Somehow, in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself feeling like a loser. I found myself thinking about an unrequited love. I accused myself of being a silly fool and stalker. I spent a good whilemulling over my thoughts and my reactions to various hypothetical romantic situations. And to think my reflections started from frivolity.

I was bored after having finished a Two and a Half Men binge (I finished the fourth season). It was 4:30AM. Somehow, I started talking to speak to myself aloud, in a Russian accent no less. One of the exercises I use to get into vocal character is to say various phrases in the language of the accent I imitate. I thought to say hello, but then said “dzien dobry”. I realized that I knew how to say hello not in Russian but in Polish. I then proceeded to wave goodbye and said “do widzenia”.

I didn’t retain very much of the tiny bit of Polish I tried to learn and I wasn’t sure if I was pronouncing these phrases correctly. I went on YouTube and searched for “dzien dobry” in hopes to find an audio clip. The top result was a music video. It was entitled, “Dzien dobry, kocham cie”. Rusty as my Polish was, I recognized what the title said without having to translate it: “Hello, I Love You”.[youtube]There’s only one reason why a non-native Polish speaker would know the phrase “I love you”. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I had tried to learn Polish for a girl. And who had captured my heart so readily that I would try to learn her language? Malissa of course.

So when I saw the words “kocham cie” on my screen, my mind instinctively raced through my memories of the “Malissa incident”. Within a few seconds I relived the entire year that the incident took place over. I didn’t experience the highs that love brings, but my heart did sink a little bit. Though it was an experience that showed me a great many things about myself and taught me a number of very important lessons, it was was mostly negative.

Because we live in a world where information is at your fingertips, and because my guard was down in the sleepless night, I Googled Malissa. As I did that, I calculated that I probably performed my stalkerly duties about once a year and decided that I wasn’t that much of a stalker. I was surprised to see her on LinkedIn. The information I gleaned from her profile was sparse: it merely confirmed that she was till at her Ivy League school, and that she apparently was in the Food/Beverage industry. Before we went our separate ways, she had failed her first semester, so I was a little relieved to see that she was still a student there. I imagined that she was a waitress at some diner (she wasn’t charming enough to earngoodtips at a fancy restaurant) or chain restaurant, probably to earn some pocket money.

Two and a Half Men got me thinking about ex’s and divorces and whatnot. My mind wandered off and I started thinking about what it’d be like if I met her in person again. How would I handle that? What would I do or say? What if she was dating someone? What if she had a boyfriend?

With a painful honesty, I saw that my first reaction to the thought of Malissa having a boyfriend, however minuscule and brief, was one of jealousy. I began to question whether or not I was still hung up over Malissa. If you asked me any day of the week, I would tell you that I was done with her: after all, it was two years and change in the past. But perhaps when my guard is down, in the wee night hours, in weakness, I would say that I still wished that things had turned out differently.

I snapped out of my little rumination and fantasizing with a terrible feeling that I was some sort of loser. A sort of stalker who after more than two years still could not let go. I felt low and dirty. I felt emasculated. But then I examined my thoughts more carefully. I ran a more thorough simulation in my mind. If I actually met Malissa on the streets, or in the restaurant she was working in, I wouldn’t suddenly fall in love with her all over again. I wouldn’t feel any sort of attraction towards her. No, I would simply feel the warmth of a platonic love.

Yes, it was a strong platonic love for Malissa that compelled me to think of her. I remembered how deeply I cared for her even on a platonic level. I valued her first and foremost as a friend. No, it wasn’t the stalkerish obsession over an unrequited love that made me do what I did. It was a curiosity of people’s lives that compelled me to look her up. I thought about it and realized that I was still interested in the lives of the friends that I’ve had a falling out with. It was not a romantic interest but a human one. It’s the kind of sentiment that compels people to look over their yearbooks and to attend high school reunions.

I thought that I had issues with letting go. But then I came to realize that it’s not the stalkerish compulsion of persistence. No, I believe that it’s more about my search for permanence in a transient world.

Tonight (well, it’s actually time for the sun to come up…) I will not go to sleep fantasizing about Malissa. The romantic desires I had for her have long since been snuffed. No, instead, I will hope to dream of my new crush: the sweet and femininely quirky Rose from Two and a Half Men. Perhaps I am merely deluding myself or running from my true feelings…who knows. I don’t. And maybe I don’t want to find out.