Falling in Love on Fridays: The Way We Were (And Weren’t)

This week’s Falling in Love on Fridays story comes from a lovely lady who would prefer to stay anonymous. Her tale — like so many others — is about that one guy, that one connection, that chemistry that is so intoxicating that it’s bittersweet. I won’t say much more (the blog truly speaks for itself), but I will say, I’ve seen her in that red dress. And it’s true — it’s infamous. Even if she’s not 19 anymore. Submit your own Falling in Love on Friday blog here and read past submissions here. Enjoy! 

The Way We Were (And Weren’t)
I will probably always regret not letting him fuck me on the kitchen floor of a tiny apartment in another country at 3 am after polishing off a whole bottle of whiskey between us.

He quoted the opening lines of Elliott Smith’s “Say Yes.” I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl, who’s still around the morning after. It would just be sex, he insisted. That’s it. We didn’t need to touch those pesky feelings. He quoted Chelsea Hotel #2. Giving me head on the unmade bed. I quoted Neruda. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. He recited it back in Spanish.

But I said no.

I said no because a minute earlier he’d said the most beautiful words in the English language, after cellar door, were my name. I said no because the rest of Say Yes includes the lines “situations get fucked up” and “feel like shit the morning after.”

Instead we stayed up all night, on the kitchen floor, talking about life, the universe, and everything. We went to sleep after he kissed my forehead and said “It’s okay that you’re crazy, I just wish you were better to yourself. You are my favorite person.”

He’s the only one who could call me crazy and mean it with affection.

We met in the mountains in the usual way, through mutual friends at a party and a shared love of literature, music, whiskey, and doing all three at the same time. My 19 year old crush was immediate but rapidly fleeting and when he moved across the country a few years later, he’d call me drunk at midnight and ask what I knew about beat poetry. I’d call him from shows of bands he’d introduced me too.

The universe has pushed us together since the day we met and we have instead put literal oceans between us. We are travelers and wanderers. We are people who are in a constant state of movement and flux, people who buy plane tickets to new places because we can. When he tells me about the girl he slept with in the south of Spain, and I mention in passing the photographer I kissed in France, there is no jealousy. When I tell him to stop beating himself up over a girl he’s been seeing it’s because she doesn’t want him, not because I do.

We are a great love that can never be. It’s the distance we need – the pining, the longing, the poetic desperation. Together, we’re just friends who, only when the mood strikes, are hopelessly in love with one another. It’s impossible to love him as much as I miss him.

When he dropped me off at the airport, we said our tearful goodbyes and hugged for an eternity.

Even unshowered, exhausted, and in an oversized sweater, I know he still thinks of me as being 20 years old and in my famous red dress.

“You know, eventually, you’ll have to let me go.” 

“I know, but I don’t want to.” 

“On three?”

“On three.”

He walked away and called me by my full name as he said goodbye and I called him by his, which, for whatever reason, is what we’ve always done.

“I’ll see you in South America, then?” I called to him, remembering his upcoming move.

“I better.”

Don’t forget to write a love letter for Valentine’s Day to yourself! It’s Love Addict’s 3rd Year of Valentine’s Day From You to You!!

2 thoughts on “Falling in Love on Fridays: The Way We Were (And Weren’t)

  1. Linds:

    I just had the best time at lunch yesterday. I’ve had something of a crush on a woman at work for a few years now. She’s smart, funny, cute, no … gorgeous, AND sexy, … and seems to always make bad man choices. We talk now and then, sometimes she confides to me more than she ought. We had an early dinner a week ago, and now lunch twice in two weeks. (!?)

    We laughed a bunch yesterday, and she let slip something I did not expect. With the exception of dinner last week, which I insisted was NOT a date, we’ve never more than walked on a break or had lunch at work. And we may e-mail at work waaay to frequently. She said that all guys present themselves one way when she meets them, but turn out to be different in private and outside work, always for the worse. You know, on their best behavior to get her interested. ANYWAY, she enjoys my company so much, she let slip that she does not want to see whatever it is I am that is not the great guy she knows at work. I said I’m the same everyplace. No different. No changes. Same smart, kind, funny, caring guy no matter where I am. History and girl friends agree with her it never happens.
    So she wants this work bubble of a great guy to talk to, never let’s her down, always lifts her spirits, always complimentary, listens to her and interested in her.

    A few years ago when we had been talking at work like this almost daily for some weeks, I spotted some of her co-workers, on different occasions, different women, asking her if she and I were an item. They looked at her with this joyous little look as if they were dead certain she was in love and they were happy for her. I’m sure you know that knowing look YOU get when a friend is in love. They each ALWAYS had that look when they asked her. I was amused since I did not think she was, and she always told them “No!” very subtly, either out of ear shot, or simply mouthing her answer to them since I was right in front of them. But even when she said no, she had this smile as if what she said was a lie and she wanted to say yes. A really pretty smile, too. We would come in from a walk, but neither of us would leave first to go our separate ways to return to our work areas. Now doesn’t that mean she likes me ? This questioning bothered her, and she stopped being available to talk to me. For months. She might glance at me, but I could hardly get a word out of her, nor a minute to talk. A couple times we’d walk, but it was awkward. She had also said once that I was too old for her, with a large age gap, 22 years. She’s now 38, and I’m a very fit and active 60.

    Then out of nowhere, she gave me a test (this was a few years ago). She needed $2,000 to avoid a bigger debt of $4,700. A buy down. She did not have the money, but could pay me back in full in three months. She showed me legal paperwork, which I glanced over at lunch. I was too embarassed to look at closely, with a friend you trust. We had discussed personal things before, but never involving both of us, or the topic of an “us”. I wrote her the check. And she paid me back on exactly the day she promised. She did not want to break her trust with ME.

    Well, the story is up to date now. But I SO much feel this seems like a love story about to burst open.

    How about some feedback from you and your readers ? How do I get her to “Yes”, to consider me as the guy for her. The one she can have 100%, who does not change on her, does not let her down. She knows I like her. She said something that suggested to me I considered her a “prospect”. I told her if she was interested, she knew me better than anyone else and was years ahead in getting to know me. She said I took it wrong, she did not mean herself as prospect for me. A little awkward. That was a week ago. And lunch yesterday was great.

    Or maybe post this in your Valentine letters, requesting reader feedback. Two people in serious like.

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