Let’s Call Him Peter

We met last spring in a grocery store. We were in the produce section talking about organic certification and the word sustainable. Three minutes into our conversation I said I liked ‘holistic’ better because ‘sustainable’ was just so… overused. As he jumped in to finish my sentence and we simultaneously said the word ‘overused’, a wave of certainty flushed through my entire body.

It was one buzzy yet calm split second of knowing – I was OK and I would never be alone again.

A voice that was sort of mine, but not really, used a phrasing that was definitely not mine. In my head someone asked for me, “Please can I talk to this man every day for the rest of my life?” It felt like a dream and I trusted it.

I don’t know who was doing the asking. I’m telling you it was not me. Nor do I know who was being asked. I can tell you it felt like a higher universal power, but I can’t explain it in a way that makes any kind of sense.

As we continued to chat I swam back to the surface of my own brain and began to think, Yah OK, I can do this. I can do whatever this is every day for the rest of my life.

We became friends and three months later I told him how I felt. He replied that while I was beautiful, smart and confident, that our friendship made him a better man and he was lucky to know me, that he hated the fact that he had to break my heart… he just didn’t feel the same way.

For two weeks I was broken and he didn’t budge. Instead he held up a mirror that showed me I had become a really pathetic version of myself. I was ugly, wrathful, enraged, and I didn’t like it. So when he told me what he needed, I decided to give it to him: the best version of me… totally cool… with us just being friends.

That was in September. It’s almost February now and nothing has changed for me. Absolutely nothing. Every time I see him I think This is it, This is right, This is where my contentment lies. And still he doesn’t budge.

I love you all so much but I hate that I’m telling you this story. I never wanted to. I wanted to tell him in our bed on our first anniversary. I wanted it to be our private origination tale, a thing between us that only he and I had to believe. And I know he would have believed it. But there is no he and I.

Sadly the lack of an ‘us’ has not taken away my need to get the story out. I’ve never felt this way about a person before. It’s honestly quite new to me. I want to put him first. I do put him first. Every time I see him I put his needs before mine. I act like everything is totally fine and I’m good and I let it all go. But the truth is I let nothing go. I seem to have zero capability of letting it go because it’s the realest, happiest most comfortable thing to me.

Last Tuesday my back went into spasm. Seven days later I can still barely move. I’ve been sleeping on the thinly veiled concrete floor of my parents’ basement writhing in a pain that doesn’t cease for more than five minutes at a time. I can’t sit. I can’t roll over. At times I can’t even stand up straight. Instead I’m bent over, hobbling around like an octogenarian with scoliosis.

I know from the last time this happened (2010, 40-Day Master Cleanse) that my pain is a physical manifestation of the emotional anxiety I’ve been burying. I kind of can’t take it anymore. I know this pain is tied to him but still I struggle to release it. Since I made the choice to become single in 2009, I’ve never had trouble walking away from someone who just wasn’t into me. Why is it so much different this time?


One thought on “Let’s Call Him Peter”

  1. I read this when i was in a van on my way to the cruise terminal. So profound, deep, beautiful and i felt every ounce of your pain. There is alwsys a reason people are placed in our life…friendship is a gift too. Thanks for sharing. You are an amazing writet!


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