Last Saturday, I sat in front of a plate of fried macaroni, studying the yellow and orange glued to the paper. It was 34 minutes passed the hour, and all I could figure at this point, for the short time I’d known you, was that you weren’t coming.
My mind toyed with the idea that train traffic or a deep nap was keeping you busy. Another five, 10, 20 minutes more couldn’t hurt.
I scraped the remaining noodles into the trash can, watching the clumped leftovers disappear into the bin. I wasn’t taking this stuff home. No way.
This was where we had our first date — a whirlwind romance nonetheless, that involved more time in bed than actual dates — but the memories were there. And they still held some sort of meaning — at least, I liked to pretend that they did.
But maybe that’s all that it was. A bunch of pretending.
I’ve never been an easy person to understand, and that certainly reflected in the few men I’d spent time with. They were different. Some of them were pretty weird. And most of them had tendencies toward narcissistic or histrionic personality disorders.
But they kept my attention because I recognized similar traits in myself.
I’d always appreciated my own sado-masochistic tendencies, which I’d superficially chalked up to wearing gladiator platforms, alcohol-induced chain smoking and listening to the same cryptic songs on repeat.
But it was more than that. I fed off of the lure of morose sex. To say that my brain wasn’t some shitty film adaptation of Liaisons Dangereuses would have been an understatement.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved. A lot. And when I loved, I loved very deeply.
I got hurt. And when I did, it was hard and unforgettable, oftentimes. But I didn’t love someone easily and I didn’t love people who were easy to love.
Unfortunately, I didn’t typically love people who were good to me. And there was an entertainment in that and a necessity to be something that was unattainable.
And I guess, to whatever extent, that’s why sociopathic sex, for me, had and has always been so memorable. So intoxicating. So addictive.
That’s why I’ve put up with a relationship so long after it had died. After emotional abuse. And even when I knew that it wasn’t good for me.
And that’s quite possibly why I did the same thing over and over again.
Why I was hanging outside this crappy restaurant, biting on the remaining bits of fried food that stuck to my teeth and checking my phone every few seconds just in case your train wasn’t bombed and you just fell down the stairs tying your shoes getting off the L.
And yes. It was a turn-on to an extent. I don’t know why. It just was.
And why I’d quite possibly do the same thing again next week if we agreed on a similar arrangement.
Because I’ve always been drawn to the glitter and sparkles of unforgettable experiences that lasted a few hours when you were lucky, but that stay fixated in your head for the rest of your life and beyond.
The turn on of unavailable orgasms and assholes. To an extent. More times than I’d like to say. But then again, to the extent that it also gets old.
Sometimes I got tired of pretending. I’d get tired of the games.
I get tired of pretending that it doesn’t hurt when it does. I get tired of concealing my feelings so the monotony of the game can go on longer. And I get tired of accepting that this is just the way the world works; that feelings can be thrown away like garbage. That we all should just get drunk and laugh and mutter that “life’s a bitch,” when our partners run away.
I say to myself, so often, “I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not pretending.”
But here I am. Again. Waiting for you long after our date ended and long after entering a relationship that never really had the wings to get off the ground.
Why am I still waiting? Fuck. I don’t really know. Or do I?