“I’ve changed,” I told him via chat a couple of months ago, “I don’t want to be naked with a man who I’m not intimate with. Before, I guess two and three years ago, I could use a man physically. Have him kiss me. Have him nurse on my breasts. Use him to make me feel good. But that doesn’t bring me pleasure anymore. I can’t do the meaningless sex. If there’s not intimacy, it just leaves me empty. It doesn’t feel good.”
Exactly. A sugar rush; empty calories. But… why? Why was it acceptable before, and now the realization that it’s just… nothing. Here I thought it was just me, a quirk of my personality and philosophy. Now, all of that protecting isolation of self-questioning was being challenged by her admission. Another person with the same self-questioning. Or do we mean different things by “intimacy”?
“I’ve been there for a while,” he said.
“It makes it frustrating,” I typed, “because I really want an adventure, but I’m not willing to settle for it without tenderness and caring. So I’m just doing without.”
“We’re both doing without.”
“How long since you last had sex?”
“With a person?”
“Well, yeah… I’m assuming you give sheep a wide berth.”
“Sheep? Sure. But I’d never turn down a goat.”
“Ok, seriously,” I said, chuckling to myself, “How long?”
“Well, I came a couple of hours ago. But the last time I was with a woman… It’s been at least six months.”
“Ugh,” I commiserated, “God, I need sex. I’m so fucking horny.”
“You and me both,” he said.
I let that process for a minute, staring at the cursor on the screen. I had known this blogger for over a year and a half. We had exchanged emails, chats and even talked via Google voice, our relationship settling into an easy friendship. I had baited him in the past, to see if he was interested in being more than my friend and each time he had swatted away the advance, like an old cat, no longer really invested in the red laser light—willing to follow it across the room with his eyes, but hop up and pounce at it… no. Not happening.
So when I typed, “You could just come fuck me. Then we’d both be good.” I did so expecting a laugh and then deflection. A flick of my little finger and the impulse invitation was sent.
“You have never told me you want me to just come fuck you, heh.”
“Why don’t I tell you that?” I asked, trying to get a read on his thoughts.
“I don’t know why you don’t.”
He wasn’t letting me get a read. Not yet. He was making me step outside my comfort zone. With a careful phrasing, I took a step closer.
“If I did, would you? I guess I thought you just wouldn’t.”
I had never truly looked inside myself to answer. Would I. Would I see myself as being part of the distracted masses if I did? Would I want to reach for that brass ring and gauge if our intimacy needs… requirements… transcend that physical desire for connection?
Would I think less of myself if I allowed myself to engage that way? Would it be a compromise of what I had decided I wanted at this stage?
The temptation was strong. The paths were complex, convoluted and a tangled skein of desire—not just physical—and wishes to maintain our state of togetherness by keeping things the current way. Until the time was truly right.
“Heh, I told you a long time ago I’d see you when I was next in your state… and I am willing to get the fuck out of town to see people who I want to see, thus any time can be a time that I’m your way. TO SEE YOU. Ergo, it extends from there, no?”
I actually felt my focus shift.
“Well, can you come next week? Or yesterday? I don’t think you quite understand how angsty I am.”
“Hmmm, yesterday, no,” he sensibly replied, “Next week… when?”
In a matter of hours he had a flight booked for the following Wednesday. The anticipation leading up to his arrival was palatable. He was coming. To see me. He was dropping everything. To come see me.
There are a few points in life where hopeless romantic “lost souls” make a decision. We choose to keep walking, continuing our search for… whatever. Or we throw ourselves into that vision we see. The potential of that vision.
This vision was… her. The person I saw through all of the deflection, misdirection, and encapsulation of self. I was going to do everything in my power to show that the shit she often pulled wasn’t necessary. That she was enough. Even if it was for a few, brief hours and that’s all she would take from it. It would be enough, because nothing could change that for her—for us—after.
Bombastic? Fuck. I also thrive on the impossible.
But it wasn’t to be. The insane weather that had been ripping across these United States shut down not one, but dozens of airports, including the four he attempted to fly out of. When he texted that all hope of reaching me that night was gone, that he had given it all he had and it wasn’t enough, I felt the roller coaster of emotion crest and take a stomach-flipping dive to the bottom of a deep hill. It wasn’t going to happen. The naked intimacy I so longed for wouldn’t be delivered. In that moment, it didn’t occur to me that he would try again.
“Can we talk tonight?” I texted back.
“Of course,” he said.
That night, instead of being physically intimate, we spent four hours on the phone, talking into the wee hours of the morning. Baring souls. Sharing ideas. Telling stories. Laughing. Being emotionally intimate. When I woke up the next morning, phone still cradled in my hand, I realized that if he had been above nature’s power and made it to my side, the connection, though still strong, would not have reached the heights it did during those hours when we bridged the distance with our voices rather than our bodies.
Now, weeks later, as we lay naked in a hotel in a city neither one of us can claim as our own, the emotional and physical merged at last, he lifts my right hand and kisses my little finger. That little finger that with a gentle flick, not unlike the beat of a butterfly’s wings, set it all in motion.
It didn’t just feel right. It was right.