So What If I Don’t ‘Need’ You? I Want You.

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I could definitely live without you.

And listen, I know that’s not exactly the most romantic way to start this off. But we’re not ones for bullshit-packaged-into-something-pretty anyways. We like our honesty of the brutal variety, the kind of truthfulness that can sometimes hurt. The realness that can sting.

We’re not trying to be one of my adolescent diary entries. And frankly, I’m relieved.

You and I, we’re not into pretending for the sake of ease. We don’t want the right answers. We’re not looking to say what the other just wants to hear. Our pasts have been littered with far too much of that. We know bullshit still smells, no matter how hard you try to disguise it with potpourri.

I’m not going to lace this with flowery shit just because it might sound nice. Lots of things sound nice. Broken promises sound nice. Pre-breaking. The stuff right before the falling and cracking glasses. We can convince ourselves anything is lovely, if we just sip on the Kool Aid a little longer. We can stay high on the delusion just one more night. Feed us those pretty lies, we’ll down them with a voracity.

But I don’t want to do that with you. And, I hope, you don’t want to do that with me. Maybe we’re just getting too old to deal with it. The idea of playing games just seems exhausting. The thought I can’t be honest with you isn’t attractive. I don’t care to seem cool or detached. I’m neither of those things. So why let you believe I’m something I’m not?

You know nothing about me is smooth, like the way I laugh too loudly at jokes that don’t even deserve such hearty cackles. Or how I’ll attempt a sexual advance and accidentally end up smacking you in the face. I’m not your airbrushed Playboy woman; I’m flawed and nervous and have a tendency to trip on my own two feet when you look at me with those brown eyes.

There’d be no point in lying to you when I know you can already see through me. And truth be told? It’s scary. It’s terrifying to be around someone who holds me and kisses me, and I just know how fully transparent I am the entire time.

So no, I don’t need you. I could live my life without you and probably still find happiness and success. I bet I’d fall in love with someone else, maybe start a family. Get a French Bulldog. Put sweaters on him when he was cold in the winter. I’d take a class at the local community center, maybe try pottery. Remember I suck at anything involving my hands, so I’d quit after two classes. I’d do all the things I want to do.

Losing you wouldn’t be the end of me. With enough time, I’d be just fine.

But I want you. And doesn’t that mean so much more? You are not imperative to my survival. You are not a pair of lungs pumping oxygen through my body. I don’t drink you to avoid dehydration. I don’t depend on you for anything. But I want you so badly, I can feel it pulsing in my blood. I can taste you for hours after we say goodbye and all I have is the faint smell of you on my sweater.

I want you, and not just sexually, I want you when I am standing in the grocery store and wonder what clever pun you’d rattle off about the stupid magazine cover on the stand. I want you when I’m driving and a random song comes on that I know you’d somehow have far too much trivia on to make sense, but that’s why it’s the fucking best. I want you when you are stressed out and things don’t feel fair. I want you when you are upset, want to sit with you while we figure it out.

You aren’t the man who will make or break me. I have learned those men do not exist. I may have given some that power, once, back then, but it wasn’t something they waltzed in with. I chose to surrender it.

I do not need you in my life. But I really, really want you in it. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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    This makes so much sense to me, I almost wish I had written this…..

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