So, I got my heart smashed to smithereens last night which is never fun. It doesn’t help that I also have debilitating cramping, so my heart, uterus, abdomen, and brain are all just going to town today.
Interestingly, it could be worse. I experienced worse last year when I looked into the face of death and welcomed him with open arms. Comparatively, this is way better.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a supply of xanax to help with the physical agony, which would otherwise stick with me for weeks, if not longer. I find if I can calm my body, I can calm my mind. I just haven’t figured out how to do that on my own yet. Don’t worry, it’s on my list of things to do.
I hesitated for a minute to write about this, mostly because the person in question has access to this blog and could read it. But then, I said fuck it. This is my goddamn blog and I’ll write if I want to.
So. The story. Where to begin… I suppose it’s in my best interest to start at the beginning, way back, 5 years ago. This might be a long one, so if you’re all tl;dr the bottom line is I got rejected by a friend I’d developed feelings for (despite my best efforts not to) and now I have to deal with it.
Sometime between 2006 and 2008 I saw a most beautiful specimen of man and immediately thought he was the hottest guy in the department, hands down. We were in different MA programs at the same university, and ended up having a class together. I thought he was a little weird, to be honest, because it was as if he went out of his way to avoid me. Once at a study session, the last seat remaining in our group was next to me and he made a point of dragging it around the table away from me. That was mildly annoying and kind of stupid, and then he said something that really annoyed me so I wrote him off.
It turned out that we had mutual friends, and it was like a switch had flipped and he became nice and talkative with me. I was kind of surprised, but whatever. I think by that time I knew he had a girlfriend so I just ignored him.
Still, having mutual friends meant that we ended up all hanging out. It turned out that we were actually pretty similar in terms of interests, humor, and the like. Still, I couldn’t deny my attraction to him, so I blew him off as much as possible. I actively made myself forget about him as soon as we weren’t in each other’s presence. After all, what would be the point of getting caught up by someone who is not available?
There were things that happened that I thought a little peculiar. For instance, there was a group of us hanging out, and there was nitrous to be had. The guy was providing the soundtrack through headphones, and the song he put on for my first go was so overtly sexual that listening to it on nitrous was like fucking right there in the middle of the room. I’m pretty sure I had a mental orgasm in that moment, O face and all. I never was any good at poker and this was no exception.
Once we were at his house, girlfriend present, and we were having some crazy conversation about something, and he was pulling out all of these books and showing me things, and I couldn’t figure out why on earth he was trying to impress me, but there it was. I must have passed out at some point, because I woke up in the morning on the couch. His girlfriend recounted the story to me: she woke up, and he wasn’t in bed with her. Ready to flip her shit, she came bounding out into the living room and said she found us on the couch together, sleeping. Of course, nothing had happened. I had just fallen asleep. But him? His bedroom was like… 15 feet away. Why wouldn’t he just go to bed? But, that was as far as I ever let those questions go. I’d leave, and forget about it again.
We’d often hang out in a group and his girlfriend would be there. I kept my distance from her too because I knew I was attracted to her boyfriend and that’s just dick. I came to admire their relationship, because he was so devoted to her. So kind, and affectionate, and present. I wasn’t jealous per se, but I came to a place where I considered that to be a kind of paragon or role model for a relationship I hoped to have some day.
She, on the other hand, was clearly retarded. She would flirt with other men a lot, and act in ways that would be completely unacceptable if it were me in his shoes. I would look at him, kind of curious, but never say anything. I assumed it was just another case of men putting up with wacky shit to be with a beautiful woman.
I guess it made me a little less surprised then, when she left for a month to Europe, and I started getting texts from this guy to hang out. In my gut, I knew what was up, and so I avoided them for as long as I could. Then one day, he asked again and I figured that if we went to a public place, nothing could really happen. So I told him to meet me at my place and we’d go from there.
As it turns out, we never left my place.
He brought a bottle of scotch, poppers, and, later I would find out, a cock ring. I didn’t have a chance in hell. That didn’t mean I didn’t try. I thought, okay, pre-party and then GO. Get out of house. ASAP.
Nope, that didn’t work either.
I’m not sure how it started out. It might have been a massage. I was already solidly buzzed at that point which meant all my noble inhibition was gone. In its place: means, motive, and opportunity. So it happened. We hooked up. I can’t be sure, but I don’t think we fucked, although I gave a mean blow job and it was super sexy and just an elixir of euphoria.
After he left, I figured he was just being opportunistic given his absent girlfriend, so I wrote it off as a one time thing. Nope. Wrong again.
He continued trying to hang out and we did. There was an incredibly sexy experience in a hot tub. Good lord.
