I’m listening to the Argo playlist on Spotify, the songs I listened to the most when I realized that I couldn’t be friends with a woman that excited me and be married to someone else at the same time. The fact that Argo has never and will never reciprocate those feelings was irrelevant to me. I didn’t much care what her reaction was, I cared what it was doing to me… and actually, I did care what it was doing to her to be apart from me, because she invested in a friendship and thought I was needlessly throwing it away, tossing it like it was nothing.
She wasn’t physically there to see my reaction to those words, which was basically days and days of feeling like crap and not knowing what to do about it. I was such a sook, and I look back and feel sorry that Dana and Aaron had to deal with my bullshit. I cried like a baby, truly. I needed her friendship. I honestly did. But not in all ways, because when she made me go starry-eyed, it wasn’t mutual, and it wasn’t safe for me keep diving into her, because her words created different reactions in me than mine created in her. The more she opened up to me, the more I wanted to be her person, the one that fixed everything with emotional band-aids and sent her back into her physical world.
But in my physical world, I already had a person, and she had me. I’d made promises, and I meant them. I couldn’t wander too far from my marriage vows, and yet, I did- not physically, but emotionally, because, well, because I wanted to and I was an impulsive jackass at times… and yet, not, because there are emotional layers I am not willing to unpack here. There were reasons I strayed emotionally that I won’t talk about, because to talk about them is to betray someone I love, and whether we are speaking or not, love will never be past tense. But it’s the right kind of love, now. I just had to find it first.
I originally told her about my attraction to her for two reasons. The first is that I thought we’d meet on the ground someday, and I wanted her to be sensitive to it. I’ve said this before, but I didn’t want a situation where she didn’t know she was capable of turning me on and tripping over a land mine. To me, it was fair warning. Full disclosure, no bullshit.
Secondly, I didn’t need her to be attracted to me. I needed compassion… maybe a story about how someone turned her head when it shouldn’t have, etc. A classic “love’s a bitch sometimes” kind of story…. mostly because I wanted her to know that I thought of my feelings for her as inconvenient and, frankly, stupid. But sometimes your heart makes connections without asking your brain first, and your heart betrays you, because you can fight logic all day long. Fighting emotion is useless.
My heart was hurting, because I had to say no to Argo’s friendship in order to say yes to marriage, because when I was “in the cloud,” I was ignoring everything on the ground.
And then I couldn’t make it stick. I missed Argo’s words and reestablished contact before I was truly ready, so there were several more instances of feeling like I was touching a live wire and living to tell about it.
I couldn’t cry in front of Aaron and Dana, so mostly I cried while I was driving myself to and from work. I wasn’t crying because Argo didn’t return my affections. I was the perfect picture of David, the prime minister in Love Actually who, when he first sees one of his staff, his head tilts and says, “ohhhhh, that’s inconvenient.” I was punishing myself because I knew it was my shit to own and get rid of, and music is how I did it.
It’s a lot of high energy stuff, because I didn’t want to cry anymore. I wanted to take those high-dopamine feelings and use them as an injection of happiness into my day. My heart beat like an 808 drum, and I tried to use that happiness to keep me floating…. and it worked, for a while.
And then my happiness began to fade, because Dana did not see how driven I was to make our relationship right again.
I remember pulling into the parking lot at Alert Logic, Wilson Phillips blasting, losing my shit. Hold on for one more day? Could you shorten it to an hour? Tears rushing down my face in utter helplessness.
This deserves further investigation, but i don’t have time to unpack it all. I’ve got to get back to work. But I will tell you that the song that is playing right now is “DC Sleeps Tonight” by The Postal Service.
It’s a song that expresses something to both Argo and Dana…. I am finally seeing… I was the one worth leaving….
I needed time to get it together. I need time. I will need time.
And now, I have it.
I’m sure we’ll talk more about this later. My mind is buzzing.