I was so mad at myself at work yesterday. Damnit! Damnit, damnit, damnit. Thirty-three years old and there I was not a pinch of salt stronger than I was at a very emotional nineteen years old. Between 19 and 33 I have crossed many bridges. Therapy gave me the tools to recognize danger…and potential catastrophe. I was equipped with enough self-awareness and knowledge to keep myself not from the bad guys, but from the guys that were bad for me. I have a rough outline in my head on how one SHOULD deal with romantic disaster. When things don’t work out one is supposed to clear the dust from their throat and walk off into the temporarily dismal sunset that is love when it doesn’t work out the way we want it to.
I became smitten with a man. It was hard to think anything negative about him when 95% my sources gave rave reviews. Of course, the magic of getting good reviews is to never let anyone get too close. If you always stay distant the flaws are made invisible. And here I come, Jeremy Gloff the construction worker, determined to jack-hammer my way into his foundations. Scope out his cracks in the concrete. Get to know his floor plan inside and out. For a bit he let me in and I think he let me in to the places he doesn’t’ let most people go; that nasty broom closet where addictions and insecurities and past nightmares are safely tucked away from public consumption. He claimed the things he told me he didn’t tell most people. Perhaps that is true, or perhaps that’s what he tells everyone who is interested in him. Some people deal out personal tidbits like bingo chips. Line up your chips right and one never knows what they might win.
I didn’t win him over, that’s for sure. As it often goes in situations like these, defense mechanisms kick in and distance is created. I have yet to learn to run from distance. In theory, when a man starts to become distant I’d like to see myself lose interest and run. Instead, the further the boy gets, the more I chase, the harder I push, and the further he withdraws. It’s a horrible pattern I have yet to rid myself of and this recent experience was no exception.
We were never more than friends. The idea of dating was never even entertained out loud, but with my wild heart I began to draw silent and dangerous conclusions. During our first conversation he told me he only is sexual with people he cares about a lot. When he began to send me naked pictures months later I drew my own conclusions and I started to fall in love. This boy with a lot of gray area called me out as foolish for not understanding that he only has SEX with people he cares about a lot, yet he TALKS about sex and sends naked pictures to ANYONE.
We finally kissed one night at a club two months ago. I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me. We never talked again after that day. I sent him two text messages that he didn’t respond to, so I figured for once in my life I would do the right thing and walk away. And I did, for two months.
Then came the damn book about Carly Simon, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell. As I read about the lives of some of my favorite artists, I realized that I myself am a writer and that until I communicate how I feel, I feel incomplete. All this time this mysterious gentleman I was trying not to chase would preoccupy me. I would go to his Myspace and facebook pages just to see he was alive. As I type this, I realize this is borderline stalkerish, in a 2008 Internet way. But in my mind it was just romance, being woeful over the lost friendship. But my undying feelings for him were a well kept secret, only talking about it to a couple friends. If I never communicated with him again he’d never have known how it still burned in me, sadly.
So I wrote the god damned letter. The long one. The soul baring one. The one that said too much. I was careful to refrain from melodrama or guilt trips, and I did. But still here I was, at 33, putting myself out there emotionally for a man that was unable to communicate back. I knew he would read it. I knew for certain he would not respond. He doesn’t know how to. Another week goes by and I am not very upset with myself for writing the letter. I did feel more at peace with the entire situation now that it was released into prose.
But fuck me! I had to send those two damn text messages yesterday and the short cute email. “Can’t we be friends again?” I was so angry at myself right after I sent it. For the 1,000th time, I created a situation in which I would be rejected. I was pretty sure he would not respond. And I’m pretty sure if he was still in my life I’d be going crazy trying to decipher someone who doesn’t even know himself. Or, if he does know himself, he isn’t willing to let anyone in enough to get a clear picture. I need a man who is willing to give me the clear picture.
I was so mad at myself for a whole day. I can almost be certain he rolled his eyes when he got the messages. Lord knows I would! His lack of response only reaffirms what I knew in the first place. Here is a boy unable to communicate. And for the first time in our long, troubled relationship he has been clear. Through silence. He does not want to talk to me.
I am a pretty solid person, but when it comes to love I still need to defend myself better. I wrote this for anyone that ever sent one too many texts, one too many letters, or spent one too many sleepless nights thinking about someone that wasn’t interested in you.
Here’s to unrequited love, and even more so, here’s to being strong in the future and not allowing myself to create a situation in which I’m rejected.