I haven’t been writing lately. It’s always the same excuse, but I know it’s just about habits. I spend my time doing countless other things.
One activity that I absolutely loathe is social media. I spend about 5-6 hours a day on my phone, according to my activity tracker.
I think of all the things this robs me of, the books I could have read, the essays or reflections I could have wrote, the things I could have learned, the activities. It pains me, yet I feel helpless. The self control required to abstain for long seems insurmountable. The phone is ever present, and everything is connected, so the slightest distraction is within reach at an effortless click or swipe.
There are worlds I’d like to explore, world’s that occupy my mind, and rivers of feeling I’d like to wade through in my heart. Both have been locked away and frozen over. Why don’t I visit them? I seem to avoid them, for some reason. I blame other distractions, be it the digital world, or relationships. I seem to find excuses.
Gabriela and I broke up. We’ve been broken up, of course, but this is more final, or so it seems. Of course I love her, and have loved her, and I’ve been pushing her away, trying to convince myself that our relationship is too complicated to ever work, our personalities too conflicted. Perhaps I am right. But her love for me was always obvious and deep, despite how conflicted we always seemed to be. That conflict drove me away, while her love and affection kept me close. I couldn’t completely shut her out, because her love penetrated me so deeply.
I’ve been there, but not like she wanted me there. She was and is very emotionally demanding. I was hoping my tough love would create boundaries and a new safe and healthy space for us both is coexist. But somewhere along the way, she claims she felt alone and beaten down, and the feelings she once possessed for me changed. She said she doesn’t have a switch to turn it back on.
I regret not being more emotionally attentive to her. I regret all the coldness and tough love and insensitivities I’ve shown her. All the days she asked to go dancing and I refused, or join her at the park on her day off, or see her when her mother and family visited, or even go to her with London.
When she went to London, she fell in love with the city and the Royal Ballet. She danced several performances, met the ballet dancers at the company, explored the city, visiting parks and museums and bars and cafe’s.
She also met a guy there, and they had an affair. This pains me deeply. I knew it the day it happened, because she wears she heart on her sleeve, and she can’t hide her feelings. She likely explored this enchanting city with this new man, a male ballet dancer at the Royal Ballet. He made an impact on her, she said. She met someone, she said. She’s made an emotional connection with him, which is hard for her, I know. But when it happens, its deep and sincere, which is why I’m so hurt, and demoralized. I’ve never been able to let myself feel for anyone else besides Gabriela. Yes, I’ve tried. I’ve tried to date, and I’ve slept with others, but I could not open myself up emotionally to anyone. Gabriela has, and this changes the way things are.
Our relationship was not great, but it could’ve been.
I contemplate how much I should care about this development, whether I should detach and preoccupy myself with life and my own dreams. This seems to be an emotional option. Yes, I’m in immense pain. My chest is tight and my breath is shallow. A pit exists whenever I think of her absence, and she is absent, not just physically, but emotionally. It was a switch. She was always present, most of the time too present, too needy, and this pushed me away. Not at first, and not always, but the past six months, since our breakup, I’ve created these large boundaries that kept her from getting too close, and shielded my vulnerability.
She no longer texts, she no longer asks how I am, she doesn’t say I love you, or I miss you. She’s absent.
When she returned this Sunday, I came over and she told me what happened, how she met someone else. The word’s sliced at my heart, and an emptiness set in. I didn’t react right away. I loved her, and this rendezvous in the enchanting city of London was nothing more than a mistake, a lapse in her judgement as she was swept up by her dreams in this new city, while another man poured his attention to her, which she had been missing from me.
She cried, tears streamed down her face as she explained her feelings changed for me. I understood all too well. I expected this to happen sooner. But I didn’t expect it to feel so definite. Her feelings had changed, and the way this made me feel was no doubt how I made her feel the past six months when I’d ignore her pleas for attention and reassurance of my love.
We kissed and had sex. It was unremarkable sex. I kept thinking of her with someone else, and this made her body feel like something strange and foreign to me. I came inside her, even though she asked me not to. I just wanted to fill her with me.
We continued talking, and it became apparent in our conversations that this affair was not simply a lapse due to lust, but something a little more. It made an impression on her. He was a someone to her.
This devastated me, and I lost my cool composure. I emotionally began to retreat, and quickly dressed to leave. She cried and came to me as I was about to walk out the door, and we hugged for awhile before I departed.
I was numb.
She texted me and I texted her back in hurt and anger, a flurry of incoherent impulses reflecting my hurt and betrayal, the same hurt and betrayal I’ve made her feel many times the past six months.
The next day my thoughts were clear. No matter what happened, I still loved her, and I she forgot what that love felt like, so I resolved to show her my love. After work I picked her up from the ballet, took her to The Palace of Fine Arts. We laid out blankets and had a picnic and drank wine. We went home after it began getting cold, stopped by whole foods market to pick up steaks and avocados for our favorite steak and guacamole dinner, and I picked up some snacks for her travels back to Mexico on Tuesday Morning.
When we got home she packed, I made dinner. We went to the drug store to get Plan B and UTI medication for her. I offered to drive her to the airport at 430am and she initially refused, but then said I could stay.
We went in bed, and as we laid there, I began caressing her, and kissing. And soon we began intense passionate affection. The most intense love making we’ve had.
I took her to the airport, and the next day she told me the flight was cancelled, and rescheduled for 9pm Tuesday.
I came over after work, and brought food for her.
We laid down and began caressing and kissing, and had the most intense passional love making sex for a second time. She orgasmed longer and louder and more intensely than ever before.
When I took her to the airport she began to tell me about her trip to London in more depth since her return two days ago. She explained her dreams, her desire to audition in LA when the Royal Ballet was visiting for a performance. She explained her magical feelings for the city, and the dreams she possessed since a child watching videos of the performers at the Royal Ballet. She read me the letter she wrote to the ballet director requesting to audition while they were in LA in a few weeks.
I kept thinking about this man, and I began to sulk, and she sensed it, and the love and intimacy we rekindled the past two days was suddenly cold again. She barely kissed me as we said our goodbyes. I texted her her safe travels and to enjoy her family, and she thanked me and encourged me to stay healthy and workout and keep pursuing my dreams. She thanked me for being so sweet and for the past two days, and the last text I sent was Love you. Always.
I think it’s best to refrain from reaching out. She knows my love. I know hers. She has a dream, and someone else has managed to reach her heart. I don’t think it will help her or I to gain clarity about moving forward, or how our relationship will ultimately unfold, or end.
So I will silence myself, and repress my feelings, compartmentalize the pain and longing, and redirect my attention to my daily life, my job, my books, my writing, and now that there is someone else in her life, however small his presence, perhaps I’m able to open myself up again, and find time to meet someone else.