originally posted on fb on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 3:31am
People have complained about this and they probably will for as long as there are people.
You meet someone you like. Someone you are so excited about. Someone you think you could love. Someone you know you could love.
Yey for you.
Then you find out. He already has someone else. Or he’s not as excited about you as you are about him. Or it’s the wrong time. Or the many other reasons you will be given that could very well just be varied ways to tell you he’s not interested.
You can’t even get mad. You can’t even throw a fit. It doesn’t even warrant breaking something. Like a storefront window. And why not?
Because you’re not supposed to get mad at losing something you never had in the first place. Correction: losing someone you never had in the first place.
But most of all, you can’t get mad because you too have given so many others the same, if slightly varying ways of dismissal.
Give a guy a break.
The overwhelming expanse of sexual freedom today has made us lose the immediacy of building a relationship. You have this wide variety of beautiful people to choose from who are ready to have a good, if very short, time. Like just for tonight. Not even a night sometimes. Just a few hours. Minutes even. Or while the girlfriend is away. Or while the boyfriend is sleeping.
And who are you to complain? You too have enjoyed playing that field. And it was great fun. And yet you ask yourself… How many moments of great fun do you remember?
Five, maybe? More. Ok, so maybe fifty. But how dull they seem from where you are now. And then you think of the quiet moments that really stay with you. The moments that make you close your eyes. And you remember how you wrapped your arms around someone as he was crying himself to sleep. Not saying a word because you know that the moment doesn’t call for it. That only your presence is the only thing that has hope of reassuring him that he is not alone. The feel of his hair as your ran your fingers through it. How a hand feels. That calloused part of his hand which you asked him what was the cause of. Those closed eyes that you watched while he slept. Or just that warm feeling of someone sleeping next to you whom you know will see your day-to-day face in the morning unflattered by the warm yellow lights of the meet up joints all over the metro. Or falling in bed exhausted after helping him out with stuff he needed to finish for work. These and other achingly beautiful moments.
Why do these moments seem more precious now than the seemingly urgent and mindblowing moments we thought we had? Because they are more meaningful? Because in those quiet moments we have truly connected on a level that is almost divine? Because in those moments you get a glimpse of forever? Why didn’t they last then? Yeah. Try answering that one.
Isn’t it funny how it’s easier to find someone to go to bed with you than to find someone who will want to wake up with you the next day?
Funny. Funny and sad.
I have friends who are in relationships at the moment. I’m happy for most of them. To find someone you can love and who can love you back, that’s quite a feat. And some stroke of luck. Some friends are in relationships for some very foolish reasons. They are afraid to be lonely. The partner, in theory, should be an amazing person to be in a relationship with; but, in practice, is just plain shitty. Some have beards, people they use to pose with. Some have romanticized lackeys. But the genuine ones, I hope they stay together.
And I have some friends who were perfect together but aren’t anymore. How did that happen? Beats me.
I have a friend who doesn’t have fun. He’d rather save himself for someone who will love him. Admirable, yes? Definitely. But he’s been lonely for a very long time. Far longer than I have. But he’s not fooling himself into believing that every chance encounter might turn out to be that which he has waited for all his life. He doesn’t break his heart into a million pieces every time it turns out to be, as Cole Porter called it, just another one of those things. I guess we have different ways of hoping. He hopes by waiting. I hope by looking. Maybe these aren’t ways of hoping. Maybe these are ways of coping with the scarcity of hope.
But tonight, tonight I’m hopeful. I go to bed listening to some old pop song I should be ashamed of listening to. And I’m smiling.
And I have a fresh, beautiful, warm memory of a hand held in mine. And my hand being held in his.