Patience isn’t something I’m very good at. I have so little control over much of what happens to me that I compensate with the hunt for instant gratification. At least then I feel activated, in charge.
Immediately checking my phone when I hear it ding.
Uncorking the bottle.
Unbuckling his pants.
His hot, hard flesh in my hand.
My body wrapped around his.
I can saunter and seduce and feel powerful when in reality I have absolutely none. I’m just a passenger on this rock like everyone else, circling a bright little star.
I often wonder how others see me. I present myself so clearly here. I’m naked, raw, vulnerable, available. But what does everyone else see? How would people who know me describe me? What do they see?
I see a slightly plump middle aged woman who’s horrible at picking men, stellar at her job, passionate about her child, and invested in her art. She’s deeply private and can’t rely on most of her friends and so has turned to the internet for a richer, more supportive community.
She drinks too much on occasion, occasionally forgets birthdays, and frequently yells at her spastic dog.
She also catches and releases everything not deadly or a cockroach and will move mountains to be there for you in your time of need even if you can’t move a speed bump for her.
I have days where I think I’m hot and wonderful and days where I’d like to slice the fat off my body — though thankfully with age those days number in the less than 5.
I wish I read more. Can you tell I don’t?
I hope I seem honest here; I really aim to be. But sometimes I just can’t believe my eyes. Is this even really me??
I’m at once proud and ashamed of my life; I’ve done so much. It’s overwhelming and humbling and frustrating.
I’m still trying to figure out the balance between what you and I see of me. Are we the same coin, but different sides? Or two completely different currencies? Which is more valid?
I texted Rex late yesterday afternoon. He had just finished the last ride of the weekend and was on a high. He’d had an incredible weekend on his bike in the middle of no where and it had exhausted him, he said.
He texted today to say good morning and I sent him a couple of pictures of Peyton making us breakfast (literally the closest thing to breakfast in bed I’ve had in my entire life).
Then the day dragged on.
My back aches from my pelvis to my chest, my body feels contorted, my heart feels dark and heavy. I am physically miserable, psychically stalled.
Thank God I have Peyton tomorrow, Valentine’s Day. The single most excruciating day of the year when you are forced to remember your relationship status by every person wearing red to work for their Happy Hour V-Day dates later in the day.
I have spent the bulk of the weekend in my pajamas save for the 6 hours I spent drinking last night with girlfriends. Two women 5 and 10 years my junior; jaded and burnt out on men and overly sensitive about making sure we all kept our expenses the same.
My Old Fashioned drinks burned and smoked down my throat as their magic addled my brain. Then the sadness crept in.
I hadn’t wanted to go out in the first place; I’d offered to see Rex, but I didn’t hear from him and so I’d made other plans, naturally.
Tina chatted up a beautiful man who somehow epitomized Brooklyn New York and her friend, Sina, cozied up with a handsome and grizzly older fellow. I spent my time trying to give them each space.
I awoke on Tina’s couch alone and with an aching back. This back ache is a symbol of my stillness, my general paralysis, and I hate it. I need to move more, sweat more. All this sedentary bullshit is literally breaking me.
Good thing tomorrow is a new day and I can start anew. Thank god for the never-ending turning of our world.
“I’m not feeling it between us.” He made a back and forth motion with his hands at chest level. “I think you’re very beautiful — very — fascinating, intelligent, really funny, but I just don’t know if it’s there between us.”
I sat beside him, about 18 inches away, a wine glass in my hand. I looked away, swallowed. I felt trapped and helpless, foolish. Of course he doesn’t, I thought. Men never want me.
I’ve spent the last couple of days fighting that voice and it’s left me low and energy-less. I hate that voice.
Since none of this is happening the “normal” way for me I have been out of touch with things. None of our dates have lent themselves to anything more than a brief goodnight kiss. He’s responsible and has dogs and has left after every one and declined to come up after another when we instead sat in his car outside my building where I worked really hard to convince him I didn’t actually care about dick size, only the size of a man’s heart.
On the couch I continued my case, “I want to get to know you, Rex, I want to unwrap you and discover the man inside. To learn about you. I find you interesting and kind and sexy. I want to keep learning about you. You intimidate me because you’re so grown up and accomplished; I’ve never dated an adult before…” My voice sounded desperate and clingy to my ears, but there was nothing to do. It was all true.
I looked away again when he didn’t respond and he said something about me shutting down. I dragged myself back up to the surface. “You’re right. I am. I’m trying. This is just so hard for me.”
I looked at him, my face an implacable mask. He said he couldn’t read me. I told him that was the point.
I have never felt something slip through my fingers the way that evening did. He licked his plate, but was passing on me it seemed.
“What are you thinking?” I asked. He said he didn’t know. “Well, do you know what I’m thinking? I’m sitting here wishing I could kiss you.”
He looked surprised. “Go ahead,” he laughed. “You should always kiss me if you want to.”
I leaned over on my knees and kissed his warm lips. His hands stayed below my hips, perhaps on my thigh. He began to talk. I asked him if he wanted me to stop. He said, No, but I felt like I was forcing myself on him.
I pulled away and he followed me, kissed me more. I breathed him in and waited as my hands roamed his neck and jaw. Nothing.
“I have to get going. It’s a work night.” It was 10:30 when the failure really sunk in. Either there was just no chemistry between us or my strange flailing the previous two weeks had set the stage for this.
