This has been the week from hell for me on many different levels. For now, let's just focus on men...
I just got off the phone with a guy I was supposed to see tonight. He called to cancel on me and tell me that he didn't see where "this situation" with us was going. He went on to tell me how I could make better use of my time and that I was such a great guy that I didn't deserve someone as fucked up as him.
When I first saw this guy 4 years ago, I was speechless. I thought he was so sexy. For two years, I would see him at bars and think how incredibly handsome he was. He was that one guy, you know the one you notice at the bars but are too afraid to speak to, the guy that walks across the room and everyone stares at, the guy that makes you smile, the one that makes you cross your fingers as you're locking your door and leaving your house in the hopes of seeing him out that night, the reason you splash on a bit more cologne or perfume. He's the reason you shave and have one or two razor cuts in areas you never thought you'd be shaving but do so cuz you just never know, he's the one your friends refer to when they call and ask if you're going out and you reply, "I don't feel like going out" to which they always respond, "but he might be there." Ah, yes, B(let's call him B) was all of this to me.
A little over two years ago, I went out bar hopping on my own. That night I met a "straight guy," and we chatted for a bit. As I was leaving the bar, I saw the "straight guy" and said to him, "Goodbye, sexy." Suddenly this other guy interrupted with,"Well, hello, sexy!" It was B and he was talking to me! I immediately forgot about that "straight guy" and focused all of my attention on B. The man I had admired for so many years was standing right before me and hitting on me; I couldn't believe it. I was excited. I was nervous and I was scared shitless. Within a matter of a five minutes, I had B's number and plans to see him again. I was on cloud nine!
Little did I know that the man I noticed at the bars for 2 years, the man I thought was incredibly sexy and attractive would have a few issues...quite a few issues. I always assumed that someone like B would be confident. I was wrong. B was never able to see all of the qualities I saw in him. In spite of appearing confident, he had low self-esteem and as much as he wanted to love, he didn't know how to be intimate and let people into his life. He sometimes tried with me. I believe he tried to convince himself that feeling good was a good thing but eventually his fear would take over and he would shut me out again. Sometimes I thought B believed he didn't deserve good things in his life, that he didn't deserve to be happy. It was quite sad. B would always tell me that he was fucked up and that I, on the other hand, had my shit together and deserved better and that I was a catch. Hearing him say that pissed me off for some reason. Let's be honest here, aren't we all just a little fucked up? Don't we all have issues? Perhaps we wouldn't be so hard on ourselves if only, at least for a moment in time, we could see ourselves through the eyes of others.
Anyway, B and I stopped talking for a while and somewhere along the line I met another wonderful guy named M&M(yeah, let's call him M&M). He and I hit it off from the start. We had a similar sense of humor, we shared common interests in silly things. At one point, he told me he liked me, "more than anyone he had ever met." Surprisingly, two weeks later he started pulling away. He got cold feet and told me he wasn't ready for a relationship. I'm not going to lie. Seeing M&M pull away was extremely painful for me because, while B may have been someone I found incredibly sexy, M&M was the first guy I actually really liked in a very very long time. I still remember the email M&M sent me about a month after he dumped me, telling me that the day he walked out of my house, the day he dumped me, he felt like he was walking off a plank on a ship and that perhaps he was making a decision he would never be able to take back. It's been 11 months and I still think of him, every now and then. Doesn't that suck, considering we only dated for 3months? I feel pathetic admitting that but it's my truth and I must own it.
It's funny how people come in and out of our lives, sometimes at precise moments. Shortly after M&M and I broke up, I bumped into B at a bar. He was drunk. He told me he was celebrating with his friends. He had just landed a major job in NYC and was moving there in the coming months. For some reason, I was saddened by the news. Part of me didn't want to see him leave. A greater part of me wondered what if things had only been different between us. That night B looked at me with a huge smile and asked if we could see each other before he left. I said, "absolutely." When we saw each other later that week, he poured his heart out and told me he thought, "we really might have a chance at something" and that he liked me so much. He mentioned how all week long he was in a good mood because he knew he was going to see me at the end of the week. He was happy and all smiles. I had never seen B like this. A part of me was excited to hear him say these words but another part of me was angry because of the timing. I felt cheated out of something that was never meant to be mine. He was leaving for NYC and I was not going to follow. The man before me that night was not the same man I had met years earlier, the man who was sexy yet distant, the man of few words. That evening, I fell asleep cuddled in the arms of a stranger. The morning after, I awoke in a frigid room with a deafening silence that echoed loudly through the walls of B's room and pounded against my chest so hard, I could barely breathe. I kept hearing and feeling the silence like a cruel symphony that was about to begin and all I could do was hate and respect the moment. Eventually, I realized that I didn't feel B in bed with me and I thought perhaps that was the reason my mind was playing tricks on me. I tried to convince myself that this cruel symphony of silence was just in my head and that B was probably making me coffee or breakfast. But when I turned around, there he was on the other end of the bed, laying quietly and nestled in his own little world. Indeed, I was alone in bed. Suddenly, I was reunited with the distant and cold B I remembered. I could only imagine the things that went through his mind. He never mentioned the things he had said the night before in a semi-drunken state of mind. He never talked about his plans to have me move with him to NYC(something I wouldn't have done). He never spoke again of how he knew "this situation" between us could work and that all we had to do was try. He never repeated how much he liked me. In the months that followed, B and I would get together, every now and then to catch up and see how we were. Part of me wanted to recapture the magic from that moment in his apartment. Another part of me, wondered why I insisted on trying so hard with this man who had obviously put up a wall up between himself and the rest of the world. This symphony was about to perform its Final Act.
Right about now, I was supposed to be at B's apartment for some drinks and conversation. However, he called about 2 and half hours ago to tell me that "this situation" between wasn't going anywhere and that I deserved so much better than him. He reminded me of how I had my shit together but he was just a mess. I should have reminded him of everything he said to me that night but never had the courage to repeat, instead I bit my tongue and kept my silence much like th night that M&M broke up with me. I wanted to make the process easier for him, much like I wanted to make it easier for M&M. It's funny, twice now I've found myself being dumped and I wanting to help them with the process of saying goodbye because I know it's hard for them. I've kept my silence for far too long. From now on, I am making a promise to myself to speak my mind and make men take responsibility for the mess they leave behind. I'm so fricken tired of cleaning up their mess.
I look back now at B and M&M and wonder why I put myself in those situations. Why I bit my tongue and didn't allow myself to speak my own truth and make them own what they did to me. So, to all of you reading this now, I pose this question: Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we insist and persist when we know that it may not work out? And have you ever been hurt by someone because they thought you were too good for them?
AND TO THE LAST MAN I SLEPT WITH AND ALL THE JERKS LIKE HIM, thank you. Thank you so much for the lessons learned. I am stronger and I am wiser because of you but certainly not solely because of you. I just hope you've learned from your mistakes the way I've learned from mine.
P.S. I'm listening to No One by Alicia Keys. I spent so many years of my life dedicating love songs to men and I decided, for the first time in my life, that I needed to dedicate a love song to myself and that's it.
P.S.S. Thank you to author Gwendolyn Zepeda. I borrowed the title to my latest blog entry from your book.