This one really is for me.
I’m in the middle of a minor anxiety attack. I don’t know if it was the date. I don’t know if it’s because I really, really liked the attention but I feel guilty because I’m just not that into him. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like I’m cheating on Stephen.
I saw the way Charley was looking at me. I caught the little innuendos and compliments even when he thought I wasn’t paying attention. I like that he’s not all self concious but I am afraid that I will become 350 pounds one day too so it’s all I can do not to stare. I’m fairly certain that he knows how to treat a woman. I know that he is good to chat with. He looks at me like he really wants it to be me. He was suprised and thanked me for showing up. Don’t think that I didn’t consider bagging out but I thought it would be bad dating karma to stand up my first date in 9 years.
9 years. That was the last time I had a first date. At Casey’s. Where we drank too much beer and somebody put Silver Springs into the jukebox and we danced next to the pool table right before last call. And nobody seemed to mind. Not that we would have noticed. Stephen’s hands melted into mine. I nuzzled into his neck and he pulled me into him. It was hot and it was smokey. The rude lights came on. And there we were until the song ended. Our song.
I want to leave town. I want to run away. I want to start over and leave some of these memories here. The locations. The people. Not all of them. The ones that hurt too much. Like the receptionist at the eye doctor Nikole. She used to work at Gary’s. I saw the way she looked at me. Pity and wonder. She knows the whole story. And she probably wonders how I’m doing. How I am doing it. Just like everyone fucking else.
And I get the chance to go out. I get a man to take a second look. I get someone to take me all in…the whole picture…and he has decided that I am not damaged goods. He has made it clear that I am someone that he would like to know better. He has made it clear that I should see his apartment (an apartment!!) and meet his family. He has talked about me at work. At work!! We are Facebook friends. So now he knows wayyyy too much. And it’s all because I am an attention whore. Secretly. Closeted.
It isn’t there. The spark. The moment in early dating where you want to be around the other person all the time. Where you would give up sleeping and eating if it meant a few stolen moments. It’s not there. I have absolutely no desire to sleep with him. Or wake up next to him. Or have him meet my littles. Or my family. I wouldn’t want to introduce him to Bill. I am afraid for what my sister would say. Or think.
I am told that there is no comparison for Stephen. That he set the bar really, really high for all the other men out there, be it potential or current husbands. Things that he did, said, his actions…He was one of a kind. I know that he is not out there somewhere.
I miss his hands. I miss holding hands in bed, me on my side and he on his stomach fingers reaching toward each other even in slumber. I hate how I can’t drive across town and think that he once drove the same streets…
It’s not Charley. He will make a perfect husband. Mildly nerdish with the Sci-Fi movies and computer from scratch building. But he knows what he wants. He wants to be a dad and he wants forever. He wants the hand holding. He wants the walks at dusk and the trips to disneyworld.
He wants what Stephen had. What I was supposed to have forever.
It was one date. A good one by any standards. Not even a kiss goodnight…just an awkward side hug in a parking lot. No pressure. It’s not him. It’s me. It’s not his fault that Stephen died. And it isn’t his fault that he was my first. My rebound date.
I can’t stop thinking about what I have done. Much like the housework, I have sat in this chair and watched it get bad. And then I tackle the bare minimum only to get back into the chair. And I repeat and repeat and repeat. I haven’t done much. Only enough to get by. Only enough that CPS doesn’t come knocking. Only enough to be safe. Only enough to be healthy…and that could be argued because of my health track record from the last year.
I have to give him credit. He must have said the right thing to get me out of this chair. To put on clean socks and mascara. To hire a babysitter and leave the house. To flirt and joke. To toss darts with wild abandon. To forget for a little bit. To do more than just enough.
It’s not his fault. It’s not him. It’s me.