I got up from that bench and went back to the apartment, pacing in circles as my agitation grew. It got worse as I sat in traffic on the way to pick up my friend from work. There is this feeling I get that eats me alive when I’m holding something back but haven’t figured out how to express it. I thought about writing him a note, something bold and sexy. Or cornering him in the kitchen with a proposition. But I couldn’t. Something wouldn’t let me.
That night my friend went to bed early with an impending cold, leaving the roommate and I alone in the living room. I thought the thought that anyone would think: Now’s my chance to get some action! We chatted for a bit and I sat in cleavage accentuating positions. Then he said good night and went to bed at 10:45pm. No notes were left. No tawdry words exchanged. A complete gentleman, he never tried a thing. Didn’t even make a hint.
The feeling stamped across my forehead shouted, “Wow! You’re old and ugly!” Self-confidence took a nose dive as I lamented not having “it” anymore. Perhaps it’s a good thing I don’t have it anymore because all the situations “it” got me into in the past made me feel desperate and pathetic. Now I’m on a path to something different but it’s proving lonely and hard.
It’s a good thing I didn’t throw myself on him in a completely obvious fashion, right? Sure. But I still went to bed crying.
The next morning I awoke early to bid my friend adieu on his way back to work. Then I packed and waited for the roommate to wake up. He had offered to drive me to the airport on his lunch break and I took him up on it, suggesting I hang out at the arboretum until it was time.
Back at my new favorite spot in the world I listened to the Ray Man Shabad on my headphones and settled in for some introspection. I thought about the warning in a song that always hits me hard:
I am so ashamed
I am so ashamed of all the trouble I have caused
I am so ashamed of all these unopened doors
And I am so ashamed of what I have become
That, oh, my heart is bursting again
Don’t leave this mark
Your eyes are turning away
A Silent Film, You Will Leave A Mark
It didn’t take long to recognize the mini-roller coaster I had unconsciously boarded and remember my vow to myself to stay off it. Too much time wasted in my head once again.
In that spot amongst the Albizia I came to a simple truth: this handsome, kind, gentle, passionate, tree climbing, drummer, arborist – he is the most incredible man I’ve ever met. The point of loving someone is to love them and make them feel loved. It’s not to be loved back.
I know what I need to do. It’s scary like jumping off a cliff into the ocean would be. I need to walk into the woods with him, be my incredible self, tell him how I feel, and go home.