ride, and hoped I would get my own bike someday. The closest I would get to that now is a scooter. Yes, a scooter will do. :)

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  2. You're famous!

    Definitely people can have feelings for someone and not let the other person know about it.

    Great story. She writes well.

    Bisous
    Suzanne

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  3. I suppose that happens often really, but not that we all get featured in someone's memoir. :-) I hope you get a free signed copy of the book. Is she famous? Why would her memoir be published?

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  4. wow!

    hmmm...i'd say it's possible if the two people rarely interacted - like a secret attraction. but meeting up more than once, having conversations,i'd think something would slip? or certain looks would be exchanged? i think you were more than a casual friend to her - sounds like she was throwing out signs (...vibrating machine...i was wrapped around your body...), lol!

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  5. I love her writing - very evocative. It's completely and utterly possible to just miss that other people are attracted to you. Sometimes we are so inward-focused that we can't see it, or if we do, we misinterpret it or brush it off. Example: I went to my 10th high school reunion (15+ years ago) and was feeling much more confident about myself than I had ever been in high school, where I'd been very shy. I had a few glasses of wine and started chatting with one of the guys I'd been so madly in love with. So I told him, and I was flabbergasted when he said, "I wish I had known! I felt so alone and unliked all through school." He'd completely mistaken my friendliness, and had no idea that I'd had romantic feelings for him. It's so easy to see that happen.

    Such a cool and interesting thing to happen to you, Ralph (I feel I should call you Ralph on this one, Ally).

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    1. Thanks, Sheila. Your high school reunion experience is very close to this one; I thought about those events as analogous.

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  6. HA HA HA. I'm going to try to locate this book when it's published and read alllllll about it. I'm not sure if anyone's ever had a crush on me, but certainly not a big enough one to write about it 15 years later, that's for damn sure.

    I had a pretty big crush on my now-boyfriend when he was not my now-boyfriend. I guess he had no idea, which is good because I'm not one to be very forward about that type of thing. I think in a lot of cases, it's easy to mistake romantic feelings for friendship because I mean, c'mon, who really is that full of it where they think a little brush of the hand or a fluttering of the eyelash means instant crush? Even if it is obvious to those around us.

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  7. That's quite an achievement! You're mildly famous now

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    1. That's always been my goal -- to become "mildly famous." :-)

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  8. rotflol ... "had a vibrating machine between my legs and I was wrapped around your body" ... sounds like you had one of those bad boy pipes running through the seat - and if anyone reads this and does not know what I'm talking about - then you ain't be around enough bikers ... lol.

    Weirdly, some many years back a guy I went to school with referred to the time I was 'his girlfriend' - to today, I have no recollection of us ever even holding hands ... so I'm guessing he saw our friendship and chats as way more than I did. I think this happens more often than we realise.

    Our Ally-cat is becoming more famous by the day - you Wild Thang :-)

    Hugs
    Wendy

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    1. You remind me of an odd experience I had two years ago. At a funeral, a woman came up to me and said we'd gone to high school together. I didn't remember her. We weren't friends back then and our school was large.

      She then said we'd gone on a "secret date" thirty years ago -- I had gone to hear a Harry Chapin concert. I went alone. The woman said she sat next to me during the concert and imagined (in her head) that we were on a date. Huh?!! I have no memory of her sitting next to me at the concert.

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  9. I think sometimes we see only what we expect to see. You were not blinded by that weird first attraction and only saw a friend. I think you were a friend to her and maybe she didn't have that many. I will say her description of the bike ride is wonderful. As a young person I had a motorcycle. I don't know that I could describe riding it as beautifully as she did but it was amazing. I rode both with my then husband and alone. The times I was alone on it made me wish in some ways that I was a man and could just dump my life and take off. It was heavenly.

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  10. Awesome on so many levels. Yes, it's possible to be oblivious to other's attraction, especially if you feel no mutual attraction or are just being nice to someone as a person. I bet her very visceral reaction to the motorcycle heightened her attraction to you.

