As soon as I ordered the Mac N’ Cheese with bacon at 9 p.m., I instantly regretted it. But I was starving. Mr. Possibility and I returned home from an outing with his family and I was still exhausted from the night before, so I took a nap while he ran errands. It was a restless rest though – my mind was somewhere else. Mainly, it was wondering what I should do and coming up with every excuse to do nothing at all.
He returned to find me freshly showered, my hair curling unpredictably as it always does, on his computer probably writing something for this blog, and wanted to get a drink and some grub before calling it a night. It was Sunday but during my two weeks off before I started my new job, and so against my better judgment, I threw on a cotton black mini and a t-shirt to head outside.
It was raining but Mr. Possibility has something against umbrellas, so I walked slower under the evening shower as he hurried along, trying to find us a place to relax. After considering a few menus and turning our noses away, we settled on a lodge-like establishment just a block away from his Brooklyn apartment.
We’re the only ones here, I whispered as we were seated, feeling guilty for keeping the wait staff here any longer than they had to be. Should we ask when they close? I asked eagerly, hoping Mr. P shared the same blame I did. He shook his head, motioning to some newcomers at the bar. I turned, saw them and sighed. Guess I’m not getting out of this, I concluded silently.
We were nestled indoors but without anything separating us from the outside and my toes could feel the cool water running underneath them. I watched the rain paint abstract shadows in the streetlights while couples held hands underneath printed umbrellas and wore matching Columbia jackets. I counted at least a dozen pairs of Hunter boots and made a mental note to invest in some black ones this winter. I longingly lusted after the cabs that came in perpendicular directions, moving traffic along with their impatience and taking their passenger far, far away from this borough. I wanted to jump up from the table, throw some money for the bill, run to the corner even though it was down-pouring, and wave my hand in desperation until a yellow chariot came to my rescue.
But I never carry cash, I already ordered and I really could never do that to Mr. P – regardless of how impossible he is. Or how impossible we had become. And though I had put off expressing how I felt for some time, it was now near impossible for me to hide how I was feeling anymore. Especially when I picked up the pitcher of water and instead of pouring it into the mason jar of water I was drinking out of, I poured it on the candle that was lighting our table.
Linds? Why did you water the candle? Mr. P asked kindly, half-smirking, half-confused to my agitation. I laughed, nervously apologized and said, for the 100th time that I was tired. He continued to talk about something – which is never just something to me. He used to inspire me – he engaged me with captivating stories of the life he led. And though he has always been some sort of lost soul, I always had faith he’d find his way home, he’d find his future and within that, he’d find how those things put together create…me.
You’re so quiet baby, I’m not used to you being like this. What’s wrong? He asked and cradled my hand, squeezing my fingertips sharply. What’s wrong? I wondered, avoiding his blues, again. What should I tell him that’s wrong?
I could talk about New York. About how it is everything and nothing as I expected. That it makes me remarkably happy and bitterly disappointed all at the same time, but I always resort back to loving it. I could talk about me. How I’m getting ready to start this brilliant, beautiful chapter of my life, finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do. How I finally feel so proud of myself and like I have landed on my own two feet, without any help at all. I could talk about him. How I want to rescue him, how I want to be kind and understanding enough to pull him through anything. How I want him to fall in love with me in a way that I’ve never experienced before. How I worry about him, constantly. Or I could sum it all up and talk about how all those things are as inconsistent as the traffic patterns outside. And that they have been for a while now.
Over the last year, he’s been my tourguide, my confidant, my protector, and my very best friend. I found peace in his arms, a safety in his Cartier-heavy wrist wrapped around my waist, and more than anything, I felt like I belonged in this city when I was with him. But he is eight years my senior, and it is increasingly impossible to ignore the age difference, even if the possibilities of what we could be always seemed to be quite endless. Until I realized how drenched they were in the residue of the past. He chronicled his failures in the way I collected my successes – placed on mental bookshelves, collecting dust and more despair, only to be pulled out in the moments where he needed a reminder of what he was. Or at least, what he thought he was.
And while we created a friendship based on passed grievances, I had moved forward and past the pain I felt and I was now ready for the future. Sitting across from me, talking about something new that’s causing him grief, I couldn’t shake the certainty I felt that he was stuck somewhere between the guy he’s been the last ten years, the man he hopes to become and the stagnant existence he has now.
But what I’m really afraid of is being stranded in the Land of Impossibility with him. I know what I want, he knows what I deserve and we both know that the main thing holding up our relationship is me. He’s been so timid of the word that it takes every bit of courage inside of him to even admit that I’m his girlfriend, regardless of how much love he professes when we’re alone. He’s been up and down, hot and cold, seeing the possibilities and highlighting the impossible the last six months of our exclusivity, and it’s just now, as my life comes together, as I find true happiness and content apart from him…that I find myself afraid of staying. But I’m scared of leaving too. Say something or he’s going to notice something is wrong, I snap myself back into the moment but the moment had already passed.
Linds? Baby? Want to go back? His eyes now glossed over in sincerity, unsure of what to expect from me. I turned my head to the side, grinned at him and finished the last of my locally-brewed beer and sat up straight. How could I put this in words? My job is to put things in words, why can’t I say the right thing here? What is wrong? What am I feeling? Do I want to go back to his apartment? The apartment I have a key to? Back with the man I love but I fear will never love me as I desire? As I need him to?
Silently, without fuss, without causing my cheeks to flush, without causing much of a disruption at all, I felt tears start to stream down my face, paving the way for me to say the only thing that I could. There in that corner restaurant, on that dreary August evening, I confessed to the only man I’ve truly loved: I’m not happy, Mr. P. You don’t make me happy anymore. I don’t want to feel this way, what do you want to do?
A month later, I’m still waiting for that impossible answer.