For some people, the term “life is stranger than fiction” is nothing more than a cliché. For me, it’s reality. The greatest example of that would be my brief relationship with Cliff Diver.
Cliff and I were introduced by a mutual friend at a Christmas party. A few days later, said friend called to say that Cliff found me delightful and wanted my phone number. I should mention that all I really remembered about our initial meeting was that he was from Ireland. I was drawn in by his adorable accent that detracted from his sometimes crass demeanor and lack of charm. However, he was smart, funny and, initially, very nice to me.
One night, at a lovely little restaurant in Hillcrest, he dropped the bomb.
“You know I’m married, right?”
Huh. No, I didn’t know he was married. Did my friend who set us up know? Sadly, yes, she did.
“We’re separated; we have been for a long time. She lives in Ireland and the divorce is just taking a while because of all the international stuff.”
“International stuff,” being code for “she won’t grant me a divorce.”
Life, I find, is complicated enough without the added burden of adultery. I don’t date married men. It’s a line I’m not willing to cross. I’m not even big on dating the newly divorced. However, after a long conversation, Cliff assured me that soon, he would be totally and utterly (and legally) single.
Clearly I had not watched enough Lifetime movies because I agreed to continue seeing him.
It was just after this conversation that he stopped calling. I left a few messages. I sent a few texts. I waited. I waited. I swore a lot and hoped he would call. Nothing.
Eventually the phone did ring. It was from my friend who had set us up. Cliff had decided that he was going to try to patch things up with his wife. And then the swearing really picked up the pace.
I called one final time and left a scathing message that went something along the lines of “You [expletive] [expletive] son of a [expletive] and I hope you fall off a [expletive] cliff!”
In my mind, the story was over. Of course in the strangeness of the real world, it was not.
Life went on, as it’s been known to do, and I began to forget about Cliff. That’s when my friend called one last time to talk about him.
“He was in Mexico last weekend,” she said. “And he fell off a 30-foot cliff while camping.”
At this point I began wondering what sort of voodoo magic I had worked on this guy to get him to literally fall off a cliff. (And why couldn’t I use my powers for good instead of evil!) How had this happened? He had been drunk and tripped and tumbled down the side of the cliff.
Call it magic or dumb luck, but my prophetic words weren’t lethal. Cliff is still quite alive and well, though with one less opposable thumb. Technically, it wasn’t my fault, but I still felt bad. Why of all the random overused curses had I decided to say“I hope you fall off a cliff”? Who says that?
I decided to send flowers to him in the hospital. With it, I included a note:
“You are an ass, but I’m sorry you fell off a cliff. ~Amanda”
Lesson learned: Dating married men is dangerous business, particularly for them.