It gets a little easier. Through time. Through a constant reminder to myself of delineating what’s created in my head and what’s actually there. With infatuation, it’s easy to hear things the way we want to hear them. I would give so much meaning to words that were said especially coming from someone so eloquent. I already know how vulnerable I am as a person. How quick I am to attach to something, even if it’s not real. I chalk a part of that up to my abandonment issues. Maybe it’s also innately my character.
I can write for hours about how I had a biological dad who didn’t want me. I could re hash the time my nanny who I loved so much left when I was 6 and I was just told she was going on a vacation. She never came back. As I write this even now, I feel remnants of before. I miss her still. Then I could write about my years living in a home where things were unstable, life and death at one point. But ultimately, I came through okay. I came through just fine because the love my mom had for my brother and I, as neurotic as she can be, was the underlying foundation of who I am.
My mom must have been around my age now when this was taken.
“I ran into him on the street corner. The last person I thought I would see. He looked at me first. I could see that he recognized me. I wasn’t sure. By the time I had looked over, it was too late- the moment had completely passed where I could ignore him. I had to say hi, to say something.
He recognized me. He had acknowledged me. I felt the rush of something familiar pull on the pit of my stomach. One that I encounter so many times and want to suppress, but don’t. I’d hidden it in the late night escapes, the aliases. This had happened for years. The feeling.
Yet when I’m in it, I imagine. I imagine it’s real though it’s absolutely not. But I seek the affection that I’d never had. A passion faked and pretended, but so much so that it’s real. At least to me. Mix that with liquor and I’m in an altered state of an imagined connection. That’s happened to me. I mistake that emotion the next day with a real one, when all along it was a confused moment.
There he stood, in his glasses. His face familiar, even though I’d only known him for a night. I felt what was all too familiar. A few words exchanged in the extreme heat of midday. All the while, pushing down what I can’t control but carry so much guilt over. He walks away, and I wish I had been the one who walked away. It scares me sometimes that this is the way I know how to connect.”
Last night, before I head downtown, after putting myself through another anxiety ridden audition (which turned out well regardless of outcome)- I downed two old fashioned drinks. I was nervous to meet you. Over texting and brief phone calls, I had already felt a sweetness and connection. While everything around me is so instant, these little gestures touched me. In recent days when I’d been struck with feeling lost and in despair, I felt an openness to anything.
I met you. I had an idea- as I had already stalked who you might be. I found a way to find your last name and see you. Was I attracted? I was not sure when I got there. I wanted to be, but I couldn’t force myself to. This isn’t because you aren’t handsome or attractive, no, not at all. But I didn’t feel connected with who I had been in touch with the last few days through the words on my phone.
No drinks this date. Which in the end, I was grateful for. The few dates I’ve had previously, the alcohol preceded anything else. The altered state was whom we had gotten to know. You talked. I listened. You shared with me. You were open. You had a charm, a self deprecation, a vulnerability. You shared things with me that were completely honest about your life. Things one wouldn’t share when they first meet someone. You shared stories that were tragically funny. You smiled through the pain. You were smiling.
The night was perfect. The backdrop was perfect. The way you had held my hand and even held me was perfect. The words you had said to me touched me because it there was something so giving in the encounter. In a city where I can isolate myself, those words and actions spoke volumes to me.
While everything seemed right and perfect- it was simply that. There wasn’t the intangible thought of wanting to see each other again. Rather, hesitating and wondering “if” we should.
I spent the next day feeling overwhelmed for whatever reason. It wasn’t until I had spoken to a friend who helped me figure out the reason I had felt that way was because I had encountered someone who had been that sweet to me and I didn’t expect that. Despite the lack of attraction and connection- probably on both our parts, I was touched by something I hadn’t encountered in a long time. In the words of tita Cynthia Alexander (chos)- Woke up this morning I was staring at the ceiling Cracks and roadmaps and landscapes and highways I have seen I have been To places far and deep in my mind Only to find Comfort in Your Strangeness