Now that things were at an end, she could look back and try and figure out why the universe had wanted her to pay attention, why she had followed it’s path down the road to this man. She thought she knew what gift this man had given her: As the hurting man before had woken her up after her many years of solitude to the possibility and desire for love and sex and companionship, this man had shown her that sex could be glorious and wild and amazing. That her body had healed from her trauma those many years ago, even if her mind and soul still had bruises and breaks that haunted her. That she was ready and wanted, really wanted lovely, crazy, wonderful sex,and lots, and lots and LOTS of it…and a physical, affectionate man to have it with! It made her think, though, that perhaps now would be a good time for her to go back and redo her request to the Universe for the man she wanted in her life…she had gotten much of everything she had asked for, but, lo and behold, she had asked for the things that made her rapturous, concentrated on the feel of it, but had forgotten to mention anything practical, like common goals and way of life…fer cryin’ out loud, she was DEFINITELY going to ask for another night owl, one who didn’t give a shit if she snored a little bit! Someone who liked cities and noise. And was amazed and transported by music; someone who wanted to travel…AND someone who gave as much as he got, at least as far as compromises went….oh yeah, THAT was another reason she had clammed up, gotten tongue tied, there were all the demi-god like orders about how things worked in his domain“
“You will NOT bring aspartame into this house” (ohhhhkay!)
“No! Not Johnny Cash! I grew up having to watch Hee Haw. I will NOT allow Johnny Cash to be played in this house!” (Really? Like “Oh, I have problems with Johnny Cash, please don’t play him here” wouldn’t have done the trick!?!)
Things had just gone south so fast with this guy! Now she was stuck at his house in the middle of nowhere, house-sitting for him while he did a job in Seattle (God, she wished SHE were in Seattle! Not with him, mind you, not with how things were going at the moment, but just to be in a city would do so much for her spirits right now!)
They had pretty much “broken up” yesterday and the night before, though how you can have something to break up after only two weeks was beyond her…It had been quite a wild roller coaster ride, full of amazing,and wonderful heights with a kind and loving sweetheart of a man, and soul crunching lows with a moody, un-evolved man who blamed it all on the lack of sleep caused by her snoring! (as an aside here, let’s just say, that when she went online to commiserate with her friends on the turn of events, the last guy she’d been with, D. the no longer quite so hurting guy, had immediately messaged her to say “You do NOT snore! So there!” Yeah, so there! Now HE would be in her life forever! What a sweetheart!)
So, back to this guy, and a switching metaphors we will go: All the flip-flopping between glorious and funky was a bit more than she could deal with…she knew she was born in the Chinese year of the dog, but for gods sake, she hadn’t known that this meant PAVLOVS dog! She didn’t know how to act…she was pretty sure this was how it started with abused women…now, please, don’t get me wrong, this guy was NOT that type. He was, once again, just like all of us, basically a nice guy who was fucked up in oh so many ways! And, since her role as a child had been that of the peacemaker, when this semi chaotic chain of events came into play, she naturally reverted to the role of keeping quiet and trying to smooth things over…Urrrgggh! WTF! She was 53 years old, how on EARTH could she still be reverting to her childhood? She had been a strong, competent, communicative woman for SOOOO long!
Yet reverting she was….
Day before yesterday he had woken up grumpy…again! He spent a bit of the morning talking about how he only had two vices left, pot and women, and how women were so expensive, how he had lost 3 pieces of property, twice through divorce…on and on. She wanted to say “Hello! Woman in the room!” But he had already come down on her in the middle of his “facebook is an addiction” tirade with “Oh, you’re just going to disagree with everything I say,aren’t you?” (well, no, but she did love facebook, and saw it as a tool, not an addiction; a way to keep in touch with friends who were many miles away, and to touch base with friends she had lost contact with years ago..) So, she kept quiet.
She thought that part of his tirade was his way of distancing the two of them.
He went off to run errands. She washed the dishes, made the bed…geez, what was WRONG with her? Who WAS this Suzy Homemaker who had possessed her body?
