Some "truth", some fiction, mostly words...
More and more I am becoming convinced that he is not for me. He and I simply lack the connection that comes with seeing the world from the same or similar angle. I used to be more than happy to tinker with my lens and adjust my view to his angle, cross over to his side of the street so to speak. I longed to be a part of his life, personally, socially and chronologically. I yearned to escape from between the lines, and to write my existence into his life with a thick, permanent marker. I was desperate for acknowledgement, for a label. Being defined nowhere but in "our own little world" ceased to suffice. The validity of his statement "it's there but it can't become", referring to a potential for us to be together, dissipated when I brought the realization that "it became" from our minds into the air. When we "broke up" for the first time...I was the one whose mouth spat out "I think we should just be friends, like we were before"...he said that it was very hard to admit to himself that he had feelings for me. I asked him to clarify what those feelings were exactly. "Lov", without the 'e'. That was what he felt towards me. He said it was hard to admit even that much to himself, since the impossibility of "us" glared at him with unwavering persistence.
“Who am I kidding, you were never just a friend.” He said once. Later, he told me that he loved me. That was when we decided that it would be best for us to have no contact at all. What a day that was. Saying goodbye, acknowledging all the "lasts" that we were indulging in that afternoon and evening. Last time kissing him, last time talking to him, touching his face, hugging him and feeling his arms around me. "Complete envelopment", as he called it. God, the words! The words he said to me after our first official attempt to re-enter the platonic realm. I made a list in my journal of every loving, romantic thing he ever said to me. Among those was "you are amazing."
I still wear the ring he gave me during the summer, after the first "break up." We were walking down a narrow Village street, coming back from a sushi place. It was getting dark, or was it dark already? I stopped by one of those jewelry stands and zoomed in on the rings. He pointed one out to me. I looked at it. It was the feminine version of the ring he always wore: modern...edgy...fashionable. I tried it on....asked:"Do you like it?" He said he wouldn't have pointed it out to me if he didn't like it. Then the words came...can i buy it for you?...i was ecstatic...He gave me a ring. That ring was assigned the meaning of "what we had". It was my suggestion, and he liked it. He said now you'll know what i am thinking every time i turn it on your finger. I still can't take it off.
New York...will always be associated with him. In the beginning, the city “covered for us." Numerous museums, theaters and galleries were conveniently public and educational, thus providing us with an excuse to meet. “I like to show people new things they have not been exposed to,” he said. Funny, about three years later, when i offered to go to a museum he refused. I am all "museum-ed out", he said. The Christmas Eve we spent together was pretty much perfect. It was literally a scene out of a movie. Just the way i like it. Fortunately, our relationship has reached a point where i could kiss him any time i wanted to, or look at him in the way that made him feel like he couldn't help but kiss me. I did, and he did. We kissed by "The tree"...he kissed me in a cab; literally shut me up in the middle of a sentence. It was wonderful. That day we went to my favorite cafe, Danal. It has this very Vermont, ski lodge feel to it. Perfect at Christmas time. Then we went to see the Armani collection at Whitney. “Chocolat”...a movie we saw after the museum. We concluded the day...oh wait, we also went to see "The Tree", something we did the year before as well. We concluded the day at "Rain" - a very upscale Asian restaurant in Midtown. There he informed me that his ex-girlfriend is coming to New York and looks forward to "really" having fun, living it up. He was to be her tour guide. I became cold and stiff. I played with the candle on our table...said nothing. "I'll finally meet Chuck the truck driver... her boyfriend", he said.
A few days earlier, when I came over to his place...and brought the gifts I prepared for him.....I did this thing where I made him close his eyes.....and then I put a bow on my head and stood in front of him...”Open your eyes” I said...he did. "it's the perfect size, i love it!.....I love you" That was the first time he ever said that to me. I couldn't say it back... i didn’t for a long time. When I did say it to him, I still didn’t know what it meant to love somebody. I mean do I love him, if I worry when he drives in the rain, and my heart flutters when he laughs or smiles, but I don't want to spend my life with him, because we run out of things to talk about?
That Christmas Eve, at the end of the amazing day...i got a glimpse of the missing "e" in the love that he felt. Details are unnecessary. I call the incident "He took it back".
