Monday, January 08, 2007

8 Months

It’s like ripping off a Band-aid. It’s better if you do it quick.

I was leaning over the kitchen sink pressing my palms to the cool, stabilizing metal while Mr. Wonderful slept in the bedroom. Over the last four of our eight-month relationship we had been slowly devolving into a stale, cold state of suspended animation. It’d been months since we danced in the kitchen or sang Radiohead in the car. A long time since he’d smiled at me with pure contentment in his eyes.

Sure there’s no emotional intimacy but it’s nice to not sleep alone.

I’d promised myself a relationship with a man who was crazy about me and up for building a partnership - family, kids, home - all that. Mr. Wonderful had been slowly pulling back into himself. For a while I’d reached out but when my hands weren’t taken, I’d retreated too. I carefully avoided reaching for him or pushing conversations that would ask too much of him.

But maybe it’ll get better. He’s such a great guy.

I splashed water on my face. In the cold, pre-dawn hours I had placed a hand on his back and he’d flinched in his sleep, pulled away. No, there was no getting better in the immediate forecast. I had to honor my promise to myself. Now in the mid-morning sun, I walked back from the kitchen and crawled back into bed. He smiled distantly. I know it was hurting him to know he was hurting me. I started The Talk.

Wait! Maybe if we went ahead on that weekend in Solvang. Maybe if we…

So now it’s done. I woke up in a relationship and went to bed out of one. The empty shelf in my closet makes my stomach knot. Should I not have asked if he wanted his things now? Then I’d have a shirt of his to snuggle and smell. And prolong the agony. I just broke up with a great guy. I push the panic back down. Yeah, a great guy who isn’t up for what I want. At least not right now. I remind myself. It’s like a Band-aid. Better if it’s quick.

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