~Friday, March 30, 2007

Understanding Jack

I just got off the phone with Jack. After I hit the red End button, the screen flashed that the phone call lasted three hours.

He didn't criticize me once.

For full disclosure, I have been making a conscious effort to be less competitive. The reasons why I'm competitive aren't healthy, so I am trying to be more confident with myself and my intelligence. Also after seeking advice from my real life friends, they all laughed when I complained that Jack said I can't listen to a story without majorly derailing it. Apparently this in fact is a problem I have, only my friends find it more endearing.

However I'm making no promises on the sleeping during movies thing.

I watched Jack when we were out with our mutual circle of friends on Tuesday. It was our first time out together with them and I wanted to see how he interacted with the others. It made me feel better to find out that I am not special with his criticism. The most laid back girl I know was on the receiving end of it, only she was too drunk to notice. Or perhaps she's just too laid back to care.

He's an odd one, but he's a good guy. Intellectually speaking, we have very similar minds, but our respective motivations for doing the things we both love to do are the exact opposite. For instance, I keep my blog and do my writing for myself. It seems like the posts I'm proudest of receive the smallest number of comments, and I'm okay with that. Jack, however, keeps his blog for other people. He doesn't consider the writing good unless someone else gets something out of it. I personally can't fathom writing under that intention while he argues his writing isn't his own, but we both blog.

The more I talk to him, the more I understand his strange alien foreign motivations. Not that I ever would agree with them, but I at least comprehend where he is coming from. Understanding Jack has made me a lot less sensitive toward actions he never meant for me to take seriously. Early conversations where he essentially gave me the rule book for getting along with him all of a sudden make sense.

"If I say something that seems mean, know that I never mean it that way," he told me three weeks ago. "But it's important to me to be able to be myself without everything turning into a two-hour fight because you're taking it the wrong way."

Huh, so that's what he meant.

~Monday, March 26, 2007

One fugging downhill slope

"How's your afternoon going?" Jack typed through our IM system.

"My feelings are a little hurt," and I proceeded to tell him that an hour earlier our mutual friends canceled on us for other plans and that tonight when he came out with me, it would just be my friends and no one he knew.

"I'm sorry. That's not right at all. You know how worked up I get over stuff like this," he wrote back, not even acknowledging the newfound awkwardness of the night. "Do you mind if I give them a call to discuss this with them?"

I sighed, the anxiety and the hurt feelings immediately disappeared. He cared enough to want to help with the situation. He wanted to protect my feelings. Most importantly, I didn't have to shoulder the entire burden of everything anymore. Here was someone who wanted to help.

He had a good time Friday night. The night wasn't as fantastic as I planned: there was a different DJ and a decidedly smaller group, but alcohol poured freely into our glasses and he got to meet my closest friend. Another one of our mutual friends, E2--I got to know her last weekend when I roadtripped with her for St. Patrick's Day--came out with her boyfriend and was a flurry of fun. Overall, the evening was a success.

Saturday morning, it became apparent that Jack didn't remember the end of Friday night. He didn't remember us going to the scary grocery store in the bad part of town. He didn't remember us ripping our clothes off and how I got the gigantic bruise on my shoulder. He didn't remember the sex at all, which really embarrassed me, but he assured me he felt worse. "It's like hearing about someone else's sex life," he told me when I filled him in. He has a bad memory as it is, but he was really unsettled over the blankness of the night before. I tried to remind him that he drank more than me and that when tequila and Irish Car Bombs are involved, blankness is probably not that unusual.

Throughout the weekend, Jack pointed out things I needed to work on as they came up. I'm too competitive. I walk too fast when I'm hungry or in a hurry. I can't listen to a story without speaking "whatever pops into [my] head." It wears me down to constantly have flaws pointed out to me. To constantly feel like I'm not good enough.

When the bill came for dinner Saturday night, I offered to pay or at least to chip in. He refused. "I want to do good by you. I'm trying. I'm really trying." I smiled and kissed him and everything was right again.

