The 6 a.m Cry of the Other Woman

20 Dec

I hadn’t seen D for five days, which felt like forever. It’s only been five weeks since we started dating, but we’ve been seeing each other three or more times a week so it’s been pretty intense, the way it always is with me, I guess.

Ever since I blurted out the L word a couple of weeks ago, things have returned to normal, and I’ve been able to enjoy my time with him and languish over every sweet word or nickname or embrace. He’s Russian, and I’ve been called zayka, and slatkyia and krasaviza. He’s been saying that I make him feel alive again, that I’m special, that he loves being with me, that he misses me, that I’m fun, that he wants me. He even used the words “corrective experience” to describe our relationship. Moreover, we’ve begun acting a little more couple-ish, which I’ve been enjoying. And we’ve been talking a lot and sharing stuff. I’ve even talked to him about M, and he’s been asking, cautiously, how I’m doing and saying things like, “I know this is a rough time for you.”

Still, it will be a lie to say that I’m not anticipating his first “I love you” or dreading the notion that he might never say it. All signs clearly state that things are going well between us, and 90% of the time I am able to let go and not think about who likes who more and whether or not that presents an issue. My friend R suggested that I think about it like a gift that I’ve given him. It would be weird if I’d bought him a gift, like, cologne, and the next day he’d buy me perfume. I’ve given him a gift, saying that I feel love towards him. That’s a big gift. But he is constantly giving me gifts as well, other gifts, and that should be OK. And it is, most of the time.

I was discussing these five days apart. He was called in for reserve, and had a really crappy week. He was placed in a base up in the mountains where it’s freezing cold, and they had no warm meals or coffee or heating anywhere. While he was freezing his ass off, writing me texts about his fantasies of what he would do to me if he could have me then and there, I experienced one of the hardest weeks of my life too.

With the background of parent-teacher conferences, with 34 sets of parents to meet and talk to and be presentatble with, all the while keeping my classroom functioning as they rehearsed preformances for Grandparents Day and got into the types of fights and arguments that only 9-12 year olds can get into, I was busy attempting to say goodbye to one of the people closest to me in my life. It’s been 20 months since I first realized that we might not get to grow old together. But my mind seems to have that unique ability to only take in what it wants to, and completely ignore all the rest, so I think it’s only been in the last several weeks that I’ve begun accepting the fact that M has very little time left to share with me, with us. And this realization is devastating.

So on Monday, I was so easily agitated in class, that one of my co-teachers asked me to step out for a breather. When I did, I began crying and could not stop for a full hour. I walked around campus, hoping I would not run in to any children, and tried to calm myself down.

I recovered eventually, and I’m back to acceptence now. I feel better about it actually, like I really needed to let all of that out, and despite the unfortunate timing of my meltdown, I am glad it happened.

When D came back though, it felt like these five days, which objectively are not a long time, created a huge void between us. I hadn’t called him to share what I’d been going through. We texted a bit. I’d said encouraging stuff to him. I’d mentioned I’d had a few rough days. But I couldn’t talk about it. It was too personal, too powerful, and I was afraid I’d break down again if I mentioned it. I was also afraid that he might withdraw, because it might be too much for him to handle.

So seeing him again, feeling his embrace, it was comforting, and at the same time it felt a little like the beginning again. Which was not neccessarily a bad thing. Now, as the weekend progresses, and having spent some time with him, things are beginning to unwind. He came over to spend the night last night, after we each went to our separate dinners with family/friends, and when we met, close to midnight, we cuddled under the blanket and fell asleep at once. And for the first time in what felt like a long time I felt like everything was going to be OK, or more specifucally, like I was going to be OK.

Until 6 a.m.

