Lost In Translation: The Age Gap

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(Lost in Translation is our weekly column from a college guy’s perspective.)
I had a crummy weekend. And a shittier Sunday. Which just rubs me the wrong way. I’m from the Midwest, and Sundays are meant to be spent watching football at your favorite bar after having brunch at the local hotspot near the church you went to for sermon. They’re supposed to be restful – a long, slow afternoon of a day, the kind that leaves you smiling as you nod off in the early evening with Iron & Wine on repeat and the rich aroma of the morning coffee still lingering in the air.

They’re sure as hell not for wallowing in self-pity, laying half-awake in damn itchy sheets as the sun creeps in through the bamboo blinds that you bought to feel more “organic.” And, yet, that was the beginning of my Sunday. I may have had 15 minutes, possibly an hour or two, I really don’t know, of sleep before I wrestled myself out of bed and limped my way across the unswept floor of my studio efficiency into the shower, the lukewarm water stinging my achy joints. The rest of the day was a struggle between me and heavy exhaustion yanking down on my body, standing in the way between me and, well, anything pleasant.

I was annoyed. The night before this great girl (“great” falls well short for her, as she is beyond great, but I only have a handful of words and it tends to fit in here) I have been seeing for a few weeks, maybe a month, texts me to meet her at a bar. I am down the street at another one, but am more than happy, in fact eager to leave the group of friends I went out with to walk the two blocks to her. The moment I arrive, she reaches for my hand and whispers, let’s go. Inside I’m grinning a grin that stretches ear to ear – a Chelsea grin without the knife. Outside, I’m keeping it cool. I nod and we leave.

We jump in a cab and are on the way back to her apartment when she fills in the silence in the worst possible way – by telling me that I should enjoy my youth, spend more time with people my age and less time with her. Now, we ARE a few years apart, she being older, but…


How is that supposed to make me feel? Good? All warm and fuzzy inside? What the fuck does that mean? Apparently these thoughts that are raging in my head were seeping out through my facial expressions, ‘cause she begins telling me she meant it this way and not that.

Slowing down, the taxi pulls up to her apartment complex, and I sit back on my haunches, ready for a cordial embrace and for her to offer me the “we’re friends” look as she hops out, which would suck, but would give me a clean break.

But, no. Life isn’t that easy. She then has the gall to invite me up. That is when my mind went blank. A sterile white. Next thing I remember is lying in my own bed, heart racing, as I sorted through a clusterfuck of emotion.

I probably overreacted. But where the hell did clarity go? Tossed out the window apparently.

She is amazing. It wouldn’t be an issue if she wasn’t. I haven’t felt this way about a girl for quite some time. Which makes this all downright devastating. I obviously prefer to be more than friends and continue as it is, or as I thought it was, but I need to know that that is how she feels. Don’t lead me on with late night texts and intimate affection if you see me as a younger brother. That’s just creepy.