    How so like you to offer her a ride just so she could experience it. 😄

    That pic of you on your bike made me smile.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I've given dozens of rides to people who'd never ridden before. In my early enthusiasm, I was an ambassador of motorcycling.

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  11. Ya just never know, ya know?!

    Gee, maybe I should go back to riding a motorcycle instead of a scooter now....am I missing something? LOL

    "Ralph"?...hmmmmmm

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  12. Haha! I think it happens often that one person is very into someone and the other person just has no clue. Sometimes we just don't pick up on these things.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Bugsy's Box Giveaway!

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  13. How crazy that you didn't know of these feelings, or at least the extent of them. And how cool also that she contacted you now and let you see and read how she felt. I bet that was a very odd experience for you!

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  14. Her writing is excellent! I kind of want to read the memoir. Is she self-publishing, or does she have a publisher, or is this more of a for-herself project?

    I totally get the not-having-a-clue-about-a-crush thing. I think it happens to most of us, in one way or another. (That is, as the crusher or the crushee.) Though in her case, based on the excerpt, I'm wondering whether she was infatuated with you or with the new world you introduced her to.

    And can I just say I am loving that photo? So handsome :)

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    1. Thanks, Emma. And you may be right -- the attraction may have been to what I represented which, elsewhere in her memoir, she says she lusted for her whole life.

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  15. Haha! You charmer-you! It's funny how things like this can happen. I am the same way with being oblivious, or maybe it is just that the other person's flirting/intentions are just too subtle? Occasionally when we are out with a group of friends, people will strike conversations with me. I have made a few "bar-friends" that way. There have been a few times when it took me a long time to realize that the other person was flirting, because I just assume that people like randomly talking to others. Usually when I go to introduce my friends and they meet Kyle, they will back off, and then I realize "doh!". Whoops.

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  16. Love the photo!!! Motorbikes and handsome guys can do that to a girl (desperate or not!!!!). Her writing is really good and it would be interesting to read the full memoir.

    I have had a crush on a guy (other than my hubby) for the past 20 years. He does know but I don't think he 'really knows'!!! LOL!!!

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I won't tell him...

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  17. Sounds like she had a wonderful experience which has turned into a lovely memory. I think that's great. She never told you about her feelings...
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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  18. Wow, how flattering!!! And how wonderful she got back in touch!x

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  19. I agree with Caroline, this does sound like a wonderful experience which manifested into a moment in time that precious memories are made of and never forgotten! Yes, secret crushes... sometimes they are revealed and other times not. I've had them, many I know have had them and sometimes been the recipient of the secret crush and not known it until it was revealed, sometimes many years later. Your Post got me to thinking about the secret crushes of our own past... some of which the individuals are still around and its always nostalgic to have someone from the past who has shared memories, still present, however intermittently, in our lives now. Blessings... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  20. Awww!! What an incredible story, and amazing how our perceptions are changed when we know the minds of others.

    One of my best friends in high school had a huge crush on me. I never knew! He admitted it once after years and years of being great friends (and I was married to his best friend). I do admit I'm grateful for his continued friendship because we still got to be an awesome part of each others lives.

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  21. Writers! This is actually a nightmare of mine. I don't really want to end up in someone's memoir... But, you can't stop it!
    How does it feel being a sexy biker muse?

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  22. I want to take a positive slant on it, but I think that would've made me feel very awkward too...it's flattering, of course, but I dunno...reading that about myself would probably really weird me out. ? Still has to kinda make you feel good, though. But I think her saying she had you and a vibrator between her legs should've been a good indication of her attraction at the time. heehee Some people just don't pick up on those cues, though. Me, I assume everyone is into me instead of the other way around. haha Everyone I ever had a crush on knew it; unfortunately, I don't hide my feelings well even when I try.

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