His phone rang and with half closed eyelids I saw him fumble for it, saying, “at this hour, it could only be L”. L is the ex. Ex-wife and mother of his two girls. And indeed it was her. Having a melt down, crying on the phone. One of their girls won’t stop coughing, and she doesn’t know what to do. I could hear her desperation through the phone, her sobs and gasps. I remembered a time when I called my ex at 1 a.m. sobbing and gasping the same way, because our son had a high fever and I was freaked out. It was too much for me to handle so I went to the bathroom, and brushed me teeth, and drank some water, and then I basically sat in the kitchen and waited until I couldn’t hear his voice responding calmly and assertively to her hysteria any longer. I stepped back into the room. He looked at me with troubled eyes. “It’s OK.” He said, “She’s just coughing, It’s nothing. L panics easily. Her mother is right across the street, I told her to call her. She always calls me when something is wrong. She expects me to drop everything and go be there with them. And I can’t.”

I thought about telling him that he should go be with her. But I didn’t. “She’s adjusting.” I told D. “There will come a time when she doesn’t call every time something happens.”

“I hope you’re right.”

There was no point of going back to sleep. D works every other Saturday and he had to get ready. So we got up and had some coffee. And I tried to put the other woman’s 6 a.m. cry out of my mind. But I couldn’t help but remember my own meltdown of the week, which I hadn’t shared with him, and ask myself if there would ever come a time when he would love me and I would allow myself to lean on him.

The L Word

6 Dec

Sex makes me very emotional. The better it is, the more emotional I get. And so was the outcome last night.

We’d just shared an amazing sex session, wrapped in each other’s arms, still breathing heavily, when I said: “Don’t freak out. I love you.” I wasn’t panning on being the first to say it. But fuck it. I really wanted to say it and I wasn’t in the mood to restrain myself.

His response came quickly, almost as if he’d rehearsed it. “I think you’re amazing. I love being with you.” Then he held me tightly, so tightly that it was difficult to breathe. And he said, “It’s too early for me to say that.”

“I didn’t say it so you’d say it back.” I lied.

“I know.” He lied back.

Then we kissed and made out, and put it behind us. And it seemed to be OK. We spent the night together and had coffee in the morning, and told eachother what a good time we’d had. And made plans to meet again tonight.

And now, we’ll see.

Gone Girl

3 Dec

I’ve stepped over the edge. Gone girl.

The adrenaline rush every time he calls. The weakness in the knees when he’s near me. And thinking about him constantly. And daydreaming. And wondering when he’s going to tell me that he loves me. And wondering if I can hold off and not be the first to say it.

Holding him, and feeling like everything’s going to be OK. Listening to his stories about his family, things he’s seen and done and felt, and longing to hear more, to know everything there is to know about this man. And admiring his strength, his commitment, his sense of humor, his intelligence, his sensitivity, his subtility.

And recognizing in him the same fragility that I have in me, the insecurity that comes after betrayal. And wanting to make it go away by loving him.

A Glimpse into a Highliy Desirable Future

28 Nov

I wanted to invite him over when I was doing well. When I didn’t have  a a cold, and my boy was not feverish, and I hadn’t had a crazy day at work and sat in traffic for hours. I wanted him to come over when I was home alone, when I could cook us a fancy meal and open up a bottle of wine, and wear make up and a flimsy dress, and light candles, and feel attractive.

But at the end of the day I had, feeling defeated and lonely, when he asked if I wanted a hug, I said yes. Yes to a hug in sweats. Yes with the dishes unwashed. Yes without makeup. Yes with checking in on my boy every half hour to make sure his fever wasn’t going up again.

He wore sweats too. And when he came in I just held him, for a long time, standing by the door. His hands were on my back, touching my shoulders, then in my hair, and when I pulled back, he pulled me in for a kiss, a nice, warm, long one, by the open front door.

Later, on the sofa, we sat and chatted about our day. His daughter, almost two, had also had a fever and been sent home from daycare. Now she was with her mom. I told him about my boy, and the driving him to his grandparents in traffic, and going to work, and visiting M, and wanting to fix things that couldn’t be fixed.

