Birthdays and Break-Ups

March 8 is one of those dates that will probably never leave me. Today is Israel’s birthday which kind of marked the beginning of the end for us.

Keeping in mind that “the end” lasted several months.

Israel pushed everything. Israel said, “I love you” first. Israel proposed to me after four months. Israel suggested – after watching his brother and his girlfriend pay rent on two apartments and live in one – that we move in together. Israel pushed everything.

With his 21st birthday fast approaching, everything that Israel had pushed began closing in on him and he no longer wanted to be the first of his friends to get married. And even if we didn’t get married for another five years (we had planned on graduate school but he had another three years of undergrad before we could do that), he would be the married one of all of his friends. Because we would be living together and I wouldn’t be just one of the guys; I’d want him to stay home with me while his friends went out drinking or had poker night or went to the strip club.

I tried to explain that I didn’t want any of that. I didn’t want to keep him from his friends. I didn’t even care if we had separate bedrooms (a single bedroom would be cheaper rent but if he wanted two, we could make two work). I hated watching girls do those things to their boyfriends. And I would want time to myself or to hang out with the new girlfriends I would inevitably (hopefully) meet when I packed up everything to move to a strange city and close the gap on our long distance relationship. Me. I was the one making all the sacrifices to give him what he had pushed for the whole time. I was moving so we could live together. I was leaving my family so we could get married. I was leaving my friends so that he could finish college.

And none of that bothered me. I was ready for the change. I was ready to take the leap.

But he wasn’t. To borrow from some random thug movie, his mouth wrote a check his ass couldn’t cash.

So he freaked.

Days before his birthday, he rescinded my invitation to spend my spring break with him. Even though he had access to my bank account to withdraw the money he needed to buy my VIP wristband to South By Southwest (SXSW), he bought his own and told me he didn’t want me to come down. Only days before that (sometime in the middle of February), I had turned down an offer to travel around the country as a Leadership Consultant for my sorority, an offer I later learned was not given to just anyone, an offer I would grow to regret not accepting.

The next couple of weeks were a hurricane of emotions. He was breaking up with me. He was calling me at 3 in the morning to tell me if he lived closer he’d be ringing the doorbell not ringing the phone. He was telling me he loved me more than anything in the world. He was telling me I was smothering him and that he wasn’t fit to be anyone’s boyfriend. He was telling me, through suffocated sobs, that he was supposed to be the one to save me.

And I just dragged along behind. I wasn’t even riding in the car on his emotional rollercoaster. I had been tossed out and was clinging for dear life to the back end.

SXSW (the music festival part) was the 14-16 of March that year. That weekend was between his and my spring breaks (respectively). The original plan was that I was going to miss the class on the 13th and 14th and spend the festival and my spring break with him in Texas. A few days before his birthday, he told me no. On the 12th, he told me he wanted me to come, that even though I couldn’t make it for the festival, he wanted me there for my spring break. I got out of class at 2:00 on the 14th, got into a Volvo headed south with three of my guy friends, and we drove 20 hours straight to the south of Texas.

The last time I ever saw Israel’s face was on March 24, 2003, at the edge of security in the Austin-Bergstrom Airport in Texas. And I told him, as he refused to kiss me goodbye (because “this isn’t goodbye”), that I could Feel it was the last time I’d ever see him. He had always trusted my Feelings, even more than I have after living with them my whole life. He even asked me on one of the descents from the height of the rollercoaster if I “felt” like we needed to keep trying. Because, to him, me saying I knew something didn’t hold nearly as much weight as me saying I felt it. He truly believed, even more than I ever have, that I was (am) psychic.

I told him I felt that I would never see him again and I watched him try not to trust that feeling. I think he knew it too.

Even now, as badly as I hurt, for as long as I hurt, if I look at the situation objectively, I don’t think he ever meant for it to happen the way it did. I don’t think it was supposed to end. I think he really did intend to put it all back together after he took some time to himself. But show me one couple who took a “break” and actually made it work again after and I’ll show you 100 who never made their way back.

**There are a lot of songs from that era of my history that were important. Israel and I were deeply connected through music and we shared a great deal of it in the months we were together. When he said he was the one who was supposed to save me, it was in reference to a song from one of my favorite bands that wasn’t one of his, Something Corporate. It was actually a very surreal comment for me to hear from him because it told me that he had been listening to my music while his mind was crumbling around itself.

Saviour was not one of those songs but there is a lot to this song that fits with this particular story. “That’s when she said, ‘I don’t hate you but I just want to save you while there’s still something left to save.” That’s when I told her, ‘I love you, girl, but I’m not the answer for the questions that you still have.’” It reminds me of that time, a lot, so I’m adding it here.**

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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.