Re-Evaluating a Situation

The Urban Dictionary defines “the one who got away” as: 1. The mate from a past relationship or friendship who, in the present reality, seems the ideal match, if it weren’t for some force beyond your control, fate or otherwise, keeping you apart.

Or…2. In virtually any context, someone you meet and share a significant encounter with who holds qualities akin to “the one” but for circumstance sake you are separated from; always after the fact.

My relationship with David was a continuous string of awkward moments and unabashed flirting but we never got it off the ground. Whether because of interference from our Greek community or my involvement with Lennon,* something kept us from acting on our mutual attraction, which was always physical but also more than physical.

David and I connected. We just vibed together, for lack of a better term. We were awkward together but in a weirdly comfortable way. We were comfortable being awkward in one another’s presence.

For four years, we danced around each other and around the elephant that followed us from room to room and never did anything about it. After I graduated and moved on, I asked a mutual friend about a rumor I’d heard that David was dating another friend. The friend told me he wasn’t seeing anyone; that he was more or less married to his work, but I should give him a call sometime. Implying that there might be a chance we could give the whole thing a real go.

I didn’t call.

In recent years, I filed David away under “the one who got away,” and resolved that I’d probably never know for sure what kept us apart or if we ever could have made anything work.

I had kind of just started healing from the destructive and resolute ending to my relationship with Israel when Cameron came back into my life. But before he resurfaced my subconscious had given him a lot of advertising space. The dreams ranged from mundane and pedestrian to surreal and unsettling – nightmares, almost, for someone less inclined to glean enjoyment from such things. For whatever reason, my brain chose to alleviate some of the pain in my heart by replacing Israel with someone … less threatening?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been nursing a newly broken heart. This project has everything and nothing at all to do with that. The initial idea was to exorcise the old ghosts from the attic to make room for a new romance (novel). Because someone suggested that I had been through enough romantic trials that I could probably write a riveting romance. However, in working through these stories, one name keeps coming up.

Anyone who has been following along has probably noticed that Cameron has taken the reins more often than anyone else from my past. Cameron and I had some noteworthy moments but David and I did as well. And Israel and I had every intention of living together after I graduated. But it’s Cameron that keeps taking center stage. It is Cameron who took over when I set about creating a playlist to inspire these stories (that playlist is currently devoted to him and him alone). And just as he did when I was rebuilding from the destruction left by Hurricane Israel, he has been battling Micah for control of my dreams and my subconscious.

My dreams often function as conduits for messages I need to hear. The only thing I’ve been able to determine from Cameron’s sudden and very present presence in my recent dreams is that maybe I had been wrong all along. Maybe David wasn’t “the one who got away.” I mean, the exact wording of the phrase indicates (cue epic orchestral swell) there can be only one who got away and as I am a person prone to over-complication of otherwise simple matters, I find myself in a position to choose the ONE. But when the chips are down and my heart aches, my brain offers me Cameron – not David, not Alan, not Lennon, Cameron – as a consolation prize. Crazy, gorgeous, punk rock Cameron. Maybe that answers all of the questions for me.

* I promise that I will get to the Lennon saga, eventually. It’s just really heavy stuff and not something I’m ready to lay out in black and white, just yet.

Fixed Points in Time

“I wanted to ask if you wanted me to stay but I didn’t want people – or you – to think it was because you were drunk.”

Time travelers talk about fixed points; times and events in history that can not be changed. In working through this blog, I have come across a few of those moments. Moments when something happened and I can trace the butterfly effect through the rest of my timeline.

I was in my first apartment. Technically, a townhouse. It was student housing on the university campus but, for the most part, we had all the freedoms we would have had in a regular apartment. Read: we could have parties. With alcohol. And we did. For my 22nd birthday, my roommates and I hosted a blowout. It didn’t start out that way but it definitely ended that way. The first people – Cameron – crossed the threshold between 9 and 10pm and the last one – Cameron – left after 3am.

I had thought I had a pretty good handle on things… until I saw pictures and there were people I didn’t remember being there. But I was proud of the fact that there was no drama, no tears, no fighting. We lost one of my roommates, a couple of times, but every time we found her again and returned her to her bed.

Cameron was one of the first people through the door that night. I had already started drinking at dinner with my roommates and I was ready for more. This little Irish girl is a walking stereotype. Or was. When I was doing it regularly, I could put away my weight in whiskey. Or rum or vodka. And I had all three lined up that night.

