Friday, February 03, 2006

Where Have You Been?

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It starts about the same time every day.

The lonely, self-pity hour that brings a flood of memories and fantasies about "him". The now, ex.

The man who was never really available and thus destined to haunt me for the duration of the next year.

The year of the dog.

I met him over the summer. R isn’t conventionally attractive, but he posesses the most beautiful gray-green eyes. One look could melt me from my toes to the tips of my eye lashes.

The first night we met he squeezed in close to me on the red stool at Pravda. After ordering a twenty dollar martini, he explained that he was in town for a brief amount of time assisting a Hollywood Icon with the creation of an epic film. His world was most definitely more glamorous than mine.

I ran into him whenever I met up with my friend C in the East Village. He bobbed and weaved, avoiding my radar until the first chill of the autumn air in New York. After saving me from a blind date gone terribly wrong at a haunted house on the LES, I saw him with new eyes. Once registered, he crept into my thoughts with his daily phone calls.

In the beginning I tried to play it cool. Seemingly unaffected by the new distraction, I propelled myself into the illusion of a busy party girl. My date book became bloated with girls nights out, bar hopping, Christmas parties, family visits, weddings, and weekend trips out of town. I filled my life with time commitments that I thought would save me from the option to sit at home and obsess.

"Is he going to call? When is he going to call? Why hasn't he called? Does he think I'm fat?"

I would rather sit by the phone and obsess over his next phone call then think about the unsettled and unhappy state of my own unrealized destiny. He was the hope.

But he never delivered.

Interesting life, but sadly-not interesting. R didn't want to be bothered talking about life, the world, morality, or spirituality. He made fun of me for dwelling on these topics and fed my secret assumption that without having to prove it-we were just smarter and better than most others. Filming a movie in the final weeks of shooting meant that he was always busy, couldn’t make plans in advance, could only talk for three minutes and could speak of nothing but set news and gossip. While we had a few dinners in fancy restaurants and a handful of trips to artsy films, he claimed his busy schedule left few other more creative options than dinner and a movie.

Perhaps had he been more into me—the dates would have been extraordinary and creative, the conversation deeper, and the sex more about me. But they weren't.

And he wasn't.

Despite these clear relationship inadequacies, with disturbing momentum I whipped myself up into a frenzy of possibility. And isn’t that what we really miss when they are gone? The possibility of what we could have been.

I would have rather focused on anyone but myself.

I was unhappy in my career and feeling like a glorified and thrice humbled admin assistant. I wondered if I was doing the right thing with my life. I missed creativity. With friend and family visits I had no time to sit still and certainly no time to think about the course of my life. I was just crossing off items on a long list of obligations to get through the months.

And my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

For our last week together, I accompanied R to the Dominican Republic for shooting. A microcosm of our relationship, he was rarely around, discouraged me from coming to set, rarely checked in on me without being prompted, and when he was around was so tired that he could barely keep his eyes open. I had a great time, and made more than the best of it. I met movie stars, made new friends, explored a beautiful country and slept next to his warmth every night. But as I kissed him goodbye for what would be our last kiss, I realized that we had made it through the week without ever having a real conversation.

Despite all of this, I miss the fucker. What would you say is wrong with me, that at 4:00 PM every afternoon I am overcome with longing and sadness?

What is it that I miss?

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posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 2/03/2006 06:43:00 AM |

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