The Neighbor and I slipped and tripped two Saturdays ago and found ourselves entwined in bed together come daylight. The frustration and continual embarrassment over not being able to control myself around him is a constant burden, a screeching, shitty little monkey on my back.
I try so hard to set boundaries and then he reels me in. I am caught up in the companionship because the bottom line is, I am motherfucking lonely. Capital L O N E L Y.
I’ve never been so lonely in my life. I ache for someone to care about me and have me in his thoughts; to do kind deeds for me and buy me little things when I need them; to play with me and to talk to me; to while away the hours at night or a lazy Sunday afternoon. TN fulfills many, if not most, of these basic needs for me.
He is braided into my life in all aspects: my home life, my friends, my sports, my health, my down-time, and even my entertainment. He needs me as much as I need him. Without me, he’d never leave the house and would be isolated in his little cave possibly never socializing outside of work for weeks at a time.
But, he doesn’t love me. That’s what’s missing and that’s what hurts the most. It’s the final piece to the puzzle which makes tossing the rest away seem so impossible. Would anyone throw away a 10,000 piece puzzle that’s missing a few craggy bits? I honestly don’t know. It seems I wouldn’t.
His friendship with me is based on mutual likes and beliefs and a genuine caring. When love is introduced, it goes to pot in 10 seconds flat. Every time.
We talked a few days after our Saturday slip up, it was Peyton’s birthday. I had spent the evening with my baby, a best friend and her child, my parents, and my ex. I wished that TN was there. He cares about Peyton and he’s a big part of my life, but it wouldn’t have fit. My parents would never understand why he was there and my ex would have likely launched forkfuls of food at him when he wasn’t looking.
I was desperately sad all day long; the anniversary of my child’s birth a wondrous thing, definitely, but also a stark reminder of how differently I felt just a few years ago. When I gave birth I was happily married, full of hope, starting a family. I imagined that this year I’d have two babies at my feet, a thriving marriage, and security and love. Instead, I have very little but the belief I did the right thing in leaving that relationship and a wonderful child.
I am alone, unloved, and pining.
I told TN earlier that day that I was sad and would be crying into my wine glass. I was cryptic because I hated myself for even bothering to reach out, but I wanted him to see how I was feeling. He reached back and was worried about me and when I came home from dinner he came over.
I told him how lonely I felt and how hard it is for me, how badly I want someone in my life for real. A man to wake up with me in the morning, to want to spend the entire weekend with me, to hold my fucking hand.
He was supportive and kind, mildly flirtatious. I was tearful and uninterested as he kept my glass full and I spilled my guts.
“Do you judge me?” I asked him. I felt embarrassed that at my age I haven’t figured it all out, yet.
“No. Not at all. You’re doing an amazing job. Look at how far you’ve come since you met me. It’s just that those doors are closed to us.”
I frowned, confused. “What are you talking about??”
“You know,” he said with a frown of his own. “I really don’t want to go over this again. There are just some things that we can’t change that will keep us from being together.”
It suddenly occurred to me that he had misunderstood me and thought I was asking him why he didn’t want to be with me. “Oh, are you talking about your Deal Breakers?”
“Yes. I really don’t want to talk about them right now.”
“The ‘You’re too old, etc’ ones?”
“Yes. Please. Don’t make me say all this again.”
“Ok, but that wasn’t what I meant at all. But, seriously, it’s the same ones? Nothing’s changed?”
His answer significant because lately I’ve been wondering if there might not be something besides my age, my marital, and parental statuses standing between us because surely he can’t still be hanging onto those.
Maybe he thinks I’m an idiot or too out of shape or something other than those things, but no. Those are still the barriers keeping us from doing a real relationship, keeping me securely in a “friend” holding pattern with him.
And I still think they’re ridiculous. Fucking utterly stupid and regrettable.
The mood shifted then and we became more flirtatious. I felt buoyed by the reaffirmation that it really was him and not me. He touched me here and there and I grabbed his bat and fondled it suggestively. I stroked it with my hands and ran the handle along his erection. We kept up a steady stream of conversation.
“We are never going to be able to hang out and not have sex, you know,” I said.
“I know. Maybe we need to just think about this in a different way. So we don’t feel so stupid after shit happens.”
“Maybe.” I climbed up on his lap and straddled him, my belly warming as his hands massaged my breasts. He lifted my tank top and suckled on my nipples. First one, then the other. Our breathing grew labored and my head spun. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this.
I sat up and pulled my shirt down. “We shouldn’t do this right now,” he said. I agreed.
“We need to come up with some ground rules,” I suggested.
We talked about what each of us felt we needed. I needed respectful communication, he needed the right to back away. We tabled the conversation and never fully laid out the rules before it became too late and he needed to leave. We made plans to watch the debate on Thursday and to go shopping for patio furniture and watch Bull Durham Saturday.
Thursday rolled around and we flirted and lay together watching the politicians squawk. I had too much to drink and lost interest. He led me to his bed, laid a towel beneath my bottom and made me climax until I passed out. I awoke in his bed and we snuggled, my morning passes gently refused. I left and went home in a fog.
Saturday we went shopping and he was at once flirtatious, distant, and kind, as usual. He went to lunch with me and an old friend and drove me downtown and picked me up later when I needed a ride. I slept alone that night and happily.
Sunday, we saw Loopers and had lunch. I was becoming sadder by the minute. I need to set my boundaries, lest I wind up back at square one: yearning for sex, but a slave to his desires.
Today, Monday, I feel grey, blue, whatever. I’m tired of all of this, yet I have nothing to replace it with. I need another monkey bar in my grip before I let go of this one. I am afraid of free-falling and crashing on the rocks below, a broken doll with her heart missing.