I’m sure some other shit happened, but I don’t really remember and in any case, his girlfriend eventually came home. I didn’t really feel all that guilty about it because I’d seen her do some real dumb shit and treat him like garbage so whatever. It was his problem, not mine.
Plus, he had cheated on his girlfriend, which meant my whole idealization of his boyfriend behavior was no longer accurate. It made it a lot easier to write him off.
I continued to assume this was just something spawned out of opportunity. Besides, I was getting ready to leave the state and figured I wouldn’t see him again. Also wrong.
I ended up seeing him virtually every time I visited home. We hooked up a couple of times in that period, if I was single at the time. That’s all it was to me though. Hang out with a hot dude who I could connect with. Leave and forget about him.
I visited home less and less, but I kept hearing from him. Texts every once and a while. I think I only initiated conversations a handful of times, if that. Otherwise, it was him checking in. It was fun because we were intellectually on the same page and shared the same dark sense of humor. It was nice to have a friend check in; he was really only one of few who made an effort to keep in contact with me after I left.
I can’t really pinpoint when things started to change. I started noticing things I thought were weird, or didn’t fit within my understanding of our occasional-fuck relationship. I suppose one of the first things that happened that I can remember has to do with this blog. He asked to read it, because “it sounded like it’s important to me”. Yeah, but wtf do you care, dude? FWB, remember? Okay, I said, and I gave him the link.
He read it all. In one day. I can tell you what day it was too because it’s still the day with the highest number of hits on my blog. I mean, I know I’m a decent writer, but really?
Still, I logged that under the “peculiar” category in my mental notebook and moved on. Over the following months, other things happened. He started texting more frequently. It went from once every 3 weeks to every other week to pretty much every week. And then sometimes several times a week. Again, no judgment, just observation. I was really bent on not getting caught up in this dude.
He told me he was transferring to Seattle for work. I was really happy for him because I knew he’d be happier there. I knew it also probably meant that our friendship might fizzle out, since we’d not be hanging out when I visited home, and he’d get his life going there. I was okay with that too. A little disappointed, but nothing remotely overwhelming.
He bought a house up there, and was really excited about it. Confided in me when he was stressed during the purchase process. I was happy to be there for him, but I knew this purchase meant he was looking to settle down. For something more substantial. I was okay with this, at that time. Again, mostly just disappointed I wouldn’t chat with him from time to time and also that I wouldn’t have a buddy to go to the strip club with, or bullshit with until wee hours, or talk about crazy shit. But you know, life goes on and things change. Not the end of the world.
Then the content of the conversations changed. It became more personal. He started talking about trust. He wanted to know how he could earn my trust. Then again, this was in the context of sharing sexy pictures, so that was fairly easy to write off or explain within the context of our FWB relationship.
We did have a lot of sexy conversations. I noticed that I started to get annoyed, actually, because it felt like every time he would text, it would turn into that. I stopped responding as much. As soon as the conversation would go there, I’d just not reply, or I’d only respond when I felt like getting into it. He may have gotten the picture, because the conversations diversified a bit and we started talking about non-sexual things too. In hindsight, I think he may have just been building rapport to get to the sexy conversations.
He got me a Christmas present; a vibrator to replace the one that my freaking dog ate, little shit demon. It was hot and sexy, and also well within the parameters of being FWB.
Sometime around then, he asked to fly down to see me. That one caught me a little off guard, because it’s not like he couldn’t get laid in his area. I said no because I was still carrying a ton of weight from lithium and stress and I was just not in a good place to focus on anyone but myself. The invitations kept coming. He offered to fly me up to visit him. Several times. I couldn’t make the time work with all of the obligations I had, but he’d keep trying. It was becoming a little harder to explain, but I figured he was just really excited about his new place and wanted to share it with friends. Plus, blow jobs and sex. Win!
By spring of this year, his “Happy Friday” texts turned into Happy Tuesday, Happy Humpday, Happy Sunday, and so on. I enjoyed the company, as I was being a bit of a hermit at the time. Plus, by this time we would have some smoking hot sessions via text occasionally.
I think the game started to change when I pulled my April Fool’s prank. I’d come up with it last year and couldn’t wait to try it out. I was going to solicit sperm donors on Facebook. Yep, I was going to tell everyone I’m ready to have a baby and ask for donors among my FB friends. I even had people going, too.
