Pavlov's Dog, Part Two: In Which I Salivate, Excessively.

Author oh, rebecca. Category ,

At one point in time, I'd assigned specific text tones to the ten or fifteen people with whom I text/texted most frequently, so that I knew who was texting me before I even looked at the screen. There are ten generic "tones" in my phone, as well as four alert noises, and a few random message-only alert noises (one short beep, one long beep, two short beeps, two long beeps - you get the picture). "Insignificants" all got lumped into one of the alert noises (Alert 1, for all you LG Rumor users following along), which I like because it is sweet and short. Or short and sweet, however you prefer to look at it. Sharon got Tone 10, because it sounded dancey and fun like she is. My boss at the barn got Alert 2, because it was well.... alert-y. Twitter, when I still got tweets delivered to my phone (before an unfortunate incident in which I walked out of a 3 hour movie to find near 50 texts from a Twitter conversation between two mutual friends filling up my inbox) got one of the random "custom" noises, a bird tweeting - I'm so original, I know. Everyone else's I've surely forgotten, having since replaced that specific phone with a new one (same model) and losing all my assigned information. Booo.

There was one more "custom" noise, that really set my heart aflutter - the bossa nova.

This I used exclusively for one person: Long Lost.

It was sweet, short, sultry. I don't know how else to describe that little noise. It sounded a lot like love, or like, or lust, or all three swirled together in some awesome, delectable, dangerous, decadent milkshake. And that's why I chose it for Long Lost, because I couldn't tell what was going on in my heart or brain for him, but it was definitely at least one of those, if not all three.

Regardless, it twisted my insides every time I heard it, and for awhile I heard it a lot. But, I don't know if it was actually the sound that spurred such feelings in me, or the words in the texts that came to me from him, or the expectations I placed on our "relationship" that I thought would be or were being fulfilled. After a time, it became clear that again, it was at least one, if not all three of those circumstances.

I'd became one of Pavlov's dogs. At the sound of those six or seven notes, I all but salivated for the sweet words I knew were waiting for me when I reached my phone. I bounded for it from across the room; I thrilled to press "back" on the keypad to unlock it, knowing that a flirtatious " ;-)" or "<3" would be waiting for me. If I happened to fall asleep, it was the only tone, ring or text or otherwise (and bear in mind that I use my phone as an alarm clock, so all of the tones have been used at one point or another, ostensibly, to wake me up), I would or could wake up for, because I knew what - or at least who - was waiting for me on the other side.

Even when things turned sour*, when they sweetened up, when they soured again**, and sweetened up again, and soured AGAIN***, and have since sweetened up again (I think) - every time, that "song" still sets off a visceral reaction. I had and have tried reassigning that tone to other people - other crushes, even other friends to try to dissuade myself from associating it with romance - but to no avail. Even if Long Lost and I were in a non-talking period, of which we've had a few, I still thought it was him, and was utterly disappointed when the screen showed that it was not.

Bossa Nova is His text-tone. No two ways about it.

No matter what happens between the two of us (and as I said before, I don't feel that the story is anywhere near to being over - and whether we remain in the capacity that we are now, as friends, or it evolves into something we've both been waiting for, we really aren't even halfway through the story. I can't wait to read it though), it will always be His tone. I've changed other friends' ringtones and text-tones multiple times since the start of all this, and now everyone has the same text-tone (Alert 1! Again! What can I say, it's cute), except him.

"Bossa nova" means "new trend" or "new thing" and I suppose that knowing that intellectually might have somehow guided my seemingly meaningless decision to assign him that particular tone. I wanted this to be a new trend: a guy I liked, who liked me back****, a friendship that turned into a relationship that really meant something. I'm still waiting and wondering if that will happen, and it might not, but let it be known that he will always mean something to me: if nothing else, he meant those six or seven small notes. They seem small, insignificant, but in the grand scheme of things, those six or seven small notes held a world of promise, a world to come.

I heard it this morning and my heart raced.

*my fault
**my fault
***my fault
****Either I have liked a guy and he hasn't liked me, or vice versa; it's the same old story. Or in the case of Male Coworker, well, I don't think we ended up liking each other much at all. Hmm.


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