Cover image is “Path in the Woods” byNorbert Haupt.
It’s been exactly 2 months and a day since my last post, so to say they’ve gotten sporadic would be an understatement. More like non-existent. I have found myself hiding from life again. Not out of any particular sadness, or worry, but just out of the sheer need to not be involved for a while; a long (ridiculously long) social hibernation while I figured out what it was that I wanted out of my life.
I had to refind my path.
Or rather, I had to get my feet back on said path. I let myself get pulled sideways trying to figure out a problem… well, I say problem, in reality it was just dragging out the end of a situation that was over MONTHS ago.
Yes, of course, I was still entangled in the drama that is the boy. But not in any romantic sort of entanglement, although those existed, just not with him. There were other things going on in my life, like trying to find a summer job, which was relatively unsuccessful, and dating around a bit, and a lot of soul searching about what it is I wanted out of life. But interwoven through all that was the drama with the boy.
We were trying to be friends, which could only have worked had we been friends in the beginning, and as we were not, there was no way to go back to something that didn’t exist.
I continued to expect that he would treat me somewhat like he did before, like I was important to him, and that he WANTED to spend time with me, or that he at least thought of me every once in a while.
His idea of how to do that was to begrudgingly parrot back some variation of those words to me: “I was thinking about you as a worthwhile person in my life…”
How scripted and demeaning!
I see now that what I was asking was impossible. I wanted that feeling that I used to get when we saw each other, before we let other people get between us. That feeling of comfort, like we had always known each other…
It seemed, to me anyway, to be similar to the feeling the main characters in I Origins experience when they first meet: this recognition, a spark, a connection. That is what I felt.
But that only existed because I thought I understood what it was that he was looking for, and I was very very wrong.
In reality, that feeling was very closely linked to how he wooed me. He initiated contact, he invited me over to do things, and he made time for me by involving me in his life: introducing me to his friends, asking me over for mundane things, just wanting me to be near him. I was oddly comfortable because it was so straight forward, and didn’t seem to be hiding anything…
But then all that stopped when he (on the urging of his friends) decided that I wanted more than he did.
I’ve been holding out for that feeling, that quality of interaction, to return. And it hasn’t been there for many, many months. Even as we attempted to be friends, I thought that he would show that level of interest in me as a human being, but what I was looking for was the quality of time, not the quantity. This is a very hard concept to describe, and apparently the concept is lost on him.
So, after the umpteenth brush off, the millionth failed promise, I finally quit waiting.
To be fair, he did finally make good on getting me a present: he got me the flask he spoke about for my birthday. Two months late, and I had to practically beg… but I did get it.
And to be fair, he had made tentative plans to go to the movie with me the day I decided I didn’t want to wait for him anymore. So, from his point of view (because he is incapable of seeing it from mine), I’m the one who broke this last promise.
From my point of view, he has been hardly around, for work reasons (not even in the country), which I most certainly can’t fault him for, but upon his return the signals were mixed again. “I need to see you soon so I can give you your present,” he said. This was immediately followed by the shortening list of opportunities he had to do so, because so very many other people come before me in his list of friends.
First it was that he’d try to go to the Steampunk Brass Ball with me on a Sunday.
This was an impossibility for work reasons, although that was not explained until the following day, when I lost my temper at him and tried to explain that I was still holding out for quality time with him, doing fun things and interacting instead of just being in each other’s space.
I thought he blew me off for someone else (again), but it was work related, so I was in the wrong, but still a bit upset because he could have explained that. He flip flops between expecting me to not bother him because I just *know* when he’s busy, and expecting me to go out of my way to interact with him, whether he’s busy or not, while he doesn’t return the favor…
Then it was trivia on Wednesday (which wouldn’t allow for any kind of conversation), but he’d only be able to stay for a drink or two. This is not quality time. So I suggested dinner instead. This actually happened, and it was nice. Really nice! But it was apparent then that his time must be bought some how. It was no longer worth it just to see me; there needed to be a purpose other than interacting with me. He doesn’t seem to have the desire to interact with me, which is the only thing I’ve been trying to get him to do.