I put in a movie when we got home. It was a long day shopping and doing some organizing at his place. I dozed a couple of times during the movie which is one of his pet peeves. I tried to put my head in his lap, just to be affectionate, and he lectured me that if I wanted to sleep, we should just go to bed. I didn't want to force him to stop watching the movie because I was tired, so I just sat back up. I nodded off on his shoulder and woke up gasping for air, to which he asked if there was something wrong with me.

He's hypercritical of me and it makes me afraid of him. That's why I was so afraid of falling asleep that I awoke with a start. He doesn't criticize me on anything important. I know better than to change somebody, so it's up to me whether or not I want to work on these things for him. It's nothing big, so maybe none of this is a big deal, but I don't want to cause myself so much anguish over someone who may not stick around. I honestly think people wouldn't be so hard on me if they only knew how hard I am on myself. That I take criticism to heart. I really want to please people in life because I have so few people to please.

That pretty much set the pace for Sunday morning. He had been away from his place for too long. However, instead of getting up and leaving, he just sat around and complained about it. I didn't really know what to do. If he wanted to leave, he should have left. Instead he told me how he wanted to go home and recharge. How he gets grumpy if he doesn't spend time alone. I'm not his keeper. I didn't try and keep him there. He even complains that I don't try to keep him when he wants to get off the phone. Anytime he said, "I need to go home, " I said, "Okay." I don't know what his problem was, but he hung around for another hour, telling me how he didn't want to be there. I tried to get him to smile and he said he doesn't smile much. It just make me feel like I did something wrong and he completely dragged me down with him.

I understand the need to be alone. I need to restock the food in my apartment. I need to pay bills. I need to catch up on my movies so Blockbuster will quit calling me. I just wish he would have left when he originally wanted to instead of getting all foul about it. When he finally walked out the door, I was deflated. Instead of smiling over the good times (and there were a lot of good times), I sat on my couch and fought back the tears.

Against my better judgment, I called Jack before I went to bed that night. He clearly didn't want to be on the phone, but I just wanted to see if he was in a better mood after spending the day alone. He said he was, although he didn't sound like it, probably because I called him. Because I can't do one thing right. He did try and make small talk, but it was me who felt small. Jack said in the future we should only spend one weekend night together, which is fine with me because I have my Friday night thing anyway. I told him as much.

Maybe slowing things down will be better until we can actually handle each other's personalities. Or maybe this is the beginning of the end. I have a birthday coming up and I'm about to finish my paper diary and either one always results in a breakup, let alone both of them combined. I don't know what's going to happen. If things are going to end, maybe they should just end now before feelings are involved.

E2 told me to be careful. That he broke her friend's heart. I told Jack this the night he doesn't remember and maybe that's a good thing. That way he won't remember telling me he knows I'm scared but he really likes me and plans to stick around.

~Thursday, March 22, 2007

Like a Lion

In high school, I bought a book my friend wanted for her birthday. It was titled Seduction by the Stars: An Astrological Guide to Love, Lust, and Intimate Relationships. It was basically a book that suggested ways of getting someone to sleep with you based on their astrological sign. As friendships go, we had a falling out right before her birthday and I never gave her the book. It sat on my shelf until college when I was old enough to be interested in sex.

Then I realized that I am, in fact, a girl. I don't need a book to get laid; I just need to say, "Yes please! I do believe that would be an okay thing to do."

Regardless, the book is kind of fun. I like to pull it off the shelf every time I meet someone new. Not only does it suggest specific foreplay, but it also gives ideas on where to go on dates, hot conversation topics (music and art, who knew!?), and bedroom patterns.

On the phone with Jack this week, I opened the book and read about Leos. I like to start with the section about all their faults. When I read the first sentence, "It will feel like you're dating a spoiled child," Jack erupted in a full-body laugh. And laughed much longer than I anticipated.

Then he laughed some more.

I guess he strongly identified with that statement.

To be fair, I read him the section on my faults. He now knows all about the Titanic Taurean Temper Tantrums with the appropriate bull in china shop analogy.

