All I see today is the cursor in front of me, staring, blinking.
I have to move through this, terrified to write bullshit, and so now an hour later I return, coffee in hand, a new thought of how I will trick my mind into leaving, the only sign I am writing from my heart, the blood pounding as I feel keystrokes, not letters or words, but keystrokes. It is the only way I know I am writing. Here goes.
Girl met boy.
Boy fell hard and girl did not know.
Boy loves Girl.
Girl Freaks Out.
When I say freak out, what I mean by that is I lost my ever loving mind. I let this man take me out, for school work only and drop me off at the house, telling him he was now “friend’s zone.”
The next visit, I led him in the house to leave him on the couch with Divorcee, while I hummed my evilness from room to room, letting him sweat.
I came up with a list of deal breakers people, and if you know me, this part is strange.
I do not write lists.
All the man said to it was, “But I want you.”
I was disgusted he kept coming back, sweetly and patiently with lots of optimism,
which ensured the man did not have self esteem.
I called Clyde and said he had no goals and did not pay taxes.
I told my mother he smoked pot.
I became something I have never been.
I became out of control.
I brought him to Kat, smug, while she asked many questions, giving him her “evil eye” which she told him meant she were “suspicious.” I was certain she would catch him.
I coached Divorcee on how to warn him about me, who not only didn’t listen, but interrupted me to turn up the television, looking at me strangely from time to time. This dude, ‘The Collector,” I called him made me so mad I could feel my blood temperature rising.
His responses were always slow and patient, kind and gentle, and like this.
“Okay, but I am not waiting. I know you are just right for me.”
He said annoying shit like that all the time, and I knew he was a liar when he said he loved my mouth, a lie I caught on the spot. No one likes my big fat mouth, much less the exact color of my hat the day he first laid eyes on me, my height, the way he “knew” I stole his heart, wandering aimlessly and talking from person to person, unaware I even had him completely frozen, his heart pounding, begging me to not say goodbye.
I reminded him I had an orange peel stuck on my white frizzy hat, had not slept nor did I even remember him.
He replied that he loves me in glasses.
“Gag me,” “Good Luck,” and “You’re fucked,” are the responses I made, with great emotion, slamming down my phone after reading such ridiculous texts.
Until this one night, this one cold unique night, he had enough.
I had been most terrible and he finally left, finally. I sighed with relief, certain the worst had been over, my strict mean rude nature helped save a great guy from me, so I felt the burden lift, my heart pounding in adrenaline when I heard him walk out the back door.
I slept like a baby.
I woke the next day certain to be in relief everything I had created to lose him had occurred. I could finally relax.
I noticed he didn’t text me.
I noticed my neck and shoulders stiffen at the thought of his bear hugs gone.
The living room was quite different, the WI was not loud or annoying.
I had told him not to let Lola beat him in games.
Perhaps it was kind of sweet he couldn’t stand to let her win.
It makes her very upset, especially in sword fighting.
I picked up my camera, thinking it would surely erase this ridiculous irritation, and I remembered just this one thing to ask him, picked up my phone, and my heart dropped.
He had not even returned my last text.
I never felt stupid asking him anything. He always made me feel completely brilliant, even while looking for post it notes to help me remember my shutter speeds.
He was excited to find my keys in the horrible missing places, like the yard, and he didn’t judge.
He liked being the one who found them, he’d say. I hadn’t let that fool me.
I had been certain to see all the warning signs.
It hadn’t even gotten to breakfast for my heart to ache and ache, my stomach sicken, my mind to race in madness.
But he said all the wrong things.
So why was I crying?
When I discussed this with Thelma, my twin and counter part friend in corruption and evil, she said, after also hearing for months how awful this man was for me,
“You know, sometimes we just need the very thing we don’t know we want.”
She was right but I had lost him.
Even worse, maybe I hurt him.
I decided I must tell him I am sorry, and maybe even beg, or ask nicely, to be forgiven. On the way to his home, I pulled in the parking lot, aware something was off.
I had saved his home address wrong on purpose, just in case I ever tried to see him.
This moment, my friends, came the moment of salvation.
My salvation came in form of the ugly cry, a deep kneading grief that pounded, pain and hurt so deep it felt like my lungs were closing and my chest was being pressed open.
I finally saw that I believed everything I touched seemed ruined afterward, that nothing good came from people loving me.
I am a big mess, a terrible problem to solve, a wife that couldn’t make her husband love her, a little girl certain her daddy would eventually leave her.
It was all lies.
And so, I went to find him. I had a long list of things, important things, apologies, and when he opened his door and saw me, I opened my mouth and he physically shut it closed with his hands.
“NO. Do not say a word.”
He sounded a little intense, for the Collector, usually calm, grounding my insanity. I was waiting for the hatchet I deserved, my chin trembling, hoping he could get it out and at least let me explain.
“Let me just say something to you. I have to say it right now, first, before I know what you have to say.” I waited, unsure if I had just lost something I could never get back.
“I love you,” he said.
Love exists whether I believe in it or not, love is free whether I want to withhold it or not, love is beautiful even when I am afraid or in pain.
Love doesn’t leave with my Dad, The Collector, with Divorcee.
I know I am capable of loving deeply, fiercely, wildly, but I hadn’t been afraid to love.
What I had hidden was that I was terrified of being loved back.
And he does.
Salvation is the moment I realized I was worthy of letting him.