Knowing What to Say

He likes to push.

But it’s never in a way that I have room to huff over.  Complain about.  I have no moral outrage allotted to me.  Never in a way that says, do this or I will take my ball and go home. It’s not a pressure.  Just: Oh, we should do this because you’re wonderful to me.

Which?  Is nice to hear, if you can get back that rolling sneer of self-doubt that hits you every twenty minutes on the hour.  If you’re overwhelmed already, it can feel almost cruel that someone is interested in what feels like so much more.

There is a universe of calamity falling around me, a world gone mad, and this, too, feels like something out of the Cheshire Cat’s boiled taffy mind.  Yet, I…

He wants what we are now: locked up in the computer, trapped in the phone…to be real.  To be video, to be meeting up.  To be fingers in hair, bodies intertwined.

For me, this feels extraordinarily real.  It’s been three weeks of excessively regular contact.  A few days of not talking as much, and then, renewed interest right away.  I have begun to miss him when I don’t hear from him, when I have to do some task that precludes responding to some comment, or listening to some new video.  For me, who has spent such time pining and mooning and imagining, the mental labor of conversing feels like it demands so much of me as it is.

I am like some schoolgirl who turns her life upside down because of the presence of a boy.

I still feel as though he could give me up tomorrow and I’d be fine.  Fine enough, mostly because I have refused to allow this to be fully real in my mind.  Not real in the way of Oh, I have to go to work tomorrow! or Oh, I have to put on pants! or Oh, that light is bright in my eyes.  Definitely not, Oh! There’s a guy who is angling to be my boyfriend and for all intents and purposes, pretty well is.  Instead, it’s like I have to tell him this.  Or, oh, I need to reply to him, or oh, let me hurry home so I can get comfortable and tell him things and reply to him.

But then we have conversations and things…come out of my mouth that I didn’t anticipate saying and he responds in ways that pull us out of our shells and toward each other and I have both nowhere to run and no panic, in those moments, about needing to.

But there are senses, awarenesses…we live very far away from one another.  I am as broke as I ever have been.  He’s trying to keep every penny pinched.  It’s not going to be any time soon if it happens.

The oddity of it all does not shift the perfectionism out of the way as much as I would want.  He is not the person I was expecting.  He is not the one I crafted and molded and facelessly shined to a lustre.  He is not the mannequin, the Harry Kennedy, the excessively handsome, wan, drawn, slightly-tattooed guy who was emotionally resolved about everything and just slyly grinned all the time in the corners of my mind.

It is hard for me to let go of these assumptions about the way a thing that would work…would work.  It’s hard to not determine a thing as broken or wrong because it’s not matching up with these youthful imaginations.  Even if, when he talks to me, I feel cared about and I can’t turn off the way that becomes volatile, how it conducts heat inside of me.  It just does.

So…someone should tell me something else.