I was mildly curious to see how he’d respond, but mostly it was about the joke. I couldn’t have anticipated what did end up happening as far as he was concerned. I figured he’d get a good laugh and we could talk about people’s responses etc. Nope, that is not what happened at all. Instead, he said he kind of wanted to know how resume stacks up. Note that there was no pronoun, so I asked him to clarify whether he meant his resume or those of the people who were offering. He said he wanted to know how his resume stacked up against my criteria and against the competition. Like whoa.
I kept up the dialogue in line with my joke, asking about genetic traits such as height and eye color. Then he said something that completely shut me down. He told me he couldn’t be a biological father without being a FATHER. And when I asked why that was important to him, he said it was always something he had wanted to do with great intent.
I mean, it was like getting punched in the stomach. My joke was no longer ha-ha, it had morphed into oh-no. In part because the whole experience on Facebook turned out to be really empowering, and his reminding me that any potential kids having a dad around is actually really important to me. But also because then he suddenly became human again, instead of a hot plaything slash friend. And not only human, but like an insanely attractive, high mate value human with whom I needed to reproduce immediately. Talk about going from one extreme to the other. Fuck’s sake!
Interestingly, I was able to articulate this with him (save for the impregnate-me-now part), which meant the trust-building exercises or whatever the fuck they were were working. In the process of discussing it, he confessed that reading the post about me and babies gave him a raging erection at work. I had no idea what to think about that.
Still, the levee held. At that point, it could have been something to laugh about when we finally got together again. I was decidedly more curious, but I also felt like our friendship had grown through that experience and that was pretty cool.
From time to time, he’d sent pictures of his new place. Beautiful pictures, with lots of green which he knew I liked. On facebook one day I saw he’d posted more and I “liked” them. A few hours later I checked my phone, which was dead. I plugged it in and discovered he’d texted me those pictures too. I told him I saw them on Facebook and they’re awesome and all that.
Reading his reply is when I knew I was fucking doomed. Fortunately, because it was SO unexpected, I took a screenshot and sent it to relevant friends and family with a big “WTF do I make of this?”
It said: “I decided to post these on FB today after not getting any reply, but I hope you enjoyed the pics I took for you”
and then “Was thinking of you”
My whole body flushed warm. I was like goddamn it brain, goddamn it hormones, stop! But it was too late. There was no way to avoid the affection I felt reading those messages.
I did my best to keep my cool. To act like I hadn’t been affected by those words. Nope, nothing happening here…nothing at all.
But that was a lie. I could not explain that in the context of FWB. Not even in the context of friends, really. That, sirs, is what you call an outlier. An outlier could be noise. It could be nothing. Only further observation would tell. But one thing was for certain: he had my attention.
Part of me hated this. Part of me was shouting a whole stream of profanities. This is the part of me that saw the ball, nudged from its cozy nest on a ledge. A ledge where I was safe and our longstanding friendship and physical relationship were as they should be. Static. Stable. No fucking emotions involved. I saw the ball teeter over the edge and as much as I willed it to stop, using all possible powers of telekinesis I could muster, it landed with a soft plop on the dirt below and, following the laws of gravity rather than those of my brain (much to my dismay) began its descent.
The slope wasn’t steep, and I shoveled dirt and roadblocks and threw things at it to just STOP moving. Nothing worked. It continued rolling, albeit slowly and I just watched in frustrated anticipation.
Anticipation, because I was seriously fucking stuck. Stuck because I knew how this process would go and that there was a real chance of getting rejected hard here. The truth is, I didn’t really think the odds in my favor. I thought maaaaaaybe there’s a 50-50 chance that he’s into me as something more than FWB. This dude is pretty high maintenance as far as men go, and I am decidedly not. On the other hand, we are fucking compatible as shit. As I have ever been with anyone. And I knew it was going to hurt REAL bad to lose that. And I knew if he wasn’t on the same page as me, the only thing TO do was to lose it.
There were other things. I struggled to make sense of it, so I’d go back and take screen shots of what I deemed “curious” texts to attempt to assess them with a clear mind. There were some other things that had me turn into a stupid blushing schoolgirl kind of mess and I loved and hated it at the same time. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately now) those screen shots were lost when I bought a new phone, so I can’t recount them here.
Friends and family who knew about the situation all had different points of view. One friend said I shouldn’t stay so guarded because he’ll think you’re rejecting him. Another one said he just wants sex. Another one said he’s just trying to relive the intense experience we had years ago. I didn’t know what the fuck to think, but I knew that I’d see him soon, and then I’d know.
See, my summer plans are in Washington too. I’m staying with my aunt up here, about 2 hours away from where he lives. That is incidental, and had planned it long before developments with this guy began. I was planning to drive almost 2000 miles over 5 days to escape the desert heat misery and go somewhere green and beautiful where I could relax and work some on my dissertation.
