So there is this boy. I’ve had a self-destructive crush on him for quite a while now and even made an attempt at him a few years back. He rejected me flat out and gave me a good old fashioned “It’s not you it’s me” spiel. I ended that night passed out drunk in a hedge. It took a few years and becoming a co-worker in the meantime to get over it and be able to speak to him like a normal human being.
I’m not entirely blind though, and don’t generally make passes at people who aren’t interested in me. He’s interested. I know he’s interested.*
The other night he came out to dinner and drinks with a group of friends. One of my friends – one who actually pulled me out of the hedge that night – made fun of me a bit because she thought he was trying really hard not to just make out with me right there. So I have confirmation, which is satisfying from a “Thank my shit I’m not entirely crazy” point of view.
I’m interested in him. Off and on, mostly depending on my mental state at the time. I feel like he’s a good litmus test for my emotional growth. I know I’m attracted to him for very wrong, very unhealthy, very self-destructive reasons. If I’m not attracted to him, it’s probably because I am probably growing up and liking myself more, right?
Office #2 Christmas party. I’ve promised job #1 partner that I’d be back in the office #1 by 3 at the latest, which means I have to leave by 2:30. It goes something like this:
noon: Arrive. Scan room for ~him~. Ooh, there he is. He’s so tall. Oh hello Debbie, you’re waving me over because you’ve saved a seat for me! Thanks Debbie! Ooh it’s across the table from ~him~ thank the good Lord. Ooh, he’s so cute. Hmm, he’s very drugged up from his morning dentist appointment. Frowny face, he’s not paying me much attention at all. It’s okay, just ignore him, you do not want him, you do not want him, you do not want him.
12:15: Decide with Debbie that it’s time for adult drinks. Ooh ~he~ made a funny. He’s so funny. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
12:40: Finally decide on the Cactus Banger. Yes, that’s a real drink name that I had to say out loud to a waitress. I say something funny. He’s the only one who gets it and laughs. Ooh ~he~ gets me. We would be so perfectly funny together. Dammit, re-engage ignoring boosters!
12:50: Fuck, this Cactus Banger is awesome! And yes, he’s noticed I’m here again. Lots of attention. I could take care of him in his post-dentist haze. FUCK! IGNORE. IGNORE. IGNORE.
1:05: One more Cactus Banger, please. Out-drinking Debbie, who’s been talking shit all week about how she’ll drink us all under the table. More attention from ~him~ please yes thank you ooh!
1:25: He’s buying a round of tequila shots for him, Debbie, and me. God he fucking wants me. (Yes, me. Debbie is happily married with two kids and would squash that bug in a second if she thought he was making a move.) Fuck ignoring him.
1:40: Where in hell did this second round of shots come from? Of course. From ~him~ how is everyone not seeing how much he fucking wants me?!!?
2:00: Coffee with dessert, thank God. Him asking me about coffee maybe? I state again very clearly that I have to be out of there by 2:30. Something from him in response? An objection? A smart ass comment? Whatever, it’s clearly him wanting me.
2:10: Shit, is this another round?
2:35: If I do not leave now, I will end up in his bed or in a hedge. Logic and reason say it will most likely be the hedge. Fuck you, logic and reason.
2:40: Leaving. Really really leaving. Don’t want to leave. Want to end up in his bed. Remember the hedge. Feel the hedge. Be the hedge.
I left. For possibly the first time in my life, I made a smart decision and I left. I did not text him to go out later that night, even though that was a very real option in my 2:40 in the afternoon tequila brain.
Here’s the down and dirty truth: I am consciously and actively trying to move him into the male-obsession slot currently occupied by my ex, which he had a solid grip on before the ex. But why does this slot even exist? Why do I have to have someone to be tormented by every single day?
It’s always been like this. There has always been someone in that slot, since I was probably 7. There’s always someone at-bat whom I’m either dating, wanting to date, or trying to get over. I can’t think of a single day in my life when there hasn’t been someone I’m either blissfully over the moon about or heart crushed in a million pieces over.
Is it possible to eliminate this slot, or will I forever be shuffling boys in and out of it?
* He might not actually be interested. Other possibilities include: 1) so amazingly closeted gay but very flirtatious with everyone and, being a sales guy, very good at making you think he wants you, 2) so amazingly emotionally screwed up that he doesn’t actually know what he’s interested in, or 3) so amazingly aware that I want him, which makes him know he can reel me in for…what, I have no idea.