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2009-08-17 3:01 p.m.

2: lightness

The other issue is that I seem to have already named the heiress to the throne of my heart. (Though I must admit the reality of WTF's departure has significantly curbed my enthusiasm for any potential coronation.) I have decided to call her Aoi here. Her appearance and the sweetness of her general demeanor would not be surprising to anyone familiar with my back catalog. Where she sets herself apart is that she would be by far the most intelligent and ambitious woman I've ever dated.

She's an undergrad, and she wants to enter an MD/PhD program when she's done here. She wants to be a pediatric oncologist. I don't know if I could handle that job, but I have immense respect for anyone who wants to take it on.

She is intelligent, caring, strong-willed, hard-working, and beautiful. In short, in those respects she is essentially what I always told myself I wanted in a woman. I hesitate to admit this, even here, but sometimes I get the feeling that I'm going to end up marrying her. I don't think I've felt anything quite like this for someone since Duchess (who I probably would have ended up marrying had we stayed on the trajectories we seemed to be on when we first met).

These feelings, of course, worry me. I also entered into a very passionate relationship immediately after breaking up with Junko, with someone I thought fit my ideals much better (though in a different manner than Aoi fits them). And it exploded about four months later. So I'm not sure if I can trust these feelings. I don't want this to just be a rebound fling. (I'm also sorely tempted to tell her about this place, as I did with Nemesis, though I later regretted it. There's just not a better way to get a handle on who I really am.)

i am waiting for something to go wrong
i am waiting for familiar resolve
i am waiting for another repeat
another diet fed by crippling defeat

And, there are issues. One is that she's a lot younger than me. Though our ages are actually almost exactly the same as Junko and I were when we started dating (was it that long ago?), and that didn't bother me, so why should this? More troublesome is the fact that we work together. In fact, I'm basically her supervisor (and, in fact, I have already mentioned her here). I checked university policy on this, and it's not against the formal rules (as long as we inform my superior and supposedly arrange for her to be bossed around by someone else). But still, dating a coworker requires extra caution and care.

She adores me. I'm finally to the point where I can recognize this when it's happening. It's happening. And I'm not the only one who's noticed. As for me, I never saw her in a romantic light until a few weeks ago (a couple weeks after my anti-proposal to WTF). She brought in a copy of The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell (mentioned here) and was reading it. Somehow that flipped a switch in me, and I suddenly realized that This Chick Has Got It. (Turns out she only read the first ten pages and then decided she didn't like it, but somehow that's irrelevant.)

She has an insanely busy semester coming up, and I need some time to make sure I'm really okay with my decision concerning WTF. So my original game plan was to wait it out until December or January, see how things were, and then make a move if merited.

But I ended up spilling the beans, about two days after WTF left. We went out to lunch. And we ended up talking about love and relationships. She was depressed because there don't seem to be many men out there who she feels like she could love and who could love her. She went on and on, and all I could do was sigh. Because sometimes I think her descriptions of the kind of man she wants fit me pretty well, and I suspect I would also be more patient with some of her demands than most other men. She demanded to know what I was sighing about. So, I told her.

my brain's the burger
and my heart's the coal

Not unexpectedly, she reciprocates. But she's leery because I'm "not ready," and because she's got her whole life planned out, and it involves leaving here in two years (I'm going to be here at least (but hopefully no more than) three more years). She wants to date someone at least three years before she marries them. A boyfriend is not on the schedule right now, and the conversation essentially ended with her asking me to make her hate me so she could get rid of her feelings. (A voice in my head says, "All in time, dear. All in time.")

your heart is a river
that flows through your chest
through every organ

and your brain is the dam
and i am the fish
who can't reach the core

Anyway, the current plan is to hold off and stay "friends" until the upcoming semester ends. Part of me is relieved to have been honest about what I was feeling. But I think overall I'm starting to regret it. It raises the emotional ante, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that bet right now. I feel like I need to just CHILL OUT.

"Sometimes I think the root of all evil is not money, but impatience." –Jonathan Carroll

You see, there are other things that worry me. I'm even tempted to call them red flags. She can be rather dogmatic in her thinking. I feel like she is conservative both in many of her views and in a general tendency to decide her views based on social norms and gut reactions, rather than on evidence and reason, and then cling to them zealously. She can also be harsh sometimes; she has a tendency to issue orders rather than requests, and quickly gets annoyed when people don't conform to her wishes.

I'm fairly certain she doesn't realize how she comes off. She is the youngest of five children, and I get the impression her family is rather well off by the standards of her home country (Vietnam). She may have been a little spoiled. Also, there is the influence of the government and culture of her home country, which, according to my reading, seems to remain rather strict in many matters of ideology.

I also suspect she has an idealized picture of me and unrealistic expectations about love (she's never had a boyfriend before). I don't really relish the prospect of being the one tasked with disillusioning her.

On the other hand, she has shown a willingness to change her mind (not during the course of the discussion, but later, upon reflection), and claims to be looking for a man she can learn from. So maybe there's hope for her. It's funny, because if we were to get into a relationship, I feel like I would end up taking on the traditionally female role of subtly training her to treat me more gently, all without damaging her pride.

And I would hope to be able to get her see more of the greys in life. Because right now she is very much black and white. But I'm leery about trying to change her. I just don't think that's how love is supposed to work.

She is a wild animal. Somehow I feel compelled to tame her, in the Exuperian sense.

Or she could turn out to be the Anakin to my Padme.

instincts can be misleading
you shouldn't think what you're feeling
they don't tell you what
you know you should want

ivory lines lead,