The second date

I’m not even sure if you can call it a date – Tinder hookups so rarely rate that level of commitment and decorum – let’s call a spade a spade really.  So perhaps I should title this “the second potential sexual encounter”?

He arrived and it was genuinely good to see him – we’ve both been explicit and clear that neither of us are looking for “love” or a “relationship” in the traditional sense.  (Part of me wonders if my protestation is a protection, and do I perhaps protest too much??)  But I had found myself during the day thinking about how lovely it would be to just be with another adult and being comfortable in my skin enough to relax and enjoy it.

That slow, awkward reunion between two people who have been at their most intimate physically but have remained closed and distant emotionally is a unique experience – an odd mixture of a kiss of hello which is far more than a congenial peck on the cheek and the hug that is held a little too long for just casual acquaintances.  The slow dance of knowing – knowing what will occur (although both of us continue to play coy as it suits) but not wanting to jump straight in – there is some kind of decorum and etiquette at play here.  Where I once would have found this frustrating, I find myself relaxed into the moment of it – happy to travel at the pace that is set by all of the constraints and not trying to force some behaviour or agenda.  What will come will come (and I make no excuses for the pun).  This is a new space with me.  And I anticipate that over time, I will become better at being in the moment.

He left a helmet at my house.  Trying not to read too much into it – but that’s a thrill.

The drive up the mountain – our assurances that neither of us wanted to give each other acquired brain injuries – light gentle banter that requires no effort.  I find myself feeling positive about my ability to communicate and hold my own in conversation.  I feel competent.  I feel adult and interesting and unencumbered by the pressure to perform and respond.

We walked around the top of the mountain – he wanted to be close – he wanted to hold my hand, put his arm around me – he wanted me.  Such a foreign experience that I find myself saying thank you over and over.  That I’m not flinching away or overly compensating.  I can see myself enjoying just walking outside with him.  And, like me – he needs his creature comforts, so the likelyhood of needing to go camping is low on the agenda.  We watched a sunset and apprciated the beauty.  We talked about how small you can feel when the world that you know stretches out in that glittering blanket beneath you.  We kissed on that blanket and it was good, sweet and a little bit like what I’ve been missing.

Dinner was lovely – not having to explain food and eating was relaxed and interesting.  He is opening slowly, book like – revealing small moments one at a time.  His confession that he was really touched by my lack of reaction to his revelation hit a sad chord somewhere in my chest – I can see the hurt that has been placed there – and the struggle of a journey that he is still travelling.  As I said to him, I was so touched and surprised that he felt safe enough to trust and share and disclose that I can’t possibly imagine what other reaction to have.  And really – who am I to judge – let’s step back for a moment here and look at my various foibles – what person would I be if I responded in horror and alienation when I enjoy the kind of sex that leaves me unable to sit down without a grimace?

We make each other laugh and this is where my fear sits.  I don’t want love / relationship / commitment.  But the coil of jealousy stirs in my belly when he talks of other people that he’s chatting to – that he’s met with.  I don’t demand exclusivity – I have no right, certainly not if I continue in my approach…. and yet….  I battle not to text every day – that’s what scared S away.  I must breathe into the other things in my life and not fall, flailing and ungainly into someone else’s path with the desperation of the lonely.

We talk about language and words and intellect and then fall into fits of giggles at the silly innuendo we make – or the shape of some kind of cloud or some strange pop culture reference.  He likes The Pillow Book.  I’m experiencing that moment where I kind of want to say – you had me at hello.  He is the kind of geek that I appreciate because he has more depth than simple role playing and marketing in his pockets.  And this journey of discovery – this pathway that he is taking is inspiring.  Not just in a risk taking let’s jump off a building kind of way but almost.

The sex is fun – silly but also intense.  It lasts.  I still lie.  It’s not entirely untrue – but I am cogent, conscious and aware that I am playing the part of the creature who he likes to hear.  He extended himself – took on some of the things we had talked about – and so sweetly apologised after.  He’s good, I let him do things that I don’t normally tolerate because I wanted to.  But again – there is no expectation.  There was one point this time where I nearly unraveled – but the thought of having to explain, through my haze of tears that this was healing and good and therefore too hard and too much was far to complex an idea.  So I buried her, deep down again and pulled on the mask.  I would like to think I am comfortable being completely naked around him, but in reality I’m not.  Not yet.  And the I could be in time is the fear – for that way leads to darkness and he’s already said he’ll run from it.  And I believe him.

The newness is refreshing.  It is freeing.  It’s also dangerous.  Attachment forms.  Feelings grow and feathery strings of want and more grow out of this fertile soil of newness.  I find myself wanting more.  Chastising myself for it. Sad that people are coming into my life that repeat the same pattern – wrong time, wrong place, wrong bed.

I am attracted to unavailable men because it means that they are ultimately unatainable – I can be safe in the knowledge that they will leave me and thus reaffirm the believe that it is me that isn’t good enough.  If I was good enough I would have found them earlier and it would have been me, not someone else.

And oh how comforting that harsh light of day is to my sleepy brain.

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