Then he said he was hungry and I whipped something up and went in to check on my boy while he ate, and then we were on the sofa again, and he was rubbing my feet, and his touch was so soft and tender, that I wanted to cry.

With a sick child in the other room, with sweats, and no makeup, we went into my room to have the most comforting quiet sex you could possibly have, with someone you’ve only known for a couple of weeks, and do not allow yourself to fall for just yet. I had planned for alcohol and sexy outfits and fireworks, but as we lay in bed later, holding each other, I realized we both still had our socks on, and that was just fine.

I had an image then, of life with a partner. For the last two years I’ve been pretty much convinced that living with a partner was not for me. That a boyfriend would suit me fine, but that I would always need my own space, that I would never like someone enough to want to share my space with them. Now, I had a glimpse of a life, where things were not always sexy and glamorous. But how amazing it would feel to have someone there with me to share the ups and downs, and have quiet sex with, while my sick son was sleeping off his fever.

This was Wednesday. And in case you’re wondering, last night was my night off, and it was complete with dining, and wining and sexy outfits and candles. And it was delicious! But something about lying on the sofa with him, and having him rub my feet with the fuzzy socks on and tell me about his day, was nonetheless spectacular.

Fourth Date Boxing Match

23 Nov

He said first dates are like the first round of a boxing match. You’re pretty much just sizing each other up, taking a good look at your opponent and trying to figure them out. It’s only during the second round that the fight actually begins. So I guess that means we’re boxing now.

Yesterday was our fourth date, and it was a stay-at-home-and-watch-a-movie date, the kind where you never get to the end of the movie, because you end up naked, wrapped in each others arms, sleepy and satisfied.

I’m going to call him D here.

He’s divorced, has twin girls that are almost two, and he has them half the week, so he know what it means to raise children. My first impression of him, during our first chat online, even before talking to him on the phone, was that he was decent and sensitive. The kind of guy that tells you that he likes you, but doesn’t try to kiss you on a first date. That asks if you’re enjoying yourself and cares about your answer. That brings you flowers when you invite him to dinner and a movie at your place, and doesn’t try anything until he’s certain you’ll be into it. The kind that doesn’t give you empty compliments, but says things that seem real and sincere. That says thank you at the end of an amazing make out session. The kind you defeinitely want to have a fifth date with.

As always with me, things are moving quickly, and I don’t feel like pacing myself. We’ve been going out for only a week, and I’ve already seen him four times (and seeing him again tomorrow). I love this feeling of walking around in a haze, and smiling to myself, and daydreaming about him. And this time, somehow, I’m not horribly nervous either. Sure I’m a little shy, sure I’m excitable, but something about his manner puts me at ease. It feels safe somehow to start liking him.

And I am.

Speechless

14 Nov

No one here to tell me this is going to be alright. Or to just shut me up and have sex with me so I don’t have to think about it. Maybe it’s better this way. Painful but better.

Sitting in her room by her bed, on a really bad day, post chemo, nausious and achy. I wanted to give her this big speech I had planned, but I couldn’t.

A few years back, before her mother passed away, I remember a night at the hospital, urging her to tell her mom anything she felt she needed to say. “You don’t want to regret not having said something important.” And here I am giving myself the same advice now, unable to follow it. Because when I see her, all I want is to make her somehow magically better. I can’t even begin to say stuff where the subtext is: you might not get better.

But I want her to know. I need her to know that she has been there for me at every single important summit in my life. That I have no childhood friends, but she is the closest to it. That she is my constant. That she’s been there consistantly througout my horrible military service, my stupid crushes, my very long relationship with BD, the moving abroad, the returning home, the yearning to get married and have children and the fear that He did not love me enough, the wedding, the birth, the realization that He did not love me enough, the horribly painful breakup, the career change, the raising my boy, the writing this blog, the moving to a new home, the dating, with its ups and downs… She’s been there all along. Like a rock that I could lean on. Someone I could tell anything to, and never risk being judged. Someone who always looked out for me, who chose my side 100% percent of the time, even if I was wrong, who remembered all the important dates and kept in touch even when I was too distracted to call, who’d listen to me bitch and answer: that sucks honey, I’m sorry, without trying to fix it. I want her to know how much I love her, how much our friendship means to me. How no matter what happens, she will always be my best friend and I will never forget her.

