Tuesday, February 1, 2011
My Almost Love Story, Succinctly Put, In Chapter Form
We meet at a bonfire (was it a bonfire? perhaps a parade) at The Fives. He is my brother's neighbor and they have quite the little Bro-Town happening, of which my brother will later become the mayor, but not just yet. They are all buds. I think he is sexy, but what of sexy? I have a boyfriend, and I believe he disappears to have sex with some girl. It is a beautiful night. Later I hear he thought I was cute. I also hear he thinks my mom is cute.
I see him unexpectedly at a show at the Cow Haus. I am surprised to see how happy he looks to see me at the same time as I am surprised to feel how happy I am to see him. His smile slays me. He gathers me up in his arms and hugs me so hard he lifts me off the floor. I don't remember what band was playing, but I remember that hug.
It is some years later and my life has fallen apart. I no longer have old boyfriend, or any boyfriend, or a job, or a place to live. I have just abruptly left a dangerous relationship and I am lost and ashamed and determined to A) get myself together, and B) drink enough to forget what I have just been through. My brother scrambles to get me into the safety of The Fives, where the brotherhood can keep an eye on me. The man of whom this is about is now my across the sidewalk neighbor and he also enjoys drinking, so we spend many wasted nights talking and talking and talking. We kiss at a pirate party. I say "Kiss me." and he does.
Sometimes he knocks on my window at sunrise for a ride to work.
He moves out. I keep his cat for one day.
I still live at The Fives. I am still a mess. He calls one night and says, "This is it, let's get together, I want to see you." He comes over and we make out, but before we close the deal he leaves in such a hurry he left his shirt. I am confused and worry he will be cold.
He moves away from town.
It is a year later and I have moved out of The Fives and into the apartment wherein I currently reside. I have quit drinking and have started to get myself together. Really, finally. It is after New Years and I have just gotten home from a work holiday party and he calls. He is in town visiting, and the people whose couch he is staying on are having a very loud argument. I ask if he would like to come over. I make up my couch.
We talk. We talk far into the night about getting our lives together, how great our families are, what we are up to these days. We make each other laugh. His face makes me happy. I go to bed alone, and wake up glad that he is in my house. The next day he leaves, and we promise to keep in touch.
Thanksgiving and he is in town to visit his family. He comes to my apartment and a pop song about love is playing. He walks through my door, takes me in his arms, and kisses me. The music swells. He sleeps over.
Same thing happens around Christmas.
It is Thanksgiving again and he calls. I am at my Mama's house for the ever fabulous pre-Thanksgiving party. I say, "Come out, if you want to." He does. Out by the bonfire he tells me that now is the time. He loves me, he wants to be with me, we can make this happen. I walk him around Mama's house and he loves it. He loves her. He loves my brother. He sees my sister playing mandolin with her band and is now a fan for life, he films them with his phone he cannot believe how amazing they are. He keeps his hands on me, we keep looking at each other.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas we talk on he phone almost everyday. We will make this happen, We can make this happen, we say over and over. I feel like something is off, though I can't say what. If there's anyone I would jump off a cliff with it's him, but still.... I'm wary. I don't know why he likes me so much. I don't think I am beautiful so I don't trust him when he says I am. Why now? I think.
Christmas comes and we spend one night together. Then family time and I meet his mom on Christmas day. Also his sister, his brother-in-law, and his nephews. They are all wonderful. Just the best people you could meet. I sit on the floor with his Mom and we talk. I play with his nephews. They make me feel comfortable. It is very sweet and easy. I see how he is with his family and he is a boy and there is so much love there.
That night is his last night in town and he is going to go have a beer with his best friend and then come to my house and climb in bed with me. He never shows up. I feel like an idiot in my chilly silky nothings, and he calls to apologize on his way out of town. I say it's alright, I understand.
Then I call the next day or the day after that and say that it is not alright and nothing is alright and I am breaking up with you. It was his birthday. I am so mean.
I was not ready. I don't think he was ready either. You don't start forever with an apology.
We don't talk for a while. Half a year maybe. Then he calls, says he's coming to town. We talk about getting together. I don't call back. Or I do, but I get the dates wrong and it is the day he is leaving. We do this a couple/three more times.
(I really did get the dates wrong. That wasn't on purpose.)
He emails me, says he'd like to see me before he "really gets out of pocket". My heart drops. He has planned a grand culinary tour of the country, cooking in some of the best restaurants for the best chefs. It will go on for a couple of years, and then who knows? He visits for Christmas and we see each other at my brother's house for maybe an hour. Then he comes back to town for a week and a half before he leaves for good. I am still wary, still confused. I am happy for him, I am angry with him, I am being a silly girl. Finally, when he only has a few days left we get together.
He takes me to Tom Brown Park where we sit on the grass and remember how much we like each other. We are the funniest, smartest, sexiest people we know. We like to sit on the grass. The sky has never been so blue. I cry a tiny bit while trying to explain something. I laugh more. He tells me that he is sorry, he went too fast last year. We look away, at all that beautiful Florida day. The sky gets in my eyes. When I get home I look in the mirror and I am beautiful.
The next night he comes to a birthday party. We sit next to each other and he rests his arm along the back of my chair. I peek at him. I catch him peeking at me. Everyone is leaving the pizza restaurant to go to a bar and I bow out. He offers to drive me home. I accept. At home, in my parking lot, we kiss.
We kiss and it wakes up all my sleeping cells, he makes my insides quick. Oh, I think, it's been a while. I'd forgotten.
Then he leaves because he has agreed to drive everyone to the bar. He's good like that.
The next day he drives away for good, and all I can think about is that I didn't smell him enough.