It’s a little like chess, and a little like waiting for a train without a schedule–flirting is I mean

So I have a strong interest in someone. I’m not writing too much in case I ever give him this blog to read. But I’ll bet he has one, too. A blog, I mean. He is also interested in using words as a vehicle for conveying meaning, beauty, emotional states, and art.

So: how often do I meet someone who quotes the same films from the 1980s that I do? Or who also drops an F-bomb in polite company? Or who has to resist making the same comments about drugs around the squares that I do? Not that often. When that person has a penis and is attractive to me, usually he is coupled, or is someone I know’s ex-old man. Or I get so worried about “shitting where I eat” that I just don’t do anything about it. Or I wait for so long for him to get over his ex that he’s already scooped up by some other girl. Not this time!

Gare de Carthage Tunisian Train Station in Carthage

Romance can seem so much like waiting for a train without a schedule. Did I miss it already? Can I find someone to check? If I leave the platform just for a moment I might miss the locomotive. It's probably better to just wait here and worry.

It’s been a little while since I’ve done this dance something proper in this, the Twitter Age. The last time a young guy was sending me texts, I didn’t realize they were sexts until weeks later. Really, I am that far out of the game. I was just talking metaphorically, and I have a filthy vocabulary. I didn’t catch the double entendres until the whole thing was over without really beginning. Oh Seer, you ignorant slut. Boys do like you. Just because someone likes you doesn’t mean there’s automatically something wrong with him. Like Groucho, I am suspicious of any club that would have me for a member, so when someone expresses interest, I assume he is defective. That’s healthy!

I didn’t want to risk that he wouldn’t make a move, so I reverted to my teenaged, confident self and made one first. (I used to do that shit all the time. I wonder when that version of me went out for cigarettes and never came back. Parts of her I miss very much. She still shows up occasionally. She still tries on stranger’s fake mustaches in bars or will take up almost any bet or will shake her ta-tas for anyone anytime anywhere.) Do I stay that longer-legged version of myself? No, not for long. I waver in and out, between knowing whatever happens will be fine, and analyzing every communication, every moment spent together, every word, gesture, and moment of silence for meaning. Does he like me now? How about now? Did I fuck it up? What’s going to happen? Jeez, I shouldn’t have done that. He’s going to get the wrong idea. That was stupid. If only I could undo that.

Benjamin Franklin playing chess Edward Harrison May (1824 - 1887)

You know that Ben totally got this chick naked and sexed her up on the settee after the game. That was how he rolled, son.

I tear apart emails, looking through their entrails for signs. Does the fact that he sent it at this time mean something? And then he didn’t respond at all on this day. What does that mean? I become preoccupied in his presence. Should I just say it? Or will he think I’m throwing myself at him? That’s not appealing at all. Some days are exciting, others are anxious. It’s not at the level of Fucked Up–that only happens when I’m really in it–but I do worry. When I don’t get the validation I want and crave from another human being who I don’t know yet but I really want to know, and when we haven’t laid out the boundaries of the relationship yet, so I don’t know where I stand, I do worry.

When I do eventually get a response that shows my fears are unfounded, it releases the anxious pressure and I relax, then surrender into a tiny thrill. I let my head go in ten different directions, spinning webs of alternate futures, telling me all the good things that could happen. He likes me, I like him; it’s all going to be magnificent.

Eh, we’ll see. Hopefully, it’ll all go the way I want it to. If it doesn’t, I will eventually make it through. I may not be okay the day after I find out it doesn’t go my way, or the day after that, but I will one day wake up and be okay. It’s happened before. I can deal with rejection. I don’t like it, but I know that I’m a whole lotta okay–I’m SuperFresh Beyond Belief™. But I still want to love and be loved. It’s hard when that seems again out of reach, and a fresh rejection can again kick to the surface all the previous rejections I have had before. They bark at me like junkyard dogs, trying to scare me out of the field forever. Old lies die hard, man. Old lies die hard.

Billie Holiday — “You Go to My Head” (1938)


One comment

  1. Pingback: I have a boy in my life. How I may have summoned this (but maybe not) « Occipital Hazard

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