I was sitting on our blue couch one night reading Don Quijote for class the next day when it occurred to me that I had been reading the same two pages of the text for the last hour. Reading the Cervantes text in the original was no small challenge, but I certainly should have been making better progress than two pages an hour. Yet my mind wasn't in the book. I was thinking about a girl.

I had been thinking about her all day. I had been thinking about her for days prior. It was getting to the point where she was seriously interfering with my daily life.

I'm tempted to claim that one of my greatest attributes is my ability to focus on things I want. Once when I was trying to get a promotion at a job, my boss asked me if I had ever not gotten anything I really wanted. After thinking, I had to reply that no, I had not. He promptly told me to not worry about things then, and we went our merry ways. I later got the job offer.

The point is that when I want something, I generally put all my efforts into getting it. This is not to say that it happens right away (I waited a year and a half for my first real girlfriend, and by the time she fell prey to my wily charms, I had almost moved on. Strange how things go), but eventually I wear down the opposition or whatever you want to call it. Not always, but my success rate has been pretty good.

Remarkable then that this single focus on what I wanted was suddenly becoming so detrimental.

I put a bookmarker on Cervantes, hopped on a train, took an hour's ride and a four block walk and knocked on her door. At 10 at night.

She wasn't home.

I guess I had come down just to tell her that I was nuts about her. I knew she already knew all of this, just as I knew that my foolhardy risk would never turn into anything. It was just something I needed to do, maybe so I could focus on Don Quijote, maybe so I could know I had made every possible effort to get what I want, maybe because of a temporary insanity.

Anyway, I had gone to all this trouble, and I really did need to finish reading that night. Plus, being completely spontaneous is not always my nature, so I had to ride it out. When I called her, I lucked into catching her right as she was coming home. I told her I'd wait for her, and then paced the street in front of her place trying to figure out what I was going to say to her.

I crashed and burned that night. I probably sounded like some horrible Keanu Reeves romance.

But some time later I remember that night somewhat fondly, which might be quite odd. Nothing like taking a ridiculous risk and jumping without a parachute. And hey, I finished my Don Quijote reading for the next day.

This all came back to me last weekend when I walked into the room where this mystery girl and I had our little heart to heart. Funny, the things I remember.