So next was a movie. Maybe Thursday, or “a matinee early Sunday afternoon.” I suggested that I’d prefer Sunday so we could have time to talk about the movie after (turns out he had plans on Thursday anyway, so there wasn’t really a choice).
The movie was Lucy. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I think it’s a must-see! It’s like the Matrix with a female lead and a brain! It is definitely a thinking movie with action. And, as an added bonus, it stars Scarlett Johansson, who is always flawless, and Morgan Freeman, who is amazing!
Basically, it was a movie that would require some intellectual discussion afterwards.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have NEVER gone to a movie by myself. Minus the one time it felt like I was by myself because my ex wanted to sit so far in the front that it would have given me a headache and I refused to do that so I sat several rows behind him. The movie then was Gangs of New York. I have hated that movie ever since, although, I have it on good authority that if I would watch it again, it is a movie I would enjoy.
The reason I don’t go to movies by myself is simple: I like to talk about the movie afterward. I like to look at the symbolism, or the acting, and critique it and compare it with another’s point of view.
I LIKE intellectual stimulation of all kinds.
Going to a movie and not being able to discuss it after would be torture for me.
So when we had discussed this movie while the boy wasn’t even in town yet, I figured we’d see it. We discussed it over a week before this past Sunday, when I finally got to see the movie.
So, I put this movie off for over a week just so I could see the movie with him. This is an important point that comes back later.
To show our timeline: the boy was back in town on a Friday, blew me off (for work) on Sunday, went to dinner with me on Wednesday (he opted out of trivia, but dinner was a better deal as far as quality time is concerned), and his birthday was the following Friday.
I sent him a quick Happy Birthday on chat. But he had insinuated that he had plans for that day, so I didn’t call or text or even try to contact him again. Same with Saturday. Since Sunday was the only day he had available for the movie, I inferred that he would be busy on Saturday.
But we hadn’t set a time for the movie… And other people were inviting me to do stuff on Sunday.
This is the last week before the school year preparations get going. So people who I haven’t seen while I was socially hibernating have been trying to get a hold of me to do stuff before I don’t have time any more. Things like, going to the museum, lunch dates, and shopping, all of which I turned down because I didn’t know WHEN we were going to the movie on Sunday.
Not having a set time for a movie was a problem for me.
But, like I’ve done so many times in the past to try not to be “difficult,” I let it go, because he’s the one with the super busy schedule… I didn’t realize it was going to be such a problem.
So Saturday night, after 10 pm, I asked what the plan was. No response.
12 hours later, I asked again. 10:30 in the morning, on Sunday (the day of the alleged movie viewing), I was still unaware of what time we were to see the matinee showing of Lucy.
The conversation went like this:
Me: Are we still going to see the movie today?
Boy: Yes we can, and um, I’m thinking like early afternoon, maybe one of the matinees, but I really really need to sleep. I haven’t slept since yesterday morning. So… I’m on my way home to do that right now…
Me: Ok. Call me when you have a plan.
First of all, part of the problem was that I texted (because I didn’t want to disturb him… seems like that’s always a part of the equation, isn’t it?), and he called, but apparently his number is blocked on my phone, which I don’t remember doing, but since he still has my number blocked, I guess that makes us even.
I should have called back, but I thought the call didn’t ring through because there was something wrong with my phone. It did that to my mother the other day: she called, but it went straight to voicemail, and then for some reason I couldn’t call her back until I completely rebooted the phone.
Had I called back, though, we could have solved the time dilemma. It was an innocent enough mistake.
The second problem is that it didn’t seem like he wanted to actually go: “we CAN do that… I’m THINKING early afternoon, MAYBE one of the matinees…” Those are all pretty wishy washy statements.
When I hadn’t heard from him by 3pm, I made other plans. We were past what I consider early afternoon, and the theater I wanted to go to didn’t have a matinee past 3:25. Remember, I’d already put this movie off for a week to go with the boy, and I’d turned down 3 separate social invites because I was going to see this movie; I didn’t want to wait any longer. So I decided to go with someone who seemed to want to spend time with me… Or at least I was hoping that he did.