Then I moved on to "Leos at their best." I read the paragraph first silently and then asked, "Would you say you're big-hearted?"

Jack paused and the spoke in a softened tone, "I would say my heart is my favorite thing about me."

I bit my lower lip and smiled. I wasn't sure about things after The Most Awkward Conversation. I'm not biting to move forward, but it did cause for thought when he suggested we wait. I believe Jack's intentions are sincere, but other parts seem so familiar. Adam used to talk about the future too. It's no longer a gauge for how the relationship is going. It's requiring faith on my part. Jack's big on faith.

But there are other signs that give me faith. Like Jack's heart. I don't think someone would proclaim that about himself unless he was sincere.

He also asked to meet the friends on Friday. N can't make it and she's crushed, but Mel will be there and she matters very much to me: Jack has to pass her smell test. He's coming out to my turf. He's immersing himself in my world.

That definitely wins a little faith.

~Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Catching Zs, now if only I could remember the rest of the alphabet

Jack was still laying on his stomach with his face in front of the open window. It was late. I had to be at work in a handful of hours and I had since moved and laid properly in his bed. Even though the blinds were pulled up partially, he still pried them apart to look through them.

"I wish you had come over when you were supposed to at noon."

"Baby, you know I was out of town for the weekend. I tried to get everyone to leave early, but you know them. I'm here now though."

"Yeah, but I had our whole day planned." He sighed, "We were going to read in bed."

I held my breath. It's my absolute favorite thing to do with someone; I don't think there is anything more intimate. I admitted this to him once and he said we could do it, but we have yet to get around to it. It should also be mentioned that Jack doesn't plan things. Our arrangement is I plan and he pays- it seems to work for both of us.

"And now it's late--it's after three--and I don't want to go to sleep because you're here," he finished.

Soundlessly I moved perpendicular on the bed again and wrapped my arm over his lower back. How could I go to sleep when someone says that to me?

It's the best stage of a relationship. It will never get better than this moment: when the smallest gesture takes my breath away. Keeping me up past 3 AM will not be cute six months from now.

I slept at my desk for about 15 minutes the following afternoon before I got up to make my third cup of tea. N laughed when she saw me propped up at my desk with my college-perfected pose of looking like I'm really concentrating on something while I'm actually snoozing.

"This will pass with the first stage," she smiled.

I hope so because I am just So. Fucking. Tired. I came home from work and was asleep before 8 PM that night. My apartment is a dirty mess; I haven't done laundry in at least two weeks. I have literally no food in my apartment; I don't really eat dinner anymore. My Blockbuster movies are stacked up and they're calling me, wondering when they are getting their movies back. I haven't seen my shows, I haven't been writing, and I can't remember the last time I got my mail.

I am just that tired.

I haven't even seen Jack in three days and I won't see him again for another two more, but even now I can barely keep my eyelids open. If I'm not at work, I am sleeping. Jack knows that when he calls, I will be asleep and I'll lie about it.

I want this phase to end for no other reason than I can join the living again.

I'm out of underwear.

~Monday, March 19, 2007

The most awkward conversation

Jack's room was hot. We were sprawled perpendicular on his bed with our faces in front of his open window. Jack was naked and exposed, enjoying the fresh air, and I tucked the blankets around me; it was the perfect analogy for our personalities. Jack stared out the window while I watched him.

"You like to overlap girls."

"What?"

"You like to overlap girls. Always have another one lined up before you get rid of the last one."

"You have no basis for that. You may have a feeling, but you have no basis."

"Well there was the new girl to your ex-girlfriend that you just told me about, and then there's... You know what I'm going to say."

"What?"

"You know."

"What?"

"New Orleans."

"Oh." Jack paused, presumably searching for an answer, "I don't stop talking to other girls after one date with someone. I'll date around until I decide to concentrate on one girl." He laid his head sideways in his arms and looked at me, "Do you date only one person at a time?"

"Oh God no." My eyes widened at the fervor of my response, "I mean, I haven't, though, with you."

