09 April 2010

Exile from Heaven

So, for the past ten weeks I have been hanging in tension about a romantic relationship. You may remember Senor Cielo, from many months ago. Well, for a few weeks from early December to mid-January we were "involved" - which is to say we met a few times for tea and biscuits, and to kiss, and then we had sex once. And then he disappeared to write up his dissertation. In fact, the last real contact I had with him for about twelve weeks was when we arranged to meet again, a couple of days after the first time we had sex, but he had to cancel because he had to stay up all night to finish his first chapter.

I had hoped all this time that when he finished writing up he and I might pick up the hanging out and having sex. This doesn't mean that I chased him - in the beginning I'd touch base every couple of weeks, but then I stopped that - but it does mean that I hoped we might enjoy each other for the limited time he has left here before he leaves. He finished the day before yesterday and last night he and I met for tea. And at that point he told me that, based on the fact that I had once asked him at a party if I would get to see him again once he was done and said I was afraid I wouldn't, and based on the fact that I had done something else (but he couldn't remember what), he felt that I was not conceiving of this as a friendship with sex, but rather imagining it as some sort of entanglement with expectations. I assured him, several times, that this was not the case, but he insisted that he felt this, and that for this reason - and later the reason he gave was that he liked sitting around talking with me over tea, and he liked being my friend, and he didn't want to risk that - he didn't want to have sex with me again (although he never uttered that phrase, that was what he meant).

This turned into one of those conversations that goes around and around, because I couldn't do anything but say his impression was wrong, and he couldn't do anything but say it was his impression and it affected him as it did. After he said that about not wanting to risk the friendship, I said, "We're not going to be friends." He said, "Why? You see, the very fact that you say that makes it clear that you're invested in the relationship as more than a friendship. Why wouldn't we be friends?" I said, "I have a lot of friends, and I don't want to have sex with any of them. If you and I remained friends, I would spend my time sitting across the table from you thinking how much I wanted to have sex with you. Can't you see how that would be painful for me?" He said nothing.

Anyway, after the conversation went around and around for a while, I said to him, "I'm sad. And I'm going to tell you why I'm sad. I'm sad because I'm so great, and you're never going to know that. I'm so funny, and clever, and giving, and you're never going to know how much that's true. And I'm sad because I wanted so much to make someone happy, and now I won't be able to do that. And I'm sad because I thought that just for a little while I was going to get to be happy in an area where I haven't been happy for a long time, and now I'm not. And I'm sad because I wanted to put my body against your body, and now I won't be able to do that. And I'm sad because I liked you, and it's always saddening when we like someone to discover that they're less than we thought they were." He didn't say anything (at some later point I said to him, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry because I think you're interesting. There's a lot in there, and I'm sorry I won't be able to learn about it").

And then the conversation went around a bit more, until finally we were just silent, looking at each other. And finally I said, "You're a fool." And I laughed. And I said, "You're giving up me? Man, you know me; you know what I'm like. And you want to give that up?" And he said, "I don't want to give it up; it's because I don't want to give it up that I'm doing this." And then he said, "Well, you'll have to make your decision," and quick as a flash he stood up and left the kitchen. And I called after him, "Wash your cup!"

I have to say I have trouble following his logic: I can't see why not having sex with me again is going to strengthen or maintain our friendship, especially since he also told me that he doesn't see most of his friends for long gaps of time - so our apparently valuable friendship would mean we might meet once or twice for tea, I imagine. But whether or not I follow his logic, I can see that we are not going to be friends, because I'm not going to pretend to be non-sexual friends with someone I really want to have sex with.

And I am sad. When I say that, it sounds simple and clean, but it's actually complex and ragged. The whole time that he was writing up I could say that I might still see him again, but now I can't say that. And he was nice - he wasn't the greatest guy in the world, but he's funny, and I enjoyed having conversations with him. It made my day a bit brighter to see him, and because I was attracted to him, and because it was a connection away from my group of friends, I did feel that it might turn into something where for a little while someone would be just for me - I could chat to them and tell them my news and know they were listening with special interest (before we got into the big discussion last night I did, in fact, do those things, and it was nice). And I wanted to have sex with him again. And my liking for him and pleasure in his company don't vanish just because I've chosen that the best thing is that our association be done.

You can say that he is complicated, or fucked up, or stupid, or weird (all of which have been said to me), and you can conclude that he just plain didn't want to sleep with me, or doesn't much like me, or likes me much more than I like him, since he apparently wants to be friends with me while I don't with him (all of these things have been said to me, too, mostly by me). I don't know. And certainly you can say that he's not worth my thought time, and/or that I should move on - I know those things. And you can say he's going to be very lonely in life, and I'm much better, or you can say that it's plain that he is totally a wrong person for me. I sort of know those things, too (except for the first two). But none of those things can get rid of the sadness, or make me not feel that I've lost something, some little chance to be happy for a little while. And none of them can change the fact that I just plain liked him - liked interacting with him - and I can't eradicate that liking. What we know rationally can't quickly change what we feel. And you can say, as a couple of people have also said, that my image of him as being perfectly fine with this is quite probably wrong - he may well be suffering from his own little or large unhappiness over this outcome (indeed, he himself said he would "not be fine" when he went back to his room), but that doesn't affect my feelings: suficiente pan no cura un corazon roto, as I would say. I feel I got badly treated, and for no discernible reason, and as a result I am unhappy where I could have been happy, and I have feelings that I cannot get rid of but that only make me unhappy, and I am alone in an area where I could not have been. And those feelings are very hard, and very very very very very very awful. And maybe the awfulest thing is that I can't stop having them, and having them can't change anything

1 comment:

Vespertina Quies said...


While I simply can't understand how someone's offering friendship could make things easier for the one to whom it's offered - it has always seemed to me a low form of egotistical cruelty- and I also don't think that's the spirit in which it was done in this case, I do take your point about the name. So I have removed it. And also, because it contained the name, your comment.