When he got back in the afternoon, whole new person, grumpiness gone, he was sweet again, and charming and funny…and amourous! They had a really fabulous afternoon together! The snow was falling outside, the fire was blazing inside, they were both on their computers on the bed, relaxing, occasionally relating something to the other; laughing some, joking some, just basically peaceful and content in each others company.
She had said she’d make dinner, after all, he’d cooked all the other times… He showered while she cooked and came out naked and mischievious. While she was looking for spices on the shelf he came up behind her and bit her on the neck in just that spot…her knees went weak. Seriously, they buckled! She almost fell! God, what this man could do to her!
When the borrowed pressure cooker exploded, he threw his towel on it, and they laughed and hugged. They were having fun!
Dinner was ready, he dressed, said he didn’t like to eat naked. They were watching a documentary on WWII. She showered when she was done eating.
When she came out, he was crying silently about the poor dead boys, the soldiers from World War Two, and the commentary that the sad and stolid vets gave. She thought this was the sweetest thing about him, his ability to cry about things that touched him. He had told her that this was an after effect of being shot, and he was embarrassed by it, saw it as a weakness. But she didn’t see it that way at all, this sensitivity; she saw it as a strength, a strength that too many men denied themselves, this ability to cry when it was appropriate…it made her want to hold him forever, it made her love him.
The trouble started when they went to bed.
Now, here’s some back-story on our’ girl: She had been on antidepressants for about the last 15 years. I’m sure you can agree, with the things she had been through in her life, this was absolutely appropriate, and had, in fact, saved her life. She had been lucky, too, she didn’t seem to suffer from the sexual side effects that so many people were saddled with….as a matter of fact, the medicine she was on actually made her multi-orgasmic! Here’s the caveat however: A year ago,when her beloved lab, her best friend and constant companion for a decade died suddenly, she was so distraught…she upped her dosage (with her doctors permission, of course) This helped immensely…and, a few months later when she got the letter from her lenders saying they were going ahead with the foreclosure, well, she just kept her dosage the way it was. Life was hell, the hellish end of a hellish four years, and she needed all the help she could get to make it through to a better life!
But that, of course, was when the sexual side effects started. While she was still alone it didn’t matter, but she had noticed it with D., and now….well, how flipping ironic that she was having the best sex of her life and couldn’t have an orgasm!
Damn that Loki!
So, she stepped back down to her original dosage. She had told him what she was doing,and that she’d probably be sensitive for a week or so. She instructed him “If I get weepy or stupid, grab me by the shoulders, look me in the eyes and say: “Girl, orgasms!””
Well, that’s not exactly what happened:
She had been back down to her original dosage for about five days now. She was a little bit weepy, but not too bad, she was pretty sure she could buck up against that. And, wonder of wonders, she knew from personal experience, that she could indeed cum again. Hallelujah! So tonight she wanted to cum with HIM!
She loved oral sex! She loved giving it, she loved getting it. She could feel the changes in her body that signaled that she was getting close. She urged him on. But he sat up.
“Dammit woman, you’re making my face ache. I’m exhausted! I just want to fuck and go to sleep!”
She cried. She couldn’t help it.
“Oh, I know I’m supposed to comfort you now, but I’m not gonna!”
“You hurt my feelings, what do you expect?”
“Look, You always want to be made love to and sometimes I just want to fuck. I didn’t even make love every time when I was married to the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
She thought that was really unfair. Of the, what, 10 times or so they’d had sex, she figured two, three times tops were making love, with the rest being pretty evenly split between wild crazy sex and just fucking. And, on top of that,she had enjoyed the “just fucking” as much as the other two…what the hell was he talking about? They had “just fucked” last night, hadn’t they?
First he had said he was too tired “Hey Baby, I’m exhausted, so if you want me you’re just gonna have to climb up here and do it yourself.” Well, she figured she was pretty tired herself, so they’d just wait till the morning, but, pretty soon they were fucking…
(Okay, as much as I hate to say it, a few days after the “fight” she had another one of her retrospective realizations. Trust me, she is as sick of having them as I am of relaying them to you! “Why can’t I, just for once, figure something out AS it’s happening instead of only figuring it out after days of pondering?” she thought just after realizing the following: “oh,wait a minute,was “Hey Baby, I’m exhausted, so if you want me you’re just gonna have to climb up here and do it yourself.” code for “Hey Baby, I’m exhausted, so why don’t you do ME tonight?”
