I picked up my phone and stared at it with a bit of incredulity but mostly this feeling of satisfaction and smugness crept in unbidden, delicious but tinged with guilt because a good person wouldn’t be so arrogant. It was TBone.
There I sat, still reeling from Don Juan/Hypocrites and even though it’d been many weeks, I was still pretty torn up. I had so loved him and thought we could make a beautiful life together and then he was gone like I didn’t matter at all.
TBone on the other hand was asking me to go to dinner with him. I didn’t answer right away. I didn’t know what to say. We were more than likely the same two people with the same differences we’d had last time. I just couldn’t believe he was messaging me. He’d acted like our breakup had been a complete shit storm and I was more than just a little surprised at the contact.
I finally answered and said sure and he seemed really happy. He continued to sporadically text and I answered. Don Juan had really ripped out my heart and TBone was being nice. Salve as it were. I knew though… way back in that place where you know things.
I went anyway. We had the dinner. He took me to a nice place and I had too many cocktails and he sat across from me staring adoringly. At one point he said, “You’re so smart and beautiful and NOT crazy. Whatever I was doing that got on your nerves before, I’ll quit doing.”
I smiled at that and told him, “We are still the same people. With the same issues.”
He interrupted me with, “I didn’t have any issues.”
I clamped my lips shut and leaned back in the booth. I had plenty of them and I wondered since he’d busted my Facebook blog page if he’d actually read the blog and then assumed he must have. It wasn’t anywhere near complimentary and I felt he must’ve read it by now.
We started the dating. Again. It was somewhat okay. At first I was swept up in all the nice, all the feels as it were. He was still handsome and accommodating and the sex was different. Like not as bad at first but shockingly quick and he’d developed a habit of yelling out during his crisis in a loud extended way that made me cringe. Every time almost. I found myself frustrated for different reasons than before but still frustrated. He had eased up on the kitty cat talking but told me he loved me immediately during our first time out. It was disconcerting but after a while, I fell into it too. It seemed easy. The same shit we did before revisited and again, it was salve. I didn’t recognize it fully or maybe I just didn’t want to. Don Juan/Hypocrites had just really taken me weeks to feel normal again and this was balm for the wound.
So it happened that after exchange of love and a few weeks, we decided to go visit my parents, me and TBone and the Girl Child and a camper and his decrepit Bronco. TBone exhibited nerves at the prospect of meeting my parents and I told him to calm down and relax. They’re regular peeps and they wouldn’t give him a hard time even if they hated him. Tucker was proof enough of that.
He showed up with the camper and we loaded up. It wasn’t too bad going up there. He had brought his boys to meet their mother to visit for the 4th of July. Most of the visit was okay. He was trying too hard and I could see that he wasn’t content unless he was sitting still and doing not much and smoking a joint. I mean, I knew he smoked but it was just so evident that he wasn’t happy at all unless he was high and to hear him tell it, he “never got high”. Whatever. So we had a fairly okay time but when we headed home the aforementioned decrepit Bronco started to have some problems. It was overheating and exhibiting some electrical issues and he proceeded to grab his rosary and rock back and forth as he was driving. Genuflecting like a lunatic, swinging those beads around with them knocking all over the place. I am not a believer. He knows this and I know he’s a Catholic and I accept you have to do what you have to do to get by. Believe what you like and that’s all cool but the display that he put on was discomfiting almost frightening. Even on my most fervent, prayer-filled days, I would not have acted like that in front of anyone for any reason. It bordered on mania that was more than a little unsettling.
Ironically, though, in between all the reverence to the lord, he was puffing on his one hitter with my kid in the car. I just looked at him with murder in my eyes and he finally set it down with a look that was disgusted. My daughter was dead silent and bug eyed in the back seat watching everything.
We then drove the 3 ½ almost 4 hours without stopping because he was afraid the truck wouldn’t start back up. We got home, we piled out stretching and I said, “Wow, thank goodness. I’m dying of thirst.”
Only to be answered by TBone with, “Yeah, well I haven’t had anything to drink since we left your parents’!”
I really couldn’t believe what I’d just heard and all I think was
But … because I am the person I am and I knew that he was very stressed out even though the worst that could’ve happen was to wait on AAA, I went directly inside and made him a cold drink. He was sitting on the couch and leaned back as if he’d just gone through complete hell…duuuh-raaahma.
