Love Is Hard...

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“ Feeling refreshed about the lack of alcohol (which is usually incumbent on these beginning outings with a new man) and the natural flow of the three-hour conversation, I gave him a kiss ”

Episode 5 in The Love Addiction Chronicles

There is a scorching ball that swallows air from my lungs to quench its thirst. It is an indiscernible ball, one that bounces up and down in my body and cannot be found on a CAT Scan. It is one of infuriation, when something so terrifyingly frustrating happens, or something so awful, it begins bouncing.
It recoils and pinches my sanity, it inflames my lymph nodes, it seeks retaliation. Retribution against Those Men who have wronged me.
The men gave up quickly, didn’t realize that all of the wooing and surreal moments of us first getting to know one another might have their consequences. In Our Bubble, those first two months dedicated towards falling meant nothing could go wrong. Denial only begins to explain it. We made an unconscious decision to begin getting high again, somehow once again unaware of the withdrawal it may cause once it ended: Dopamine down, body sweats, strange urges, irrational thoughts.
I flirted with Jimmy one night while waiting tables. He was scruffy and sweet and seemed untainted by the city, by the bevy of ladies that would surely make offers to him before long. I was right, he had only been here a few weeks, had moved from a place I knew and loved so we instantly bonded over similar bars and areas we hung out in, in Chicago. He was shy but I had a quest: I did not want him leaving the restaurant without some casual yet a bit hokey “So when do you work next?” or “My friends and I are going to this party….what time are you finished”? I admit I was seeking the attention like a malnourished lion set free in the savannah. I was lured in and on the hunt. My prey was fresh and seemed to be quite lower on the food chain: a small beer belly and in need of a haircut clued me in that he wasn’t fazed by the vanity so many men I encounter daily enlist upon.
Sure enough he left a note with his phone number. As cheesy as this is, only certain boys/men can pull it off. He could. I’ve gotten the sleezy, good-looking ‘I wanna do the waitress’ type and I’ve gotten the one who drinks tea for three hours, glancing up from his book far too often to be actually reading. But Jimmy actually received legitimate attention from me and probably was egged on by his friends. I remember I was also wearing some tight bright green strapless thing only appropriate for August and tawdry taverns.
I called him the next day and we took a walk later that evening. Feeling refreshed about the lack of alcohol (which is usually incumbent on these beginning outings with a new man) and the natural flow of the three-hour conversation, I gave him a kiss goodnight from the movies and the next day I went away to the ocean and ruminated.
During every Fall, people like me decide that this one is different. Unique. Special. I make disclaimers that I’ve learned from my past mistakes and focus on how the current situation is forging into a healthy relationship. And I am convinced of this because I direct my attention on specific ‘betters’ from the previous situation that ended in strange wrath, cigarette smoking, and/or 4 lbs in my thighs. I considered the fact that Jimmy and I had not had technical intercourse yet; we wanted to get to know each other better and solidify something before we got ahead of ourselves. This seemed mature and romantic. Yet orgasms are orgasms. I am still producing oxytocin and therefore becoming attached before my own eyes. Over a month of dating and no sex? It seemed so original I gleamed, perched on my personal plateau…
Focusing so much on not having sex and that we were “different” than other couples, that we didn’t need sex took its back turn when I realized that he just couldn’t get it up. No! That would be the obvious reason. It was more a matter of the commitment he would have to discuss or enlist upon after doing the deed. Jimmy Been was honest in that he understood sex couldn’t be entirely casual. We had discussed our mutual fear of the recklessness our peers (enacted or acted upon but not enacted upon) with fornication. We also talked in detail about the (unavoidable?) topic: partners and past relationships. The maturity we were displaying seemed nearly unreal. Probably because it was…

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