Gahhhh! Why couldn’t he have just said that? She would’ve gladly complied. She had thought he was saying he was too tired…and maybe he was, how would she know? But that was one thing that really irritated her about men: They were always going on and on about how women expected men to read their minds, when, in her experience, it was just the opposite. Men were constantly expecting women to know what they wanted, guess what they needed, why couldn’t they just say it, clearly and concisely? Grrrrrr!)
But back to that night: She thought that was unfair, and she told him so…
Oh, never mind! What did it matter? The basic facts were this: He was not the right man for her, and she was not the right girl for him! She was sensitive, he was gruff! She wanted, needed a man who loved her not despite her sensitivity, but because of it. Someone who saw her great big loving heart as a strength, an asset, something to be adored, applauded and hell, serenaded! She had seen this mans sensitivity and instinctively thought that he would love and accept hers. But that was not the case…perhaps it was because he was ashamed of it in himself,or maybe because the oh-so-manly essence of him was made uncomfortable by it…who knew!
Didn’t matter, they were simply not right for each other….
So, she ruminated…she ruminated for days, for the better part of a week, then for a week itself. She thought about the things that didn’t work between them. She thought about how different they were temperamentally. She thought about all the ways they weren’t right for each other. She gave herself emotional and mental distance from him and she began to heal. She knew that if this had been “right” that none of the things that didn’t work would’ve been deal breakers, they instead would’ve been challenges to work out, but, let’s face it, this man didn’t want to work out (or through) any challenges. He had said as much: “I’m not going to change for anyone. I’m not going to compromise!” He had said that on the day in his truck when she’d felt a few silent tears slip from her eyes. She knew that if there were compromises to be made in this “relationship” with this man, she would be the one compromising. The only one!
She knew she couldn’t do that!
Oh, she could compromise alright, she had no problem with that…compromise was essential to living with people! Period! And the ability to compromise was a strength. But, effective compromise meant give and take, it meant both parties gave…and both parties got! But, according to this man, there would be no giving on his part, and, she knew, if she was the only one compromising,she would lose herself….and that she could not do!
This man was not right for her.
To quote KT Tunstall from “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree”:
I said No-No
You’re not the one for me!”
And right there was a HUUUUGE gulf between them. She NEEDED music, loved music, knew music, was healed by music, learned from music, was raised to the heights by music. Music was a spiritual experience for her, it was her teacher, her guru,her patron saint, her philosophers stone. Music made life worth living for her, it enabled her heart to love and her soul to soar.
Him? He liked music okay, said he liked ALL music (except apparently Johnny Cash, she thought wryly) but music just didn’t mean that much to him…and,when she tried to share music with him it fell on (and I hate to say this!) deaf ears. She wanted to be with someone who got as excited as she did about a certain song or a certain artist…this was not the man for that.
As far as personal growth and spirituality went, well, she was all about expanding and growing and traveling and reaching, both personally and physically. He was quite content in his small house on his small farm in a small town…this really bemused her: How on earth did she find the ONE Sagittarius on the planet who wasn’t, like their opposite/complimentary sign, Gemini’s (which she was) all about travel and adventure and expansion? Cracked her up!
It amazed her that yesterday she had been so sad, distraught even, and today she was…better! Maybe even fine! How had she become the person she was now, who could let go of what wasn’t working so easily, who could open her heart right back up again and be ready to move on, to go with grace, to leave with love. The grasping fear just held so little sway over her heart these days. Maybe THAT was what the universe was showing her and teaching her. Perhaps all those synchronicities and signs that told her to pay attention was to show her that her resilient heart could do this. That she could adore this man for the good and wonderful things about him, his sweetness, his humor, his passion and intelligence and sensuality, and still recognize that the things that didn’t mesh, combined with his lack of interest in anything close to compromise made it impossible for anything long term; that she was strong enough and loving enough to let him go, to let herself go, with the prayers and supplications to the loving gods that they would both go on to find the puzzle-piece person that fit exactly in that space in their hearts!
