“My most recent non-relationship”
We were looking for a waterfall. The GPS said we could get to it from where it had led us, but it was clearly wrong.
“That’s part of the adventure, right?” he said, firmly sidestepping my offer of walking over to the power plant (yes, power plant– the GPS was WRONG) across the street and asking some smokers for directions.
“Right!” I mustered merrily.
So we entered an overgrown field after dunking underneath a gate with a sign that read “no trespassing.” It was a sunny, windy kind of day, and as we walked, the ground grew wilder, denser, darker and taller.
I looked down at my legs once while stepping forward and saw blood dripping down them: “Oh shit… something cut me,” I muttered aloud. He said nothing, carrying his panting dog in his arms.
Originally, it was going to be just the two of us, hiking to a waterfall and having a picnic together. But he decided, that morning, that he wanted to bring his dog and guitar with us. I was fine with that.
“Hey, will you hold my guitar so I can carry him?” he asked after we’d dipped underneath the gate.
“Sure,” I said, readjusting my backpack.
A moment or so later…
“In case you get bitten by a snake and pass out and I have to take you to the hospital,” I began, jokingly, “do you have any allergies?”
“Nope,” he replied. And he didn’t ask if I had any. I notice these things.
Finally, after encountering a thick wall of trees that we couldn’t reasonably find our way around, he agreed to retreating. I then went to ask the smokers for directions but they were gone, having disappeared back inside of the power plant that, at a certain point (I made it to that point), you couldn’t access without ear protection.
And this morning, I found myself halted at a stop sign, on a totally dead street, for about ten minutes, waiting for him to reply.
I’d woken up late, around 9:30, to a forty-minute-old message from him: “Can you come pick me up from so-and-so’s house? I need to feed my dog…”
So he’d gotten drunk and passed out at someone’s house. Got it. But he couldn’t come over to my place for scrambled eggs and chocolate cake last night because of his dog? I remembered, noticing (again).
I told him I could be there in an hour (if he sent me the address), after showering and feeding my dogs, and then I didn’t hear back from him for a long time.
Then, I did; I fell back asleep, he said, but I guess now I can wake this so-and-so person up and have them take me home…
And then, after ten minutes of waiting at the stop sign, I realized that I was waiting for a stop sign to change. Traffic lights change. Stop signs are for fucking ever. And I took a freaking DRIVING CLASS two weeks ago, so I know this.
And I’m sharing all of this because, when I recently googled “why am I attracted to addicts”, one PhD holder declared that people are often attracted to emotionally unavailable people when they THEMSELVES are emotionally unavailable.
Hmmm… I paused to consider that.
The same article also mentioned that an upbringing without affectionate and attentive caretakers could explain the absence of a healthy “romantic template”, and I was like ahhhhhhhh! Eureka!
With a special brother, I often took (to continue with this car-and-traffic lingo) the backseat, and I’m glad; Bobby got the attention he needed, and I learned how to be self-sufficient and amuse myself at a very young age. I spent lots of time alone, thinking and creating and observing… and that’s what I still enjoy doing, as an adult.
But I also missed out on a lot — there’s just no sidestepping that… and one of the biggest things I missed out on was affection. More on that here.
So now, I keep chasing the boys who don’t want me; the ones who are in love with people they can’t be with, crazy about their drugs, sold on their instruments and rockstar dreams, or perpetually chasing sex instead of love… and I just don’t know how to look at a normal, has-got-their-shit-together kinda guy and be like, “YOU seem interesting!” Why can’t they be interesting to me? I shun them like you SHOULD shun dating an addict, but the addict is all I want. Because I’m a love addict.
So, feeling like a small and invisible piece of shit, I finally rolled past the stop sign and continued on to my coffee shop where I ordered my first white chocolate pumpkin spice latte of the season and a vegetarian-sausage-and-egg biscuit (because while it’s been hard to eat recently, I feel as if I’ll have no trouble today). This doesn’t really fix anything fundamentally wrong with me, but at least I’m not still parked on a dead-end street, alone in a car, looking down at a phone that won’t speak to me, look at me, or want me… waiting.