I pulled out of my parking spot and headed down the long row. A movement caught my eye to the right. A young woman and man rushed into each other’s arms. Their open car doors gaped as they pressed their bodies together.
She was slender, cooler than shit with rocker layers and bleached hair. He towered over her in faded black jeans and Vans. They hardly moved even as they clutched at one another.
I craned my neck to watch as I crawled by. I imagined the breath they were breathing, not their own, but of the other’s. They held still, locked in this fervent embrace, their lips pressed in long release, not passionate consumption.
Were there tears? Surely their hearts sought to break away and leap into the other’s chest. I watched them grow small in my rear view mirror and felt a pang.
I have never had that, that emotional race into another’s arms whose own heart beat as clamourously as mine. So open, so free.
I don’t believe any of the men in my life currently have the potential to evoke this kind of situation. I tend to attract men as cagey as me, as wary and broken. We are drawn to those similar to us, after all.
On a date with a man in a poly relationship last week he commented on my distance. “Hy, you are very guarded.” I at least know my limits with that situation — I could never be beta — but his relationship forces much openness and emotional intimacy. I have proven extremely difficult for him to get close to over the last year and in contrast to what he has with his girlfriend I must have felt like a brick wall.
His remark struck me as we drank Prosecco in a darkened bar. It’s true. I am guarded. So very, very guarded. I prefer the dark.
I met up with Bones for a daylight excursion this weekend and I felt exposed to the light. Our tenuous connection couldn’t withstand the glare and I left our so-called date late at night upset and alone. We have not been able to repair the damage; I am not sure I want to or can. I need a man who’s better than me, not as broken as me.
I know that what I witnessed earlier was a moment in two lives possibly never to be duplicated, but it reminded me of the basest need I have: to be desired in such a way that all else melts away except for the two of us. In a monumental moment in a random strip mall parking lot like I saw today or in a mundane one such as pulling me in for a side hug as we walk a few strides together down a crowded sidewalk or in a sexy one which included a casual nip of my ear at dinner, a hand on my bare thigh.
I want our feelings to drown out our self-consciousness; I don’t want anyone to be more important than me, him, and us. I realize that in craving this openness I am desiring that one thing I struggle to achieve with people: an admission of my feelings, a freedom to feel. Oh, the irony.
I want a man to be unafraid to love me fully, yet I can barely share even the smallest sliver of my own heart.
I have a lot of work to do before I find myself to be half of a couple consumed with one other. A lot of work before I feel safe enough with someone to share more than just the smallest amount bearable, but at least I know now what not to do and one of those things is to settle.
Because the little things lead to the big things and the big things lead to beauty and meaning and joy — big love, big life, big everything. It’s all connected from the start to the finish. If I don’t insist on the little things, then how on earth can I expect the big things?
And I want the little things. Very badly. Now I just have to be brave enough to insist upon them.