She knew he was out there, this puzzle piece man, and she knew she would find him, too, or he would find her. She just had to keep to her wandering ways, going where the universe led her, learning the lessons it set out to teach her, loving and leaving and leading with her great big heart until she came across the man she wouldn’t want to leave! The man who had a home in her heart, shaped just for him, the one who was right for her, who wouldn’t want to leave her either, who had a corresponding home in his heart shaped just for her.
Each new experience with each new man was crystallizing who she wanted and what she needed, what wonders she deserved and how worthy she was of meeting someone who IS all that!
She figure it like this:
Last guy, D. the hopefully-soon-to-be-not-hurting-at-all-guy made her think “Uh oh. He’s ruined it for me! Now I just won’t be willing to settle for anything less than a gorgeous guy!”
This guy? Gorgeous!
And also, this guy? “Uh oh! He’s ruined it for me! I’M just not going to settle for less than amazing sex anymore!”
Next guy? She just couldn’t WAIT!
But apparently she was going to have to….
Seems the weather had delayed parts of his project. She would be house-sitting for another week. She’d finished a wholesale order while he was gone, with the intention of getting back on the road just as soon as he got home….then she found out that there was going to be a delay in getting paid…
He started sending her cute emails once more, three just this morning, calling her bright eyes again, saying he wanted to start her day by putting a grin on her face…what the hell? She was delighted, but wary. Yeah, she guessed he must be starting to miss her, but…she was NOT going to be holding her breath. She figured she could use some practice with teasing and being flirty, but this time (if there indeed was a this time!) He was going to have to EARN her trust! Should’ve done it that way in the beginning, but she had gotten caught up in all the pretty words and a handsome sensual man wanting her….
Sunshine! Maybe she could at least do something today, take the dog for a walk, go to the store, anything but be stuck in somebody else’s house while the skies poured water. She was tired of watching the river rise and pretending she was anything other than a city girl who liked the country. She would feel so much better being out in the day! She concentrated on doing things that made her happy. She talked to friends on the phone, did some writing, more walks. He sent her some money for propane and groceries. She put some of it in her tank and drove to Portland for an equinox celebration…first day of spring, and it was snowing! It lightened her mood to meet these new women and to do something spiritual. When she got back, she set up an altar, lit some candles, and did a ceremony to celebrate the equinox and new moon, using seeds as a symbol to grow what she wanted in her life. It was good.
He called her, and was sweet and sad,and lovely. She felt he missed her…
When he came home, he was so different! He was so happy to be home, and so happy to see her. He kept grabbing her, and hugging her, and kissing her. Within a few minutes he told her that he had thought about her a LOT while he was gone, and a few minutes later he told her he missed her! This did NOT feel like “friends with benefits” which is what he told her he wanted before he left. This felt like they were back on, like he was into her again. It felt wonderful again. All her resolve to make him earn her trust went out the window and she started loving him again.
That night he made love to her…all his choice, no “requirement” for “making love vs. fucking” on her part, and apparently, no desire for just fucking on HIS part!
When they were finished, she told him that she knew he was exhausted from his long drive, so she was going to go to her trailer so he could get a good nights sleep. Probably a dumb move on her part, but she thought she was being kind.
The next day was predictably weird. She blamed it on her getting all jangly from drinking coffee instead of tea, and not getting enough sleep. In reality, it was weird because of the days disconnect after last nights reconnect. The rollercoaster ride was back. Oh joy!
Three days later she was done. The deal with her sleeping in her Airstream after they’d had sex had become a rule, as opposed to a kindness she had done for him. She had brought up the subject of ear plugs, so that maybe, just maybe they could sleep in the same bed together. He had agreed to try them, but, on that third night when she proffered them to him, he refused “NO! I’m not going to wear those.” She asked “Tonight or ever?” and he answered “Well, tonight! We’ll talk about “ever” later!” And, as sure as a toddler knows that moms “Maybe.” really means “No!”, she knew that he meant “Never”….So, she put her clothes back on, trudged through the rain to her trailer and cried all night. She knew she was not going to get what she wanted from this guy, knew that she had misinterpreted his feelings when he got back from Seattle…or, his feelings HAD changed, and then changed again! She knew that at the present moment, she felt skeazy, having to get up and leave her lovers bed after sex to go sleep alone. She felt like a whore. She certainly did NOT feel loved and cherished and adored like she wanted to feel, and knew she deserved to feel! Yes, it was over!
