He said, “I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Excitement. My heart beats. I smile.
Then panic. I did not like the fact that someone had the ability to make me feel this way.
If he can make me feel happy, he can make me feel sad.
That scares me.
A lot scares me.
Having control is key. Key to focus. Key to life. Key to sanity.
Someone else making me happy is not having control.
When I was safe inside a relationship, there was control. There was the comfortable glide. There was security.
This is none of that. It’s up, it’s down. It’s long distance. It’s uncertainty.
It’s gut wrenching solitude.
It’s a hole in my heart.
It’s wanting. And not being able to have.
It’s being attached to the phone.
He exists in there when he’s not here.
His face, his words, our moments.
I had wanted unplug more.
How did this happen?
I’m usually so careful. Removed. Warm, yet cold. It’s hard for me to really care.
I’ve gotten it down to an art.
Smile. Converse. Drink wine. Ask them questions about themselves.
Even if it’s boring, act interested.
Eye contact. That’s what you have to do.
Sure, sure. Let’s do this again soon.
Let me check my schedule.
Oh, damn. I’m away. Maybe another time?
I’ve become more and more like a man in so many ways. I was raised by a man, I work with men, I have turned into one.
I’m not selfish. It’s self preservation.
Truth be told, most people aren’t worth it.
There exists a carefully cultivated fuck-you shell around me.
“You’re nothing at all like I’d thought you’d be. You’re smart…sweet.”
It’s a common comment I hear from people who make it past the muscle. The blunt truths. The loudness. The vibrancy.
I have a lot to give. I can’t afford someone who takes.
I only want real in my life. Not so easy to find.
He was different. His words alone were atypical.
He saw things differently.
He was strong. He was used to being the one to do the intimidating.
He had his own uniquely cultivated shell.
He got into my head. I couldn’t get him out.
I tried. I gave up.
We were a lot alike.
Maybe too much alike.
He said, “You’re so different than I’m used to.”
“Well…you’re like a guy in a pretty girl’s body. That’s what I like, though.”
Really? Someone who views sex as sex? Someone who swears far too much? Someone who lives on steak and bacon? Someone who takes no shit, will shove people out of the way and not think twice about punching another in the throat if there’s cause for it? Someone who would rather go to a shooting range than a romantic comedy? Someone whose dog holds more value than all the jewelry she owns? Someone who watches Das Boot and knows who Yngwie Malmsteen is? Someone who hates malls? Someone who doesn’t give a shit about designer labels? Someone who doesn’t cook very often? Someone who believes “Great mind talk ideas, good minds talk events and small minds talk people”? Someone who “gets to know herself”…often? Someone who believes the word ‘cunt’ should be used as a noun, adjective and verb? Someone who only half-heartedly cleans behind the toilet?
He said, “How bad are you? I’m asking because I really like you and want to know.”
Extreme. Rapid cycling. Out of my mind. Crazy. Bipolar.
He said, “Okay.”
And it was.
He said, “I’m being recruited. The job is across the state. I have my second interview this week.”
My gut twisted.
I wanted to run. But I didn’t.
But I wanted to.
He said, “I’m not sure if I’m taking it yet.”
I allowed myself to breathe.
For the moment.
He said, “I’m on my way.”
And I smiled.
Then one day he said, “I can’t do this right now.”
He said, “I can’t give you any more than this. I can’t give you what you deserve.
There are issues about myself I’ve always had. I’ve been working on them and thought I was all right. Mentally…I’m not.”
I suddenly realized that I’ve been him before.
I’ve done this to others.
I hated how it felt.
I felt raw and ripped open.
I’d hated how I felt when I did it to others.
It’s taken this to make me realize what I’ve done.
What I’ve done to those around me.
I wanted to help him. But I can’t.
I know from being me that only he can help himself.
He said, “I’m sorry.”
And I was right.
He made me sad.