Are we gladiators, or are we bitches?

There’s a great rock song called “Inside of You” by the band Hoobastank. It was popular in the dark ages, when I was in high school or college or something. It’s about sex. All rock songs are, in some way or another… well, the good ones, anyway. But what happens when you aren’t having sex with the one you want to get inside? It becomes a metaphor for being able to hold her brain in my hands. The guitar cuts into my ruminations and reminds me to car dance the fuck out and LET IT GO. I broke up a friendship, and a good one, because I felt as if it was only honest on one side… and that’s not fair. Let me re-word that. It was plenty HONEST on both sides, but very little recognition until it was much too late that I was in deeper than she was because nothing that happens in my life would ever threaten Olivia Pope, let’s just put it that way. NOTHING.

So, to extend that metaphor, I realized that I was signing on to a lifetime of being Jake… that guy Olivia loves beyond all measure and at the same time, would drop him in a hot minute if Fitz had a free hour.

In this metaphor, Fitz is not another lover. It’s her job… which makes it doubly difficult because it’s not a matter of “I won’t tell you.” It’s a matter of “I can’t.” My way of dealing with that was to absolutely understand, drop comms immediately, etc… and then while she “goes to the bank and the post office,” I become so short of breath that even my coworkers are starting to ask if I’m okay because they can see the tears in the corner of my eyes for hours at a time.

I went to her and said, “I can’t handle this, I need help.” And she said that she would no longer be communicating about certain things. Period. Because that was the answer. To make it where the anxiety I already felt didn’t have a place to go. As I told her, there is no future. There is only right now. I feel anxiety right now.

And yet, even that wasn’t why I left. I left because there were so many things outside the purview of what she could say and she couldn’t that she wouldn’t talk about anything without SUITING UP, when in the beginning, it never felt like she was doing it. Perhaps she was, and I never noticed. I’ll never know, and that’s ok with me. What I know on my own is that in the beginning, we were both in jeans and t-shirts…. or at least, IT SEEMED THAT WAY TO ME.

Later on, it became clear that she wears bullet proof vests under her t-shirts, and I, however, do not. Our relationship became a great habit for her, and I was so glad to help- to feel like I was helping- until I realized that it was getting impossible for me to love a gladiator without wanting to be one myself. I disappeared into this relationship into an entirely different way than I did with Diane- with Tony, it wasn’t that there was the promise of sex. It was the lure of soft power. I don’t get to be a power player, but I get to hear about them, get to know them third party, and excoriate them in novels based on juicy bits of information I just happened to find on my own, like it dropped down in the middle of the street.

Don’t worry, it looks insane from the outside that I’d throw it all away, too. I just realized that I didn’t want to be a gladiator unless she needed me to be that, because otherwise I am a shy, quiet writer in love with her wife who is content to stay home and watch Scandal on TV, because having Scandal in my living room was causing me to split into two separate and distinct personalities- the Leslie I’d always been, and the new Leslie, who wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything.

I am a gladiator because she helped make me into one. She helped turn me into the gorgeous woman I am today, because she taught me how to use emotional separation to get what I wanted in a positive way, like being able to separate out emotions so that I don’t just explode all over the place and have to apologize for it later.

I wish I could do that in this case. Nothing would make me happier than to go back to her and say, “this was all a mistake. I love you and I couldn’t have been more wrong.” I did think that at first, and then the more we started talking the more I realized how incredible our relationship was for her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s