“Do you think you knowing about Hy made us both think we were more connected than we really are?” I’d asked before I’d kissed him.
“No! Definitely not!” he jumped to say. “I don’t think that at all.”
We stood up and I walked to the kitchen to send him home with leftovers. He kissed me again at the island and it was intense and sweet, but still stopped short of full-blown passion. I don’t know why.
He dipped down once or twice for more and I eagerly met his lips, but he seemed already halfway out the door.
I handed him his baggies and tinfoil-wrapped pot roast and walked him to the entryway and told him I was free on Saturday if he wanted to hang out again. There was still so much more to say and explore, right? The kissing was good, wasn’t it?? I didn’t know which end was up, perhaps more talking and spending time together would sort it out.
“Ok, sure. I might be going out of town for a bike trip. I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.”
We kissed again and he left and I crawled into bed with the animals.
It’s Saturday night now and I didn’t hear from him about going out of town or not. I assume he did, but perhaps not.
I went on a date with a man recently who was incredibly eager to meet me. He leaned in at the bar as I sipped my glass of Chardonnay and his hand occasionally grazed my thigh. I had no doubt of his attraction for me and I felt the chemistry buzz between us as I imagined what his body would feel like over mine.
We parted ways with a steamy, but appropriate kiss against my car under an abnormally warm winter sun, and I drove away contemplating chemistry and connections.
Another night I had a date with a different man who really liked me. It was our second date (the first was coffee a week before and his eyes lit up when I walked into the Greek coffee house). He texted me nervously the morning after because he was worried he might have said something that put me off, but the truth is as I sat across from him sipping cider under a chilly moon I couldn’t muster an attraction. I tried, but it just wasn’t there.
There was nothing he said that made that happen. It just was.
And as he kissed me and earnestly held me close my heart sank because I felt nothing in return except his soft lips and nicely groomed whiskers. I had to tell him, like Rex told me, that I didn’t feel it between us and if Rex feels as little for me as I did for that other man then that hurts. Not a lot, not a little, but somewhere in the middle like when you studied really hard for a test, but still only got a B-/C+.
I told The Russian I was Hy, we met, he got distant, I struggled to understand the new energy, he called to say he couldn’t handle it and, frankly, didn’t want to sign up for any of it.
Ultimately, I wrestle with a much larger demon than just trusting someone in general: I can’t understand why anyone would want to sign up for me. The Russian and everyone else has “proven” this fear over and over.
Before you all jump to tell me that isn’t true — that there exists a man who will in fact want all of me — I already know that. Of course I do. But tell that to the darkest, most terror-stricken part of me; I dare you to get her to listen.
So you know what I’m going to do about all this crushing self-doubt and crippling fear?? Nothing.
Instead, I’m going to make him a motherfucking pot roast and chill.
We ate at a hip diner amongst hip diners and I marveled at the sleeves of tattoos across from me. I fought tears upon hearing his touching story of self-exploration and loss and sat next to him near our cars under the night sky wishing I could just lean in for a kiss already. Instead, I offered to make him dinner. It’s his birthday week.
I asked him what he’d like me to make. “Pot roast!” he said grinning.
Sadly, I have no idea how to make a pot roast. So we settled on Brussels sprouts for sure and I’ll come up with the rest.
In the mean time, I’m realizing there’s more than one way to leave an impression.
“I am overwhelmingly scared,” I said and stared at the houseplant glistening darkly in front of the window. “After the third date I am cast out into complete No Man’s Land for me; I don’t know what to do.” Tears spilled down my cheeks.
My therapist crinkled her crinkly eyes. “I know you are, Hy, but there’s nothing about you that tells me you’re not capable of this. Nothing. You got this.”
I’m going on my third date with Rex tonight. It’s not a big deal except that it is. I can count on no hands the number of 3rd dates I’ve had in the past 6 years that didn’t include sex. That’s right: zero.
Typically by the second date I’ve already fucked him and realized I never wanted to touch him again or he had disappeared. Third dates like tonight mean we’re getting to know one another and as much lip service as I gave to such a pursuit over the years my heart wasn’t really in it. But it is now.
Now I want to get to know someone and I want him to get to know me, but the fear is palpable. It cloys to my ribs and stifles my breath. Can I let my guard down and open up? Do I even know how??
I don’t think I’ve ever done it in all my life; I’ve used this blog for years now as the outlet for me to connect and be vulnerable, but I’ve hidden it away and only those who randomly stumbled upon me gained access. Strangers are safe; real people are not. Not my best friends, not my family, not my lovers, not even my boyfriend.
I consider connecting with strangers good theoretical practice, but I’ve never done it with someone with whom I could reach out and touch, look into his eyes and say the things I needed to say and know he heard every whispered, nuanced word.
Look, I know it’s just a third date, but it’s representative of this new adventure upon which I’ve launched myself. If I want someone to introduce to my child, well, I better get to fucking know him. I’m curious at which point the hands around my throat will loosen; I’m fighting complete panic.
I fantasize about a savage fuck, one that will take me away from all of this mess of emotion. A soul-pounding, bone-crushing, spirit-erasing fuck. I want my feet on the ground, but my head in the clouds. Sex is my salve, after all, my fickle and rewarding friend, and when administered in just the right way can make the world right again.