Monday, July 8, 2013

the pretending game

"Screw the ephemeral, screw progress. I will never let go of this."
-Necessary Madness by Jenn Crowell

I still talk to Artboy.  Usually several times a week via IM and text.  The last time I saw him was 2-3 weeks ago, so I was surprised when he suggested we go out for drinks and dinner last night.  He came over to my apartment.  Escorted me out to his car with an umbrella since it was raining.  We huddled beneath the tiny cover it provided and it was nice.

In the restaurant we sat at the bar.  Our bodies were angled in towards each other.  We ate.  We had drinks. We flirted and joked and it felt so...normal.  And for a moment I remembered what it was like to have a person.  To have a boyfriend.  In that restaurant, we looked like a couple.  A happy couple.  A couple comfortable with each other, joking and laughing and touching and smiling and sharing.  When we left I was just the tiniest bit tipsy, and everything felt happy and easy. 

It wasn't raining anymore.  And we drove back to my place, and then we stayed in the car longer because a song was on he wanted me to hear.  And he bobbed around to it like a crazy person, and air drummed through the drum solo, calling out "hi-hat!" at the right spot.  And when it was over we walked inside, with his hands on my waist from behind me, both of us laughing and talking.

My cats know him.  When he comes over he just comes in and I like that.  I love the familiarity.  The way that he calls me out when I'm being bitchy.  Just like that.  How if I say I'm not feeling well, he always asks if it's a migraine because he knows that's my weak spot.  How I can be having a blah day, feeling blah, like I look awful, and when I see him I feel like I am beautiful, anyway. 

I know it's all pretend.  I know it's not real.  But it's nice to pretend.  It feels good to get a glimpse into how it used to be when I had a person, and to how it could be again.  It's like baby steps back into that frame of mind. 

I know all the concerns: that by letting him stay in my life, even in this limited capacity, I'm holding myself back.  That I'm doing myself a disservice by not shutting him out, or by ever comparing anyone new to him. 

Because for all of his faults, of which there are many, this man holds a spot in my heart.  I don't know why.  I don't think it's holding me back really, not like it used to.  I'm still trying out in the dating world.  The things that have fallen apart would have fallen apart regardless of Artboy's continuing, fluctuating presence in my life.  I guess I just feel like he fills a void in my world right now, and I crave the comfort and familiarity he offers.  He's not consistent.  He's not reliable.  Not in any practical sense.  But he's always there, and I like him there for now.

Last night in its entirety proved to be one of those moments I wanted to bottle up.  I was happy, and it felt right and easy and like it was supposed to be that way.  I loved going out into the world and looking like part of a pair again, huddled heads at a bar, legs knocking together beneath the chairs, shared umbrellas and jokes.  Stealing a kiss at the bar, just a little one, and knowing I could.  No overthinking.  No hyperanalysis.  No fear of reproach or repercussions.  Just the moments. 

I know he'll fuck it up.  I know he'll annoy me, or I won't talk to him for a 3-4 day period out of nowhere.  Maybe I'll go from seeing him twice this month to not at all for two or three.  I have no idea.  But screw it.  Last night I had fun, and I laughed so much, and I smiled so much, and I felt a part of something again.  And it felt good.  Caution and care be damned.


  1. I don't think you're 'damning' caution and care, you sound pretty rational about it all! It's ok to have fun, play pretend, and get a glimpse of what life back in a couple could be like - it could be motivating, if nothing else.

    1. I think I'm so used to getting warned about the perils of being tangled up with Artboy that I tend to pre-emptively acknowledge it. It's just one of those things that I know I will keep doing for the time being, to the disdain of some people!

      It is motivating, in some ways...that pretending. It made me happy to feel like that again, and I know full well Artboy isn't the one to offer that on a real basis.

  2. This is how I felt with Aquaman.

    Care and caution are essential parts of the three "C's". Caution, Care and Condoms. However, if he isn't an asshole then why stop?

    1. Yeah, true. Like I said to the last comment, I think I'm just pre-emptively defensive about the Artboy thing. I know many people think I should just cut him out completely, but I don't want that at this point.

      He's an asshole on occasion, but mostly he's just stupidly honest,which is honestly kind of refreshing amid all of the online dating bullshit.

  3. I like this very much. I completely relate to those feelings and I support your indulgence of them as long as your rationality continues to drive you through the twisty road that is him :-)

    1. And I love your response very much. :) May my rationality continue to drive me through the twisty road that is him. I'm half tempted to text something like that to him. We always are throwing out song lyrics or quotes, LOL.