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The Sneauxpocolypse & The Super Bowl

February 4, 2014

We’ve had two hard freezes in two weeks in Lafayette. They said it might snow but all we got was a layer of ice over everything. When it freezes in Louisiana everyone freaks the fuck out. We don’t know what to do with ourselves. Roads and bridges close. Schools and businesses close. Things are cancelled. Life comes to a halt. We don’t have the right clothing or tires or ice scrapers. Some people bundle up and stay inside. The more adventurous of us rush outside with their kids and make inferior snowballs and find things to slide on, on any hill they can find. On facebook they were calling these combined 3 or 4 days of cold weather,  Sneauxpocalypse. (Replacing the long o sound with eaux is a common cajun gimmick.)

They were saying it was going to freeze a second time on Tuesday and Wednesday. As soon as I got to work the Monday before, the office manager was lobbying to close the place down. Listening to her haggle with the financial officer was amusing. She easily won when we found out local schools and tv stations were closing. So I had a day off, though my workload didn’t decrease. Since I live a few blocks away, I was going to come in no matter what.

Z continued……

I had a date with Z that Monday night. It was a favor I had asked of him. I wanted dinner and a movie. He told me he decided to move to Dallas. It was finally going to end, I thought. I need this thing with him to end. I need to let go of him. We need to let go of each other.

I started seeing him again the night I told the Twin I didn’t want to see him anymore, after the episode with the weird texts. I had told Z about it while I was at my Dad’s. That night he came to my apartment when I got home. He walked in the door and said, “So tell me about the Twin.” Then he looked at me, took my face in his hands, said, “Nevermind,” and kissed me. We had the most amazing sex that night. The contrast between him and the Twin was shocking. How can two people be so different, sexually? It made me sad to think that the Twin might not ever experience what sex can be like. I was grateful that I was experiencing the level of passion and fun that I had with Z. We were so good together. I love having sex with him.

But then, a few weeks later, seemingly out of the blue, he broke up with me. He was receiving his master’s degree and his parents, sister and little brother were flying in from India for the graduation ceremony. They were going to travel a bit together. They were going to Disney World. He told me he wouldn’t be able to see me or be in touch as often while they were in the states. I understood. Then he abruptly decided it was time for us to end our little fling.

We’ve both known from the beginning that it was temporary. We’ve both experienced each other with a combination of addiciton-like attraction and confusion. I’ve tried to have a detached attitude towards him. Not detached but sort of, everytime I see him might be the last time, attitude. When he told me he wanted to break up, I cried in front of him. He freaked out  a little. He texted Pickle when I went in the bathroom to splash water on my face. I pulled it together and told him I’d be fine. But I mourned the loss of him in the following days and weeks.

He claimed that he wouldn’t text me or message me like other times we had supposedly broken up. That this time was for good. That he would check in after a few months to see how I was doing. I took him at his word and tried to let him go. But he didn’t stop communicating. He asked if a friend could borrow my camera. He sent me pictures from his graduation. He made conversation. I didn’t resist. He wasn’t letting go.

The Twin Relapse

New Year’s Eve came along. Last year Pickle and I had halfheartedly pledged to kiss someone at midnight. We failed miserably. This year she had plans with her boyfriend. I made plans with a couple of other girlfriends and I secretly made a pledge to kiss someone at midnight. Even if I had to look around and see who was not kissing someone and grab one of them, I was going to kiss someone at midnight. I began scoping out candidates at Pamplona’s. I confessed my midnight-kiss goal to my friend Amy before we moved on to Artmosphere. The Twins, including their ever-present friend, whom I call the third twin, walked right past me. I didn’t like the way we were seemingly trying to avoid each other. I thought it was ridiculous. So, I followed them out, got their attention and said hi. “We’re not going to ignore each other are we? We can be friends, right?” I asked.

“Of course,” Twin J said and they each gave me a hug. We chatted for a bit. Pickle and her boyfriend joined us and we all ended up congregated on the wicker furniture on the patio, staying warm by the heater. Amy, who has the subtlety of a tyrannosaurus rex blurted out to everyone, “Marie is in the market for someone to kiss at midnight.” Twin J didn’t skip a beat and replied, “I’ll do it.” I put my head down, embarrassed. As midnight drew closer, I went over to Twin J and said, “I wasn’t kidding about that midnight kiss,” and pulled him over to where I was sitting. We kissed as the crowd reached yelled out “1” and then “Happy New Year.” It was nice. We kissed more and hung out together. When I was ready to walk home, he walked with me. I invited him up. And then, for reasons that I still can’t understand I had sex with him again. It was slightly better but still not great. Not even good, really. I tried to teach him a little, beginning with the art of disrobing each other. It was still kind of sad. I missed Z. Twin J left the next morning and I didn’t know where we stood. I didn’t know where I wanted us to stand. I enjoyed his company. I liked talking to him but there was no chemistry, no electric pull, no fire, no passion, no skill. It wasn’t enough.

The Pizza…..

The next day Z texted me, telling me Happy New Year’s. He was driving back from Houston. He had just dropped off his family at the airport. A few hours later he said he was sending me a pizza as a New Year’s Day present. I thought it was a weird thing to do. When the doorbell rang I was sitting in bed in sleep clothes and no make-up and I got up to receive my pizza. There he was standing outside my door with a pizza in his hand.