I handed him the drink, and the winner of the Thirsty Games, who had had to go 20 minutes longer than me and the GC without a drink, took it and set it on the coffee table without so much as taking a sip. I stared incredulously as he then said with all the zeal he had in him, “I know you don’t believe it but the Lord got us home.” I felt a snap, an imperceptible hitch in my feelings. That moment was the beginning of the end.
I thought, Did the lord also tell you to toke up with my kid in the car so we could make it home?
I turned and grabbed GC and we left to get food. That night, after he’d fallen asleep, I got up and slept on the couch. I couldn’t bear it. The GC was on the other side of our sectional and I snoozed until about 9AM and got up and made some coffee. I got back on the couch with my blanky and coffee and snoozed off and on. About 11:00AM, Tbone got up suddenly as if it were 6AM and he were the motherfucking poster child for early risers and began to bark at us. I stared blankly while he growled orders, “WE NEED TO GET UP AND GET THIS DONE.”
I said, “Uh, if you need to go, then go. We’ll figure out how to pick up her car if you’re in a hurry.”
He stopped in his tracks and looked at me. Let the back pedaling and martyrdom commence.
“No, it’s just that I thought we should get this over with and….” I interrupted and repeated myself in a very kind, even tone and he again refused to leave and I said, “Well I’m going to get breakfast and coffee and then call the shop and we’ll figure out when we’re getting it after.”
He went outside, presumably for his wake and bake and the GC and I again left. I called and the guys were at lunch and we couldn’t get the car picked up til 1. We returned to find him sitting on the steps of his camper in what looked like classic pout pose. I told him that they wouldn’t be back in the shop until 1PM and he could leave if he wanted and it’d all be fine.
I think he told me no but all I heard was, “Wah. I’ll stay. Wah. Poor pitiful me. Wah. Martyr. Martyr. Wah. Can you see my cross? Wah…”
I’m trolling Facebook on the couch, waiting to head out and my son, who is the world’s BEST drama queen had posted:
Tired of no matter what I do it’s not the right thing.
Tbone had liked it and commented:
I know what you mean.
I absolutely lost my shit then and I told him about it. I confronted him with the fact that you don’t put your shit all over Facebook much less on my SON’S page and what’s more he was relating to and commiserating with an 18 year old kid. Like I said before, that was the beginning of the end. It deteriorated quickly after that. He hadn’t actually read the blog and he did manage it a fit of pique to find it and read it. He sort of figured out what I really thought after that. In the end though, it was not so much a “you’re not good enough for me” judgment as an “I judge you to be too different from me for this to work.”
I have loved and been loved. I have not, however, ever been taken care of so completely that I didn’t feel absolutely alone in my skin at all times. Normally, I’m okay with that …it’s just those times that you feel like if you have to be in charge of one more motherfucking thing without SOME kind of backup, you’re going to lose your shit in a special way.
I never had that person there that was my lover and who understood me. I have my friends and I have my daughter and my family but it isn’t the same. It’s not the same as being skin to skin with someone, sharing breath with them and knowing that they cherish more than your body. I want that intangible feeling of having someone to fall back on when I am low. Someone who will say, “It’s okay that you feel shitty right now because I’m here. You feel shitty and we’ll take care of this together and you won’t feel shitty anymore and I won’t make you feel even shittier for feeling shitty.” No scorekeeping, no I did this, so you have to do that. No guilt. No obligation. Just love and acceptance. Someone who would be there regardless and wasn’t trying to take advantage of me in any way. Someone I could feel safe loving and giving my heart to and would give theirs right back to me for safekeeping.
I had been very guilty in my younger years of rejecting anyone that seemed like they “loved me too much.” So much self-loathing abounded that I began to reject any club that would have me as a member. I felt that had happened with Don Juan and his own feelings of self-worth were what got in the way between us. I hadn’t wanted to be like that and had given people chances they didn’t deserve because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t doing that exact thing, passing something up fundamentally good because I was damaged. Enter TBone and my need to fair and think everything out instead of going with that thing that I know from that place where you store up the shit that you JUST know.
I can handle being by myself. It’s okay. I can do that. I can get through the times when I’m adrift in a sea of chaos and feel like I’m standing stock still in the middle of roaring bedlam. After all is said and done, the only person I need to worry about being fair to, is myself.