He adored me...admired me like a painting...looked at me mesmerized...touched with fascination...even on the street....we'd be walking side by side through a street fair, and he'd touch my arm, run his fingers up and down, squeeze it a little....and say something like..."God you are so touchable"....in an insatiable way....funny...before we got into the physical part of our relationship, during the “paranoid” stage, the main stretch of the relationship really, we really made the hugs count.....because that's as much as we allowed ourselves to do, as far as we could go. I remember the first time....we "really" hugged....we were at the Lilith Fair....Sarah McLachlan's “Angel” was playing...stars above, all around us....it was perfect. I also remember the first time I hugged him around the neck....I said..."I've wanted to do this for a long time" or something to that effect, and threw my arms around his neck. It was sort of a "brave, blatant" hug, first of its kind for us. He once told me not to get a nose ring...because it'd be like messing with a Picasso. He was always amazed by my face...my body...me...inside and out.
He was my fantasy...he always had the starring role in my scenarios of the future...he was my future for a while...Sometimes I actually can feel the physical longing to be with him...to be touched by him and to touch him...to kiss him.... to spoon....spooning was a thing with us.....before we did anything else....it was sort of like hugging.....definitely not taken for granted...so many times, while in bed about to go to sleep, i would imagine him lying next to me....hugging me....spooning...resting his hand on my wrist. He was many firsts for me...every one of them was a wonderful experience, beautiful, timely...I’ll go into those at a later time i suppose.
Our relationship has gone through so many changes during the years that we knew each other...I myself went through major changes during that time as well...changes in the relationship occurred because of the changes in me. In the beginning i was paranoid, unsure of whether I should be doing what i was doing...which was nothing...really nothing...maybe i was scared of the feelings that i had for him....i am not sure.....but most of the time i had a paralyzing sense of guilt. At one point...it became too much for me...and i told him about that feeling...and he said that it's best for us not to hang out any more. That lasted for about 6 months...it was unbearable.
There was a pattern my emotions went through prior to every one of our meetings in the beginning. First the intoxicating excitement, euphoria. Then on the night before the rendezvous, excitement abruptly subsided, and unsettling apathy set in. Did I blow a fuse? Then the meeting. Then the trip home, sinking in quicksand of dreams and fantasies. The first time we ever went anywhere, the time from which I counted our “anniversaries”, was on March 10th. We went to MoMA. Several weeks earlier, we were emailing back and forth and he mentioned an exhibit that was going to take place there. Couple of weeks later, I mentioned that I was going to go see that exhibit on March 10th. He asked what time I was going, I told him...what followed was the first time I felt complete absence of breath in my body for an instant...his reply consisted of the following phrase: ”I’ll be inside the main doors at one.” Not to inject this with too grand a meaning, but that was one of our beginnings. The other was when he gave me his business card with his email written on the back. And yet another...well never mind. I still have the card. A very sentimental move, granted. If that’s not bad enough, I still have in my possession the Pooh Band-Aid he bought for me when I hurt my finger in his car. We were driving along, and I was doing something , trying to buckle up I think, and somehow hurt myself. Of course “oh, ah, ouch, etc” followed. He parks the car, gets out and walks away. I wait. He comes back with a box of Band-Aid’s. Still have the tissues he gave me to ensure that the tears produced while watching “It’s a Beautiful Life” had something to fall on. Still have many things, too many.
I remember we were watching a movie I brought, spooning...every once in a while he would reach over and kiss my shoulder, that stuck with me. I remember the soft yellow candle light...he likes candles...remember the Christmas songs...dancing....the “I love it! I love you.” The red box of jasmine scented candles for Valentine’s Day...pictures of me on his fridge...eating ice cream without a spoon. Ice-cream was a thing with us too. Drive-through Dairy Barn before every visit, Physh Food, Dulce de Leche...
It used to make me physically sick, nauseated, I could feel my stomach rotting, turning, doing all sorts of unnecessarily exaggerated movements, whenever I heard, imagined, saw, or had any other indication of him being with someone else.
The thing is...during the whole time that I had feelings for him...he was always with someone else....while he and I would have these "moments" he was never "mine"...officially. Consistently between the lines, never the actual print. Spaces between the lines were screaming all sorts of unsaid words.... unexpressed emotions...He would look at me...and I would say..."what?", and he would reply....."I can just look at you". After a while, my actions, my behavior around him had a distinct undercurrent, a subconscious purpose...that purpose was to define, to make him free the words from between the lines...