I am not sure, exactly, when the liquid courage kicked in but at some point, early in the night, I poured my heart out to Cameron. I confessed the crush I’d had on him since the first time we met, two years before. To which he blithely replied that he knew.

Years later, when we were waist deep in whatever long distance relationship mess we had gotten ourselves into, he told me that he had known all along that I liked him. But even with that revelation, I only recently remembered that he had told me that night.

I told you. I was several sheets to the wind at this point.

We hung out the rest of the night. Anyone who didn’t know (and some who did) wondered if we were coupling because we were together, if not physically touching, for the duration of the party. Until the last person left (before him). As things were winding down, with eight or ten people left of the sixty or more that filtered through, a couple people playing some incarnation of Mario on my roommate’s Nintendo, Cameron sat on the arm of our couch and I laid across his leg, one arm draped over and my head laying on that.

My remaining two roommates bowed out and went upstairs to their rooms. The last remaining guests filtered out the door and Cameron excused himself to the bathroom. Not quite ready to call it a night – at 3am – I set about picking up some of the big pieces. When he came back out, I told him I was going out for one last cigarette; did he want to join me? He said he’d had enough but he’d stand outside with me.

As I finished smoking, he “remembered” that he’d left his jacket inside. Back in the warmth and light of my living room, we stood facing one another, less than a foot separating us. My heart and brain – and if I’m honest, my hormones – argued over whether or not to invite him to stay.

“You’ve been stuck to him all night,” my heart said, “and he’s still here. He wants to stay.”

“You’re still drunk,” my brain argued, “he’ll never know if you wanted him to stay because of that.”

“But look at that body,” my hormones offered. “Do you really want to send THAT home?”

“Don’t you want to fully enjoy your first time together, without anything clouding your perception?” And Brain wins the debate. And he hugged me goodnight and went back to his dorm.

That night was a fixed point in my timeline. Sending Cameron back to his room without sex is a point from where I can trace everything that happened after that. If he had stayed, David’s jealousy over seeing me smoking with Cameron’s singer between their sets might have been directed at Cameron instead. If he had stayed, I might have never met Israel. I might have never slept with Israel.

If I’d never slept with Israel, we likely wouldn’t have had the relationship we had. I might have ended up in California with Cameron. We might still be out there. If Israel hadn’t broken my heart, I might have never discovered the band Kill Hannah or met all of the people I met because of them. I can link a great deal of what has happened in my life over the last decade to that moment when I decided not to invite Cameron to spend the night in my bed.

So much of what has happened in the interim has been good. I’ve met amazing people. But sometimes I wonder how it would have been different.

Before He Would Get Away…

“David told me he thinks you have a hot little body.” I didn’t realize at the time but that wasn’t the first night I had met David.

A couple months before, late in the fall semester, I had gone out with a couple girl friends, Mary and Beth, and we ended up at a house that a couple of the fraternity brothers shared off campus. I had met a couple of the brothers before that but a few others I hadn’t met yet. We were playing drinking games and I was winning. David, I found out later, was the one hobbling around in a walking cast but he wasn’t drinking with us.

Lennon and I were driving back to the campus after bowling with the sorority and fraternity. It was the first night we’d gone out with them and would become something we did every Thursday. David was there every week, which was a big reason I kept going. Any excuse to hang around with him.

But that first night wasn’t about that. I didn’t even know I wanted to find excuses to be around David when I left the dormitory that night. The first night was just about spending time with friends – and Lennon – and getting to know new people. Wasn’t that what university was all about?

Driving back from the bowling alley, Lennon revealed the details of a conversation he had had with David throughout the course of the evening. “David told me he thinks you have a hot little body. He was watching you most of the night.” Whatever I was doing with Lennon was fun but I knew he wasn’t serious. This new information about David made me consider turning my attention elsewhere. It made me consider it very strongly.

I didn’t really know anything about him at the time; I learned more as time went on but at the time, I was operating pretty much on aesthetics. He was a year, maybe two, older than me. Charismatic, charming, and intelligent, with blond hair, blue eyes, a tall and slender but strong build, very much the All-American boy next door, which was – and still isn’t – really the type I am usually attracted to. But still there was something that drew me in and would hold my attention for the next three years, through a hundred different parties and Greek events and 2am trips to TacoBell, through formals and hang outs, good times and a few bad ones.