And that’s not all. I know life has been rough on her. I know that none of us know what the future holds. But I believe that we are put on this Earth to become the best version of oursleves that we can be, and I want her to know that I think she’s really evolved. She’s absolutely nothing like that girl I met 15 years ago. She may be sick, but she’s a much newer and improved version of herself in many ways. More trusting, more forgiving, more open to see and accept the good in people and in the world, less comprimising, more realistic, and somehow not less hopeful.

I think about little things, like the way she slices apples meticulously to make a perfect pie, and the way she jokes about the holocaust or teases boys and how she used to be so rough aroung the edges that people didn’t know how to react. And how she lived a street away from me when we were students, and we’d walk to class together in the morning, stopping for coffee. And how her roomate wrote her a love song and she freaked out and knocked on my door at 3 am and spent the night on the sofa.

I will always remember cooking and baking, and eating and chatting. Parties at her parents’ huge house, and making fun of everyone and everything, and long distance crushes and disambiguation and douche canoes and rising to the occasion. Dancing at a club. Learning how to drink at a local bar with bar tenders that hit on us and cut our bill in half consistently. Bachelorette parties. Deaths. Births. Sitting together with our closest friends and forcing ourselves to say one good thing that happened to us this month, even when it was hard to think of something. We didn’t do that in our last meeting. I want us to do that again now.

And receiving the news that she was sick, and consoling J as she cried, telling her that this was nothing but a bump in the road. A hell of bump this is.

Whatever happens. M, I love you. What a chicken shit way to tell you that.

Demons and Instant Relationships

5 Nov

instant relationship

The demons in my head have been torturing me these last couple of days. This ALWAYS happens to me when I begin liking a guy. I know none of my feelings have anything whatsoever to do with reality, and they are all part of a huge panic attack, and yet they feel entirely valid.

He’s not into me the way I am into him.

He senses my keeness, it’ll drive him away. Better to play hard to get.

I shouldn’t have said that / done that.

He probably doesn’t even want to see me tonight, but feels bad cancelling last minute.

Truthfully, he thinks I’m fat, he’s just too nice to say it.

He’s hiding some big secret, which once revieled will hurt me deeply.

And the worst one, which is also my strongest self doubt when it comes to relationships: Eventually, I will fall in love with him, as I so easily do, and he will not love me back. Then I will get hurt. Better off back out now, before I sink deeper into this stupid affair.

One of my biggest problems in life is that I have no patience. If you’ve been following my blog, you know this is a recurring motif. I don’t really want to date anybody. I want an instant relationship, one that you pour out of a bag into a cup, mix with hot water and it simply comes into being. I want a man that knows me, knows all my triggers and how to console me, and how to touch me. I want him to love me, the way you love someone you’ve been with for a while, deeply, a kind of love that provides security, the kind of love that allows for mistakes to be made. There is no room for mistakes in the game of courting.

This man I’ve been seeing, I like him. I’d like to get to know him. He’s doing everything by the book and it isn’t enough. If he doesn’t text me in the morning, it’s a sign that he doesn’t want to see me anymore. If he does text, but the text is too plain or short, that’s a sign he felt obligated to text and had nothing he wanted to say. His only option is to constantly be super-romantic and court the fuck out of me, and then, I’ll probably think he’s coming on too strong.

I have no patience for this. It’s too fucking hard to be “on” all the time, to overthink everything. I want to just be. To not think. And the only time I’m able to do that is when I sleep with him. But then after I do, I wonder what that says to him, and how if I were really interested in him, I shouldn’t have slept with him on the second date, and how now he’ll lose interest.

Oh man, I exhaust myself sometimes.

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