The problem is that my games and tricks fly out the window where you’re concerned. With other men I can play these pretences, pretend to be in control. One might argue that stripped of this armor is the real me, but I’ve carried this form of protection with me for so long, like all women do I imagine, that I feel like the vulnerable state you leave me in is an alter ego. I can’t pretend, I can’t play games, I can’t control myself around you. You have all the power. But I know you well enough to know that the woman you want can hold her own around you. I simply can’t.
The things I would never have the courage to say to him
When I imagine my future, it’s also yours. I can’t think of the decades ahead without placing you within them. I’m not afraid of my face lined with grey strands, aged with wrinkles. But in that image, you’re beside me. We’ve both lost our looks, a small tragedy, but we’ve lost them together. In this fantasy you still love me despite my plump thighs and sagging breasts. I still find you irresistible, even though you’re bald and scarred. This part of the fantasy, that we’re hopelessly in love, I can ignore. Because at our current state there is no ‘we’re’ in relation to ‘hopelessly in love’. But you’re there as I age. I can’t ignore that, I can’t convince myself that this is a delusion. I can’t shake the feeling that even in the end. you’ll be with me.
How I knew at 22 years old I had fallen in love with someone
My boyfriend gave me a key to his house. I know, how epic, the trust he must have had. We plan a Friday night in, pizza, bourbon, and movies, the kind of ordinary, indulgent lazy evening that depending on my mood later would either be used as evidence of our complete harmony, or that this relationship was syphoning my youth. Class ends early for me, he’s stuck in traffic, and I’m left alone in his cave for thirty minutes.
I enter the kitchen, flip on the lights, grab a beer. And then I spot his laundry basket near the door to the garage. The basket is full, and I figure its either dirty, and sweet girlfriend that I am, I’ll pop it into the wash, or it’s clean, and I’ll ignore it (folding clean clothes would be over the line into mother territory). I grab a white shirt off the top, and lightly sniff at it.
It was dirty. Yard work, trip to the gym, slept in multiple nights, whatever the cause, the man had clearly sweat in it.
It smelled amazing. I smothered my nose into it and inhaled deeply. Intoxicating.
Fucking chemical, hormonal, trying to get me pregnant bullshit love.
End of term Professor assestments.
End of last lecture
Prof: “I’d appreciate it if you guys would hang around for a few minutes after you fill out these forms.”
I write down that while the class was interesting and he’s very knowledable, he was so unaccessable so often, with so many cancled office hours, and seemed so unfocused at times, it made the class a challenge.
Prof: “All the reviews are in? Great. I just want to take a moment to thank you all. This has been an increadibly trying term for me, in light of the emergency open heart surgery I had to undergo in the last weeks of winter break. I’d just like to thank you all for your patience, understanding, and kindness.”
….Well now I feel like a massive shit of a person
My friend S, while describing the new guy she’s fallen for: “you know that feeling, when you’re laying close to a person, and you can faintly feel their heartbeat in their chest, and you realize you’re falling in love, and that you can feel your own heart swell till it burst from your chest, and keeps expanding till it feels like its swallowing the two of you whole?”
S: “But you know that feeling when you’re first falling for a new guy?”
Me: “….apparently not”
Today after class my friend announces that today, after her Platonic logic class, she’s heading out and getting a tattoo. It was something that had been on her mind, sketched in multiple notebooks, but still,
Long, boring day? Get a design permanently placed on your body. Why not? Three cheers for impulsive spontaneity.
I have spontaneously:
Dumped a guy
Quit a job
Committed a misdemeanor
I think it’s a fair list, but my friend took it a step further than I ever will. My friend talked about wanting to mark her body with memories, make the flesh suit she had been given her own. I’m covered with scars (I’m not trying to be poetic, my skin is literally covered with them), to the point that I feel like it already carries memories, has already been made my own, due to equal parts bad luck, clumsiness, and a failure to look before I leap.
I adore my friend’s spontaneity, but I can’t understand the appeal of lasting physical permanence.