I am much softer than I may appear. Not only is my physique nothing like what I share with you all here, my psyche is also not what you read here. I am soft, loose, out of shape. My heart bleeds for approval, even now so many years of anguish later learning that others simply cannot prop me up by response only.
Yet, I trudge on my old familiar path of feminine wiles and slights of hand.
I had a bad date last night.
And the date itself doesn’t upset me, but my reaction to it: I thought I was the cause.
Not the man who only spoke of himself and who disclosed things that had I known them prior I never would have been sitting with him in an obnoxiously loud sports bar playing Cinco De Mayo Bingo Trivia. It wasn’t he who struggled to take the perfect picture of his bingo prize for Facebook who ruined the night. It wasn’t he who had no interest in asking me questions. It wasn’t he who thought he might throw up from chugging a beer. It was me: I was fat, I was unappealing, I was a let down.
And those traitorous thoughts to basic feminism and all the years of hard work I’ve done to believe I am valuable are what made the date utterly miserable. I was back to square one.
Forget that the very night before a lovely man with a silky sensuality had let my vulva slip between his hands in a rhythmic massage and peered down intently at me arching my back against his hand and purred, “I love learning new people.”
Forget that we had leaned into one another at the coffee-house with eyes alight with curiosity and interest and desire.
Forget that his cock had touched my core just so and I had cum and sprayed us both with the juices of my sex while he growled into my ear how surprised he was he was doing this. That he was even capable after already disclaiming that he didn’t need another play partner, yet somehow, here we were naked and clawing at each other’s bodies.
All that shamefully became background noise as my super power to make every man I meet fall in lust with me fell from my grip because — I don’t know why.
The truth is, he was attractive, this misfire date with a lisp and loopy, toothsome gestures. But from the second he opened his mouth I knew it was a mistake. I tested him surreptitiously to see if my assessment was wrong and he failed each time. No, he had no questions for me. Let’s talk about hashtags on Facebook and Instagram for 10 minutes instead.
I grit my teeth against the anguish of my impotence and ground against the shame I felt at the realization I was experiencing a sense of failure. Where was my sense of value now?
It seemed to have abandoned me, much like everything else in my life lately: it had better, bigger things to attend to rather than sit with me and remind me that sometimes, I have no effect on a man. Sometimes, I don’t want to have an effect on a man. And that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly not valuable, potent, or relevant.
The idea that someone wouldn’t want me makes me itch, but it’s an even more foreign concept to not want someone. I am simply not allowed to have such a feeling; I am to make everyone else ok, you see?
Mother, father, selfish friends and boyfriends and husbands. I say, “I really hate how this thing that you do makes me feel, but it’s important to you to feel ok, so I will swallow it and live with the lump in my throat. I am expendable, you are not.”
I am frustrated and embarrassed at this little break down, especially in light of my high from yesterday.
I suppose it’s not unheard of to have a dip after such an exalted shout from the mountain that is more like dress-up some days than it is my real skin, but I’m trying — God, how I’m trying to make it my own skin.
I’ve been nursing a bottle of wine tonight and I ate half a calzone and some salad. I feel like a rotund version of myself; unfit for public consumption.
I have been fighting tears for half the day because my mother has decided to abandon me on Mother’s Day. You see, I made plans for breakfast and an afternoon with my own baby before I go see her. She is no longer available to me now, she says. Also, I reorganized this writing space and was thus faced with the reorganization of The Neighbor himself. I miss him; I still love him; I still want him to come around and be the partner I need and want, but he is forever lost to me. I ache with that knowledge.
With all those sad and unrequited needs of both my mother and The Neighbor I am therefore faced with the unapologetic truth that neither of them will be there for me in the ways in which I need them most. I must let them go and thereby free myself in the process. They have their own paths to strut and I mine.
I have curled up away from the world today. I canceled a date and I have been reluctant to return texts, though there have been virtually – and thankfully — practically none. I am focused on my sweet sissy’s pictures of my newest, weeks old niece humorously apologizing for my mother’s erratic, shit-colored behavior towards me. The stain on my heart as I mourn the bond I felt towards my ill-suited boyfriend of 3 years throbs unattractively beneath my ribs. It’s like tar on my carcass.
I can’t ignore that I have other shit going on besides trying to get laid. I’m a hurtin’ unit, as they say.
A good friend called me a “turbo-slut” today and I laughed. “You have sex with more men in one month than I do with women in an entire year,” he observed. “I don’t know how you do it. I get sex hangovers because I’m emotionally involved and I believe I leave more behind than just semen. Maybe that’s why you’re feeling so down.”
I think there’s something to that. Though I am more measured than the young Hyacinth, I am forgetting the psychic repair I require after sharing myself with someone. I must be careful in this post-TN era, more discerning, lest I end up nothing but hungover from my hedonistic pursuits. And lets not forget the other psychic things I juggle such as a supremely complicated relationship with my mother and a pulverized heart.
Deep in my grey matter I believe I am more than the sum of my parts, but my heart is still wrestling for purchase on that summit and I blame myself. It’s just so easy to get the quick fix of a fuck that I struggle against the temptation and when I feel like saying No to an opportunity — or the potential of one — I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Fuck. I still think of it in terms of my failings.
I think I need another glass of wine. This is much too much for a Wednesday.