I had this adorable picture of Guy & I taken at a company party a few years ago, (because we're adorable people) that I used to keep on my picture shelf of special people in my life. Family, friends...things Luke has made, and I decided to take it down in my anger and put it in a drawer. There's an empty place where his picture goes. It gnaws at me every time I look up and see the blank space. Likewise is the part of my heart that he has occupied and continues to occupy.
He literally IS the hardest person to stay mad at for very long, and I think I gave it a week this time around. My heart muscle might not be anatomically enlarged, but every emotion within it is too cavernous and absorbs too much out of too little. I don't think it's a character flaw; more like a very idealistic, dreamy, hopeless romantic chick thing.
Love. Fuckin' love. Sacred love. Agape love. Uncompromising love. Unconditional, forever love. Passionate love. Love for the sake of sex. Love with....
Le Estrango Mysterioso: The Friend Zone. If there's one thing I hate, it's being flopped into the Friend Zone, a life sentence where all hope is lost.
My Facebook "relationship status" is perpetually "It's complicated." 'Twas ever thus and it's the God's honest truth. Funny, the last time Guy and I went out, his explanation of getting to join my friend and I a nearby restaurant were, as he said, "it's complicated," which just made me laugh.
If love was a simple and uncomplicated emotion, it'd be a hell of a lot easier to circumvent and dodge like running with a ball in a rugby match. My bet is that a lot of us would totally avoid it, at all possible. If it could lessen our heartache, eradicate our emotion burdens, cushion our falls, prevent breakouts, stop the flow of tears, temper our tempestuous heartbeats up and down and back and forth and over and under, the flux of fucks would be completely less stressful. Alas, we're human. We're flawed. We're.....well....stupid sometimes.
Love ain't for keeping, so saith The Who a long time ago...It just isn't.
Last night, I thought that love would be much easier if it were like the night security guard at school, who only gives a shit who you are and how you're labeled from 6-9pm in the evening and I only see him once a week. It's the only time we have to physically show our ID's before we board the elevators. Apart from that, we can go incognito and anonymously about our days. So, it's not unlike wearing one's heart on one's sleeve.
Speaking of hearts and wearing them on sleeves, I have asked myself this question a thousand times:
IS everything alright?
Most definitely not.
Perhaps using Marty Balin's cheese-a-riffic early 80's hit, "Hearts" is a bad way to talk about heartbreak but it sure as hell is easier is funnier than anything *I* could come up with. Awesome graphics and even better karaoke captions...misspelled, misheard and all that kabibble.
Knock down, drag out via email last week or somewhere thereabouts with Guy Friend. I promised him, as he asked, to keep his stuff confidential, so I'll honor that and summarize his email in plain terms, paraphrasing courtesy of me:
(Now we see Marty Balin pretending his guitar is his girlfriend, and he's still locked in jail, but hey, a person has NEEDS, you know? Keep up the chastity, and I'll be snuggling up with my drum kit. "Hearts can be that way!")
In summary, this is what I got out of Guy's email: "I want to be on the peripheral of your life, barely seen out of the corner of your eye. You can't count on me to take you out, ever, I don't want to be a physical presence in your life, and my job and my family are waaaaay more important than you are to me. If I don't fit within the confines of how you define a 'friend,' it doesn't matter what you think of me, because I kinda don't think much about a relatively cute girl 16 years my junior having feelings for me. Oh, you HAVE feelings, Annie? Whoops. Stay upset with me as long as you need to, I'll be here for you, supporting you from a distance. You'll just never see me, but I believe in your abilities to be a successful individual, psychologist and mother. Keep a lid on that sanity....Good luck and take care!"
Guy's big on not wanting to be labeled. This is not new news to me, which is why he received the pseudonym of "Guy Friend" as opposed to his real name, same as Best Male Friend, but for very different reasons. He was my guy friend. He still is, if he's interested and I haven't driven him totally away. Had he been "Guy Lover," I would've come up with a better pseudonym. I don't know exactly what I really wanted out of the friendship, but I knew once we stopped working together, it messed up our propinquity (Oh, look it up for crying out loud!). I was part of a focal point (as was he in mine) in his life for a decent chunk of time almost every day, and it's difficult to speculate on how things would've worked out had I stayed at my job. (I know I wouldn't be in grad school, that's for sure.) So, a blessing in disguise. A push in the right direction. For that, I'm eternally grateful. I'm happy to have Guy in my corner, though my sense is that he doesn't want to be there in the first place.
