Monday, September 8, 2008
Why if your name was John I'd write you a letter
I realize that hooking up with one's sister's roommate comes with potential complications. But up until now it's worked out pretty well. From the first moment of eye contact to our slowly warming barstool conversation to our alcohol-fueled makeout session on the roof deck overlooking the city of Baltimore, ultimately leading to you generously sharing your bed with me, it's all been pretty nice. As a token of my appreciation I didn't even hold you to your gentlemanly offer to not "take advantage." And so far the fact of you being my sister's roommate seemed more practical than not; I came back the next weekend to see my sister, and you just happened to be there, too. No plans had to be made, no awkward position statements or state of the union addresses, no premature jumps into forced pseudo-relationships. It was all breezy smiles, watching movies holding hands on the couch when no one was looking. You made me tea. When I left you told me to call you. Knowing I wouldn't, I told you that you could call me, too, if you wanted. For a while no one called anyone, and that was ok. It was more than ok. I knew all I had to do was show up, and you would be there. It was the perfect non-relationship. No phone calls, no obligations; just casual, no-strings-attached sex. You'd think it would be every guy's wet dream.
Which is why it was all the more surprising when I showed up last night and you remained cloistered in your room, typing away on your laptop. "Getting some work done?" I asked, poking my head in. "Yup," you replied. "That's the way it goes..." You didn't offer any more information, and so I left you to it, hoping you would drift downstairs and join us. When you didn't, I went up to the roof deck, hoping you would find me there, like you had before, when we sat on a bench and talked and talked, and I tucked my toes under your leg for warmth. While I waited I did yoga and then lay on my back in sivasana, staring at the stars, definitely not not thinking, for all my good intentions. And still you didn't come. I came back down and your door was closed. And the next time I passed by, your light was off.
I gathered that you had to get up early this morning, not because you told me, but because I heard you as I tossed in fitful sleep on the couch, after a restless night of overhead lights flipped brutally on as other roommates rummaged for cigarettes at 1 a.m., and I tried and failed to find a comfortable position on the narrow expanse of Italian leather. I was awake as you tip-toed past me at 7 a.m. and quietly slid your shoes on, eased the front door closed. But you never even glanced at me, and so you didn't see my parted eyelids silently following your movements. Ironic that my morning-after regret was palpably stronger for the deed undone than it ever has been for my most lascivious of nocturnal activities, fait accompli.
And here is where unleash my virtual torrent of very real anger. I know it has been a long time since we have seen each other, over a month. Life gets in the way sometimes, you know that. But do you remember when we talked on the phone all those weeks ago, and we matched up schedules, and we agreed that I would come visit "my sister" not the next weekend, and not the weekend after but the weekend after that? Well this was that weekend. And I'm sorry I couldn't make it until Sunday night; I'm sorry that my grandfather died and I'm sorry I had to go to his funeral. And, since we have this whole unspoken/unsaid thing going that invariably leads to confusion, let me just state for the record: I had already spent the entire weekend with my sister. I came to see you.
You see, I thought I had this thing in the bag. I was riding high above the currents of doubt and confusion, secure in my blasé attitude, sure that this time, at least, I wouldn't get hurt. I'm leaving the country in two weeks, but I thought we could have some fun in the meantime. I guess I didn't realize that with no strings comes the possibility of no sex.
So, thanks for being a jerk and contributing to the spectacular failure of my first and only attempt to act, think, and date more like a guy. I should have known that mind always wins out over matter, especially when the matter has spent the past five weeks hungering for a male touch, and the mind is of the sensitive female persuasion and prone to crises of confidence and self-doubt, crumbling into bitter despair at even the merest whiff of male rejection. So much for easy, breezy and light.
And so the Great No-Strings Dating Experiment of Summer 2008 comes to a close. Notes have been copiously recorded, the sordid details logged, and once shiny and bright hypotheses have been scribbled through with a heavy hand, scratched out until the paper ripped into jagged scars. (It appears someone may have scrawled Fuck you!!! in the margin and then thought better of it, erasing all, until only the indentation remained). I've learned my lesson. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls, and even the most sophisticated of technologies still haven't found a way to facilitate interstellar communications between Venus and Mars. We're back to tin cans and string here, and is it really a wonder that an anyone can't find a someone, given what we have to work with? I'll stick to my cave drawings and hand signals and sending out desperate, primal grunts, and hope that in return maybe someday, echoing low and guttural across the plains, will be the sound of my someone, grunting back.
Just a Girl, After All