There are three things I know for sure:
- The past resonates.
- Everything happens for a reason
- Everyone who comes into your life, even if for only a short period of time, does so for a reason also – often simply to show you something.
Those of you that have been with me since the beginning may remember the Metalhead story. My best friend who became a lover for a couple of months, who was homeless and who stayed with me for a bit before he joined a cult and ran out the door, convinced that I was the devil.
A couple of months after that, as I predicted, his short attention span won out and he got tired of said cult, got out, went back to normal (or, normal for him). We talked for a long time and became friends again. Whatever happened then, it doesn’t overshadow the fact that I have known him for the entire length of time that I have lived in Florida, that he can look at me and know (despite how well I try to hide it) whether I’m upset, or in pain, or not feeling well. He is one of the best friends I have ever had, he is incredibly loyal, and I know better than to throw people like that overboard.
Six months ago, after Botboy left, he was integral in creating the distraction I needed so that I could get out of the darkness I was drowning in. He pulled me out, essentially, and I helped him too – giving him shelter, cooking for him when he allowed it, and being there for him too when he had his first panic attack (which scared the crap out of me, by the way, because I thought he was dying).
But as I’ve said countless times before, the past resonates. It repeats. You don’t get do-overs necessarily, but time cycles… it turns… it always comes back to where it started and when it does, pieces of the past come with it, creating familiar shapes, colors, and images. We are back to that cycle. Because Metalhead is homeless again, living in his car. Botboy has disappeared again (for all intents and purposes) for the time being. I am not in the same amount of darkness that I was in before, but it is still hard to get my brain to shut up. Metalhead is not living here – we are not sleeping together, and things are different this time. But Metalhead started having those panic attacks again – however more frequently, rapidly, and seriously than the one he had months ago.
He didn’t tell me, at least for awhile, that they’d gotten so bad. He’d come over here when I could convince him to and hang out with me. I’d meet him out on the town and we’d sit at the bar watching TV and having a drink or two. Though we don’t do that as much now that he’s seen me at work (one night I picked up two visiting Marines and the bartender – though I did nothing with them since Metalhead made me leave and talked some sense into me in the parking lot). In fact, I had no idea that it was so serious until the day that he canceled plans with me because he was being admitted into the hospital for them. He wouldn’t tell me where he was, though I assumed (rightly) that he was in Tampa General. I texted him for a bit that night, keeping him company the only way he would allow me to. I think, when he told me he was going to try to deal with this shit (the panic attacks, the homelessness, the financial stuff) alone, I snapped. I told him that when he got out of the hospital, I wanted him over here – he did not need to be sleeping in his car anymore. I told him that he had resources that could and wanted to help him if he’d just get his head out of his ass and stop being so stubborn. I don’t usually talk to him like that (or anyone else). I don’t see, normally, that it does any good. That night it must have. They released him the next afternoon, he tried to go back to work, found that he couldn’t, and asked if he could sleep over here. Of course I said yes. He came over, I bought pizza, we watched stupid stuff on TV, and we slept.
More often than not, since that day, he’s been here. When he’s not, which is usually the weekends, he’s with his military buddies. I want to make it abundantly clear that while the past resonates, and obviously it is doing so, Metalhead and I are not having sex. He physically can’t, due to the beta blockers they’ve put him on, and even if he could, I’m not letting it resonate that way. Having him here, though, is distracting. Because all of that went down the same weekend that I sent that last letter to Botboy, telling him that I wasn’t waiting anymore due to his failure to communicate. Metalhead was not with me when I sent it, though he knew about it. I could easily fall back into the darkness if I let myself, but the thing is, Metalhead keeps me too busy… being here for him, giving him a safe space to crash, focusing on his issues instead of my own, keeps me distracted – and focused on something other than what’s going on in my pathetic little world.
And so we spend most nights in my apartment. I’m usually writing or watching TV, sometimes reading. Metalhead comes in after he’s done at work, sometimes sets up a machine that he’s configuring for someone else at my kitchen table and works on that, sometimes sits next to me on the futon, reading his own stuff. Sometimes we’ll watch TV together, but more often than not, we’re doing our own thing in companionable silence. He sleeps in my bed, because I have the most comfortable bed in Tampa (for serious, I’ve put a lot of time and money into this thing), complete with the white noise-sound machine experience. And because sometimes, even when there is no sex, it is just nice to be held when you sleep. And he does that sometimes in the middle of the night, like he knows without me having to tell him that that’s when my demons are at their worst.
There is no romantic relationship blossoming between us. And there will never be. We both want different things. But he’s here, not just as a distraction, and not just to comfort me when I need it (and vice versa), but also, I think, to show me something. Because I realized something this last week when he was here and we were sitting in companionable silence. That’s what I want in a relationship… it’s nice to have someone to go out with. I have had that before, and when I want to do something with someone, it’s nice to know that there is someone to do it with. But ultimately, what I’m looking for, is someone to come home TO. Someone I can sit with in that silence, without needing to feel like I have to entertain them all the time, without having to feel like we need to “go, go, go”. Someone who is “here” while we do things separately, but once we’re both done working, who I can chat with about what we just finished – or about something else – without needing to feel guilty over having just spent hours working on something that didn’t involve the other person.
I think I always knew that’s what I was looking for, but I guess sometimes I need a reminder. I guess, with this cycle, I got that reminder.