The next day she barely left her trailer. When she did go into the house, she spoke to him like nothing was wrong, but she couldn’t quite him in the eyes. He looked sad, downhearted. A few minutes later, up in the kitchen he was talking on the phone with a neighbor about water pouring out when he pulled the spark plug on his truck…cracked block, she knew, or warped head. Maybe that was why he was sad, maybe it had nothing to do with her….
She thought about the share that had been going around facebook lately:
A picture of a man and a woman, physically apart, but in the same room. The caption read:
Her diary: “He’s been so distant with me all day. When I ask him what’s wrong, he just stares into space and says “nothing…” I’m sure it’s over between us, I don’t think he loves me anymore…I’m destroyed!”
His diary: “The motorcycle won’t start, and I can’t figure out why.”
Yep, irony certainly WAS a bitch!
Well, she didn’t want to add more crap to his already crappy day. (and besides, she didn’t know what she wanted to say yet.) so she retreated back to her trailer to give her self the space she needed.
She thought about what she wanted to say to him. She was definitely sad and devastated this time. She had gotten sucked in again, and the pain was worse the second time around. She wanted to lay it all out for him, tell him all the things her tied up tongue hadn’t been able to get out. Whether this was a chance for closure or a chance to clear the air and start afresh, she couldn’t say. She just felt that she HAD to speak up and be heard. She practiced what she was going to say with her friends online. They encouraged her, helped her, held her, metaphorically speaking.
The next morning he came to her door and asked for her car keys. She invited him in. At first he refused, but it was raining, so in he came.
As she handed him her keys, she said to him, as she had practiced with her friends “Hey, so, it might’ve appeared that I’ve been giving you the old passive aggressive silent treatment.”
“Yeah, it might’ve appeared that way….”
“Well, I haven’t been…it’s just that it’s become apparent to me that I like you more than you like me, so I had to pull away.”
“Like me?” he stuttered back “ more than…I…?” He looked as though what she was saying was not exactly what HE thought was going on “Well…Oh, we’ll just leave it at that”
And so, just like that, her opening to conversation had also been the end to that conversation.
But, in a strange way it freed her…it helped her to let go. Just like he had said the night of their “fight”, about her snoring “How’re ya gonna have a relationship with someone you can’t sleep with.” she thought “How’re ya gonna have a relationship with someone you can’t have an important conversation with?” Now, her heart started letting loose, like her mind had already attempted to do, and she hoped that sooner than she thought possible, she would have a heart free enough to connect with someone she could have that kind of a conversation with!
So, she went back to ruminating, and writing, thinking,and letting her fingers dance on her keyboard, but she felt lighter than before,and her smile had returned.
His smile returned too, and he started bringing meals out to her, and food for the dog, while still respecting her privacy. She remembered that, despite his gruffness, he actually WAS a nice guy, flawed, but sweet. They would part as friends, she was glad of that!
She thought about the two men she’d been with recently…this river-guy, and D. the hurting guy, so different,yet so alike.
She posted a new entry on her blog:
“I read somewhere that men above all want to be understood, that they’ll fall madly and deeply in love with a woman who truly understands them. I think I probably understand you more than you know, but that’s mostly through intuition, and ,of course there’s no way to understand someone fully and deeply through intuition alone…There has to be dialogue. And by that I mean back and forth, one on one talking. You can’t expect a woman to understand you by giving her one sided gruff-blustery monologues that let her know who’s boss. That only engenders fear and confusion on her part…unless she’s a scrapper, and I gave up that position years ago. I don’t wanna fight, and I won’t.
