Archive | July, 2013

Once Upon a Tuesday, Six Months Ago

21 Jul

“Have you heard of Margaret Atwood?” He asked. He was holding my credit card in his hand, tapping it repeatedly on the counter.

“No.” I answered, feeling uncomfortable, like this was some sort of test.

“And Haruki Murakami?” Now I realized that Margaret Atwood was a writer, and I immediately felt at ease. A bookworm like me, with a Masters in Literature, this was my territory.

“Sure.” I answered bravely.

“What have you read by him?” He asked inquiringly.

“The Windup Bird Chronicle,” I responded a little too quickly, please don’t ask me about specific details, I begged in my mind. It had been ages since I read it.

“And?”

“It was good. Though weird, I mean a little too weird, for me that is.” Apologetic smile.

“Weird is an understatement.” He answered to my relief. “I’m going through a Murakami phase right now. I’m reading everything he’s ever written. Have you read Hardboiled Wonderland? You should. I mean, it’s even weirder than the Windup Bird, much weirder. But you’d love it. I think.” A thin dark haired boy, who seemed barely 20 to me took my credit card out of Skating Guy’s hand.

“Two tickets?” He asked, looking at D who smiled and nodded beside me. A minute later my card was back in SG’s hand, and he was writing the closing time on the receipt and explaining to my friend and I where to pick out our skates. He was shorter than the dark haired boy, and seemed older. His hair was light and drawn back into a tight ponytail. He had enormous brown eyes, with long auburn lashes drooping over them heavily, which matched his oversized lips, the bottom of which I found especially tempting. Despite his overgrown features there was a softness to his bristly face.

“Have fun.” He said with a smile, and just as I turned to leave he added, “Maybe I’ll come skate with you later, if you want.”

“Was that guy hitting on me, or was he just being friendly?” I asked D.

“Hitting on you.”

“Geez, I’m so out of practice.” I smiled. “He was kind of cute, wasn’t he?” It was exciting to be noticed, and even more so by someone who seemed intelligent, someone who seemed to be interested in someone intelligent, and much more so now that I was single for the first time in thirteen years.

We stepped on the ice, our legs wobbly, attempting to stabilize ourselves, grabbing onto the rail. A few rounds later we were a bit more confident on the ice, and that’s when T joined us, sexy and energetic in her skinny jeans, tight top and perfect hair, bouncing about, giggling like a school girl as she stepped on the ice. Behind her was my guy, with his hair, and his lips and his Margaret Atwood.

“Huh. I guess he found T.” I told D, only slightly bitter.

“Actually it looks like he found you.” She laughed as the skating instructor popped up behind me with a “Hey.” I nearly lost my balance, which made him ask, “You OK there?” He’d be asking me that same question in the future, and the answer would be no, but right now it was “I’m starting to get used to this, but I’m counting on you to show me a few tricks.” Which he did. He had the appearance of the shy-quiet type, but he was actually rather talkative. We discussed books we liked, and books we despised, and books by Margaret Atwood that I promised to read.

“How old are you anyway?”

“Twenty-five,” The boy answered. “You?”

“Thirty-one,” I answered honestly. Screw it, if he wasn’t into me because of my age, he was welcome to leave. Pop music was blasting in the background, and I was feeling high on adrenalin. Half an hour later I was explaining the benefits of my Kindle to him, and he was defending the old fashioned paperbacks, and the irreplaceable feeling of flipping through their pages. “With my Kindle I can change the font size and read while I do stuff at home, like umm laundry.” And breastfeeding, I thought to myself.

“Laundry is important.” He laughed. Where do you live? I told him. “Roommates?” I smiled. “You could call it that.” He waited for an explanation. “Forget it, we just met. Let’s wait a bit longer before I shock you.”

“Uh-oh, you’re married with two kids aren’t you?”

“Not exactly.” I had a nice time flirting with him, and that’s what counted. It couldn’t last forever. I might as well tell him now, I thought, and go back to skating with my friends. “I live with my son.” I said. “Separated.”

“Ah.” Well? “He must be cute, how old is he?

“Seven months.” Nice of him to stick around and not bolt. So he’s polite on top of everything else, I thought.

“So, separated, is that like divorced?”

“Pretty much.”

“And that’s supposed to shock me, huh?” He smiled mischievously and we continued skating. “He must be grabbing stuff now, right?” He asked knowingly. “I read about that. Or is he putting everything in his mouth?” It took me a second to realize he was talking about my son.

“Both!” I laughed with relief.