“Goddamn it, Z!” I said. It had instantly occured to me that he would pull a move like that. It was just like him. But I was still surprised to see him outside my door. He had broken up with me, for good, he had said. He came in and sat down next to me on my couch. It was painful sitting there next to him, trying to exist in the same space in the supposed state of being broken up. It took effort not to touch him, to kiss him. But of course that’s exactly what he wanted. “You promised!” I said.
“That was the wrong promise to make,” he said.
I accused him of breaking up with me because his family was in town. He claimed it had nothing to do with it. The facts support a different conclusion. His parents would not accept his seeing an older, non-Indian, non-Muslim, divorced women, with whom he has no future. He broke up with me days before their arrival and showed up at my door hours after dropping them off. Done consciously or not, it seems obvious that he broke up with me while his family in town. Now that they were safely on a plane, he came back.

We made small talk and he took my hand. I looked in his eyes and resisted the urge to melt. He looked at me the way he used to before he kissed me. The way he used to when we were in bed toghether. “Don’t look at me like that,” I said. He kissed me. My body relaxed in his arms. I pulled away and said, “Wait. I have to tell you something.”

I told him about Twin J. About kissing him and sleeping with him the night before.

“Are you seeing him now?” he asked.

“I don’t know, ” I answered.

“How was he?” he wanted to know. I laughed and confessed, “Terrible!”
He laughed and wanted to know more. “On a scale of one to ten what was he?” he asked.
“A two,” I said. “And that’s being kind.”
He laughed again. “Do you want to see him again?” he prodded.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
He took my hand and stood up, taking me in his arms and kissed me.
“Oh Z,” I said. “I don’t know what I am to you.”
“You’re special to me,” he whispered.
A lame respsonse. I don’t know what I wanted him to say. I didn’t know what he was to me either. All I knew was that I wanted him, I was happy to have him again and that moment with him, as always, was heaven.

Since then we’ve been “seeing” each other again. Until this latest “I’m moving to Dallas,” announcement. That Monday before the freeze, we went out together and had Thai food at a little hole in the wall. Then we saw The Wolf of Wall Street. He held my hand the way he had on our second date. I snuck peaks at his big brown eyes when he wasn’t looking.

The next morning the world seemed to be covered in ice. Or at least the narrow view of it from my apartment door. In lieu of braving the cold, we retreated back into the small, cinder block apartment. We laid in bed, watched movies and had inter midden sex all day. I pulled out my laptop and answered e-mails, made phone calls and designed a raffle ticket. By that afternoon, I got the message that my office was going to be closed Wednesday as well. I told him and he grabbed me and pulled me to him, laughing. “Another day!” he said.

We ordered pizza and cooked. We laughed and teased each other and talked for hours. I spent the day in a flimsy robe and he in his underwear. It was glorious.

Wednesday afternoon, we de-iced his windshield with a bowl of water and a kitchen spatula and he went home.

I love being with him. I love him. I think there are many kinds of love. I loved my ex-husband. I loved him deeply and loyally. This is a different kind of love. Z is not everything I need or want. He’s temporary. He’s now. We are not a lifetime match, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, I love him. I love his smile and the color of his skin. I love the perfect amount of hair on his chest. I love his large, almond-shaped eyes and long lashes. I love the way he speaks. I love his confidence. I love that he’s a good friend and even a leader to his peers. I love the way his little brother looks up to him. I love that he likes clothes and wears red tennis shoes. I love the way he teaches me curse words in Hindi. I love the way he asked me random, weird questions at 1am, after we’ve had sex and I’m trying to fall asleep. I love that he’s impulsive and shows up at the park to see me or at my door with pizza. I love that he knows I will melt with one look and one kiss. I love that he can’t let go of me.

It’s not a blind love. It’s not a lasting love. The red flags abound. I see them, the most obvious of course being that he’s 20 years younger than me. He’s religious but in a sort of potluck, naive way. He’s superstitous. Some of the things he says sometimes seem silly. He’s naive. He hasn’t let me into his life, into his circle of friends, his social life. We’re lovers. That’s really all we are. And it’s not enough. When I’m with him it feels like enough. It must be what drug addicts feel during a high. But there’s a let down and I feel sad. There’s a part of me that knows this isn’t right. I can pretend to be the enlightened divorcé, sowing my oats and allowing myself whatever happiness comes. I can say that I’m living in the moment and enjoying love, however the universe decides to bring it to me. But a little voice keeps coming back when I’m alone, when I’m walking that says, “You know better. It’s not enough to be someone’s lover.”

Today was the Super Bowl. Earlier Z texted me, “Denver or Seattle?” I am not a football fan and only knew about the game because NPR has been airing stories about it all week. My first thought was that he was asking about places to live. I thought he had gotten some job offers. It took a few exchanges to realize he was talking about football. I asked him where he was watching the game. A friend’s house. I joked about joining him there, an empty threat. The truth is I wanted to see how he’d react. It was just a reminder that I’m not part of his life. If he were my boyfriend he might have invited me to come along. It might just be a cultural thing. Indian guys seem to have a tendency to segregate themselves by race an sex. Even so, it got to me. And I realized again, I need this to end.

I hope he does move soon. So far, I have not been very good at resisting him. It’s hard to resist bliss. If it doesn’t end with his leaving I’ll have to summon the courage to be a grown up and stop seeing him. As long as he’s in the same town, I’m afraid all he has to do is show up at the park or artwalk or my door and look at me and smile. He’s the only person who’s ever had that affect on me. Not even my ex-husband, the man I considered my soulmate could cause me to melt with one look, the way that Z can. When he does that, all the doubts and questions and nagging feelings fade away and all I feel is joy.

That’s hard to let go of.

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