A Thing About Men I’m Afraid Of


I’m always paranoid men are going to think I’m falling in love with them. Because, I don’t know, isn’t that a thing they are always thinking? Aren’t they, at some point in their collective youths, imbued with this community fear? That women only want to love them in order to take something away from them. That there is freedom that exists only in the stark contrast of feminine love and that our wiles exist to woo you to the dark side.

The nightmare is that you wake up one day and you are middle aged and you are chained to cinderblocks in the form of a nagging wife and kids and a mortgage that means you really can’t do anything to save yourself.

Maybe I’m projecting.

Maybe I have just had a lot of arguments with men who have always thought I was falling in love with them. And there’s nothing that will make a mark on your psyche like arguing with someone about whether the way you feel is silly. Or that they know more than you do about the way that *you feel.*

I don’t know what other people expect from me, or what they want. I know the way my whole body feels when I appreciate someone for what they are without needing more than what is happening in the present. Isn’t that what every mystic, ever, says? Nothing good can come from wanting things to be other than they are. If you are wise you are supposed to love this moment for all the good parts that are making it up. And I think I can do that.

But there’s this voice in the background, this subtle dis-ease that the intensity of my enjoyment might be taken as a sign by others to be something else. Some kind of yearning for a future I don’t want to think about. I want my yes to mean yes and my no to mean no, but I also understand that we have all gotten so good at lying to each other, and to ourselves, that all of these things only mean maybe — and for the time being.

I don’t want to be pitted against people. I don’t want our happiness to be zero sum — the abundance of mine coming at the expense of yours. I want there to be some kind of prairie away from the obstruction all of other people’s ideas about how things should be where we can see that nothing is coming in the distance. And nothing is hiding, waiting to jump out. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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