Like just now I was staring at my own foot trying to see it a different way. The way he sees my feet. It makes me think about how some of the things he seems to like best about me are things I don't do intentionally. Or things I am naturally, without decision. Without trying. Like how I don't get upset when he drives all crazy. I like it. I like it when he is silly and ridiculous and obscene and inappropriate and shocking, even when I don't/cannot participate.
I ask him if he wants me to forget and he says, "I don't know." He doesn't know what he wants. I know what I want. Always things I can't have, I suppose. But I want to be loved enthusiastically. Without reservation. Without having to wonder what I'm doing wrong. What part of me is not good enough for a sure answer. I try to be patient. I try to be understanding and unobtrusive and accommodating. I smile when it hurts. I'm silent when I want to complain. But I want more. Or less even. This hovering over the line thing makes me confused. It's not fair. Because I can't even see anyone else. I don't even notice those other guys.
And I should. When they hint that they would like my number I should give it to them. When they want my attention I should linger a little longer. This is the first time in my life that guys actually pay attention to me. I should be dating and learning things and getting hurt and falling in love and generally experiencing life. I could, I think. But I don't know how. And I don't really want to. I want to hang out with my best friend.
Last night at the bar that guy kept putting his hands on me. A friend of a friend. He touched my arm. I didn't mind. He slid his hand across my shoulders. Down my back and back up. Touched my face. Guided me closer to his bar stool till his knees were against my thighs. Kept saying things like, "Sarah Jo, you really are very attractive." "Sarah Jo, you have such a nice smile." "You smell so good." And then, "I'll probably never see you again." "I would ask for your number but that would be pointless, wouldn't it?" "I'll never forget you, Sarah Jo." I smiled. I talked to him. I tried not to say anything too encouraging. He was attractive. He was lean and seemed strong. He was fun to talk to. And it felt nice, having someone pay so much attention to me. But I didn't want him or the invitation he represented.
And it is so strange to me that these words and these touches weren't shocking to me. Before, some strange "before" whose date I can't name, it was all scary to me. To have people touch me at all. And then I learned to be okay with things like sitting so close that our bodies touch. Having people touch places that aren't directly involved in a hug. I nearly panicked the first time my best friend slid his hands down my back during a hug. Hands should stay strictly in the upper-back region for hugs. But I liked it after I got over the shock. So when this stranger casually slides his hand lower than my shoulder blades, I'm prepared for the way it feels. But I was still thinking about it. I wonder if I'll ever be so comfortable that I don't think about it.
The look in his eyes. The bar-stranger. I've seen it only a couple times now. My best friend doesn't look at me that way. I learned that look from other men. But I think "interest" is the best way to describe it. It's not the twinkling, playful look I get sometimes when they flirt with me. This one is more of a heated look. Like he doesn't care what I have to say. And all of his words are planned, measured, and spoken to achieve a goal. It makes me uncomfortable because I don't want them. I should only see that look when I'm with someone and I love him and he loves me and we have both decided that we absolutely should not wait any longer and I want something from him and he wants the same thing from me. Then we can measure our words and give just the right look. But not from strangers.
I keep looking. Trying to find the one I notice who notices me too. One who is playful and smart and nice. Maybe he is a tough guy with tattoos and facial piercings. Maybe he is nerdy with those black-framed glasses and a terrible haircut. Maybe he dresses nice and has every hair on his head just-so and smells like cologne. Maybe he is something I can't anticipate. But I keep finding myself comparing. And that IS ridiculous. Because the things I want now are things I didn't know I wanted till I found them in him. Why do I expect that my Person will have these qualities? Maybe he is made of yet other things I don't know to look for because I have not and will not see them until I find him.
I just know I need to follow the advice of that graffiti sprayed on a bridge, "Take a step back from everything." Because I find myself becoming too attached. And that would be okay if the feeling were mutual. But it's horrible to think about and miss a person and know that they probably didn't even want to see you. And it's horrible to cross my arms because I just want to reach out and touch him. And it only got a thousand times worse after New Years Eve.
I'm impatient. Usually, once I decide I want something I just go after it with reckless abandon. But I can't do that this time. And being patient is hard work. And apparently I have a narrow focus. I pay a lot of attention to one thing at a time and then I miss everything else going on around me. So I suppose that is two things I need to learn.
Be patient. Widen my focus.
I've been impatient and single-minded my whole life.
Writing really does make me feel better.