Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then love, love will tear us apart again.

Love Will Tear Us Apart

I ran my fingers across his back, feeling the smattering of bumps and scars. I opened my mouth, curious about every scar, every bump. But I could hear his breathing getting slower and deeper with every passing second, and like every other night that I'd spent in his bed; I simply swallowed my need for verbal reassurance-- convincing myself that he was satisfied, he was happy, that I had done what I came to do.


I'm well aware that sometimes I'm intimidatingly sociable and annoyingly talkative. This is my nature, and I'm at my best when there are scores of people around to entertain. I live for the spotlight-- for being the screaming center of attention; if anything, I fight and compete with myself and every other average looking girl, so that I'm the one that people remember at the end of the night.

If my face is average, my personality must be extraordinary. This is something that's become sort of a self mantra-- "you are incredibly ordinary looking; your disposition must be fascinating". Over the years, I think I can honestly say that I've grown up and grown into myself. I've learned to appreciate aspects of myself that I used to hate (and with little encouraging, could still hate). However, I can say with absolute certainty that the most important thing about being extraordinary is confidence. Never, ever believe that some guy is too hot to approach; don't believe for a second that that slutty girl in the skirt is gonna dance with the guy that you had your eye on first, and the final rule: don't fool yourself into thinking that you are anything less than extraordinary.
I've learned that charisma is synonymous to confidence; and if it's one thing that I know I have, it's charisma.


There are two simple things that I look forward to when I go see him-- two things that are probably just passing thoughts for him, but for me are monumental keepsakes (and make the 50 minute drive worth something). The moment that I get to really see and examine his face: with my eyes, my fingers, my lips is the moment when I feel any amount of stress or lethargy drain away. When I get to touch and memorize; when I get to find the subtle differences from the week before; when I get to run my hand across his freshly shaved or stubble studded chin, I forget all about parking tickets, a less than stellar paper grade, memorizing a scene, roommate irritation... it all just melts into oblivion. On the morning drives home, the treasures that I uncover on my mini exploration are what I take home with me-- the memory of the face that makes everything go away until the next time I get to indulge myself.

I have a tendency of always sleeping in the fetal position; in my own bed, and in his. Over the past year, it's become a habitual routine-- I roll over onto my side and sweep my hair to one side (ever the considerate person that I am) so that I know it's not in his face when he holds me . I can't remember the first time he did it... but now, every time I bring my hair over to one side, I wait for him to press a kiss into that space between my neck and my shoulders. No matter how many kisses we've shared that night, that kiss is the most important one to me. Because it's inexplicably and incontestably mine. A kiss on the lips, the cheeks, the forehead can be for anyone; but when his lips touch that space, it's for me and no one else.


"CONFIDENCE L! CONFIDENCE!" With the alcohol nicely buzzing through my system I walked out of Dave & Busters with L. in tow. After fruitlessly spending an hour or two "scouting" at unofficial Asian night, we decided to head for home. Already having knocked back two or three gin and tonics, my already overinflated sense of self was berating L. for being afraid to say hi to a male co-worker (or saying hi to a cute random guy-- the details remain a little fuzzy). Well aware of the fact that L. suffers from low self-esteem and a sometimes ugly inferiority complex, in my very slightly inebriated state I tried explaining my mantra. Vaguely cognizant of the pain coursing through my feet (thanks to my deliciously hot, excruciatingly painful four inch stilettos), I linked my arm through L.'s and trooped across the cobbled floors of the Spectrum to her car.

"You're always fun. People always remember you. I don't know how to talk to people sometimes. You make it seem so easy." And there it was: the verbal reassurance that a performing attention whore like me is always craving. "Confidence L. Confidence. That's all it is" I reassured her.


I was probably seconds away from dropping off into a deep hibernation when my phone beeped three times. One of my best friends J. texted me and informed me that his house had been robbed that day and that he was feeling bummed. Simultaneously gasping in worry and groaning with self loathing I sat up in bed; regardless of the fact that I had just had an exhausting three days of partying in Vegas, and and even more draining five hour drive back, I knew I had to go see him that night.

Even though I've driven to his house on plenty of occasions where I was tired and sleepy, all of those nights seemed to pale in comparison to how thoroughly exhausted I felt that night. Somehow, I made it there and managed to stay awake for another hour and a half.

I opened and closed my mouth a number of times in the post coital haze trying to find the right words to convey the reason why I was here; that I was here, that I hoped that I had made his shitty day a little better. When I finally found the aplomb to say those very things, he started snoring gently next to me. My mouth snapped closed and I shook away the strange feeling of self-doubt that had possessed me in the past thirty minutes.

Somehow, all the confidence, all of the self-assuredness that define my life, my mantra, my personality felt a little bit shaken. How could this lanky, unassuming guy that I wouldn't even glance at twice in a bar cause me to lose my confidence (my secret weapon, my characteristic defense mechanism!)? Worse, how could I possibly have let him drift off to sleep without securing my much needed verbal reassurance and thanks for what I'd done? Of course, in keeping with the pattern of the past six months, I simply brushed off the weird nagging feeling of doubt and closed my eyes.


I feel ordinary with him. As you can imagine, this is getting kind of ridiculous for someone like me who strives to be extraordinary. At the same time though, when he does little things, things that seem insignificant and laughably ordinary, like texting to see if I got home okay, or asking how my day went-- I feel extraordinarily happy. Because in those moments I know that even though he doesn't love me, at least he cares. I've accepted that verbal reassurance isn't something that comes with whatever this is; but I'll take whatever I can get and however much he can give.


I've forgotten that even the smartest girls that fall in love lose their defining sense of self-respect.
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