“The most tender place in my heart is for strangers…” Neko Case

One of my dearest friends got married over the weekend. It was a lovely beach wedding with rail-thin bridesmaids in flowing Grecian gowns. Then there was me: a slightly overweight Betty Paige-type drowning in a blue-gray sea of gauze. As I watched my radiant friend take her vows, I noticed a groomsman watching me. From the time he escorted me off the sand, he stayed close. Attentive, charming, his hand on the small of my back; At 5’6, I was eye-level with his chest. I felt diminutive. I felt pretty, protected and desired.

Like warp speed-dating, we shared intimate details, a lifetime crammed into a few hours. I wanted to commit as much to memory as possible: He’s 34, divorced, no children, wants children, born in Lubbock Texas, lived in Oklahoma City, met the groom in Indiana, currently lives the Hollywood lifestyle in Irvine, CA. Works too much but likes what it buys. A rehabilitated alcoholic, sober 2 years, he drank ginger ale all night. He has been single since catching his ex girlfriend with her boss back in August. Has twin siblings. Brown eyes, nice lips, good kisser, introduced me to Alt J and The National and I introduced him to Brand New and Honeyhoney. When he said he was also a Cancer, born in late June, I was sold. If Cancerians are anything, it is loyal and faithful, faithful and loyal. And great lovers.

By the time he suggested I spend the night, it didn’t seem like such a bold request. I told him I had never had a one night stand before and would need to drink more to put my Jiminy Cricket to sleep. I joked about this being like a scene from Wedding Crashers. Goal to bed a bridesmaid. I suggested other women at the party with looser morals but he wanted me. No pretense. He could probably talk the dress off any woman but he chose to talk the dress off me.Yes, I was lonely, vulnerable, starved for affection and sex deprived…but that still doesn’t mean I would say “yes” to just anyone. The planets were aligned, the chemistry was cooking. ..

When I asked my friend for advice, she immediately replied “You should do it. And contrary to your religious pre-programming, I promise you wont go to Hell for it.”

So I did.

But a one night stand doesn’t mean casual sex. Casual sex implies that there are no feelings involved, that there is no emotional attachment. The attraction comes from within, wherein lives my emotions. So in a short amount of time, I was already emotionally invested in this person. That is why there is no such thing as ‘casual sex’ for me. Although the one night stand is highly out of character for me, my only regret the next day was not being able to see him again.

For two days, I moped. I feel stupid for missing him, for wondering if I would ever hear from him, if he thought of me at all, and how long until I stopped thinking of him. The world looks a little duller. Everyone and everything looks out of focus. Thenthe pictures and posts began to materialize on Facebook. It was there that I discovered that he was in a relationship with a cute, thin, 20-something year old blonde.

So I guess I definitely won’t be hearing from him.

Loyal and faithful. Faithful and loyal.

I stare at his Facebook page: “In a relationship with…” I was the Instrument of Infidelity (again).

I’m still going to download Alt J and The National but I’ll probably spend more time with Neko Case.

When I was in my 20’s, it was piss-n-vinegar Tori Amos. Now when I am in the dark, bad place, I bring along Neko Case: Just in case you get back to my name in your little black phone. To remind me that I am beautiful and I am alone; tenderly, tenderly, please take my breath from me; I leave the party at 3 a.m. with a valium from the bride. Damp and bruised by stranger’s kisses on my lips, I was somebody’s in-between girl, I am not the man you think I am…

Tonight, as always, I’ll crawl into my king-sized bed, garrisoned by mounds of pillows. A pillow at my back and a pillow in front to curl around and hold. At least when I’m asleep, I can pretend I’m not alone.

06 January 2014

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8 Jan 2014

Something strange happened this morning. I woke up with the utter conviction that he was a decent guy.

The night before, I decided to fill my girlfriend in (yes, the one at whose wedding I met this man). I started with “Well, he and I really hit it off…” and her face lights up, “I’m so glad!” she gushes, “he’s been such a mess since he caught his gf cheating…”

I stopped her, “So that really happened?”

“Yeah, and they were together for years. He was crushed. IS crushed.”

“But what about this girl he’s in a relationship with now?”

“It’s not serious. They’ve been dating for a minute and he didn’t even bring her to the wedding. She’s just the rebound.”

I scowled “But he should have TOLD me about her…”

“Yes, and you have a right to be mad but not THIS mad. Try to think of it this way: You both had a good time and got what you needed.”Then she considers my red, puffy eyes and adds, “You’re just not a hook-up kind of girl.”

I chewed on this all night and the next morning, I was healed. I also figured anyone who shares my passion for music can’t be soul-less.

Then hours later, something else stranger happened. He did what no man who has ever hurt me has done: He apologized. He was ashamed for not being up-front with me. I told him I understand. He’s hurting and she is a crutch. I too was a band aid for him. I can truly empathize with what he is going through but that doesn’t mean I approve of his manner or methods for dealing with it. “But for what it’s worth, I genuinely liked you.”
I admitted,  “If you scrape off the blackened crust of infidelity, you’re exactly what I’m looking for in a man. Unless Dave Grohl calls. Or James Spader. Or Colin Firth. Oh, I’m just kidding! I’d pick you over Colin Firth.”

So here I sit: I like him. And I hope he thinks about me and reaches out from time to time. Meanwhile, I’ll muddle through the Cancerian ritual: obsess for a few weeks; look at his Facebook page from time to time; fantasize and compose romantic scenarios and exchanges in my imagination…

We lay there in bed, talking music and he’s playing Alt-J for me…”Something good, oh something good tonight will make me forget about you for now…”