I got to thinking while the kettle boiled just now:
There was a guy named Brandon, years ago in Tucson, whom I really really liked. From the word “go” we could riff. Just good vibes all around.
We spent hours and hours every day talking and making each other laugh. And then we’d go out at night and I’d dazzle him by calling weird things out and getting free drinks (which at the time I thought was cool because I was barely learning to human).
We got along like peas and carrots. But in that very female-male dynamic, we had to ascribe romantic feelings to something that wasn’t romantic and then I got confused. I loved him, just not in that way. But I still wanted to own him.
Less than a week passed that I spent in Nogales at my parents and Brandon tells me he’s head over heels in love with a girl. He describes her: funny, brilliant, talented, beautiful, punk, Mexican. And all I can think is, “But I’m all of those things, too!”
It didn’t end well. Oh did I fuck that up royally. But he did too. Neither if us knew what we were doing.
What I know now, almost five years later, is that love is something that cannot be explained logically. You either do or you don’t see someone a certain way. And there are many, many types of love. You can love someone of the opposite sex with all your might and never have to sleep with them in this effort to figure out how they tick.
If I go back through the list, they guys who pumped the breaks and hurt my ego were trying to tell me something I wasn’t ready to hear at the time. I felt rejected when really these boys wanted me to be their friends. I saw it as a demotion. It was not. In guy world, it’s a huge honor to be allowed in like that.
My problem was that I wanted power. I wanted to snap my fingers and have them at my beckoning. That’s stupid. Nagging men makes you sound awful and they become resentful. It’s infinitely more fun when they miss you and want to spend their time with you. They hit you up because they’re thinking of you. And they talk about you when you’re not around.
Also, I know that I was a trophy hunter. It’s a very male concept. Dominating, killing, hanging up a head or a pelt on your wall. For five years I did it. And then I wrote down the notes of each kill in a list on my phone. I think I’ve hit my limit of permutations. I’m done with that part of my life. I maxxed it out with as few repetitions as possible.
Jon, my friend no one really knows about, had the foresight to pump the breaks before there was potential for hanky panky and he and I were the bestest of buddies. I got along with his girlfriends.
It’s really, really great being friends with guys without having to wonder if the romance stuff is gonna work. Over the five years of dating I did, I learned that rarely do sex and friendship coexist at perfect ratios. That stuff is too volatile.
I’ve also figured out that the good guys who want to spend their free time with you because you make them laugh/think/wonder/care/relax are rare birds and gifts from God. They love you and you them and it isn’t a sexual thing. You don’t compliment each other. You’re too much alike. But it isn’t less. It’s just different. Just allow it to be whatever it is going to be and enjoy it.
But God help the women they marry. You won’t understand them and you might not even like them. What you have to figure out is whether they make him happy. Because if they do that, then you’ve no choice but to love them for loving your friend.
Me, on the other hand, well I’m certain that nothing but the most ardent, passionate, salt of the earth man will turn me from a marble goddess on a pedestal into human flesh. Good luck finding a Cary Grant or Spencer Tracey in these times. The guy who can tame me probably still wears a fedora and looks like Indiana Jones. Hot, but not really hanging out on every street corner.