They say that when you are dating, you usually best find someone to be with when you aren’t looking for anyone at all. I never believed that before – with the invention of online dating, you can, if you choose, be presented with option after option and play the “numbers game” so to speak until you find someone acceptable. It’s more about statistics than luck when you’re working with personals sites, and I’ve always found that I meet more people that way than I do in real life. When your code is not to shit where you eat, and when you do not like the bar and club scene, or otherwise do much that would put you “out there”, online dating is really the only alternative.
That said, though, I am not looking. If you read “Open Letter”, you know why and, for the time being, I am trying to put myself in order. And so I have been throwing myself into work, into my writing, into some of my new projects, being with my friends and pursuing some new tactics to strengthen some of my other talents. Focusing on “me” for awhile while I wait for Bot to get himself together. It will make me better prepared to be who I need to be for whatever comes along.
And the funny thing is, all the times before when I wasn’t looking, no one materialized. Considering I am waiting for someone for the time being, I assumed that this strategy would be sufficient to employ while I took a break. It seems, this time, that I was wrong.
It started with work. It seems, anymore, it always starts with work. Part of my job is to acclimate new employees with the system that they are being hired to support or to develop. And a couple of weeks ago, I was given two new employees to work with. They were cool, these two kept me laughing through the majority of the day and made the orientation part of my job much easier. One suggested taking a trip to Coral Castle which intrigued the more exploratory side of my personality. I agreed to consider it, we exchanged phone numbers. I didn’t think anything more about it.
I didn’t think anything about it, either, when he asked if I wanted to have dinner with him that Friday night. I agreed to meet him… after all, the place we were going to was on my way and I had no reason not to. He’d wanted to do more – a movie, perhaps, and some other things, but dinner was sufficient. After all, I had other plans and I didn’t know him very well. So I met him for dinner, with the full intention of paying for it my own meal, the way that I normally do. And dinner was good… the food was fantastic, the conversation was kept light and unserious. But when the meal was over a couple of hours later, he insisted on footing the bill. I didn’t like feeling obligated, but there was not a whole lot that I could do beyond:
“You should know I do not shit where I eat.”
“Neither do I. I need a job, and I am staying where I am. At least until my desire to date you exceeds my desire to make money there.”
I was mortified when I left. I’d been conned into a date. I felt dirty – as if I were cheating, even though I knew I had done nothing at all. This was not going to happen again, I assured myself. I wasn’t at fault, here. Nothing happened beyond the dinner and while I had enjoyed myself, the energy here was contradictory to my own. As the events unfolded with The Groper and I got my office, I realized that now, with all of this swirling around me, I had to be even more careful. I have not gone out with him anymore, and I won’t – partially because I do not want to deal with the work drama and mostly because he continues to try to date me. He texts, I do not answer. I cannot stop him from talking to me at work, but I keep things cordial and distant. And when he enters my office, I am careful to stay on the other side of the room. Appearances are important there, but even moreso, I do not like feeling obligated to someone I have no interest in.
And then there is Gatsby. Called Gatsby because this is a man who has everything – everything but what he really wants. We’d dated before. The relationship had lasted for a little while, and then it had ended, ultimately, because things were too unstable to continue on as they were. We remained friends afterward, however, and I got invited to go to a pool party at his condo complex one evening. I showed up and, with some of his other friends, we had a party. There was alcohol. I drank… more than a little.
People began to leave, and still, I kept drinking, until it was just Gatsby and myself left behind. He offered to let me have the spare room that evening and because I was in no condition to drive, I agreed. We went for a walk that night – hit up last call at one of the bars downtown.