It was ten o’clock and we were exchanging phone numbers, and setting up a date for Sunday. It would be my first date in thirteen years. I was as high as I’d been in a long time. I couldn’t wait.

It’s been six months since I first met SG at the Skating Ring. Five months, three weeks and two days since we sat at that bar on our first, magical date, since he kissed my shoulder and told me I was beautiful, and turned me on so bad that I had to follow him home and lie to the sitter that I had decided to watch a late-night movie. It’s been four months since we broke up for the first time because BD wanted to get back together and I was confused. Three months and three weeks since I told him I loved him, and he said it back. Three and a half months since we gave Baby a bath together and made animal noises, making him laugh hysterically. Three months since I cried into his shoulder, after a sick friend was told she’d have to have surgery. Two and a half months since I told him I was going to go to couples therapy with BD. Two months since I changed my mind but continued going nevertheless. Six weeks since I stopped therapy and spent and insanely passionate night with SG. One month, three weeks and six days since he told me he wanted to end it because he couldn’t be in a serious relationship with a woman who had a son. One month since I texted him miserably, desperately, and was answered with a straightforward, though kind goodbye. Four days since I found his email and foolishly wrote him a letter and got no response.

Less than a minute since I last fantasized that I might ever have him back.

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Not Too Much to Ask

21 Jul
In bloom every spring.

In bloom every spring.

I seek passion in my life.  But I also seek security.

My therapist thinks my expectations are unrealistic. She thinks what made SG so exciting, what made our relationship so fabulously passionate was the fact that there was no security there, it wasn’t going anywhere, it was clearly temporary. I disagree. I think it was insanely, intoxicatingly passionate, but it became even more so the closer we became, the more I trusted him, the more I let myself believe that it was going to last.

Is it really such an oxymoron, to find passion and security in one man?

I find this magical combination of both passion and security in many different aspects of my life. Motherhood is by far the most prominent. I am head over heals for my little boy. I’m in love with every little brown curl, and overly grown toenail that I struggle to clip as he squirms and squeals. I’m passionate about teaching him everything I know about the world and directing him to look and see the things which are most important to me, showing him by example and helping him learn to deal with difficulty and pain as well as embrace the beauty and pleasures of life. I’m passionate about everything I learn from him. The way he views the world, freshly, unbiased, excitedly, teaches me to let go of preconceptions and misconceptions, and accept things for what they are.

But there is also security in our relationship. I will be his mother always and forever. I will love him always and forever. I will be a part of his life always and forever.

I find passion and security in my career. When I started this blog my need for anonymity was so great that I never mentioned any personal detail about my life. I not only used initials rather than real names, I used an false initials. I never mentioned where I lived, not the city, not even the country. I was careful not to ever mention currency or any other detail that my be revealing. I never posted pictures that took myself, only images I found online. I also never said what I did for a living.

I am an elementary school teacher. And let me tell you, it’s the kind of career that fills your life with a constant flow of excitement, in my opinion like no other, which is why I have chosen it. I cannot sit behind a desk. I have to keep moving. I have a need to reinvent myself on a daily basis. I love inspiring my students. I love helping them fall in love with the world, overwhelmed by all it has to offer them. I love teaching them to have a positive approach to life.

So I have passion in my career. But I also have security. I’m great at what I do, and I’ll always have a job doing what I’m doing, for as long as I’m interested. I wake up every morning, put my son in daycare and go to work, and at the end of the school day I pick him up and take him to the playground, fix dinner, bathe him, put him to bed, and I love this routine. I also know exactly how much money will be in my bank account at the end of every month, and though it’s not a spectacular sum, this too gives me a sense of security.

My friends too fill my life with passion. They get me. We can talk into the night, dissecting our lives and reaching exciting conclusions. Spending time with them is exciting, as well as comforting. I know that they will stand by me when I fall, and this gives me a sense of security.

So why is it so farfetched that this combination of traits can be found in a partner? Why do people find it so unreasonable for me to long for a man who excites me, as well as soothes me, who is passionate and yet reliable?

Still a Little Yours

19 Jul

path

 

I tried to tell myself not to contact you again, especially when you were so explicit about letting go and moving on the last time we spoke. I don’t have your phone number anymore, and that makes things a bit easier. Still, I’m writing. Sometimes you have to be unreasonable. 

I just returned from four magical days in beautiful Berlin. It was lovely – quiet and calm, the exact opposite of the everyday turmoil of my life. This peace that I felt there, brought back memories, made me think of you, and I suddenly had a strong urge to know what’s up with you. Still at that same job? Have you read that book we talked about? Made any important decisions? Had any interesting thoughts? It’s not exactly longing, this feeling, well maybe a little. But mostly it’s an honest interest in someone who used to be a close friend, and suddenly I have no contact with him. 

