there's a time and place for everything, there's a reason why certain people meet...another teaser from the memoir that probably no one will read

10:53 PM

10.5.2017



In 2003 I attended The Big Ass Show. I went, I danced and I conquered that show with only a few battle wounds. I jumped up and down during their set and spotted the singer afterward. Granted it wasn’t the nice bass player I’d been talking to, he was nowhere in sight, but I took the opportunity to meet another member of the band. The singer was kind enough to sell me a compact disc wrapped in plastic that I knew I would keep forever. That thought only lasted a minute because in the next bands mosh pit, I had lost my treasure. Take a note, don’t shove a CD down your pants and think you won’t lose it while aimlessly flailing next to sweaty boys three times your size.

After another show, I still hadn’t gotten up the courage to say anything to him so I figured I could slip out as easily as I’d slipped in (especially since the walkway had been shoveled), but apparently, he had other plans. I was just about to slide through the door very stealthily when he stepped in front of me and blocked my exit.

Hey you.

Hey yourself.

You didn’t think you were getting out of here without a hello, did you?

No. Nice to meet you.

And you as well. Thanks for coming.
I think he could tell at this point that I was extremely uncomfortable because I had zipped my hoodie up under my chin and wouldn’t look him in the eye. He moved to the side to allow me to pass and I smiled and bolted. I figured he’d never speak to me again.

It took a while but our conversations picked back up occasionally over the next few years. We would chat and check in and make plans to meet up, then, of course, those plans would be canceled because that’s what happens when you’re shy and scared of boys. Nothing ever came of it, but we did grow a little closer just by talking. We continued to share the music we loved with each other as well as random details about our personal lives. At one point we acknowledged there may be a mutual crush building between us but didn’t elaborate more than that. I had learned from the past that just because someone talks to me, it doesn’t mean they want to be my boyfriend, so I intended to absolutely not read into anything he said to me.

That wouldn’t come until much, much later...

Years later in fact...2008

I heard him talk about his sadness openly, like he trusted me. If I didn’t know before, this was reassurance for me that our relationship truly did run deeper than what everyone saw on the outside and maybe I needed that validation even knowing where we stood. I, myself, had a hard time seeing we were so much more than casual. I conjured up these messy feelings inside my brain, enough to drive me crazy, and a lot of times they clouded what was actually going on between us. Every once in awhile I had a lucid moment and I could take something meaningful to someone I cared about and give them a selfless gift. I think that may be the most important essay I’d ever written and I’m happy to say it was for him. No matter what the future held, this showed we had something more meaningful than most and I couldn’t discount that. I had to stay true to my feelings and simply understand it may never become anything on the romantic scale. Some days though, this was better. I had a go-to, a confidant in a boy that trusted me and valued my opinion. He wasn’t afraid to share with me.

Being in a relationship sometimes puts an unconscious pressure that both parties have to live up to. It sets a certain expectation that some of your faults need to be hidden to maintain a healthy balance. I think that can work in moderation. I don’t want to be the person that unloads every single feeling at every single moment. I want to be mindful and I do understand that there is a time and a place. With him, there was absolutely no pressure because we both had nothing really to lose. Yes, we could have gotten upset, said “screw this” and stopped speaking, but I don’t believe we were those kinds of people. We’d tried that before and failed. Having that experience behind us, we chose to live in a blatantly honest way and not worry that we were going to put off the other person. He handled any emotional thing I threw at him with nothing but respect so I, in turn, did the same. I really didn’t have to worry with him and that was such a huge relief because I’d made a name for myself in the world of wildly irrational emotional meltdowns. He gave me security in an otherwise insecure relationship.

Looking back, I wish all relationships could survive with that kind of honesty. If we could all just get over our fear of rejection and not being good enough (myself included) we could all be a lot happier and I think it would bring a much more intimate experience with any person we choose to call our partner. I know that’s what I want. Even if it’s not him, I hope I have someone that values me as much as he does. I know even with my failures I deserve that.

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