The problem with going to bed at 9 pm is I wake up at 3 with a rather large little person splayed out on pillows on my side of the bed. And then my mind starts to whir.
I miss The Neighbor. So much.
It hurts down to my marrow, this process of removal. I think of him 100 times a day and yet I stay my hand and remain quiet and away. It feels naturally unnatural.
The Saturday after he ended things was Valentine’s Day and it was the day I reactivated my OK Cupid account. A couple of days later I made a Chemistry.com account and just last night I finally finished building an eHarmony account.
I spent $45 on OK Cupid for 3 months of anonymous browsing and I’ve yet to pull the trigger on the other two. Currently they’re just shell profiles since I’m unwilling to spend any money not to meet anyone. Because the truth is, I’m not even remotely close.
I’ve barely chatted with anyone on OKC and have already decided to not meet anyone at least until the end of March, but what then? Will I be able to be open to a great guy? Will I be able to fuck? Will I want to? Who the fuck am I if I’m not fucking??
It’s been an oddly cruel experience to write what I want in a partner, what I’m like, who I am because as I lay the letters down I am really just drawing him and me: us. I want us.
The men who are contacting me are these unknown wildcards and I know what online dating is like. Do I want a man who I met that way? Someone who’s cracked the code of online banter and first dates? But then I think, The Neighbor dated online, though that’s not how we met. And then my stomach clenches thinking of the goldmine some chick is going to stumble upon with him: a talented lover, financially secure, kind, and — if she’s the one for him — his fucking heart.
We’ve hung out and talked several times since the hammer came down on the 11th. Peyton initiated a couple of those with requests to see him and the others TN and I had planned on checking in with one another. We’ve cried, we’ve been honest, we’ve laughed. I’ve genuinely enjoyed his company despite the broken heart and pervasive sense of hopelessness.
The scheduled visits have helped bookend stretches of no contact where it used to be constant. He wasn’t hit by a bus, after all, so why pretend like he was?
But something happened Saturday night which was out of my control and has thrown me into a twist: I dreamed that he’d been cheating on me. I awoke yesterday with a deep ache in my gut. Not only had I dreamed he’d betrayed me, but it had been rubbed in my face by Lina, a former friend of mine who basically introduced us through her prolifically slutty ways (had she not told me he was hung, I might not have ever looked at him in a sexual way). It was a heartbreaking, humiliating dream.
Normally, I’d have called him or asked him to come over so he could assuage my fears and laugh with me in real life, but yesterday I couldn’t. I don’t get to do that anymore. It’s just me and my big fat brain. All alone in its misery.
Thursday night’s dream also awoke me, though for different reasons. I saw him walk into my new room, in this new home of mine, stark naked with a proud, jutting erection. With a condom. It was reminiscent of what he used to do with me when we were next door to each other, but the condom was a reminder that he is no longer mine. I masturbated several times that day and night. At least I’ve stopped sobbing when I cum.
As I finished my ridiculously Christian eHarmony profile yesterday (No, I do NOT think it’s a deal breaker if someone has had more than 10 sexual partners and YES, I do think the Republican party lost female votes based on their stance on reproductive rights) I felt flat, pressed between lab glass, because all I really want is him.
I love him. I like him. I want him.
His weird, introverted, yet fiercely loyal ways; his dry with and razor sharp mind; his huge, thick, glorious cock; his stamina; his need to help and his generosity; his accepting, open-minded philosophies; his strength and determination; his fiscal responsibility and earning potential; his handsomeness. Who and what he is feels so right to me, but the feeling isn’t reciprocated — that I am right for him — and that one thing is what has pulled the thread on this entire affair. Because it’s the most important thing; he doesn’t believe.
He told me himself on Friday as we sat perched far from one another on my couch after watching a favorite TV show together. I had told him that the week apart had been strangely calm for me, that I was less hurt in general because he was no longer not really wanting to be there. He agreed and said he was looking forward to seeing me, too, that his anxiety had lessened some as well.
“The only thing is,” I said, “I’m really having to work on why. Why don’t you want to do this?? We’re so great together, we love hanging out, we’re great at sex. I tell myself it doesn’t matter because I’m certain it’s not personal and therefore it’s your problem, but then I wonder if it’s those things you listed so long ago: I’m a mother, divorced, too old…” I let the sentence linger. “Are you hiding something from me that would help me move on?”
He laid there looking pained. “No, God, no,” he said. “It’s just… I’ve never felt you were the one for me.” He paused and looked truly stricken and added, “I don’t know what is, though.” I left it there because what’s the point? I have to get my shit together and move on from this. I have to find all those things I love about him — plus this elusive belief that I’m the right partner — in someone else because that’s what we do. We keep going.
I remind myself that I came so close to hitting the mark with him. He was a vast improvement over my marriage. Maybe I’ll get it right next time.
But dating this minute isn’t an option; I’m frozen in stasis. I don’t need the attention at this point. It’s almost like a ghost limb thing being back online. The Downstairs Neighbor discovered my profile this weekend and sent me an email. It simply said, “Well, shit…”
I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.
At some point, though, I will be forced from my cave to get fucked. I’ve considered calling some of my better, old lovers, but there was never that thing between us. Kent, Phillip, and Kevin are three that come to mind. They are all ok in their own right, but I feel shy and broken, though I’m sure they would certainly help ease my mind if they were available.
Dan, an old high school crush who wears funny looking and ridiculously expensive shoes, will be coming back through town in April and he’s promised me he’ll do whatever I want while he’s here. Expensive dinners, lavish hotel room, any kind of entertainment I can think of will be his command. Last time we ordered champagne up to his room and I poured it over my breasts as I rode him 17 stories high. That wasn’t the worst night of my life, for sure.
In the meantime, I get to just sit here with my thoughts and the ache that’s going strong deep inside of me. It reminds me of what I’ve lost and also of what I want.
I miss TN.