Jack corrected his chin in his arms and stared out the window again. "You don't have to say that to me. If you want to go out with someone, you will." He paused, "If you don't want to, you won't."

I hated his response; it seemed too nonchalant. Too apathetic. I made the fish face, opening my mouth to say something, then closing it again while debating if I really wanted to be that girl.

"I've bothered you."

"No." Open mouth. Closed mouth.

"What?"

"Nothing." Open mouth. Closed mouth.

"Tell me."

"It's just." Open mouth. Closed mouth. "Are you concentrating?"

Jack chuckled, probably at our ability to have this conversation without the real words. Relationship. Commitment. Doom. He stopped staring out the window to look at me again, "Do you want me to?"

I nodded, wide-eyed. He has a way of always getting my feelings before announcing his own.

"I believe we are single until we talk about it otherwise."

"I completely agree."

Jack paused again, "I haven't been seeing anyone else. I'm pretty happy here."

"Good answer," and I kissed his forehead.

"Is it?" he genuinely asked.

I rolled from my side facing him to my back. "I wish I was wearing a clown nose."

"I have no idea what that means."

"To lighten the mood."

"Oh. It's not needed." Pause. "I get pretty slow moving from this point forward."

"What point?"

"Whatever point we're at. I dunno."

"I'm so confused."

"I don't know what I'm talking about."

"Are we," long, drawn-out pause, "dating?"

He chuckled, "I thought that was obvious."

"Can you just explain it to me like a two-year-old? I'm not pushing, I'm just trying to clarify."

"I don't want things to get too much more serious."

I. Fucking. Hate. Men.

"We have to have some pretty serious talks before anything else can happen," he continued.

It was too late. I already heard it: I don't want to get serious. I know how hard this has been for you with the panic attacks and the crying the first time we had sex (I failed to mention that, but yes, I got overwhelmed and cried while he was inside of me. Nicely done.) I know how vulnerable you are, but I just want to have a good time, which probably makes you feel like a cheap conquest.

"There's so much about you that I don't know," said Jack.

The second part of his answer clicked in my mind: serious talks. I have so much fun with Jack. We laugh and kiss and play video games. We tease and hold hands and drink gin and tonics. He says things like, "I'm making room in my life for you." But these serious talks, like what is my attitude towards marriage, are absolutely painful for me. My beliefs are rather personal and I have a hard time expelling them to others; I'm a fairly secretive person. But I also understand that in order to have a meaningful relationship, one has to talk about these things. And now he's conveying that it's my beliefs that will make or break us. It's too much pressure on something I already don't feel comfortable with. Perhaps I should at least give him the credit of taking things seriously.

"There isn't a label for us that I like right now." he finished. When I didn't respond because my head was filled with the above, he said, "You're upset with me."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you're upset with me."

"Really, I'm not. I wanted an answer and I got one."

"You know, if you want something, you can just ask."

"I wish I was wearing a clown nose."

"Yeah."

~Thursday, March 15, 2007

So my friends do know me


~Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Definitions, or lack thereof

So I have a relationship.

And I have no idea what that means.

Saturday night Jack and I double-dated with Harvey and her husband. As I suspected from all the limousines we passed on the two miles to the restaurant, it was also prom night. We sipped from our wine glasses as girls with big hair and tulle dresses sat around us.

"I love tulle," I sighed. "I went shopping today and they had racks and racks of prom dresses in the front of the store. I just wanted to put one on and twirl."

"We should do that!" cried Harvey and her next theme party was planned. A prom birthday party. The boys already have tuxedos and we giggled over putting a flask next to the punch bowl and having a theme wall for pictures. Someone's mom would have to come to chaperone.

Afterwards Jack and I went to my place to watch a movie. Instead I opened another bottle of wine and we just sat on my couch and talked.

"Ask me anything," he said. My bedroom anxiety has caused me to reveal more about myself than I was ready to; additionally he knew more about me than I knew about him. Jack wanted me to catch up, but also I learned that he's a pretty open person. Whereas I delay opening up for fear of leaving pieces of myself behind, Jack views it as sharing and giving. Although he and I have so much in common, our respective motivations are often the exact opposite.