Of course, lo and behold, the boy texted maybe 5 minutes after the alternative plans were set. He wanted to go to the 4:40 movie at a theater I’ve never been to before. I made plans with the other guy to go to the 5:25 showing at the theater I wanted to go to. I’d already bought the tickets online. But, I put them in a spot where there was a seat available next to me, that was unlikely to get filled, in case the boy changed his mind and wanted to go…
Next dilemma: that extra 45 minutes was too late because the boy had plans for after the movie. So everything I’d said about quality of time versus quantity of time, and wanting to discuss the movie after, went in one ear and out the other.
So in the end, what started out as a plan to have an enjoyable time at the movies with a friend, ended up being an argument about how we were still playing by his rules. And how, had I not made alternate plans, I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself anyway because I was obviously being shoved in between his other, more important plans.
And I blew up! The entire span of our twisted relationship, my biggest complaint has been about the quality of our time spent together versus the quantity of time, and him not respecting my point of view.
In the beginning, the issue was that he’d invite me over and then not interact with me. We had lots and lots of quantity, but I was looking for something with quality: conversation, or intimacy; something that made me feel like there was a reason for me being in his space. And my trying to explain that caused multiple fights because he didn’t understand what I was asking for, because I couldn’t explain it right. He heard that I didn’t like to come over and not interact, so he quit inviting me over…
By the time I finally got the point across, he’d already started talking to the girl he’s now asked to move in with him. We had 2 solid weeks where I thought we were having the quality time that I was seeking, which culminated with him telling me that it just wasn’t working… because he’d already moved on, but hadn’t told me.
After months of trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, and why he was keeping me around, we finally got to the point of us trying to be friends, but most of our conversations were flat and empty. We were talking at each other instead of to each other. There was no quality time.
So, this past week was kind of my test. He said he wanted to see me, and he proved, through his actions, that that wasn’t really true. He was going to the movie with me, but just by throwing me in between other appointments. And dinner was only because it was preferable to trivia… which he had only intended to do so he could give me the present I had to remind him to get for me.
This is not a friendship. And it is not fun. It is frustrating, to the point of infuriating!
So, I quit waiting.
I blew up, and said some hurtful things, because I was hurt so he should be, too. I’m not proud of that, but most of what I said was how I felt, so it was still true… but if I’d been less upset, I would have sugar coated it a bit.
I don’t expect to hear from him ever again, but that is probably for the best. I held onto a feeling that I had in those early weeks, one that won’t likely come back ever, and I let my hope that that feeling would come back distract me from the really important things in my life. See, I had never felt that before, and it made me think there was a really good reason this guy was in my life, but I think I was wrong.
He was the temptation that took me away from my path. I repeated an old mistake.
But, I’ve found my way again. I’ve left my mistakes behind me, and I’m preparing for the new school year. I will be back at the same old school. I know I said I wouldn’t go back, but we have a new principal, and I think he’s going to shape things up a bit! My dreams have been showing me good things for the upcoming year.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m very spiritual, and I believe in signs. Sometimes this works in my favor, like with my dreams about the new school year.
Sometimes they make me question my choices…
Like, just today, I was listening to Spotify (it’s like Pandora, but I think it’s better), and a song came on that was by the same group the boy was listening to in his car the night we met. I remember commenting on it, because I hadn’t heard anything like it before. Alt-J is the name of the group. It may have been the very song he was listening to when I commented on it, way back in October of last year: Breezeblocks. Towards the end, it repeats “Please don’t go, I love you so, I love you so.”
Is it a sign? Doubtful. An interesting coincidence, probably. Even if I believed it was a sign, I don’t think it would matter much. A) I don’t think I’ll ever hear from the boy again. B) I don’t need the temptation, even if he did ever decide to speak to me again.
I mean, I would love to believe that the feeling from the beginning of our relationship was the truth of us, but I can’t choose 6 weeks of bliss over 8 months of confusing, frustrating, hell. The math doesn’t add up favorably. In the end, I’d always be putting forth more effort than he would, and it’s not worth it anymore.
Now that my feet are moving again, I have to stay on my path.