Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The party on Friday was going perfectly. A lot of happy, liquored up people, laughing, getting along, and he-- the one she had invited to come in from Chicago-- was making a great impression. When he got up to do his Karaoke song, her coworker leaned over to her, "Where'd you find this one?" He said, pointing to her best friend with a grin on his face.

"On the internet." She smiled.


"Yeah. We started talking when we were fourteen, and just never stopped. We've only seen each other four times in person, but we've kept it going. Eight years."

The singing out-of-towner sent a meaningful glance over from the floor in the midst of his song, and her head swelled with happiness. Her coworker looked at her and smiled. "A success story."

"Indeed." She smiled back.

Back at the table, he talked intelligently about music to the others, coached her through her first tequila shot and cheered her through her second and third. He argued with her coworker-- the birthday boy-- when he tried to buy his own drinks, and got along swimmingly with her husband. Another round of shots, and she was feeling comfortable and contended, forgetting the inhibitions that would normally leave her sitting quietly at the table. Her husband was delighted to see her enjoying herself so much, knowing the sickening blasé she felt in her daily life. Everyone-- everyone-- was having a good time. The best she could remember having in months, really.

A woman will waste a lifetime trying to recreate one moment; one of those was about to happen to her again. Sometime in all the light-hearted joviality, she stood up too fast, lost her balance, and fell into his lap. He caught her, and they all laughed at her tipsiness, and it was all completely innocent. Without meaning to, she had to tell herself, his hands lingered on her for one moment too long-- one on her side, the other on the silk of her skirt, moving slightly on her thigh-- he hadn't meant it, wouldn't have under the best of circumstances, and certainly not within two feet of her husband and everyone; she knew that, and all too quickly, she was on her feet. It was innocent, thoughtless, and gone. It was delicious.

The next night, she couldn't stop thinking about it, and she stopped on her way home from work to pick up a bottle of tequila. That was when the trouble started.


I don't understand why I seem to be the only person on the goddamned earth with the kinds of feelings that I have. When you get down to the deep and honest version of me, I'm just...god, I'm just not very nice. Perhaps in the basest versions of ourselves, we're all selfish, whining ids, and what makes us a good person or not is how much courtesy, dignity and distance we put between that pure asshole force and our day-to-day selves. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. But I'll tell you this much: I've never really gotten over anyone I've been in love with. I don't really want anyone who's ever been in love with me to move on. As much as I value witty, fun conversation, there's an enormous part of me that just wants to talk about feelings, specifically feelings that apply to the two people involved in the conversation, and when those conversations happen-- say, in a drunken state of anger and sadness- I find it endlessly satisfying, no matter how uncomfortable it is for the other party. That is, unless the other party is my husband: in this case, I tell him I want to know about his feelings, beg and pine for it and act like the absence of it is ruining our relationship, but should he get drunk enough to actually say anything, it fucking haunts me, and I can't get over it. And I haven't distanced myself from my id enough to not throw that in his face.

What else? The more hurt that I experience at the hands at those closest to me-- normally my fault, normally something I prod at and provoke-- the more I distance myself from people who I could potentially care about, which as far as I'm concerned, is wise. What's not wise about it is that the ensuing absence of those other people makes me feel more alone, and I open myself up wider to the people closest to me, which leaves me open for more hurt, and drives me to ask for it more loudly, and they get disgusted with me, and I get disgusted with myself, and that speeds the cycle-- eventually, I'm quite sure I'll have no one. Being sure of this, by the way, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The lower my self-esteem, the lower the reality, as, the way it is right now, I function around the average person only with the help of a veneer of confidence that is purely false; around people I trust, that veneer falls off, leaving me naked and completely unable to act comfortable in my own skin, completely unable to believe that anyone could accept my flaws as they see them before me.

God, it's such a bitch, and I can go on. All I really know is this, and I've been on both sides of this lately, so take it to heart: it's your responsibility to fight to be happy, because your sadness makes the people who really care about you feel inadequate.

If you were at my house this weekend, my id spoiled a lot of the time I could have spent fucking treasuring having you here. In defense of myself, of a part of myself that this part doesn't really even believe deserves defense, the stress about work, the sadness about my grandmother (who is dying, for the record), the daily strife of vaginismus and the particularly poignant feelings of self-doubt over my apperance have all been wearing on my last nerve lately; a nerve that burst into a bloody menstrual meltdown right about the time your plane touched ground. I wish to hell I'd been able to spend less time fearing the way I'd feel when the one thing I'd been looking forward to-- you-- was gone.

But it was one of the best times of my life, despite everything. I don't know if I told you that, and it deserves to be said one more time that your willingness to cross mountains and rivers and valleys when I need you-- when I need you-- means everything to me.

I love you so goddamned much.

On with it.