Well I guess I’m free. After two years of man mania, I have washed myself clean. And I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this naked, open, and vulnerable. I’ve scrubbed the dead skin from my limbs, from my hidden places. I’m shiny, now. Shiny, new.
These past two years have held such promises and at the same time abrupt dead ends and disappointments. Yesterday I ended the last tie to any extra-friendships I had been grasping. And doing this made me think about where I started. And where it all ended is where it all started, with J.
Two years ago was the beginning of J. The best beginning—and middle—I have known. We loved abruptly. There were promises in that love. There was depth in that love. Whispers in that love. Truths and secrets and meaning in that love. There was electricity and shaking hands in that love. There was so much happiness, there was pain in that love. Angst in that love. An end to that love.
Then for me there was months of pain. And longing. I questioned myself and my judgment, which I had never done before. No relationship ever made me do that. I relieved the 7 months of that relationship in my head for five months. I spent a sticky summer cooped up in a tiny subletted apartment full of wiener dog figurines thinking. I made food, sat on a drooping couch, thinking. I didn’t write. I didn’t read. I thought.
And I don’t know when but sometime I stopped. Maybe it was Tess. Tess. Who has saved me in so many ways so many times, and she’ll never know that. Tess came home, and I was free again to have confidence and be the me that Tess and other people know when I am with Tess. The me I love. The me I don’t question.
And I met Jo, who I couldn’t stand initially. Jo with his glasses and his music and his voice. Jo who liked me immediately and intensely. Jo who kissed me and covered me with a blanket that smelled like dog piss. Jo who sang. Jo who saw the intelligent, musical, artistic teacher he’d looked for but didn’t know. Jo who I couldn’t stand initially. Jo who cleaned his room and put clean sheets on his bed when I came in town. Jo who didn’t sleep with anyone for two months, and that was a feat. Jo who was random for me. Jo who was my wild oat. Jo who thought I might be the one. Then there wasn’t Jo anymore. Jo who I hurt but somehow convinced hurt me.
And while there was Jo, there was also Josh. Josh was my friend all through college. Josh had piercing green eyes, and I just knew there was so much behind those eye all through college. And there was a moment in college, my junior year, when I explored those eyes. I wanted that exploration, but Josh ran from me. So, while there was Jo l there was the exploration of Josh’s green eyes. But I found out that I was wrong, at least for me. Some girl somewhere will find something between those eyes. But I didn’t. And yet, Josh found so much inside my eyes, and in my hands, and inside me. And the religious Josh who didn’t drink in college gave me everything he could. Opened his green eyes for me. And I took it all. But I found nothing there. And I ran full speed from him, and pretended there was no Josh and no eyes and no exploration… twice. And Josh did find someone who found something somewhere in his eyes.
And then there was Kevin. Kevin. Kevin. Kevin. Kevin. Kevin. The guy I wanted since I was barely old enough to know what want was. Long night phonecalls sporadically. About quilt festivals in upstate New York. About my awkwardness that he knew so well. About everyday oddities that he and I both loved so much. Kevin and I kissed, which had been coming for years. This was an anticipated kiss. Anticipated by me, by Kevin, by Tess, by every friend we have. And I never wanted to stop kissing Kevin. I never wanted to kiss anyone else. Kevin was a dream. I don’t understand Kevin. I never understood Kevin. I will never understand Kevin. But I wanted Kevin more than I have ever wanted another human being. I wanted his awkward speech and his sarcasm. I want his nodding head. I wanted his smile. But Kevin ended before Kevin started. Kevin ended before infatuation turned to love. Kevin ended before Real and Truth were introduced.
Then to get over Kevin, there was J again. This time sans love and affection and emotion. An empty, empty nothingness. A five month nothingness that turned into a futile, meager somethingness. That provided a shadow of support and happy. A shadow of good. A fuck you to what we had. And, of course, an end.
So, here I am. A tiny, new baby with occasional waves of feelings and flashbacks to a former life. But a baby, nonetheless. A baby with hopes, riddled with original sin.