He must have asked me 8 times if I’d stop at his place on the way to my aunt’s house. Each time I said no. Why? Well, number one, I was trying to get up here and get settled as quickly as possible. Number two, I’d have been traveling for 4 days straight, so I’d look and feel like shit, which is not conducive to either sexy time or potentially emotionally volatile situations. I mean, come on. I hadn’t seen this guy in two years, and we hadn’t hooked up in 4 years, AND the whole dynamic had changed so I had no the fuck idea what to expect.
Alas, my plan failed because my aunt needed me to arrive a day later. I gave in and asked him if I could stay at his place. He said yes, of course. Not only that, he also took the next day off of work. I tried to tell myself, if nothing else, at least I’m going to have great sex! And I was genuinely excited about that. But more looming was this cloud of uncertainty, and next to it was the cloud of loss. I knew I had to go into a situation where I was vulnerable and let whatever was going to happen happen. I also knew that if he wasn’t into me, that I couldn’t go back to being FWB. It had changed, I had changed, we had changed, and there was no going back. Only going forward, even if it meant without him as a part of my life.
When I finally arrived at his place, nothing could have prepared me for it. Not any of my singing, meditation, deep breathing, exercise, self-talk, or anything else I had tried to get my head right for this trip. I saw him with different eyes than I’d ever seen him before. I saw him as someone who had seen me entirely, in our years as friends together, and in my deepest confessions on this blog at my absolute worst place in my life. I saw him as handsome, strikingly so, and couldn’t even bear to look at him for fear he’d see just exactly how much I’d lost my grip. I saw his home, his land, as an extension of his deepest values and as a reflection of his character and person. I saw all of this and thought, I’m so fucking doomed.
I tried to eliminate those thoughts, because I knew they’d take me down a dark path. I instead tried to absorb the peace, serenity, and beauty of the land before me and appreciate where I was. This was all a futile exercise, but I just kept at it. I remember, after staring in awe out the window, asking what sucked about living there. He said, well, it makes dating really hard. I averted my eyes and walked into another room so he couldn’t see my expression. I suppose I knew at that point everything I needed to know. But I had to stay there for 24 hours so I needed to remain optimistic if I was going to survive it.
I did my best to stay open and accepting of whatever each moment brought. But by the time I left, I felt I’d been punched in the gut. At the time, I felt like I knew it was over. I felt like when I saw him the following week (we had plans), it would be the last time, so I’d better enjoy it.
I finally arrived to my aunt’s house, and got straight to work bringing my focus back to where it should be: on me. I walked in nature, sat at the beach, and busted ass at the gym. I kicked ass so hard at the gym that one guy stopped me in the middle of my workout to tell me how impressed he was with my workout. “You’re so disciplined,” he said. I said thank you, instead of explaining that I’m just an anxious person and this is my coping mechanism. Whatever, it worked.
Yesterday evening, I felt even-keel enough to send him a text to find out when he wanted me to come by. See, I’m supposed to be at his house right now. We’re supposed to have a reunion with friends who are flying up, the same mutual friends that led to our interactions in the first place.
Hours went by. I looked at my aunt and I said, you know, I think he’s on a date.
Around 10pm the following dialogue took place:
Him: Dude. Let me tell it to you straight. I’ve just met a lady, and it has to be plutonic[sic] between us now. I wasn’t expecting this but, Fuck, there it is.
[My face goes white, and my breath has been punched out of my gut. I sit down. Okay okay okay okay...]
Having said that, you are of course welcome whenever you want to come by!
[Are you fucking shitting me right now?]
My life is whack right now.
Me: [I have alarming clarity of thought in this moment. I think, what do I need to know? I think, how can I handle this with dignity and honor?] Okay. That’s fine, and I hope it works out for you. In the interest of being straight I got the impression before I got here that you were into me. I’d like to know, was I making that shit up, were you bored or lonely, or what?
[I am shaking with anger and adrenaline. The pain hasn't hit yet.]
Him: You are a super special person to me- don’t get that wrong
[oh no you did NOT just say that]
No dude… I just got blind sided. I…I don’t know. I think I could marry this girl & I just met her. Fuck. I’m sorry for being confusing.
[THERE'S the pain. ow ow ow ow ow ow]
Me: Okay. I hope the best for you but I’m out. I can’t go backwards. Best of luck. Don’t contact me.
Him: Dude! I don’t even know what is happening to me right now. I literally feel retarded.
Me: I can’t be your friend through this. Sorry. Take care.
Him: Sad. I’m sorry I hurt you. Fuck.
Me: Just stop
And that friends, is how you break a heart.