I decided to wait a proper amount of time until I declared V a dead letter. I did hear from him one more time after he reappeared in email form, asking to put off our meeting, as the second week of classes was also proving hectic. How about next week? he wrote. Having learned my lesson, I was cheerful, casual and cooperative about this: Sure, I said (I believe that was my actual word), no problem. I'm busy too. Here are the days I'm usually free, and let me know what works for you.
The next week I heard nothing. So I dug up the cell phone number I'd extracted from V when we were about to meet for lunch (always get a phone number when you're meeting a stranger!) and called one evening. No answer, so I left a lovely, friendly, non-pressured and -pressuring message: Hey, I'm calling to say hello and see if arranging to meet (the meeting YOU asked for, remember??, I did not add) might be easier on the phone.
That was four weeks ago. I'm sure V is busy. I'm positive he's a bit uncomfy with the phone. Or email. Or, for that matter, humans. But this is surely Meaningful. And I have entirely lost any desire to see V, since about the last thing I want from dating is a man who can't or doesn't want to communicate. Who basically doesn't show up. Ugh. You have to be dyn-o-mite to be forgiven for this. And V was not that.
I wish I knew why this happened, though. Not from disappointed hope, but more intellectual curiosity: here I was energetically trying to find the good in V, someone I secretly thought other women would not want. Now it's entirely plausible that V found someone he liked more than me -- but what will have to remain one of the mysteries of the universe is whether she actually liked him back? I could sooner believe that my constant self-sacrifice and virtue will propel me up to Heaven, but you never know, I suppose.
In any case, that's it. Way too busy with grown-up matters like work to do more of this form of play, and weary to death of it, so for the time being I will have to settle for getting to spend Saturday nights the way I want to.
V is Victorious over me, yet I don't consider myself defeated, not yet. Someone may pop up on my path, or I may -- probably will -- decide to start at Square One with another A...call him A-2..and follow the yellow brick path down another round of the alphabet. I'm looking into becoming a lesbian. And you, dear readers, will be in the loop. V was hard to find, but you were there for me all along, if only in my own imagination. Thank you for that.