My response to Guy's email was biting, vindictive, hostile but a no less truthful synopsis of what our relationship has been thus far...going on 4 years, circling the drain. I pointed out all the incongruencies I found regarding the words uttered by him versus how he behaves and what he does. And to think, I never got to find out of he thought I was cute or not! He never said! I may have been frank and unfriendly, but he sort of set himself up for that with his missives. So yes, essentially, I've spent the last couple of weeks utterly heartbroken and wandering around like a tearful, lost little lamb.
He said when I left my job that he'd never abandon me. But his contact is so sporadic, which he acknowledges, it's like I'm a transparent afterthought he deals with on an as-needed, when-he-gets-around-to-it basis. I wish I could go back to the night we saw The Flaming Lips together a couple of summers ago. It truth, it honestly was one of the greatest nights of my life. I got to see both of the important men in my life at the same time. I felt truly connected to Guy and we swayed together to "Do You Realize?" (Which just got dropped as the Oklahoma State Rock Song, by the way. Fucking Republicans!) Maybe a mistake on my part, but that's not what my gut is saying to me. Guy behaved and responded effortlessly but we were both awkwardly nervous, since we'd never seen one another socially before. Yet now, I'm just a shadow on a wall. A very, uh, well represented shadow on a prison wall, as seen below.
"Hearts can break..."
I wish love had an on/off switch. I wish the prison which engulfs us would loosen its bars. It did for Marty Balin! He just walked right out of his cell and into another one. What a dope! And double ick, now he's in a tank top. (No, to the best of my knowledge, Guy doesn't wear tank tops...thank God.)
"Is everything ok? I just thought I'd write a song..."
I've tried songs, lots of CD mixes. I've tried original poems. I've tried cards. I've tried letters. If my point never got across, he is One. Clueless. Man. But I don't think that's the case. I think he's One. Avoiding. Man.
Similar to not apologizing for the broken plans, again, he never came out and said "I don't love you." But he hasn't come out to say "I love you" in quite some time, while I always do or try to. It was a regular thing when we first hooked up (as friends). Now I'm lucky I get a "take care" at the end of an email. It's most downtrodding.
The week or so prior to a few Thursday nights ago we'd spent a decent chunk of time flirtatiously bantering via text and planned a dinner date (I did, anyway). I had no idea how the date would go, and I was very nervous. I don't know if that contributed to his bailing on me, but it grated my nerves even on anxiety meds. I had certain "expectations" at a friend of mine would coin it. Oh, bollocks!
All of this shit hit the fan when I was patiently waiting for Guy to pick me up and go out for dinner after work that Thursday evening. I was prettied up and ready by 7 pm...then 8 pm....then 9 pm...which he knew, which he didn't respond via text to until close to midnight...hours later, after which I'd chucked the whole date in the dustbin and put my pajamas on. He wasn't coming. He didn't have the common courtesy of a 30-second text to say "No, I can't go out tonight. Raincheck?" Nothing. I waited. I delayed my nighttime medications by 5 hours, which drove me nutso and shaky and unstable, which I tried to explain to him the next day or so is just cruel, not just irresponsible. I told him bipolars need to stick to a pretty strict medication schedule or else hell breaks loose pretty quickly, for which I blamed him. I suppose I could've said "Enough with you" at around 9 pm and just taken my meds (2.5 hours late at that point), but I was feeling optimistic and hadn't heard anything. And I hadn't seen him since before he went to South America, and had been missing him. (If I'm so on the edgy peripheral of his life, why, then, did he text me like minutes after he landed on a plane in the USA after his vacation? Just so I wouldn't panic anymore? Oh, too late, Guy.)
Yikes! Marty Balin is taking his clothes off to another phantom painting of his lady love on the wall of his jail cell. Very remarkable rendition, if I do say so myself.
The evening was made all the more haunting given the last CD's I gave him, which were, ironically, all about how he wasn't in love with me, was tearing me apart, and that for a crazy person, I was at least interesting. A mix he'd received before he went to South America. I don't know what his reaction to the music or my frank liner notes could've been, but he must have been spooked out. What's frightening is how incredibly accurate the songs were that I chose. Prophetic. Self-fulfilling defeat.
