Chibimagic's Weblog

Archive for February 2012

One day, at dinner, “If this doesn’t work out I think we should date.”

K looks suprised, her face lighting up with the prospect of gossip. “Who are you dating?” she asks him, excited.

“No one,” I reply for him.

“Oh.” She looks at me. “Who are you dating?”

“No one,” I reply.

“Oh.” She looks at both of us. “Wait, I’m confused.”

We look at each other. “Let’s get married,” I say.

“Okay.”

“How about when you’re 35?”

“I don’t wanna wait that long to get married.”

“Oh. Do you want kids?”

“Maybe.”

“Hm, that takes a couple years. Plus my eggs will be all shriveled up by then. 32?”

“How about when I’m 30?”

“That’s kinda soon.”

“When you’re 30?”

“Okay.”

“Where are you?”

The question pulls me back.

“You suddenly looked so far away,” M says almost accusingly, a trace of hurt in his voice. “Come back to me.”

I smile and draw in close again in his arms. “I’m right here.”

He strokes my hair as he looks down at me. “So many thoughts in here.”

—–

“Where did you go?”

I turn my head back towards C and smile. I reach for his hand under the covers.

“Sometimes you seem so far away,” he says, playing with my fingers. “I don’t know where you go, and I can’t follow you there.”

I squeeze his hand in reassurance. “I always come back.”

He kisses my forehead. “Stay with me.”

One can trace the threads of thought through a screen of frazzled existence. It’s sunset on the second floor of a popular coffee shop on a crowded street. It’s a moment of quiet reflection and longing.

It’s too much: cooped up at two 3′ x 3′ tables with 3 coworkers for 6 straight hours. The cacophony in my head pounds relentlessly. Constant questions—interjections—comments—interaction — no spare moments for thinking. But, suddenly, as they pack up to leave, an unexpected pang of emptiness, and all I can think about is the endless eternity that stretches between now and dinner. It’s terrifying, the newness of feeling. I am afraid of becoming dependent on people. On others’ existence in my life. It’s a complete reversal from the safe nights of hiding quietly behind a dim comforting screen. And once again, I don’t know what it means.

Or: constantly being aware of my car. Constantly, mindfully focusing my attention on speed, revolutions, gears. Some days I pull the door closed behind me and all I want is to rip out the manual shifter, fling it across the driveway and let my car think for me. In some ways this car runs against something I believe in with every fiber of my being: that you shouldn’t have to think about things you don’t care about. I am not sure if I care about cars.

Everything in life is so new and different. I am happier, I think. Happier, and more worried.

Stepping into the elevator at work, catching an unexpected whiff. It’s not his scent, or that of anyone I’ve been with recently, but it’s dark and musky and reminiscent of happiness long ago. I revel in it, forgetting for a moment my truffle, thick and chocolatey on my tongue.

It’s Wednesday afternoon, middle of the work day, but outside it’s gorgeous. I can’t sit still at my desk. My new car sits lonely and sad at the far end of the parking lot, begging to be driven. And so I yield to her siren song. Walking across the parking lot, I bask in the juxtaposition of sensations: the softness of my light gray sweater, the cozy warmth of the sun on my face, just the right amount of breeze caressing me all over. My mind wanders to sunny Sunday afternoons in Shoreline Park: sun, grass, breeze. All the same elements. Feeling, consciously appreciately all the sensations on my skin. I’m forever touching and smelling things. As if I’m desperately trying to absorb all of life through my senses. As if I’ll run out of time to experience everything.

I pull out of the parking lot, slow and cautious. Down Delaware street, crawling along, windows down and music playing. No single aspect of this stands out right now, but my serotonin is flowing and I could burst out crying from happiness. Everything is beautiful and lovely and perfect and I want to stay in this moment forever. Near downtown, I turn around. When I pull back into the parking lot, it’s barely been ten minutes since I left. But life is suddenly a little better, a little brighter, a little happier. For no reason.

By some luck or happenstance or fate conspiring, four evenings of events with him are lined up in a row. It’s mildly excruciating, seeing him so frequently. Gazing at his form standing across the room, partly obscured by other partygoers; sitting in a group at dinner, his face fuzzy in the periphery of my vision; grazing his hand as he hands me the dice for my turn. With the slightest turn of my head I could center him, bring him into focus, but I dare not.

It’s hardest immediately after. The quiet walk to the car after everyone has split off, alternating lingering glances. In that pocket of silence, there’s a brief moment of glittering hope – maybe, tonight. I want to shove him through my door, hold him down against the passenger seat, peel off each item of clothing, make his body writhe under my touch. But we exchange looks, and it’s dashed quickly against reality. We settle for a hug that lasts just a hint longer than appropriate. This is the worst of all possible worlds, except for all the others.

Confusing, to meet him in the wake of driving. Heart racing, every muscle tensed, hyper aware of each breath and movement. Confusing, too, to drive him in her car. A million little steps to think about and worry over in his presence. All the adrenaline and stress of learning stick gets muddled up in her head, and it’s easy to think that he’s the cause. Proximity, causality, all that.

But: I am fully aware that I am being completely ridiculous, mooning around like this, and I need to fucking get over it.

Starry-eyed, bright, hopeful, flittering from one obsession to the next, falling easily in like through hummingbird days. A quiet awkward boy in a coffee shop compliments her socks, and her heart lurches and trips against her ribs. Next time she’ll strike up a conversation. Next time, she thinks each time. At dinner with friends, she keeps glancing over at the man eating alone at the next table over. He isn’t attractive, she isn’t attracted to him, but the idea makes her hair dance on end – reaching out across the universe and making an unexpected connection. Two minds becoming one for the duration of a single meal. But she doesn’t.

Back home, sitting in her newly-empty bed, she counts her list. Fourteen. Tries to remember how each one ended. Turning each memory over in her head, slowly to examine it in the twinkling light. They’re hazy, but she’s glad for that. Cultivating the ability to forget lets one bear to live in this world. She wants to make a new list, some sort of tribute to each one, but really it’s just an excuse to think about the last boy. It’s always about the last boy. She allows herself one brief memory: yesterday (only yesterday?), lying with her head on his stomach, his signature clean scent wafting from him waves in the aftermath. Strange that she would first touch him so publically now.

In two weeks the last remnants of this will be gone. Those may have been the exact words said to her, 5 boys ago, when she called in the middle of the night, blubbering and hysterical. And, of course, it was true. It’s always true.