I’m certain the Apocalypse is coming, why else would it be spring like in the dead of winter here? I’m sitting on my balcony in my underwear and a t-shirt, The Neighbor’s red and black plaid sleeping bag draped over my legs. My feet are sticking out and I’m not cold.
Downstairs Neighbor hasn’t noticed me. He’s in flannel pajama bottoms, elbows on his knees, earbuds in, zoning out. A cigarette dangles from his fingers.
I heard TN leave 20 minutes ago. He whistles sometimes. I wonder if he does it so I can hear him come and go. I have no recollection of ever hearing him whistle before we got entangled.
The birds are serenading me, the sky is grey and the clouds are in a hurry. The pool boy pretends not to notice me as he vacuums the bottom of the turquoise water.
TN and I had a small fight last night. He gave me 90 seconds to wrap up what I was saying and then he was going to leave. I paused mid-sentence, stayed my hand on his scruffy face, and looked at him. “No, why don’t you just go now.”
I stood up and walked to the front door. “What?” he asked.
“You don’t get to say mean things to me. ’90 seconds’ was mean. You can go.”
He stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. “I’m not in the mood for you to be angry at me for something that’s not rational.”
I held the door open for him and he left. I let the wind slam it behind him and I went back to my room, heart pounding. I don’t feel like myself lately. The past two nights I’ve needed him. He’s been there, but only partially. I haven’t appreciated it. Rushing me to finish a story in 90 seconds pushed me right over the edge and so I called his bluff.
Who am I?? I am not temperamental. I am even, calm, logical. But for days, I have felt surging anger towards him and zero patience. He keeps coming over, but why? Whenever I ask, he’s there, but then I feel the limitations of our relationship.
I texted him simply, “You hurt my feelings.”
He wrote back, “I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings. I still don’t get how I did. You hurt my feelings, too. Fuck feelings.”
“Come back. I’m sorry, too.”
Moments later he was back and we were smiling at each other. I love him so. I think he loves me, too. We don’t have the skills to navigate things like this, necessarily. We fumble like overly sensitive teenagers.
“TN, I’m sorry. I have been in the worst mood lately. I’m feeling extremely sensitive. I shouldn’t have kicked you out.”
“I’m sorry, too. What the fuck is wrong with us?”
“I don’t know. Come lie down.”
He laid next to me as I curled up in my covers and pet his face. He’s been feeling terrible the past few days, too. He pointed out that I hadn’t felt all bad, nor had he, and we recapped the night I lost my shit. His eyes lit up and he became excited. “I’ve never seen you like that,” he said.
“I’ve never felt like that,” I quickly answered back. He jutted his chin out so my fingers could keep scratching.
I know I make it sound all flowery, that I’m “at peace” with everything, and that I’m happy, but that’s honestly the goal, not the 24 hour reality. I feel it sometimes, but others… I’m left with a missed high five.
When he left last night I asked for a kiss. He came back and latched onto my breast. I said, “No, my lips,” and pointed to them. He crashed down on me, but pressed me hard into the mattress. It was silly. I couldn’t move, only feel his breath from his nose and his sandpaper face. I pushed against his shoulders to end it, but he kept pressing me down. I giggled and squirmed out from under him. I get why he does that: it’s less intimate.
What if I were pregnant? I wonder in moments like that. What would I do? The very fact I have to ask leads me to believe I shouldn’t be with him at all. I’m 37 years old, have a promising career, a school-aged child, a master’s degree, but yet if I got knocked up by the man I’ve been dating for 14 months — and with whom I’m in love — I don’t know if I’d keep the baby because I know he’d hate me forever. I don’t want that in my life, or Peyton’s.
Then again, if I were pregnant, it’d be a goddamned miracle since he hasn’t cum in me in weeks and I’m on the pill. Would it mean I was meant to have his baby?
sigh — The philosophy of unplanned pregnancy. Fun stuff.
I sent him this pic last night. Before his first visit and our silly spat. My tits were lit from the laptop on — you guessed it — my lap. During his second visit I asked him if he liked it. He said yes.
“You gonna miss me when I’m in San Francisco?” I added.
“When are you going again?”
“When do you get back?”
“What?!” he exclaimed.
“No, I’m kidding. We get back Wednesday.”
“Wow, I didn’t realize it was going to be so long.”
“Are you gonna miss me?”
He stood up on his knees and towered over me, my head cradled in a pillow.
“I’ll miss some things, yeah. Then I’ll miss you.” His eyes twinkled as he saw the question on my face. “Yes, Hy. I’m going to miss you.”
I smiled. He’ll miss me. His words don’t keep at bay my fear that he’ll see some woman in my absence, but that’s just my heart talking. My brain tells me to relax, that I don’t have him anyway, and that what will be, will be. I hate that Doris Day sings that song so cheerfully, but what a perfect sentiment.
I’m so tired. Of everything. I think half my energy is spent convincing myself this is ok. The other half is spent in an id state of being seeking comfort and satisfaction. What would happen if I were pregnant?? Besides ending my life as I know it one way or another? Would we make a family or would we say goodbye?
I wonder if I’m becoming a better person for this or a more damaged one. It’s hard to tell sometimes.