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.
You see me as the mile marker, I see you as the end point.
And then you have the nerve to ask me why I’m upset. It’s because my life is just an experience you’ll look back on, self congradulatory-‘oh my, didn’t I slum it up once’
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.