Earlier, I introduced the story of Jane, a pretty young thang I had a crush on for a few years.My story of Jane has some epic fumbles on the part of one Tafadzwa Tichawangana. That’s me. Two in particular for which I can do nothing but hang my head in shame at the missed opportunity due to my attempts to be so cool in the situation that I completely skied it. Embarrassingly so.
When we last left our hero, Tafadzwa, he was looking like a damn fool after being given as much of a green light as possible in a mall in Perth, Western Australia by the object of his admiration 3000km away from their normal center of dalliance.
Now that you all caught up on Part 1, let’s continue shall we.
My final year went by like any other last year. Fast as f*ck as I attempted to figure out what I was doing with my life. I would see her again millions of times and never say a word. To be honest, by this point, I was over myself. And it wasn’t like I wasn’t hooking up with other women anyway. Jane had gone from woman I was intrigued by to symbol of my need to step up to the plate more. She achieved a purpose in my life by being a reminder of just how useless I was in certain areas of life. Hell, final year of uni I fell all the way in love with another woman who I would eventually end up dating most of that year. Point is, while I was still checking for Jane, I’d chalked it up as loss and sort of moved on.
For most stories, this would be the end. I graduated and started working and she went off to do whatever it is she was going to do whether we ever met or not.
But God has a sense of humor. Which brings us to the final chapter in this tawdry affair.
A couple of my workmates wanted to make the trip down to Geelong to watch the footy (Aussie Rules) and they invited me to come along. Footy wasn’t really my scene and outside of the footy tipping competitions we had at work I hardly paid much attention to it. But I have never been one to turn down a road trip and I had lots of friends who lived in Geelong so I was all in. This was also the first time I would get to watch a live game of Aussie Rules even though by this point I had been living down under for five years.
Anyway me and the compadres make it down to Geelong and the atmosphere in the stadium is unlike anything I have ever experienced in any other sporting code. The stadium was packed to the rafters. The Aussie’s love their sport, but they take it to a totally different level when it comes to Aussie Rules.
We are sitting in the stands waiting for the game to start when out of the blue, who but who do I see walking up the steps and then sitting down like two rows in front of me and across the little aisle.
At this point I just freeze. I couldn’t believe it. I was stuck like Chuck and am pretty sure I said, loudly, “GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE!” at no one in particular. She didn’t hear me but like all people do at games when you’re sitting in the stands you look around to see who else is there. She looked behind her about 87 degrees and our eyes locked. The moment totally caught me off guard. 30000 people in the stadium and we ended basically sitting next to each other. What are the odds?
Jane on the other hand wore a riddle wrapped in an enigma on her face. I’m fairly certain our faces shared that look.
Did I go speak to her? Of course not. For the rest of the game we both did the “Look and pretend we didn’t thing”. Later on some of her friends showed up and she ended up rushing off while I looked on in a tortured…what am I doing with my life manner.
Fast forward to later that night. The Geelong Cats had won so the whole town was buzzing. Now, Geelong is a pretty small town and I had comfort in the fact that if she was going to be out I would most likely run into her again. So we are out having a jolly good time at one of the busier spots in town. And lo and behold, she showed up with some friends, a few of whom I recognised from La Trobe.
Keep in mind, this is two years after La Trobe and I’m kind of in a different lane so I’m a lot more confident at this point. So this time I was determined to go speak to her. Sounds like I’m about to win the game right?
I see her by herself and I walk right up to her and say, “Hello…how are you? I remember you from La Trobe and the many times I saw you around campus. What’s your name?”
Her: I’m Jane. I remember you too.
Me: Well it’s nice to finally meet you.
Her: What is your name?? (Important to note, she asked me this with some urgency)
Me: I’m Tafadzwa
Her: Do you live here?
Me: No, I live in Melbourne. I just came down for the game.
Her: Oh. Do you make it down here often?
Me: I’ve got quite a few friends who live here so I make the trip whenever I can.
Her: Oh. I’m glad you came over to say hello! Well (dawdling), my friends and I are about to leave…so….
Does he do it? Does he go in for the kill? Does he man up and ask for her number and say, hey, I would love to stay in touch if it’s possible because I’d like to get to know you better?
Me: Cool. Well it was nice to meet you Jane. Enjoy your evening!
In the history of green lights, I’m pretty sure that was the greenest light I’ve ever been given. Almost as if it the light itself said, “Dumb a**, all you have to do is ask for it. Literally, that’s all, just say the words, “Can I have your number to call you sometime?” That’s it. But I couldn’t do it.
She looked at me funny then left into the night. I kicked myself AGAIN for not even trying to get her information or giving her mine. My email or phone number or something….anything.
Thus ends the tale of Tafadzwa’s ‘Immaculate Fumble’. I feel like I had been given as many opportunities as one man deserves. If you choke that many times, it’s just not meant to be. Forget what could have been; it’s unimportant.
I literally sucked at attempting to talk to the woman that I had been interested in, in a very real way, for years. Obviously, I’m over it and I don’t have that problem anymore. But Jane reigns supreme in my life as a memory of a real time and a real lesson learned. In that sense, I’m glad she happened. She’s one of those women I’ll never forget, even though I never even knew her.
She represented a young Tafadzwa’s inability to act. While I’ve grown up and into a confident (and bordering on arrogant) individual, these two instances in faraway places showed me that maybe, just maybe, I was supposed to meet this woman. And both times I blew it with such tremendous aplomb that I’m writing about it today because I was reminded of Jane a few days ago.
She’s happily married now and doing quite well based on what I know. Again, we share a few mutual friends. And I can’t complain about life either. Things happen the way they’re supposed to. But I still think back to how bad I fumbled in this regard.
You can take Tarzan out of the jungle, but no matter where you put him, he will always be a Tarzan deep down. Once a Tarzan, always a Tarzan.