And even with everything that would happen between David and I throughout our friendship, he will always be my one who got away, if that term still applies when you never had them to begin with. I even still think about him once in a while, wondering if I’ll ever see him again, wondering if he ever thinks about me. I’m pretty sure that’s what “the one who got away” is all about.

One Billion Rising

One in three women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On Saturday, February 18, 2017, women around the world will stand up for their sisters. To recognize their sisters and say you are not alone and this is not okay. I am sharing my stories for them.

1. My fifth grade class was performing Peter Pan in the spring. The false walls of the set concealed the beds that made up the Darling children’s bedroom. I did not have a part acting in the play and was instead put in charge of sets.

Because I wasn’t needed on stage, I was waiting on one of the beds until the next set change. My classmates milled about the stage area, waiting for their scenes or their cues.

He pushed me onto my back on the bed, behind the false wall that separated us from our classmates, and pinned my arms above my head. He was a year older and he was bigger than I was and stronger and he kicked my feet apart, pushing himself between my legs.

I could feel his erection through his pants as he pressed his weight against me, holding me down. He hovered above me, watching me, waiting to find out what I would do next. I lay still beneath him and looked away from his face, waiting to find out what he would do next.

He held me there for an eternity before pushing back away from me and leaving me alone with a moment I would eventually forget until a day when I suddenly remembered it again.

Not a full decade later, I would have buried that memory beneath what had become a close, seemingly honest friendship. I would find myself on his couch in his apartment, opposite him as he blamed me for the way I was dressed (in a tank top and jeans). I still wouldn’t remember fifth grade but I would wonder what was stopping him now from doing whatever he wanted. He was still bigger than I was, and stronger, and now more experienced. “I’ve liked you for years but you were always too good for me,” he would tell me, as if the confession would be enough to change my mind, to make me submit to his desires.

2. I was 16. He was a pathological liar. We lived in neighboring towns and he came to spend a rainy, gloomy day with me. We used my best friend as a cover so I didn’t have to tell my parents. We left her house and went for a walk. We found a secluded area and kissed. He unfastened my jeans and started pulling them off. I pulled them back up and continued kissing him because I was satisfied with what we were doing in that moment. He unfastened his jeans and stripped himself to his ankles. I pushed him away and started back toward my friend’s house. He pulled his pants back up but left them undone to chase after me. When he grabbed me, I told him he needed to go home.

3. I climbed on the hood of his car because we were 18 and stupid and he drove away from our friends with me sitting on the hood. At the end of the street, he told me to get in and he’d drive me back to the group. But he kept driving in the opposite direction. A mile, two, three, five miles out of town, he stopped.

“If you blow me, I’ll take you back.”

I never considered walking back. He pushed me away and back into my own seat, climbing on top of me, his erection still exposed. I let him do what he wanted to do, not because I wanted him to, but because I didn’t not want him to.

I got out of the car and he drove away and people were angry. Everyone assumed they knew what had happened. Everyone assumed I needed defended. Monday, back at school, my honor, that didn’t need defending, was defended.

Years later, I have revisited each of these moments with each of these boys/men/males, and I have wondered, what made me the lucky one? Four times in the years before I was even 20 years old, I found myself facing a rapist, four times, I walked away from it. I am the lucky minority. I have revisited each of those moments and I have wondered what if he had made a different decision in that moment.

In the clearing in the woods behind my friend’s house, alone in his apartment, in his car five miles from town, there wouldn’t have been anyone to stop him, anyone to catch him, my word against his. I have revisited each of those moments and I have wondered what made each of them stop. I have revisited each of those moments and I have wondered why I am not one in one billion.

Trying to Fill a Void

I cut Cameron loose and have been basically unattached ever since. A couple different guys have crossed my path since then but I’ve remained unattached.

The problem is Micah. Micah first pinged on my radar about four years ago. But that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about the fact that I have completely lost touch with Micah.

David has long been my “One Who Got Away,” but lately, I’ve been feeling like Micah is better suited to the title. I can’t explain any of what happened – other than to take a major portion of the blame onto myself – but something definitely went awry.

The trouble is that I am a Scorpio. I am passionate and when I love, I love hard. I love with everything I have. And it’s really hard for me to not have an outlet for that passion and love. As a result, because of everything between Micah and I, I have been searching for something meaningless.

