A year ago today, I was on the brink of moving to Brooklyn for a month. I had to get out of Arizona. The political climate and the unbearable loneliness lit a fire under my ass and I knew I had to figure a way out of my misery. I posted on FB that I wanted to go back to NYC, the city where over a year before I’d found happiness. And within five minutes, I had an answer. A sublet in Bed Stuy for the month of August.
Part of me came out here for the men. Not just Dan, but Samy and all the others who had potential. Dan ended up being as emotionally unavailable as he purported to be. Samy turned out to be the bestest of people and a great friend. And the rest, well, they happened to be fun. Good anecdotes and great practice with interacting with strangers.
To be fair, Dan told me from day one that this was not a thing. And I was happy for whatever it was. But whatever it was encompassed, there was this extra component of closeness. Something authentic and real, and, despite any protestations to the contrary, couldn’t be faked by anyone less than a sociopath. I wasn’t overreaching. He just knew how to compartmentalize better than Marie Kondo.
But that is neither here nor there. I knew exactly what the stakes were. I played anyway. But I never faked anything and I maintained my integrity.
There was the Israeli, who was very good at seducing me. And I was in need of some seducing. Every day I’d write, and every day, he was interested. If I’m honest, he was the only one I wanted. With him, there was no compromise. Until October, when there finally was.
A year later I am in Brooklyn, helping Nathalia pack while watching Sex and the City. Carrie is back with Big but isn’t ready to tell her best friends about him.
So I am thinking about how every man in my life has come back for seconds. Out of the blue, when I’ve stopped caring, BOOM! there they are.
While in Tucson last week, some guy with my number hit me up. I didn’t know who it was and I didn’t recognize the number. I didn’t have any interest but it was hilarious to me that someone found out I was in Tucson and thought it was their chance to entice me into having sex, when if I knew who they were and cared the slightest bit about them, I’d have at least kept their contact info in my phone. Apparently I’m hard to forget. At least until I feel something and then he will forget.
I leave doors open. It makes sense. At least that’s what experience has taught me. For better or worse, there are valuable lessons to be learned when someone re-enters your life. They’re different. You’re different. Or at least you’re different and they’re the same but it can no longer be. And your instincts have proven to be right. And you feel safe in the knowledge that you have learned something. That you have grown. And that no mistake that crosses your threshold shall be the same mistake you’ve had the chance to learn from before.
Like Little Red Riding, you know things now, many valuable things, that you never knew before. Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood. They will not protect you the way that they should. And take extra care with strangers, even flowers have their dangers. And though different is exciting, nice is different than good.
And nothing, not any MFA program or furrowed brow, can ever top the feeling of never getting fooled again. At least not the way you’d been before.