Especially this one girl...his last girlfriend of one year...She cheated on him for half that time. I don’t know what it was, but every time I heard about her, and I did hear about her, I felt my chest tightening so hard, that distinctions between cells were rendered nearly irrelevant. The first time he told me that he had been with someone else during the whole time we were together I had periods of what I called spontaneous combustion. I would start crying right where I was, while brushing teeth, crossing the street, pouring tea. He later mentioned that all three times, (twice each time) they "were together” (I could, and would like to use some stronger words here, but I will leave it at “together”). Anyway, he mentioned that he saw her only while he and I were...I don’t remember the exact way he worded it, while we were in one of our “I think we should cool it of ” periods. Ironically, knowing that fact made the whole thing more difficult to bear. A chronological technicality undermined by right to be devastated. Although there were weeks between our times of intimacy and theirs, no matter how tightly I closed my eyes, or how hard I pressed my fingers against closed lids, I still could not will out of the mind images of them being close, kissing, caressing, whimpering, pulsating in unison, shutting their eyes during moments of explosive intensity, him running his fingers through her hair, sometimes gently, sometimes with force he didn't try to control, gliding his tongue everywhere, all over her body. That slut. I shouldn’t be mad at her. After all, I know her “deal”. "I did tell you her deal, didn’t I?" he said to me. "She doesn’t want kids, or a relationship, just sex. Did you expect me to never have sex again? I am sorry, I truly am. I shouldn’t have done that."
The thing is... it’s him. And it doesn’t matter whether he slept with her while we were together or not. The bottom line is, even when we were, together, if she came to him and said you can have me right now, right here, nothing would stop him. Our relationship had no rules, no names, no definitions. It was "unconventional." Even after he said that he loved me and after all the intimate moments we shared, he was still single. The truth is, I guess I was too. Officially. I went out on dates and even made an attempt at having a boyfriend. Of course my heart was not in any of that. In some ways I felt married to him. It was nice to have him in my thoughts every night before falling asleep. He was my “last call of the day”. Whenever I felt “bad”, blue, down, I would just go to him in my mind. Or remind myself that he loved me, that he was thinking about me, missing me. It was like an old overstuffed armchair I could sink into at the end of the day. The armchair was there whenever the situation I was in had to be departed from.
A sense of clarity graced me with its presence recently. I realized what was missing in our relationship. To put this succinctly (I think I learned this word from him), I felt loved and amazing, but not used. I was “collecting dust”. I felt that he loved me, adored me even, knew that I was intelligent, and was incredibly impressed by that. He kept saying how smart and amazing I was, but that’s where it stopped. A mere observation. And how much further could it really go? I mean what more do I want? Do I want something that only I can give myself? Do I expect too much from him?
Here is a theory I came up with a while ago. During the whole time we knew each other, all I wanted was for him to finally tell me how he felt about me. Since he couldn’t just say it because he “could only look at me”, I was left to my own devices to decipher what was behind the longing stares. I became quite good at filling in the blanks, at finding the explanations. Whether accurate or not, they were certainly precise and detailed. For years, I decoded, and frequently embellished what I "saw."
No one has ever touched me the way he did...does...did. His touch screams “I am in awe of you”, his kisses moan “you are incredible”, his eyes whisper “you are amazing, I adore you”. "his cupping of my face in his hands" also whispers "I adore you". I am “The one he loves to breath in.” The closest to his ideal, hottest girl he’s ever known, his most erotic moments. Have I been looking at those statements through a magnifying glass? Did I give them more meaning than they had? Is bringing them to their natural, possibly dismal dimensions the way to move on? “I love those arms. I will now look for places I haven’t kissed yet. "I remember exactly where I was when you called to tell me about your piercing”. Is it my lack of experience that’s responsible for the ease with which I “melt” upon hearing these things? After all, they are just words. Series of meaningful looks, intoxicating words, with rare occasions of actions to back all that up. I sharpened my ability to explain and excuse the infrequency of the action part of the whole thing via reiterating various reasons that seemed very logical, and natural, almost to a fault. I got myself hooked on verbal indulgence. I was content with living in a dream, feeding on a fantasy. Funny combination, his words were empowering and crippling at the same time. They gave me amazing confidence while pulling me deeper into the abyss of hollow pleasure.