This is part six of the Homey and Me Love Story. It is when I was a going to college, long before I met Homey, but an important part of the story, nonetheless.
In the fall of 1997, I moved from the suburbs of Philadelphia to Ogden, Utah. I went from living with family and having friends to living in a dorm where I knew only two people (friends from PA). I had several friends down at BYU, Snoopy included, but it wasn’t until I moved to Ogden that I realized how far Provo was from Weber State University.
Despite the distance, it was pretty easy to find someone going to Provo for the weekend. One time, I headed down there with a friend that lived in Ogden (it turned out he sold his motorcycle and bought a car). For the most part, I hung out with this guy, his brother (Yoda), and Mello, but seeing Snoopy was in the back of my mind. While in Provo, I slept over at Mello’s house, and was even able to catch up with Snoop after one of his ice hockey practices. I also found out that the next week he’d be up in Ogden for a hockey game.
Naturally, I went to his game. He wasn’t even playing WSU, but I still managed to talk several of my girlfriends into going to the game. We went and cheered for Snoopy and his (losing) BYU Ice Hockey club.
Mello came up from Provo to visit me in Ogden. We worked out a deal where Snoop would stay after his hockey game – we’d go out and do something fun – then he’d stay the night in Ogden and ride back to Provo with Mello.
I was excited.
Before-hand, both Mello and Spunky agreed – I needed to come clean with Snoopy. They were sick of how obsessed I was with him, yet when I was around him, I tried to pretend like I wasn’t crazy for him. I explained to them that I was afraid – that if he knew the truth, then it would change everything. I also reasoned that if Snoop had liked me then he would have said something by now.
Of course, I didn’t need much encouragement from them to talk to Snoopy. I’ve always been a little direct (some might call it forward, but doesn’t direct sound so much more admirable?). So, after the hockey game, we went out. Then we headed back to my dorms. Snoop, ever faithful and obedient, chose to sleep in the lobby instead of crashing in my room. Mello, Spunky, and all of my other friends were incredibly patient with me, as I left them, and went to talk with Snoopy in the lobby.
We talked. I sat closer to him than I’d ever dared to before. I think that I might have been touching him. I can’t remember. I was giddy. I was nervous – which translated to lots of talking and fidgeting. We talked about the game. We talked about Weber. We talked about BYU, dorms, living away from parents. We talked about how he’d be going on a mission pretty soon. We were the same old friends as always.
I said, “I’m glad that we were able to hang out tonight.”
“Yeah, me, too.”
I can’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but I feel like it went something along the lines of, “You know, Snoop…these situations are difficult for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I always feel so stupid and nervous around you.”
“Caaaataniaaaaa….,” he replied, laughing.
“Seriously. You don’t understand.”
“You don’t seem nervous to me.”
“Well, I guess in some ways I am not nervous. I mean, I feel like we’re really close friends, so I’m comfortable around you, but in other ways I’m super nervous.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well. I mean, I like you so much. And I’ve always liked you, but I can never figure what you really think of me.”
“Well…I don’t know. Catania, I’m so stupid with girls.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I guess I’ve always been confused about you. I mean, you are always talking to me about the guys that you date, so I figured you didn’t really like me like that.”
“I know. It’s horrible. I don’t mean to. I guess it is just because…I don’t know why I do it. I haven’t even liked any of them…at least not that much.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“I just figured that you didn’t like me, Snoop. So I’d try to play it cool. And for some reason that meant I’d tell you about the people I was dating. I don’t know. I’m stupid. I just didn’t think you really liked me.”
“What do you mean?”
I recounted the time, years before, when he completely ignored my confession of “like” to him – the night before he went to work at the camp. He only vaguely remembered it. Troubled, he stated, again, “I told you, I’m so stupid with girls.”
I didn’t really know what to say. I was quiet for a while, expecting something like, “Catania, I loved you all along! We need to be together! Wait for me while I’m on a mission! Move to Provo”…I wanted to hear anything, but nothing was said.
Finally, I asked, “Well, how’s your luck in Provo, have you been dating?”
“A little bit. There’s this one girl who is obsessed with my nose. It’s weird.”
“Well, you do have a nice nose.”
And we sat there…pretty uncomfortable.
I have to mention, these things happened so long ago. I’m trying my best to remember what was said, what was expressed, but mostly I can remember the feelings. I can remember a few of the things that I said and some of what he said, but there is so much missing. I’m sure that Snoopy has a completely different take on this whole thing. And I’m sure that in his take, I’m a much worse person. But I remember that night. I remember talking to him, opening up, and realizing that maybe something had been there, but it wasn’t anymore – and most likely because of something that I did.
We chatted for a while longer before I went to bed, but it was harmless stuff again. There was no use in making this night torture.
I finally made my way back to my dorm room – where Spunky and Mello were waiting.
“Did you guys kiss? What happened?”
“Nothing. We’re friends. That’s all.”
I explained what I figured had happened. Maybe I cried for a second. I can’t honestly remember. I know I was sad. But I was also a little too proud to be too sad.
“Oh well. Now I’ll date other guys, and I won’t feel bad about it either. I’m closing the door on Snoop.”
Which is exactly what I did.