A woman, on the other hand, wants to be SEEN. Honestly, for most women, you don’t even have to agree with her, you just have to see down into her soul to the essence of her, to who she really is, and accept her. That’s what we most want. I think you did see me that first night. You saw the goddess within me, and the good woman, the talented and the lovely, the sweet, the kind, the strong, the beautiful, the ME. You might’ve even seen me again a few other times….perhaps on the second date; but by the next morning I feel as though you had superimposed specters of other women upon me. You stopped seeing who I was and started laying out rules based on who I wasn’t. I felt as though I was being asked to battle for another woman’s right to be . I felt decidedly unseen. And, because I have somewhat the spirit of a doe, this overwhelmed me and I ran…not physically, of course, because I was still entangled with the sweet memories of that first night, and I already loved you a bit, and wished, and hoped and cried for the return of that beautiful intertwining of our’ souls that I, that we felt that night….so I ran inward…
And, to be fair, I DID warn you that if we slept together that first night, I might run.
Of course I thought that meant hitching up the Airstream and getting the hell out of Dodge, like I had done in the past, I had no clue I would run inward, not with all my talk of late of having—and keeping–a big open heart! It seems that what I need to do now is, instead of building a wall around my heart like I used to do, learn to build a steel cage around the marshmallow that is my resolve…I do know myself, after all, at least in reaction, if not in the exact modes of action.
Honestly though, if you had continued to see me, if you hadn’t superimposed the specters, if you hadn’t presumed I was going to treat you in ways that were against my nature, and belonged to your’ past, to your’ broken heart(s), and not to me…well, I wouldn’t have run. I would’ve stayed right there with you, soul to soul. There was absolutely no ambivalence on my part as to being with you, getting to know you, loving you, discovering a possible future. I could see falling deeply in love with you, see us years down the road together, the vision was bright, and colorful, and I would’ve delighted in getting to know you to see if it was real!
It may take me a bit to get over you. Probably longer than my last love. I woke up thinking about this, wondering why. When the answer came to me so, so quickly, I was inspired to write this. You see, my last lover SAW me, knew me. When we last parted, it wasn’t in anger, or hurt: as a matter of fact we had just had a rather amazing and wonderful few days together, and had connected in that soul to soul way that I love so much. But, when I looked in his eyes as we parted I saw what I had seen reflected back to me in the mirror for so many years. I saw the ambivalence of a still broken heart. I knew this man couldn’t give me the deep love that I want and deserve. And I knew it wasn’t personal. I think this man might have loved me that deeply if he could, or, if we had been lovers at a different time in his life….but until the ambivalence is gone, and his heart is healed, he cannot give that kind of love, nor can he accept it…
And so I let him go, in light, with love and grace, with the prayers of the healing of his heart that he deserves so much.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I cried, I mourned what could’ve been. But there was nothing to be done but let go…
You, however, another story…rejection has a different sting. Especially when I feel unseen, and feel part of what I’m being rejected for isn’t even me. But, time is my friend in this. I will mourn what might have been, I will miss the nights of pleasure, the moments when our souls did connect, the laughter, the sharing of thoughts and ideas…but I will do my best to take the time to heal and no more, to not get stuck in the dark tumescent pleasure of wallowing, to let go, be done, and open my heart to a man who can both see me, and who is ready for me.
I wish you well in this life. You are a good man who deserves all the glorious love that life can muster, and I hope you find her. (part of me wishes still that she could be me,*sigh*)(time! My healing friend time!) But do yourself, and her a favor: before you ask that she understand you, look down within her soul and see her, really SEE her. See her beauty, see her grace, see her foibles and flaws, and love her, and accept her. ALL of her. Don’t blame her for another lovers sins, or credit her with another woman’s kindness…see HER!
And, as to her understanding you, that will happen, I guarantee it. You don’t have to demand it (and, in fact,demanding it will only delay it! We women have our’ pride as well as men, you know!) You see, we women WANT to understand our men, and it’s in our’ nature to understand, in our’ nature to look deep and discover what’s down inside the people we love…well, perhaps I shouldn’t proscribe this to my entire gender, perhaps there are women who aren’t like this. But it’s true of me. And every woman I know.
As my friend Barry said to you on the phone yesterday (ah, Barry, you big loving goof!)
“Women are a lot more complicated than a quad, aren’t they?”
Yes. Yes we are. But we’ are well worth it!”
It’s only too bad she could never bring herself to give this to The River Guy to Read….