The conversation carried on late into the night and we eventually switched locations to my bed. I adjusted the sheets and blanket around me and Jack continued talking.

"It sucks that most of my friends are married."

"Yeah."

"What's your view on marriage?"

My chest tightened again and I covered it with my hand. I had been seeing him for three weeks; it was a little unusual to be discussing heavy topics so early. "That question makes me really uncomfortable," I eventually spoke.

He saw how stressed I had become and dropped the subject. However he brought it back up Monday night. "I don't understand why that is such a difficult question for you," he said. "I would feel comfortable asking a stranger that. I was basically asking your five/ten-year plan."

Jack's good with the guilt. He's Catholic.

And maybe it wasn't the question so much as it was the answer. I didn't want to tell him it was something I think I want, but afraid of telling people for fear it never happens. I've perfected the eye roll and the snarky responses to anything relating to boys. It's my deflection of having to admit most of the time being single isn't my choice.

"Why are you so tense? What do you want?"

"I want a relationship-"

"You have that." He just carelessly threw those words out there. I was stunned. It wasn't anything we've talked about before. If anything, he's always making jokes about how afraid of commitment he is. He quipped he dug me because he knew I was too. Just the previous week when I told him I was asked out by a guy at my office, his response was "For the record, I never said you couldn't go out with other people. For the record." And maybe he just said that to look generous because he can really be ignorant with dating matters at times, but then again, maybe not.

I can see Jack as the kind of person to use "relationship" and not have it mean what everyone else in the entire world thinks it means. He's so different in that respect. When people compliment him, he doesn't respond. Not even a "Thank you." He says he doesn't feel like he should have to owe anyone a response.

At my desk the next morning I looked the word up in the dictionary to see all the different ways Jack could have meant it:

Main Entry: re·la·tion·ship
Pronunciation: -sh&n-"ship
Function: noun
1 : the state of being related or interrelated (studied the relationship between the variables)
2 : the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: as a : KINSHIP b : a specific instance or type of kinship
3 a : a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings (had a good relationship with his family) b : a romantic or passionate attachment

I kept staring at number three. Is it a or b? A OR B!?

"So you have a relationship. What else do you want?" he prodded.

To know what the hell that means.

~Monday, March 12, 2007

Please excuse our mess: I apologize in advance for all the clich├ęs.

E finally responded to my note to her explaining my feelings that I sent over a month ago. It was two sentences long:

I haven't responded until now because I wanted to give you some space. I really hope that one day you will be able to forgive me, but I will understand if you can't.
My nostrils flared as I scrolled down to see if there was more that somehow fell off the screen and lain jumbled by my Start menu, but that was not the case. Underneath her pseudo-apology rested my initial reaction: a screen's worth of feelings and emotions. They weren't pleasant for her to read, I'm sure, but at least I gave her the courtesy of communicating and knowing how I felt. I was rewarded with a month long silence and glares in bathroom that led me to start running to a different floor just to pee.

I actually hated that she responded. Her response put the ball in my court and now the future of our relationship is going to be my fault. I'm the one who has to say, "This just isn't working for me." At least when I put everything out there and got nothing back, I was satisfied that I did everything I could. Now I'm saddled with actually making the decision of do I do more, or do I just cut my losses?

I was going to write back over the weekend, but I was out with friends on Friday and spent the rest of the weekend with Jack and time had just not presented itself. I don't have time tonight either.

As I walked out the front door of the office to take the stairs down to the next floor to pee, I passed E. And she smiled at me.

Now I have no idea what I'm going to do.

~Friday, March 09, 2007

Postscript

The allure of gin and tonics and Mr. Show brought Jack to my apartment late last night. We soon found ourselves in the same compromising position as last time. Just when I clutched my chest to curb its pounding, he pulled my hand away and squeezed it tight.

"This," he nodded to me as I tried to control my breathing, "This is good. It means you're opening up."