Not included in the recent mixes, but Go, Keef, Go:
I know for a fact that he checked my blog in Santiago, as there was a tracking report generated from there, and I'm not particularly popular with Chileans in general, and for having one chance at a satellite cell service which was oodles of $$$, he took the time while he was gone to see what I was up to. Also not a peripheral thing to do. So spare me the bull of the "I don't care what you call me" line, Guy. Seriously.
"Love can fade away."
Oh look! Balin's mysterious lover got into the jail for a conjugal visit. Mazel tov!
Because I'm a dreamer and idealist, the only summation I can deduce regarding the whole Guy things stems from fear on his part. Yes, he is committed to his job foremost, which takes up a huge chunk of his time, which I do understand, but still think in 4 or 5 hours, emergencies notwithstanding, he could've had the courtesy to cancel dinner.
He's tight with his family, which I get and wasn't trying to intrude upon, honestly. He knows how I feel about him. To my closest friends, he's taking the "Hate me so I don't have to break your heart because I'm making you think I'm such an asshole" route. It's patronizing, as one friend said. My theory is that Guy feels the opposite of how he came across in that email, but I could be very, very wrong. My heart wants to think that way, in any case. It's just easier on me.
Carl Jung, my favorite psychological theorist, said, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed." Most definitely. When we worked together, I was the total "work wife." Chemistry? Oh come on, now. I've probably beaten this horse to death, but I swear it was from the first time I saw him. Now I feel like the "work ex-wife," and I'm not getting any alimony on top of it (unless you count unemployment)!
Woody Allen said, in "Shadows and Fog," a film with then-partner Mia Farrow, that "the only kind of love that lasts is unrequited love." I'm starting to agree with that. By all accounts, how I feel shouldn't even be an issue at this point, as it was much more topical, say, 3 years ago.
"Hearts can be.....is everything alright?"
Aw, man, they speed away off the island of Alcatraz in a speedboat? They busted out? That like never happens in real life.
I knew an escape route myself. I had this elaborate scenario mapped out, based on a performance art piece I'd seen recently, for Guy and I to perform. Two people have a majorly huge, passionate love affair, then split up, whereupon each walked from one opposite end of the Great Wall of China until they met in the middle. They hugged, didn't say a word, cried, and pledged never to see one another again. They wouldn't reunite until around 20 years later, when the man in this situation showed up at one of her art installation exhibits. I thought that sounded like a logical plan for Guy & me. But it already seems half true, just minus China. And I hate that. He doesn't want to see me, it would seem. Or if we do, it'll certainly be on his terms, not my nagging "Can we have dinner THIS week?" bullshit, apparently.
I did come up with one brilliant idea: From now on, anyone I decide to be friends with, no matter whom they might be, should be pre-screened alone in a room with Luke. He's a WAY better judge of character than I am & can weed out the good versus the bad in people. He's got a serious asshole radar, and asks difficult questions. If the person emerges victorious or passes Luke's inspection, I may consider lunch. Otherwise, you're out the door and out of the running. And trust me, my boy can kick serious ass behind that teddy bear facade.
I hate having relationships go sour a month before my birthday, yet it seems chronic. What's worse is that Guy's birthday is only 4 days before mine. We've celebrated together a few times. I know the cheeky thing I want to get him, because I'm not in the mind frame to get him something totally thoughtful, like I usually do. And it's not like we have plans in the first place...
Oh, you don't know how I wish I could fall out of this feeling as quickly as I fell into the sinking sand. It's up to my neck ready to choke me at this point. The question remains: Will Guy throw me a long rope and pull me out to safety? Can we be real friends? That would require give AND take. It doesn't work out unless we both work at it. John Lennon said at some point that nurturing a relationship was a lot like taking care of a plant. It has to be watered--it can't just sit and dry out. It takes care and is delicate.
I want to be able to put Guy's picture of us back on the shelf, and I'm extremely forgiving. But I need to know if he's my friend. My real Guy Friend. I know he's in there somewhere.
(Guy, if you skim this entry, in your due time, do watch the videos. Each was picked very purposely.)
Ok, the suspense is KILLING you all, I'm sure. The Marty Balin clip for "Hearts," with inaccurate subtitles!
It's hysterically awful, isn't it?