Literally. For the last few weeks, I haven’t wanted to be present in anything. My heart hurts and I haven’t wanted to invest it in anything. A couple weeks ago, I found myself hoping I’d run into Cameron at a concert and that everything that had never worked out between us would finally… ahem, work out.

Or David. I kind of felt like running into Cameron was a far more likely scenario but David wouldn’t have been an unwelcomed sight. If he ever still thinks about me. Which he probably doesn’t. But for that matter, Cameron probably doesn’t either.

I mean, I would not be insulted to find out that I am either one’s occasional masturbatory fantasy. I’d have to lie and tell them I thought about them, too, because don’t guys like that to hear that sort of thing? I’m asking for real. I’ve never had to lie about it to anyone. Including Cameron. Which might make things awkward in this hypothetical, never going to happen in real life, fantastical scenario.

But beyond just running into old flames (flames? I mean, sure…) and dragging them off somewhere (mostly) private to… get reacquainted… or, acquainted, since I never got that far with either of them… I digress. Beyond just running into old flames, I’ve been entertaining all kinds of weird distractionary ideas.

I have one friend who seems to be terminally single, despite being an intelligent, moderately attractive (probably, truth be told, quite attractive aside from being completely not my type), decent fellow. We joke around and everything is cool and I would genuinely like to be better acquainted (not like in the entendre I offered in the previous paragraph; legitimately just better friends). But then my traitorous brain says, “Things with Micah are, at the very least, on hold and you deserve someone in your life…”

And now, I am having horror flashes of said friend getting his eyes on this and freaking the fuck out because his name crossed my mind at some point without being directly involved in a conversation with him and so that must mean I’m crazy and obsessed and worth freaking the fuck out over. Because that’s how this whole game is played, right?

This seems like a good place to share my philosophy on … I’m not even sure. Dating? Falling in love? Falling in bed? The reality is two people who are equally interested in one another in the same way at the same time is an EXTREMELY rare occurrence. I’m far more convinced that 98% of all romantic partnerships start with one person being super into a second person and the second person throwing their hands up and saying, “eh, why the hell not? You’re not totally repulsive and I have nothing better to do with a Saturday.”

But when I get to this place – and this place was the majority of my time in university – where I’m totally stupid over someone – first Lennon, then David, then Cameron – but they’re not into me/available/cognizant of what’s going on, I find myself in that “eh, why the hell not?” role, but instead of giving a friend who is smitten a chance because they’re “not repulsive and I have nothing better to do with a Saturday,” I go seeking someone to whom I could be persuaded to offer a chance.

Maybe all of this is completely convoluted. Maybe it only make sense on the inside of my brain. Gods know I am a champion at making things more complicated than they need to be. But this is where my head is right now (my heart is not even participating in the conversation). My head is focused on finding someone to fill a void because I am hurting and I am lonely and I feel like I deserve something(one) nice, even if it does end up being completely meaningless.

Disclaimer: No. This is not a classified ad. I am not taking applications for meaningless sex partners. I am simply recognizing a behavioral pattern, which was, in a way, the whole point of this silly blog exercise in the first place.

Valentine’s Through My Years

I have never had a proper Valentine.

The idea of this blog is to recount my adventures in love and relationships – and sex. But as February 13 becomes February 14 and something in the air changes all around the world, I can’t help but focus on all of my adventures as a whole and look at this day over the years. And the truth is, I say I hate Valentine’s Day because it makes people behave like lunatics. But I am never 100% sure that is the reason. Or the whole reason. Or the only reason.

I have never had a proper Valentine.

1996 – Noel had moved to live with his dad at the start of our Freshman year in high school. When I found out that he would be back in town to visit his mom the weekend of our Valentine’s dance, I offered to take him as my “date,” so he could see all of his old friends at one time.

From the outset, I had told him and everyone else that he was only my “date” as a way to get him in the door. I didn’t care if he danced with other girls, I didn’t care if he hung out with other people; we were only there together as friends. Strictly friends. But as the night progressed, he refused to leave my side. We danced every dance, save for a few when I pushed him to dance with someone else – we were only there together as friends – and as the last song of the night whined through the DJ’s speakers, he led me, danced me, toward a darker corner of the gym. When we were sufficiently shadowed, he kissed me and didn’t let go until we were covered in the weird glow of the florescent lights coming to life.