I lifted my head off my pillow until my lower lip tickled his earlobe. "This is how I get hurt," I whispered. "I'm so scared." I was grateful for his weight on top of me. It was covering me, hiding me, protecting me.

"I know, Baby. But I am so enamored with you. I'm not going anywhere."

"I'm so scared. I'm so scared. I'm so scared."

Dear God, please let me be the one to break his heart...

~Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why I've been slow to post

The thoughts charged through my mind like a train roaring into a station. This is not right. This is too fast. This is Too. Fast. STOP! screamed inside me until I planted my palm on his chest and pushed him down.

"Are you okay?" he asked. "Omigod, you're shaking. Here." He moved over until I lied down in my own bed. He then hovered over me, his face about a foot from mine. I closed my eyes; I didn't want him to see me.

We were only making out, but it was too intense. It was too much. It was the kind of making out that leads to other things. I tried ignoring my head, but it was screaming at me and now I was shaking and gasping for breath.

I lifted my arm and crooked it over my face and sighed, "I just got all... panicky."

"I can see that. What's wrong?"

"It's just that when I sleep with people, I get attached. I know how I am. I mean, you're supposed to sleep with someone between 4 and 6 dates, but how do you sleep with someone based on that kind of time line?"

"I've never heard of that before."

"Ask anyone. If you have sex with someone before 3 dates, you're a slut, but if you wait until after 6, you're a prude. But I can't do it. I can't have sex with someone based solely on the number of dates. It's-"

"Shh, no one says you have to." His voice quietened, "Besides, what's wrong with attachment? I think it would be okay for you to get attached. I like you. I really like you."

I then gave him my George Carlin analogy. He says any time you purchase a dog, you are essentially purchasing a small tragedy. It's the same way with me and relationships. Every time I get in one, it always results in a small tragedy. Jack said the only way he knew how to deal with things is just to press on and deal with the consequences. That in the alternative, the means don't justify the end. That the alternative is so much worse. He said he couldn't promise to never hurt me, but it would never be his intentions. Nothing was wrong with getting attached to him.

He began to kiss me again. It was different with him, even in comparison with Adam. Jack had actually verbalized his feelings towards me. With him, I wasn't worried about who else he was seeing. He was my open book. We had both thought that talking things out would calm me, but it didn't. This time it happened faster and was more intense. This time it was a panic attack.

"What happened that made you this way?" he whispered after I calmed down again.

I felt like I owed him an explanation: something was wrong with me-- physically wrong-- and I couldn't just leave him there to wonder. In reality, it's probably a combination of all the men in my past: the alcoholic, Conor and his head games, the poet who thought if he couldn't love me, he couldn't love at all, and Mark. I chose instead to just tell him about Mark. I haven't told any boy about Mark, but I owed Jack this. I told him what I gave up and what I lost. I told him about what's-her-face.

This time, he was a little more concerned. He said he didn't want to distress me by touching me and he didn't want me to associate distress with him. He was worried about everything being a battle. I'm fine outside of the bedroom, but when it comes to being intimate, I'm slow to trust. This time he said he may not try to make a move for awhile and for me not to be hurt about it. I understood.

"Once I get over it and trust, it will be a non-issue. I just need time," I told him. This relieved him. He then wondered about about moving too fast by calling me everyday. It was abnormal for me, but I don't want him to disappear because he feels he has to. I don't want him to change.

I just don't want to be punished for being so scared.

~Monday, March 05, 2007

When women are usually right

Jack and I were eating dinner at a local dive hamburger place when a manager approached the table next to us.

"Excuse me, Sir, but the woman at the bar wanted you to have this."

I turned around and looked as she handed him a napkin. The table of boys began laughing and curiosity got the better of me. I leaned back and asked what it was.

He holds up the napkin, "It's a name and phone number."

"Whoa! Nice job!" I said.

"What? How did you do that!? I wanna- OW!" asked Jack. I pinched his thigh. Hard.

Jack and I and the table next to us all turned around to look at the bar. She was supposedly the girl sitting one seat over from the Jager machine, but she was sitting between two guys and wasn't even looking our way.

