2004-06-13 - 1:04 a.m.
Except for love
I've tried like hell to convince myself that she means nothing to me. I've tried like hell to make it all into nothing.
But nothing hurts like this. Nothing makes me feel this.
She means more than nothing.
She means a hell of a lot more than nothing.
The other night we were in a bookstore. And for a short time, she wasn't talking about him, and how much she loves him, about how much he hurt her. And I was holding a book that I love. That I read as a young man, but had not intention of buying on that day. And she wanted to buy it for me, as thanks for the help I've given her. I didn't want her to buy it for me. I want gifts from her to come from a different motivation than simple gratitude. And she was trying to wrestle it from my hands. I was one of those moments. One of those moments when a small thing seems to mean so much more.
Then she said "I almost called you XXX" Where XXX is his name. Then after an awkward pause, she told me not to deny her joy. As if I could ever do so intentionally.
I bought her a book. One of my favorites. I wrote on the front page that it was a beautiful tale about a woman with grace and strength. For a woman who has plenty of both.
I remember the first time I saw her. I remember it with the kind of clarity that I rarely experience. I don't remember what she was wearing, or the song that she sung, only the look of her. Only the radiance of her face. Only the glory that is her.
That was over two years ago.
I've spent two years telling myself that I don't love her.
I'm a shitty liar.
I don't want to be the foul-weather friend. I don't want her to only call me when things are shit. I want to share some good times.
I don't want to pressure her when she's hurting. I don't want to make my move when she's on the rebound.
Of course, I was biding my time after her last break-up, and someone beat me to the punch. And she fell hard for him. I don't want to be insensitive, but if I wait forever, then nothing will ever happen.
I don't want to destroy our friendship. But, of course, our friendship has been of the cry-on-my-shoulder variety for far too long. I wonder, sometimes, if I'd be destroying that much.
I wonder sometimes if I'd be destroying myself. If I were to never do anything.
There are a million and a half reasons why we'd never work out. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why I should care about any of them.
In the meantime, I elevate self-destruction to an art-form. I drink too much. And I smoke, which I never used to do. And I stay up half the night with her face staring back at me from the ceiling. Then I stay up the rest of the night, just for good measure. Sleep is a demon, that tortures me with it's absence.
All my friends counsel me to take my shot.
None of my friends understand how crippling rejection is for me.
Then again, how much more painful can it be, when compared to the hell that is my life?
Really, I have no real reason to complain. I have a good job, that pays my bills, and I have everything that a man could ask for.
Except for love.
Except for love.