That was probably the closest I’ve come to a proper Valentine.

1997 – John and I had broken up a month earlier. I spent that Valentine’s Day single but not only had he walked away from me without any real explanation or closure, he had taken with him my best friend. I found out later that he had cheated on both of us, as well as our third Musketeer.

1998 – Allen and I had been “sexually active” for approximately a month at this point.  Valentine’s Day, 1998 was spent in the backseat of his car, instead of on the date we had told our parents we had planned. I’m sure that involved a cliché dinner – Italian? – and a movie we had to pretend we watched. But I can’t remember for sure.

1999 – I have never seen Disney’s Mulan. Because on Valentine’s Day, 1999, I lay on the floor of the living room of the house where my boyfriend lived and feigned sleep to avoid physical contact while he sat next to me, watching the movie. After that day, I never had the desire to revisit the film I “slept” through.

2000 – 2003 – For the most part, anything that happened, “romantically” in my first few years of university revolved around Lennon. There will be more stories about Lennon but I remember one of these years included a movie, dinner – where we talked about the movie; frankly, in my opinion, the proper timeline for a dinner-movie date – and parking. Is “parking” an antiquated term? Do kids still talk about parking? Do kids still park? Sexual activity with Lennon has become quite a bone of contention, and I promise to come back to that in future post(s), but for now, we are talking about parking as part of our Valentine’s “date.” That particular Valentine’s Day, I was gifted with actual sex, something that was fairly uncommon with Lennon.

Let me take a moment, here, to explain something about myself.

I am sex positive. I didn’t know that was a thing until a year, or so, ago, but it is me, absolutely. I believe in sex. I believe in the pleasure of sex. I believe in asking for what you want from sex. I believe that sex is an important bonding experience – not just the act of intercourse but the process leading up to intercourse as well as mature, unadulterated conversations about sex with friends. I have no problem talking about sex with trusted friends. Sometimes I wonder if that makes them think I’m weird or some kind of sex addict (recovering, although, not necessarily by choice). I do not, however, believe sex should involve shame. I do not believe that sex should be a weapon or a tool used in manipulation of another also sexual human being. I do not believe that sex should be used as a bargaining tool. I do not believe that sex should be used as a replacement for true intimacy.

Lennon, on the other hand, did believe in using sex as a weapon, manipulation, bargain, and replacement for intimacy. He believed that sex was appropriate to be given as a gift. And so, as a gift on one particular Valentine’s Day, I was given sex.

2004 – Israel and I had agreed not to celebrate Valentine’s Day. On the one hand, we were in two different cities in two different states and couldn’t, feasibly, have a real date. On the other hand, we agreed that Valentine’s Day was an archaic and ridiculous practice.

Even with all of that, we bought one another gifts. I gave him a notebook filled with drawings and poems, song lyrics and other random bits and pieces (100 Things I Love About You) and a Beanie Baby kitten. He gave me an Emily the Strange picture book and a box of drawing pencils his brother the artist had helped him pick out. Aside from the notebook (which I had intended to be a Christmas gift, just didn’t finish it in time), nothing we shared with one another, in the way of gifts, was explicitly a “Valentine’s gift.” There weren’t any hearts, no oversized stuffed animals, no chocolate, just gifts we could have easily given on a random Tuesday.

2005 and 2006 – Single.

2007 – Cameron. I believe we talked on Valentine’s Day while we were….whatever we were. We talked all the time and we were in a long distance relationship even if we hadn’t figured out that we were in a long distance relationship, so conversation probably happened. And it may have been, ironically, given my history, one of the few conversations between us that didn’t become overtly sexual.

2008-2014 – Single.

2015 – Micha and I had been talking, regularly, for about six weeks. On Valentine’s Day, proper, we didn’t talk. In fact, we didn’t talk for a week. When we finally did reconnect, I snapped a picture of a drawing I had done for him. A heart made of Conversation Heart candies with messages specifically designed to tell him a very specific story. Phrases like “U R Cute” or “Crush” or “I Dig You” covered my little candy hearts. It was one of the only times I could ever remember when making a big deal about Valentine’s Day actually seemed important to me. Strangely enough, as far as I knew, he felt the same way I always had about the stupid way people behave leading up to and on Valentine’s Day. But I enjoyed making a Valentine for him and he seemed to enjoy being given one.