Alcohol, for me, is a truth serum. It exaggerates the mood that I’m in and makes me introspective. Downtown that night, drunk, I told Gatsby I needed to be alone for a moment and I walked away to perch on a concrete block in the park. I sat there, looking up at the moon, thinking about all that had happened and I began to cry – partially because of what had happened with the guy at work, partially because I was sitting downtown, drunk, when I had made a decision to stop drinking, partially because all I wanted was The Botboy and it did not look as if I were going to be able to have him. It was an awful feeling, and I hate to cry, and so, after shedding a tear or two, I rose and walked back to Gatsby who was waiting for me, awkwardly, on the sidewalk. I would have been fine, really, had he not asked if something was wrong and I started up all over again. He hugged me, walked me back to his house, and I went to bed in the spare room. At five the next morning, I paid dearly for the alcohol consumption – I was very, very sick – and swore never to drink again.
Gatsby and I hung out more that week. I felt guilty for crying on him like that, though he said it was okay, that he was glad to see that I was human, and the following weekend he told me that he thought he was falling for me again. I didn’t know what to say. We were friends. I didn’t want to lose that. But I knew it wouldn’t work, either. There was too much baggage from before – his friends don’t like me, and while it would be a smart match – the package is there, after all, there would be too much climbing, too much repairing, and it would not be the way to begin a relationship. I explained this to him. I hurt him, though I tried desperately not to.
And anyway, in the case of both Gatsby and Work Guy, it would be hardly fair to start something when my heart still belongs to Botboy. So clearly does it belong to him – enough so that I can uncharacteristically break down on the sidewalk in the middle of Downtown Tampa over it. And it doesn’t make any sense – he’d been incommunicado again. He was gone, or so I thought.
And then he wasn’t. We went out. We had a good time, he told me he wasn’t looking for anyone else, and, yet again, I decided to wait. Because what else could I really do? I cannot move forward – not in good conscience, with more than half of myself waiting for him to come back. It would not be fair to whoever I chose to try to move forward with.
I promised to wait until the end of the summer. Botboy and I make plans to see each other, he calls, he is like his old self again – lucid (for Botboy), funny, fun. And then he disappears, no word of confirmation or acknowledgement that we had these conversations, we go from daily messages to sporadic communication again, barely a sentence. I extend myself because he extends himself and then he runs away.
It is a vicious cycle. Especially for someone who demands reliability. I do, always, exactly what I say I’m going to do when I am going to do it. I was brought up to be this way. I demand it out of my friends. Bot, it seems, may be incapable of being reliable. It’s funny – he always was a few months ago. Now? I have a different Bot. And yet he is still a part of this Trifecta.
He is the only one that matters, really, because he is the only one that I want. Though wanting it, and waiting for it, is tiresome. And he acknowledges that – as much as he can, as he asks why I want him despite all of his imperfections. My answer? I want him BECAUSE of his imperfections and because I know what he can be. But I am forever worried that I will fuck it up, though I know that whatever is supposed to happen will happen and that when things do not go the way I want them to, it’s not due to my own lack of effort or my own unmaking. For once, I am blameless.
While chasing all of these other hobbies, I saw the psychic again. Because he was right about all of the other things the first time. And afterward, I went to the island to think about it all. I always have a choice. That’s the beauty of free will, readings tell you what will happen if you stay the course, but you always have the option to move right or left. I know what my choice is. I began it in December. I made it again, unconsciously, a couple of weeks ago, when I started the Housecleaning process and began to ward off the interest from the other admirers. I redoubled that decision yesterday – I know what the consequences will be, and I accept them.
I clean house because it is not fair to me or to the others to keep them around when nothing can happen. If I can be friends with them with nothing more expected, great. If I cannot, then they have to go. I wait for the Bot because this is not done. No one believes that it’s done… not my friends, not my counselors, not my own inner voices. It’s all about free will, and not just mine but his too – the will to wait, the will to walk, the will to work on things, the will to make them happen, the will to remember where we were and why we chose this.
Things are not as settled here as I would like, but at least there are no interferences. The Bot may not here completely right now, and I am not with him the way I would like to be. But I wait anyway, because I believe I am supposed to. And while I wait, I work on the final piece of this Housecleaning project:
To be Continued.