I’m currently cruising at 30,000 ft — or maybe it’s 40 — the pilot hasn’t said much to us except that it’s going to be very bumpy. He seems overly concerned about it. He even went so far as to cancel the drink service. Lucky for me, I’m in 8B, so I got my white wine. “In case it’s bumpy, it’s better than red,” I explained to the flight attendant.
Peyton is next to me, sweet and beautiful and darling, drawing intricate fantasies in a notebook. A woman with a 3 carat engagement ring with wedding band sits in the seats across the aisle. She has two children with her. The little girl is 5 and watching Frozen. A large, white bow holds her hair behind her ears. The baby is 10 mos old and has a little brunette fountain of hair spurting from atop her head. When she smiles I can see all 4 of her teeth.
The Neighbor should be to my right. Not these people.
This was going to be our first vacation together. We’d gone to the beach once last summer, but that was because my best friend had pressured him into it. He’d come late and driven separately. I always felt that had I been the one to invite him he’d have said no, but since it was Amy asking and not me, he agreed immediately.
Peyton voiced a little wish earlier. “I wish TN was coming with us still.”
“I know, baby,” I said, “but we’re not dating any more, so he can’t.”
“But you and Amy are friends and she’d come with us if we asked!” was the very logical retort.
“True, but I’m not there with TN, yet. One day soon, I hope.”
There was a little pause and then from the backseat I heard, “It’ll happen eventually.”
I left the house for the airport in a frenzy. I couldn’t find my phone, we were up against the clock. You know, regular travel travails. I left a note for TN along with letters from both me and Peyton. My letter was supposed to just be a, here’s what you need to do with my cat and the plants, but instead morphed into something that lasted for 6 pages. I’ve never written him anything a day in my life save from a love-lorn note when he dumped me after Pisspants.
My handwriting is generally atrocious and it was no better despite my best efforts, but there’s something intimate about the curve of a letter, the idiosyncratic way an “I” is written. I find handwriting to be deeply personal and revealing and I felt shy as I scribbled words on the college-lined paper.
I still love him, I’m working on acceptance, I want to do whatever I can to remain friends, I need space, feed the cat *this much*, take the perishables out of the refrigerator if you like, thanks again for doing this.
When I masturbate I think of him and of new men all mingled together. I want to prep my body for a new scent, a new feel. I’m not remotely interested in anyone, but there will come a time when I am forced from my cave. It will be sooner rather than later.
Do I go the Adult Friend Finder route? OK Cupid? Do I fuck with this eHarmony guy? No one can measure up to TN, I know that. I want to be kind to people, but I want to get mine, too.
Each morning I wake up thinking about how much I miss him, how much I want him to be a part of my life and future. Today was no different. And even now, thousands of feet above him I feel his absence. Instead of the squawking babe to my right it should be him with his bald head and red beard with ear buds in listening to some music while Pey and I chatted and did our thing.
I’ve been trying to think of times when I left someone because “it didn’t feel right”; I want to get inside his head. I certainly wouldn’t have let it go on for 3 years, but maybe he was hoping his feelings would change. Maybe he was trying to feel differently. I don’t know. All I know is there was a summer when I dated a friend and he fell in love with me. There was something about his energy that I didn’t click with, though: too acquiescent, too easy. It just didn’t feel right. And I broke his heart and left him.
Is that what TN is holding on to? But how can he feel that way after everything we’ve been through, how we relate, how we love and play and fuck and talk and laugh. I had none of that with my summer friend. We had no chemistry. The Neighbor and I lit up the sky with our friendship and sexual chemistry; we relied on one another for everything and found so much solace there. In our case, though, love didn’t light the way, it darkened it. It became too complicated, too dangerous, and generally too undesirable.
Love infiltrated his being and shut him down. Love was my enemy.
I have to remind myself to just breathe, to wait for the feelings to pass through me, and that this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever, after all. At least I got my wine.