I’m going to dwell on every little eye glance. On every touch, every attempt to pin me against the counter and whisper songs into my ear while you slightly brush your beard up against my neck. I’m going to dwell on the times I asked how your day was and you replied with, “Better, now that you’re here.”
I’m going to catch myself staring at you while you’re blissfully unaware and trying to get that essay done before midnight. I’m going to play songs on repeat that remind me of you—the ones that mirror how I’m feeling about you and about “our situation” at the moment, switching between sexual frustration, thankfulness, and utter hopelessness. I’m going to tell a couple of absolute close friends and a couple people who will never meet you about how I feel about you. I will tell my therapist about how I can’t tell if you’re just so comfortable with me because we’re best friends and whether or not you might actually be hiding those feelings by joking about them. I’ll convince myself there’s no way you could possibly joke this much without possibly being serious about it.
I’ll get all breathy and heady when you pull my head into yours so our noses touch while you stare into my eyes. I’ll tell myself you’re just really theatrical and like being funny and try to make your friends laugh. I’ll remind myself you’re like this with most girls, and that I shouldn’t take it personally.
I’ll realize after you sleep with a random girl at a party that just because we’re best friends doesn’t mean I’m immune to feeling hurt. I’ll finally understand all those warnings about getting involved with a friend or someone you’re close with, because it changes your relationship forever. I’ll try to trick myself into thinking we can still be best friends without it ever becoming a problem for me.
I’ll pull myself into a deep hole, I’ll wallow in self-pity. I’ll attempt to slow it down at first, recognizing the acceptance of it actually means what I feared to be true. I’ll find a song that I didn’t know had so much depth and meaning and listen to it for 24 hours straight by making a one-song playlist of it. I’ll be incredibly distant for about a day or two until I realize I’m the only one allowing you to have this much control over me.
I’ll drink a lot more red wine than I usually do for about a week straight, smoke more than I should, and look up related articles online about “how to tell your best friend you love them.” I’ll scrutinize every one of our encounters, trying to make them as flirty and suggestive as possible. I’ll wonder if I’m ever going to be loved back, if my efforts will ever be reciprocated, if I’ll ever be on the receiving end of these songs about passion that I’m somehow completely drawn to. I’ll accept a friend’s offer to go out on a Tuesday night, to wear my new pants that make my legs look miles long, the ones I couldn’t manage to wear out this past weekend because I got too drunk and fell asleep at my friends’ house. I’ll get too drunk off red wine—again—and hope that you’re not out, too. So you don’t see me. So you don’t have to think I’m a mess.
I’ll scold myself for letting these feelings wander, for not stopping them when they began. I’ll scold myself for thinking I could enjoy the daydream just as a means to keep my mind busy during the day, as a tactic to seem uninterested when I meet other guys out and hopefully attract them by my indifference. I’ll realize this all doesn’t matter and that I can’t control my feelings.
I’ll learn that feelings aren’t meant to be controlled.
I’ll learn to sit with them, these feelings. I’ll learn how to sit in my own uncomfortableness, in my own awkwardness, in my own grief. I’ll probably still think about you all the time, wondering how the sex would have been and how much I would have liked hanging out with your mom over holidays. I’ll tell myself it just wasn’t meant to be and that something else will come along.
And something else might. Something else probably will. But if and when the time comes that I’m not simply daydreaming about loving you anymore, I’ll be there for you.