I turned 40 without any fanfare. My usual birthday tradition of buying myself new books at the bookstore, out to lunch, and aimless meandering. But this day my head was full of P. I couldn’t shake him. I was seeing the whole day through a lens of what I thought it would look like to him. Simultaneous self-consciousness and thrilling exhibitionism. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and sent him a text saying I wanted to come steal a few kisses. He responded by writing, “Lucky me”. So I blew off the pedicure and drove to his apartment.
He didn’t answer the door right away and I had a sinking fear that he was out with another woman. We owe each other nothing, or hardly anything. It’s new enough between us that it would just be weird if I made demands of him, or he of me. But it would still hurt if he were with someone else. He answered, heavy eyed, shirtless. “I was taking a rest,” he said, stepping back to let me in. I ignored the terrible mess that dominates his apartment and set my stuff down on the crumb-layered day bed. He stepped toward me, hand to my head, and kissed me. Such a wonderful, tentative, eager, hello kiss. It was confident. Like he knew I wanted it. I realized then that I wanted to owe him my time and affection.
We went to cuddle in the bedroom, which inevitably led to a hot and heavy make out session. P likes to hold me tight, and kiss me like we’re saying good-bye forever. It kills me, takes my heart and just smushes it into a mess. He sucks on my lower lip, feeds me sexy moans, works me up until I’m all laid out like well kneaded bread dough. That’s as far as we go. P is terrified of getting a woman pregnant. Like me, he’s dealing with an ex and a kid. It’s not going well. That day we ended up sweating and quivering, pinned together and trying to catch our breath. He asked me if I was okay and I said yes. It didn’t even occur to me to ask him. I just assume that I like him so much more than he likes me. That’s my default. Later, when we were walking to my car, he commented that he was dizzy. “I feel like I just went through a whirlpool of sexual desire,” he said.
I dropped him off near his daughter’s bus stop. He can tell I’m falling hard for him. I even said “I love you” while making out. Catching our breath I said, “That’s an ‘I love you because you’re fucking me’,” which was only partly true. Before getting out of the car, P said “It’s just that when people start to be in love there’s all these demands on your time and what you’re allowed to do”. I did some generic reassuring that I’m not gonna do that, that’s not how I feel, I just want to love him. Like I’m some Altruistic Love Angel capable of pouring it all out while he fucks off and fucks around. I’m so sick of wounded people who are afraid of being loved, of giving love. But the unwounded don’t unlock anything in me.