And, now, once again, I am single, alone, and counting the hours until the oxalis start popping up in the “nursery” areas of my local grocery stores. I hate being alone on Valentine’s Day. Not because I desperately want a Valentine (although, sometimes I wonder if I might), but because the mentality surrounding the day is so degrading to single people. If you are single surrounded by coupled friends, you can’t help but feel left out. If you are single, surrounded by the general public, you are mollycoddled, placated, and patronized. If you are single, surrounded by other single people, you are dragged into some kind of tribal ritual to celebrate your independent singleness. Can’t we all just drink our green beer and watch our fireworks shows and shut up about it?

How the Cameron Saga Came to a Head

“I’ll need a place to crash,” he said, “I can pay you back with food, beer, or sex. Personally, I’d pick sex.”

We hadn’t talked in a couple years. After I had graduated and moved back to my “hometown,” we had lost track of one another. But then, there he was, in my email. He assumed, because we had partied together throughout university, that I had the lock on where he and I could find a good party for the Memorial Day weekend, should he come into town for it.

Plans changed and he ended up back with his old band to play a birthday party for the guy who owned the bar where they had played while we were all still in school.

I didn’t hear from him again for a couple months.

And then another couple months after that.

The pattern was bizarre but I rolled with it. I was on the uphill climb from what had been a soul-crushing break up and the idea of rebound sex wasn’t even remotely unpleasant. Especially rebound sex with Cameron. Considering Israel had been, in a way, revenge sex while I was still into Cameron (the first time around…).

So, I let him shoot me a random email every once in a while and tried to fight back all of my old feelings. Rebound sex, I kept telling myself.

“What’s he doing in L.A.?” My Little Sister had taken it upon herself to stalk his social media as I told her about what had been going on.

“L.A.?”

“Yeah, it says he lives in L.A.”

And just like that, a complicated situation got 1000% more complicated. I swept it under the rug, figuring it was probably something I should have figured out sooner and bringing it up this late in the game might seem a little weird. And we were talking, now, with a fair amount of regularity. Three or four nights a week, mostly through an instant messenger but we had exchanged phone numbers as well.

“What’s up?” A standard “I’m bored, let’s chat” opening text message.

“Nothing. You?” You, not U, because I have never gotten on board with text speak.

“Just hanging out at a bar. Bored.” He’s texting me from a bar. On a Saturday night. In Los Angeles. He’s not bored, he’s hooked.

I let it go for a few days.

“What are we doing? I’m not pushing anything, I just want to make sure everything is out in the open.” Following Saturday’s text message, I had a good idea what we were doing, but I wanted to hear it from him. “Are we just talking about something physical, or are we looking at something more?”

“I hadn’t thought about it.” He admitted. “I guess we should try the physical, first. If that doesn’t work, will ‘something more’ really work? With the distance?”

This came close to a year after his initial offer of sexual favors in exchange for a place to crash after partying with me. Looking back on it, and on the revealing Saturday night text message, we had already progressed to “something more,” we just hadn’t had the conversation.

The strange song and dance that was our relationship continued for another six months. We talked almost daily, about everything. Music, recalled things that had happened while we were in university – a lot of which was him telling me things I would have never known otherwise – the standard “how was your day?” conversations, just to say we had talked that day. And we talked about sex. A lot.

“I got your email.” He had been logged in to the messenger we used, waiting for me when I got there.

I replied with a wink 😉 and asked him what he thought.

“I opened it at work.”

I was intrigued. “Did you read it at work?” I imagined him in the back office of a Los Angeles location of a major musical instrument retail chain, a noticeable bulge in the front of black slacks.

“No. I closed it when I figured out what it was.”

I was disappointed. “But you read it later.”

It was his turn to wink. “I did.” He told me he couldn’t wait to try some of it out.

Thanksgiving was coming soon. He had made plans to return to Colorado to spend a week with his family. His sister would be home on leave from the military and he wanted to spend time with her. But he wanted to spend time with me, too. We set it up. I had a four-day weekend from work. He’d come up Friday and spend Friday and Saturday with me.

A week left to go. After 18 months of talking about all of the things we wanted to do to one another, we were a week from doing them.

“I have to ask you a question.”

“Shoot.”

“If we sleep together, are you going to go crazy?” Those were the last words Cameron, the gorgeous, intelligent, talented skateboarding guitarist accountant, ever had the privilege to say to me.