"You know what would be so great? Send her a drink," I said.

"That is a great idea. Thank you." And he called the manager back and told her to give her another round on him. The manager returned and said she ordered a mid-shelf vodka cocktail.

Just then, when no one else was looking, the girl turned around and snuck a peek at the guy with the napkin. Only I saw her face, and I gasped.

I leaned in to Jack, "She is really ugly!" I whispered.

He turned and studied the back of her head again. "Really? I think you're just being catty."

The Napkin Holder leaned back to our table, "You saw her? What did she look like?"

"I didn't like her. She has a butter face." The other boys at the table began howling.

He extended the napkin to me, "Do you want to take this?"

"Women are usually right with that sort of thing," agreed his buddy.

All of a sudden I felt really badly for the girl at the bar. I don't think I would ever send a napkin to a guy eating dinner with his buddies. I admired her courage and didn't want to be responsible for the reason it failed. "You know what? Keep it. I didn't see her for that long and she was across the room. I could be mistaken."

Just then a hostess approached the group of three at the bar and ushered them to their table, which was directly across from us. Jack and the Napkin Holder's table both saw her and gasped.

"Oh no!"

"Sarah, I would just like to apologize. You are not catty at all."

"I win!"

Regardless, the Napkin Holder got up and introduced himself to the table. The girl had a braying voice that made Jack cringe. He returned to his table and leaned back to me, "Yep, women are usually right with those things." He looked at Jack and advised, "And even when they aren't right, just go along with it."

"I like this guy already!" I laughed.

Jack made a face at me and soon we were talking about the stupid things we've (he's) said. Like, for instance, why he would ask how to get a girl to send him a napkin when I'm sitting within pinching distance. Jack's argument, "to cover [his] bases," also fell under the same category. Just when we got lost in our conversation again, the Napkin Holder leaned back into our table.

"Excuse me, but why exactly did you call him a dick?"

~Friday, March 02, 2007

Sabotage

The next evening I suffered from name-calling remorse. I called two different friends, both of which began the call with "What did you do to him!?"

So it seems like I've developed quite a little reputation for sabotaging relationships.

Both girls dubbed the story hilarious and "not that bad" of a situation. It was decided that I would wait a couple of days and then apologize next time I talk to him. But Jack had called within the half hour.

"I just want to apologize for calling you a dick. That's sort of, um, my personality, I really didn't mean anything by it," I tried to explain.

"When did you call me a dick?"

"...I didn't!" I couldn't believe I admitted to two people what happened and he didn't even remember. That embarrassment could have died with me.

"Okay, but let's just say you were to call me a dick; what would be the circumstances?"

And so I had to relive the moment for the 4th time.

"You know what's hilarious?" he laughed. "If you had never apologized, I would have never remembered. But now I'm going to remember that."

"Forever."

"Right."

I groaned.

Things are actually going really well. He's called every night since then and we are going out again on Saturday. I can't remember the last time a boy called me just because. Christopher never did. Adam, only twice. And that pushes me back to 2005.

I think this is reminding me exactly how long it's been since I've been loved. I've just become so lonely. In many ways Jack completely amazes me. He's a reader: we're both members of literary societies and I finally have someone to talk with about James Joyce, Proust, and Pynchon. He's also a writer, and we both have magazine articles being published within the next couple of months. He's equally as quirky as I am and he makes me laugh. He meets most of my top 15 criteria.

However, I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I think he's needier than I am. Or maybe I've just been conditioned not to need. I can't tell the difference between how I've been treated and what I believe. Maybe that's because what I've been through shapes who I am. I actually don't need the phone calls every night. I don't need to set people up to say nice things to me. He went out of town with someone he only met once and I'm worried he could suck me into codependency and subsequently I could get crushed.

The serious relationships of my life, they all began with the man being more confident about his feelings for me rather than my feelings for him. I ended up deciding to like him and I got annihilated. This is beginning very much the same way.

But it's been so long since I had someone smell my hair.

 

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