This year has been the most challenging, interesting, emotional, turbulent year of my life, and you had a part in it. I often think about everything that’s happened to me, and even more about how I have dealt with it all, about the narrative I put together, that ties all these events together and gives them meaning. 

I think about the time we spent together and everything I’ve learned from it. You have a unique ability to see people. I still feel that you managed to see me in a way that I hadn’t been seen in a really long time. You’re sharp, and you think outside the box, and that’s because you don’t even live inside this box called ‘normal life’ or ‘Earth’ or ‘acceptable’. You live entirely outside of the box. But life sometimes calls for thinking inside the box. And I think it’s a huge challenge for us to find the balance – where do we consent to doing what’s expected of us, so that we can lead reasonable (that word again) lives, and where do we draw the line and refuse to cross it. I’m still looking for the balance, and maybe I’ll never find it, just as I may never figure this world out completely. That’s the beauty of this road I’m taking, that it’s full of plot twists, and dramatic changes, and lessons, and surprises, and I love each and every one of them, even when I hate them – I still love them. 

I understand today more than ever that I have the power to choose my own path, to live my life as I wish to. All the doors are open, the choice is mine, and all the possibilities that lay before me are good ones. I understand today that I can’t go wrong, as long as I stay true to myself. It looks like my narrative is changing again. 

I’m not writing you because I want to get back together, although a part of me would give anything to spend another senseless passionate night with you. But in the morning, I know we’d reach the same conclusion we have before. We both want different things. There is a huge gap between what we expect of a relationship and what we want from the future. 

They say that people fall in love, because it makes them see the best in themselves. When I was in love with you I felt that I was the most beautiful, the smartest, the happiest, the sexiest, the most special woman in the world. I think you felt the same with me. I hope so. Today, I just feel like I’m in love with life, in love with this journey. I hope you are too. 

Still a little yours.

 

 

 

 

Letting Go of the Pear

8 Jul

pear

Baby’s afternoon snack was a pear yesterday, cut into pieces that he could easily hold in his fist and take little bites out of using his now five teeth. He was excited about this pear, licking, sucking, and biting into it enthusiastically. He ate it in his stroller as we made our way to the playground and he was about half way through his third piece when we reached our destination. Now he had a dilemma, he wanted to play, but couldn’t let go of his pear.

At first he tried playing with his pear still in his hand. But as he’d only recently started walking (hurray!), this preocupation threw off his balance and he kept falling down. Also, he needed both hands to climb and play. And so, eventually, he came to me and handed me the pear. I took it and held it in my hand so he could see it. He seemed worried. I told him he could have the pear back whenever he wanted, I was just keeping it for him. He started to play but less then two minutes later he began to cry and would only be consoled by having his pear back. He gave it a lick and put it back in my hand for saf keeping. This happened two more times, after which he came back another time just wanting to see the pear. Finally he let go. He realized that the present was more important than the past, that there would be other pears, maybe even peaches or plums in his future.

I observed him through this process and thought of myself, my relationship with SG, how difficult it was to end it, and how many times we tried to end it, unsuccessfully. And how eventually it did end, no thanks to me.

He was my pear (and my pair). Sweet, juicy, tasty, satisfying. He was exactly what I needed at the time. And it’s difficult to let go, because just like my boy, I too worry that I might never get another pear. For all I know, this pear might be the last pear on Earth.

It’s not you, it’s me.

5 Jul

It’s not you it’s me.

It’s not who you are. It’s not your sweetness or your intelligence, or your sensitivity. It’s not your looks, or how good you are in bed. It’s not your gorgeous red curls. It’s not your naive perspective of life. It’s not your ideology. It’s not your crushing arms and the way they used to hold me. It’s not the way you started it. It’s not the way you ended it. It’s not your response to my text telling me to let go.

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s my self doubts. It’s my need of affirmation. It’s my yearning for affection. It’s my loneliness. It’s my childishness. It’s my motherhood. It’s my horniness. It’s how I interpreted your love for me as proof of my worth.

It’s not how you kissed my shoulder, it’s how my shoulder met your lips. It’s not how your lashes fluttered over your big brown eyes, it’s how I looked into those eyes and saw myself reflected in them, it’s not how you loved me, it’s how badly I needed to be loved.

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s not your goodbye, it’s my fear of letting you go, in case I never find anyone who can see me again, love me for who I am, simply, wholy.