So, who sent the mystery text? My initial reaction, like many of yours, was that it was from the Moroccan, since he was freshest in my mind. But once I read the text a second time, I realized the spelling and grammar were much too good (and as many of you pointed out, the spelling and grammar were not even that good). We used to joke that even his texts had an accent, and so I knew that it wasn't from him. Thus narrowing the field to...
Commenter Erin guessed the "chubby bearded guy" I briefly dated in Mythaca. I think she meant this guy (whose name I honestly, at this moment, can't remember--hooray!), and while it wasn't him, it turns out that our mystery man was indeed a different chubby bearded guy that I dated briefly(ish) in Mythaca. (So, apparently I have a type?) Otherwise known as Luke, otherwise known as the apartment complex guy. The reason I didn't immediately recognize the area code was because he has a Rochester number (thank you, Google), which is the city nearest the small town where he's from.
And, like many of you, my first instinct was also to reply with "Who's this?", and then almost as quickly I realized that I did not want him to (correctly) assume that my past is littered with so many assholes that I can't keep them straight (even though it is and I can't). I immediately texted Pete for advice, who responded: Def don't respond. If he likes you then he might stop liking you. If you never respond for the rest of your life then you don't risk him not liking you.
What? I replied.
I'm saying that if you respond you may end up never talking to him again...so you should just never respond.
So not only was Pete entirely unhelpful here, but I also had the vague feeling he was making fun of me. I turned instead to my friend Eric, who had always been particularly perceptive when it came to Luke. In fact, six months ago when we used to sit in my living room in Mythaca and gab for hours, he had even predicted that this exact situation would occur, that at some unknown point in the future I would hear from Luke again, and that it would all be a continued part of his manipulation and mind-fuckery. "You see, for guys like these," he told me back then, "the biggest challenge of all is to take a girl that they've completely fucked things up with, a girl who hates his guts and never wants to talk to him again, and see if they can get her back. That's like...that's power."
"That's sick!" I told him.
"I know," he said. "And I used to do it, so I know. I don't know why I did it... I just...I liked being in control. It was fun for me, I guess. Just to see how far you can go, how much you can get her to put up with. And then after all that, if you can get her to do it again... Just be careful, is all I'm saying."
Grumpy echoed something very similar in his comment on the last post, and though it is perhaps a pessimistic view to take, I believe it to be true. You know, it's honestly not that I assume the worst about humanity. But I do assume the worst about this guy. And even if the apology was sincere, I still don't feel the need to respond. It's over. It's been over.
The angsty twenty-something Rachel would never have been able to let something like this go without a response. She would have been consumed with a burning curiosity, and an unquenchable need to know WHY? If you knew you were being a jerk, then why did you do it in the first place? Why are you sorry now, six months after the fact? Why text me after I move to a different state? Why re-open that can of worms? Why, why, why??? (There, is that enough whys for you, Grumpy? Happy now?)
The current Rachel, however, is content to blog about it and then let it roll harmlessly off her back like so many raindrops off of something water repellent. I feel so grown up, all of a sudden. Welcome to your thirties, self! Like your twenties, but with 50% less crazy! I'll be honest, I do sometimes miss the crazy. If I ever miss it too much, though, it's nice to know that it's always just a mouse click away...