Dear John,

(What?  I thought I’d give it a spin from the bad rep “Dear John” letters have.)

Hi. How are you? What is up, down, all around? N.M.H.  Hahahaha, just kidding.  Okay, now back to business.

I’m not sure what to say, or why I’m even writing this.  I don’t have a way with words as you do.  I can’t turn this into a comedy routine to ease the tension and nervousness that accompanies it.  Would that I could, really.

What I want to write is to let you know what I think, and how I feel, because where we are now just doesn’t allow for that kind of intimacy.  My brain doesn’t exactly allow for that kind of intimacy, at least not anymore.  Mike had called me “baby,” and all I could do to respond (in my head) was go, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HELP!”  You called me “sweety-pie,” and it was different.  It didn’t suddenly feel like something I’d lost had been replaced; it just wasn’t so scary.

I wish so much for you.  I wish I could be so much [more] for you.  I want to have time, and I want to spend time with you, be it staring at stars or talking about things we love.  But I can’t do these things.  I can’t find time, much as I want to.  It’s not fair to have what Chris and I had for a year and a half–a weekend relationship.  I just can’t fit anything else into my world, save for rooming with someone.  And I don’t even know what you think or what you want.  A year ago you got back with your ex, but how long did that last?  You’re not smoking anymore; maybe you two can work things out.  If you’re anything like me in this regard (or she is, I suppose), you’d still be talking to her.

But I digress, because this isn’t about someone you dated years ago.  This is about me, and you, and if anything exists there.  It did nine years ago, but that was ephemeral.  So much has happened to us both; so much has changed.  Honestly, I was surprised when you didn’t want to sit in a diner for hours like “old times.”  But back then it was easy — the first time ’round, we were only kids.  Living home was what we did.  The second time ’round, I had an apartment, which made things much simpler.  Now, do I want to bring people over my room upstairs at my mother’s house?  No.  Do I want to awkwardly steal away to your room after reuniting with your parents and brother after a decade?  No.  But what can I do?

I’m tired of stalling, but I’m too scared for anything else.  When you kissed me on the beach, I was flooded with a hundred different emotions.  I didn’t know what to do, because I haven’t had to do this in forever.  I think too much; I worry more.  I’m not sure when this all became who I was, but I can’t seem to make it stop.  You should have seen me before you arrived at my house — I was pacing all 20 minutes you were late, begging my mother to distract me.  Sure, I should have been fearing for your life, since you were late, but I wasn’t.  I was wondering if you were going to call out our get-together again, and ask what I wanted it to be, or if I had any prior notions.  Something as minor as that made me nervous, so you can imagine how ungainly I was when your lips met mine.

I live in a controversial mindset, so you’re aware.  I believe women should go about their ways and leave men alone.  Men should be for babies (and sex, if sex is desired and babies are not).  They are not typically supportive or emotional creatures.  They make fire, hold land and father children.  Now, I know that comes out quite harsh, but I’ve been through too many evolutionary and psychological lectures to really believe otherwise. Oh, and also, there’s the biggest piece of evidence I could find: life.  Yes, there are different variations on the theme, mostly because men have been trained (by significant others, parents, siblings, caretakers) to be empathetic, or at the very least, responsive.  So calling it black-and-white is rude of me, but I don’t think it’s natural otherwise.  Do I saunter outside in a tank top and mini-skirt because I think the men making a mess in my yard will clean it up after they see what book I’m reading?  No.  Sex sells everything (and for the record, it worked).

On the other hand, I wanted to spend time with you because I enjoyed the companionship.  The flip side of the coin is that women are innately emotional creatures, seeking comfort and warmth and love (regardless of defenses; they make people appear a certain way, but defenses aren’t truth).  I can honestly see why lesbianism is a big hit.  What women seek men don’t really have, but they pretend to, to get what they want.  With these contradictory thoughts floating around in my brainspace, I am constantly conflicted.  It keeps me content being alone, but that contentment falters time and again (with no warning, much to my dismay).

What does this have to do with you?  Nothing, and everything.  What would my ideal situation be here?  Well, one of two extreme situations: 1 — we get together, have “fun” — at least that’s what I think the kids are calling it — and part ways until the next go-round has an opportunity.  This is good for our busy schedules, and is probably even better for the male side of things.  2 — we get comfortable.  This is to say I can sit in a room with you while you write your latest play or short story or novel and I do my homework.  This is good for our schedules too, but promises to be full of distraction and conversation.   Not to mention it is way too relationshippy for me to feel anything but awkward towards even the idea.

I guess what all of this boils down to is that I’m not ready for anything, and I’m afraid without prompting I never will be.  Everything we do makes me nervous, and I take that as a sign that I like you.  (The dreams are another sign, but they’re very off topic and not at all a pleasure to think about.)  I could easily hide behind a lack of time forever, but there are always maneuvers around that, albeit they are only few and they are not always wonderful.

You know something?  I don’t know anything about you anymore.  Personal information that used to fly out of our mouths without a second thought is now thought over two or three times and censored.  Do you drink again? Do you still go to therapy?  Are you on any drugs?  Are there sensitive issues I should sidestep, like the aforementioned questions? Would you let me have a bar in our house if we had a house someday?  Would you promise not to hate my cat?  Can I be jealous at every girl in your life so long as I keep it at a sane enough level to be considered “cute.”  Would you be honest with me, rather than say one thing to my face and write another? Could you refrain from a Mets/Yankees argument with Bone Crusher?

These questions don’t have answers, and should never even be asked in the first place.  Where this goes is where I let it go.  Without the ability to drown my inhibitions in alcohol, it’s unlikely to go very far.  I turned into a chicken-shit over time, and as much as I’d like to blame others, I’ve no one to blame for that save myself.  Hell, maybe you could help me get over all the fear and anxiety.  Or maybe I could resent you for it eternally.  You never know unless you try, right?  I’m just not sure I can try without a push.  Once upon a time, you’d have pushed me.  I just think you’ve pushed enough times to learn it’s never really gotten you anywhere with me.

So what was all this rambling?  Ultimately, nothing.  What I really want is for you to be what I’ve been looking for and passed up when it was sitting in front of me.  I want for you to be fascinated by me, thinking the first two times just weren’t “our” times.  I can see myself laughing (constantly) with you in my life, but at the same time I only see it in the committed format, which I’m still back-and-forth on.  Then again, I get all sloppy and confused when something new rolls around, so this could all be null and void in a month.  Sadly, what I’ve been looking for goes against the grain of the male nature, as is the case with all but few females.  Do I want to try to put you through that?  Do I want to have someone around that will challenge me emotionally, filing me with cheerfulness and a sanguine outlook, but doubtless will also disappoint my unrealistic expectations?  Who needs that?  Do I?  Do you?

Right back where I started,


1 Comment

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One response to “Dear John,

  1. theweightofitall

    Oh, lord. I know exactly how you feel; I wrote an email similar to this just last week. What do we do? What can we do?

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