Thursday, 23 October 2014
Just Don't Fall in Love with me
Mark came into my life just a little bit before the shit hit the fan with John. We met via our work network and will probably work together some time in the future. He pursued me lightly when I was with John. John got very jealous very fast, and I needed to ask him to take a step back to protect me from John's rage. A while after John and I split up, Mark and I started getting a bit more intense with each other. I was still reeling with grief and shock after the whole thing crashed, and Mark was very mindful of the fact that I was vulnerable. He played with me, but also kept his distance as best he could. He wasn't in any space to start a relationship with me and didn't want me getting hooked on him - he wouldn't have wanted to break my heart. Good man.
I did realise I was at risk of falling for him. Just like Berlin, I would be hanging on, waiting for his messages, and crushed when I didn't hear from him for days on end. He was really worrying about me falling for him but didn't want to bail on me either. I was getting sad and cross and doing the whole projection dance with him. He just held me kindly at arm's length and let me flail until I got tired. He got me more at that time than I got myself. He had my back. I'm grateful.
When I realised how much I was reeking of desperation, I started up some online and Tinder chats, and also upped the flirtation levels of some other boys I've known over time. That gave Mark the distance he needed me to have from him, and it helped me see more and more how much I had been projecting onto Mark what actually had been mine. I stopped being pissed at him for being so unavailable to me, and instead enjoyed him, and any of the other boys who popped in and out of my inbox, instead.
Then we slept together. Just once. It wasn't a mind-blowing moment by any means. For either of us. But I do smile every time I remember it. I was sad, for a bit, that we hadn't been able to find the deep sensual and emotional connection I know sex can be. But then I remembered that even John and I didn't start out very strong sexually. It took us a little while to find one another and then our connection and passion blew the scales! Mark was closed. Afraid, I think, that opening physically to me too much would tip me over the edge. And also wrestling with his own issues about his sad marriage and who he wants to be in that. He told me very soon after that he was now very clear to himself that he's not cut out for adultery. He was heading back into his marriage to make it work. We were done. I felt sad and unfinished somehow -I wanted us to find some level of connected bliss that we would both be able to revisit every now and then. I wanted to help him find a way to open his heart for a while, and find some joy with me. But I completely respected his decision to make it work at home. No ways I was going to fuck with that!
Because I suffer from regular bladder infections (UTIs), I have a cardinal rule: pee after sex. I forgot that night. And so, a few days after, the predictable thing for me began. My UTI. A weird one. Which at first I thought could be a STD from either Mark or John. Ugh. So I had to have excruciatingly humiliating conversations with them both. That freaked Mark out completely, predictably. John just behaved like a complete asshole about it. Then promised to get tested. Then never did. I got tested. I was clear. So false alarm. Ugh again.
The UTIs persisted. I got sicker. Then my period was late. Later. Even later. I don't think I ever had the courage to tell Mark that part - I suspected he'd run for the hills forever. I couldn't be pregnant, I kept telling myself. I'm practically infertile anyway. And now already 46! Eventually my period arrived 16 days late! Seems the crazy periods were synching with the craziness that was becoming my life! Nothing was normal anymore. Mark headed off on holiday with his family, and I fell into Berlin, and then that deep hole - hospital!
So now, a few months later, we finally got together for lunch yesterday. I was so happy to see him. Hahaaaaa - I decided to freak him out a little by wearing my shortest denim shirt and made sure he got a cute panty flash as he arrived. It worked! We were playful and flirty together immediately and that kind of cleared the air of all the discomfort and 'Ugh' stuff we'd had to deal from before. We talked. We connected. We laughed. It was just lovely!
Mark hinted playfully that he would be up for breaking my '100 days of Solitude' sex fast. NO idea whether that's real or play. Suddenly it doesn't matter. He drove me to my car. I leaned over to kiss him lightly goodbye and squeezed his hand. Yup. The old connection was there. It was playful, light and nice. No pressure. Just affirming connectedness.
Last thing he said was "Just don't fall in love with me".
I won't Mark.
I'm learning how to protect my heart. You have been my teacher. I might teach you how to open yours' a bit.
But I'm so glad we're back. I missed him.