I prefer to do my crying in the shower. Naked emotion seems to pair well with literal nakedness, plus mascara used as blush just isn’t cute. The issue though, is that I tend to bathe in the mornings before work, so my hair is freshly pressed for the day. Or as it is in most cases, unpredictably wavy in all the wrong places. So when I retreated to the bathroom at my designated time (with four roommates, you have to auction out privacy), with warm, salty drops splashing on my cheeks, I wasn’t concerned with why I was actually crying but frustrated that my eyes may be puffy for work.
Luckily with some careful washing, I managed to escape any noticeable marks of sadness that anyone could see. However, the raw emotion that caused the tears didn’t wane as easily.
I’ve been attempting to put it into words, both here and in my own head, what I feel about Mr. P. We haven’t been able to go even one night without an argument or without me crying in quite some time now. For a relationship that has always been chaotic, this isn’t exactly out of the norm, but it’s most certainly out of my comfort level. The thing I always loved the most about us, about him, was that I could talk to him about anything. Nothing was off-limits, no crazy outburst was too crazy, no ridiculousness distracted him, no irrational fear seemed irrational to him. For the past year, he had a way of putting me to ease and he offered a secure shelter from any New York frustration I battled.
I think I fell in love with the friendship and then as I started to fall in love with him as a man, as a partner, as a lover – I started to pull away. I stopped conversations about exes, even though we had always analyzed our lovable (and unlovable) pasts together. I stopped being able to stomach the fact that he had lingering feelings toward women who refuse to talk to him. I also stopped being able to ignore that as a gaudy red flag right in front of my face. My preferences in bed changed, I wanted our weekend plans to change, I wanted him to march up to his rooftop in Brooklyn that’s cleverly decorated by his domestic-fied roommate, and shout that he loved me, that he was crazy about me, that he was so happy to be mine.
But I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I still know it won’t. Mr. P may be infamous for too many little white lies to count, but he won’t scream something so absurd. Especially if there’s a chance someone could hear that he was smitten. Because…he’s not.
Sure, he loves me. I know he cares about me. I’m confident if I needed something, if I was in dire danger, he’d come to my rescue. I think he could see a future here, he could picture us together in the long run and he knows I’m marriage material (whatever qualifies that anyway). But he’s not there yet. I think those were the words he used. And if I could just slow down my feelings, if I could just take a breather and stop wishing and demanding that he feel the same, we could go back to that easy happiness we once had. If I could just relax and be that carefree, easy-going woman that he fell for. The one who didn’t pressure him or who didn’t want anything more than what he could give, then maybe I’d have a shot at holding the prized title that so many women are eyeing by blowing up his Blackberry and Facebook. I could have the opportunity to be The One.
But to do that, to stay in the relationship, to keep him in that role in my life, I’d have to put my feelings on hold. I’d have to fall out of love enough to meet him down at that level he’s at. While I’ve progressed the last six months or so by gradually becoming more attached to him, he’s stuck back in February when everything was new and unsure. I’m not questioning how I feel anymore, but I can’t stop doubting how he does.
And so, I cry. I pick fights. I stop in the middle of foreplay because my mind won’t shut off. I don’t return calls and I ignore emails. I attempt to go an entire day without a text message. I try to resort back to how I was before I fell for him, before I told him I loved him, before I started imaging visions of happily ever after with him. I try to convince myself that I want this, that we could really be something one day, that we could come out of this and he could see that I’m irreplaceable. I keep reminding myself that it’ is possible for love to bloom out of complication, that so many relationships have rusty beginnings, that he could very well end up changing his tune and be the man I crave.
I see the facts, I understand the reality of the relationship. Yet I’m stuck in dreamland, lingering on some hopeless prayer that Mr. Possibility still has possibility, that he’s still capable of releasing the past to build a future with me. That just because I fell in love with him before he fell in love with me, he could still feel all of those things I want him to. That if I can fall in love, can’t I fall out of love so someone else can fall in it?
Or am I waiting for pigs to fly and for hell to freeze over, spinning my tires on some dirty gravel road that leads to a bleak dead end that’ll only waste my gas and piss me off? I suppose we’ll have to wait for my give-a-damn to weaken to find out.