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The Ballad of Pumpkin Patch (Part VII)

August 10, 2015

I was still communicating with him, even after that last devastation. I hadn’t given up just yet. So, when I was headed to Amy’s birthday dinner at Pamplona, I joked with him. “I’m meeting up with Amy and there will be wine. So, anything I text you after 8:30pm, ignore.” Of course he goaded me on and we had a running joke all evening about my not drunk texting him.

I was having fun at the party and one of Amy’s friends had a special cookie. She gave me a piece. My the end of the meal, I was feeling weird. I suddenly felt like I should be at home. The truth is, I had been thinking about Pumpkin Patch. I had been imagining what I would say to him, if I did tell him anything I wanted to. I texted him, “I’m not going to drunk text you but I’m going to send you an e-mail.”

“Oh, good. A drunk e-mail,” he replied.

I left, walked into my apartment, sat down and wrote this:

No. I won’t. I won’t let the weird lack of inhibition, somewhat askew from what I’ve experienced before……I won’t let even that goad me into vague, half invitations, ripe with inevitable rejection. I won’t test the waters by saying things like, “I miss you,” or “I want to see you.”

I won’t call you on the phone just so I can hear your voice and tell you things I shouldn’t say, things I’m afraid to write.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s strange to me that someone I haven’t know very long, won’t leave my thoughts.

I’m not going to tell you that there’s only one thing I miss about you. I’m not going to say that it’s not your witty sense of humor and your emotionally compassionate intellect that I miss. I’m not going to say that it’s not your obvious capacity to change and your joy for life, even when you are angry and cynical…it’s not those things I miss.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s not the way the muscles on your arms feel under my hand when your hand is on my back and I’m kissing you that I miss. Or that it’s not the stinging I feel from your course beard on my chin and lips. Or that it’s not your beautifully crafted body, evidence of intention but not vanity and the accompanying lack of inhibition that I particularly miss.

It’s not the way, after only three times, you were so observant and considerate that you found exactly the right angle and rhythm to allow me to feel exactly what I needed to feel. I’m not going to explain to you that it’s not even the way you obviously missed me and weren’t afraid to show it.

Or that it has nothing to do with the moment you let me put lipstick on you and somehow shattered layers and layers of stacked up repressed memories of a life of tension and constriction. And I know you think it is, but I’m not going to tell you that it’s not your looks that I miss. Not even the time you walked into the bar where I was waiting, a button down oxford and sunglasses on and you looking sharp and hot. Or the times you showed up with a goofy octopus or alligator on your t-shirt.

You don’t want to know that it’s not at all the way you looked when I caught a glimpse of you walking across the lawn at the Horse Farm, looking for me. I would tell you that it’s not really those things. But I said I wasn’t going to write such things to you tonight.

So I’m not going to tell you that the thing I really miss about you…..is the way your voice sounds in my ear when you’re close to me. The way you say my name, like I’ve never heard it before. The sweetest things you say to me, like God is whispering in your hear. I’m not going to reveal that the thing I miss the most, is the sound of “Marie,” in my ear from your breath.

No, pumpkin patch. I’m not going to drunk text you tonight.

By the time I sent it, it was almost eleven. I knew he would be asleep and would probably read it in the morning. I was nervous about how he might react. I thought he might think I was nuts. Maybe this would be just the thing for him to not want to talk to me anymore.

The next day, I was walking back to my office from a mechanic down the street when I got an e-mail from him. He had read it. I dug for my glasses in my purse. I had left them in my car. I quickly walked back to the mechanic and got them. It was blazing hot at 8:30 in the morning. I put my glasses on and read his response:

Simply devastating. Amazing. And you wrote that inebriated? Were you planning it out in your head the entire time you were at the party?

Fantastic writing. I’m really flattered and impressed. And intimidated. Just, wow. You’re a great writer (and not only because you have a great subject) :  )

I don’t know what else to say. Thank you.

At first I was pleased. He like it. He was impressed. He liked my writing. He gets it. He gets me. But then, I read it again and again. “Devastating.” Why did he use the word devastating? Later in the day, I asked him. He answered:

The potential. The loss. The alternate universe where things are different. The impact I have on you. And how much I like you. All devastating.

I was so confused. I didn’t understand. I was available to him. It didn’t have to be devastating. He could have me. If some other person he was seeing and/or his freedom was worth more than being with me, why the devastation? Why tell me all those things, tell me that I had him thinking about the future, that he could fall in love with me, that he was even thinking that his desire to have children and our age difference might not be important to him……why tell me that he was so lucky to meet me……..all those beautiful things, just to tell me, “No thank you, you’re not quite enough for me to give up the possibility of another Tinder match.”

So, it finally hit me. I was finally struck enough times to give up.

I thought about the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Lizzy turns Darcy down after his arrogant proposal.

“I’m sure that the feelings which, as you’ve told me have hindered your regard, will help you in overcoming it.”

It was the perfect comeback, the perfect last word. I fed him the quote and followed it with:

Your reasons for not being available will be the cure for your devastation. And for mine.

He replied, “Perhaps.”

I finally moved from romantic hopefulness to anger. I was pissed. Was he lying? If he wanted to just be a player, why lead me on and make me think I was more to him. “It wasn’t just sex, it meant something. It was special.” He actually used those words. Am I just a sucker? If he was genuine in all that he said, why was he tossing aside this opportunity for happiness? We were so good together, such a great match. I was pissed that he was throwing it away.

I’m still not over him. I’ll cave and check in with him every so often. But I think I have finally given up hope. He just didn’t see what I saw. I wasn’t enough for him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Boy, it really takes me a while to give up doesn’t it? It took 20 years to give up on my ex-husband. Even filing for divorce wasn’t enough for me. It’s hard for me to let go of hope. But I’m learning. I was in a situation like this when my ex and I were dating. We were only 20 or so and in college. We were in that early bliss stage. We were falling in love. I thought he was my soulmate.

Then someone he had pined after in high school moved back to town. They had been best friends but he had wanted more. It was the classic unrequited-love-friend-zoned-high-school scenario. Now she was back. He started hanging out with her, a lot. I was conflicted. I wanted to let him go, tell him to go off and try to be with her and get it out of his system. I knew it wouldn’t last. I could see that she was a selfish drama queen who was using him. But I knew that if I broke up with him, we wouldn’t get back together. And he was my soul mate. So, I accepted his proclamations that I was the one he really loved. That he was over her. Even though I kinda knew he wasn’t. Susie was her name. She continued to be a little thorn in the side of my early marriage. What a bitch. That was just one of the red flags I ignored because I was in love and scared. What a fool.

So, 26 years later, I’m still a bit of a love sick fool. But maybe, just maybe I’ve learned enough not to be anyone else’s fool again.

We’ll see.

 

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From → Rantings

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