I'm not sure, but I think that Jon-El Williams and I are heading toward becoming Lovers. It's disconcerting. I've been trying to figure out the difference between Boyfriends and Lovers, and I can't come up with anything more specific than it seems like boyfriend/girlfriends see each other more regularly - in an ordinary sort of way. For example, Velvet and Cupcake are always meeting up and doing stuff like errands, or going to the movies or hanging out with friends. They're an established couple and get invited places together.
The Man from San Antone and I were like that, and I suppose it was like that with Buzz Kill, too. I must have had other boyfriends - but I was so focused on getting married back in college that guys who weren't marriage material never lasted more than a few days. And if they were marriage material, we got engaged. I liked being engaged to Ed who went away in the Peace Corps - at least until he really went away in the Peace Corps. Then it was a drag to be engaged to someone who was clear across the world. I still think I got engaged to Jack, who reminded me of the Poor but Honest Farm Boy on Sesame Street, just to spite the Man From San Antone.
A few days after I got engaged to Jack, the Man from San Antone asked me to accompany him to the Bahamas. When I told Jack I was going off with The Man, Jack made it clear that he thought girls who are engaged to one man don't even entertain the idea of traveling with another. I told him that was provincial nonsense. The next thing you know, he was back with his old girlfriend and I was hanging out with The Man from San Antone although we didn't really travel together for a few more years. We were only 19 or 20, after all. We were engaged twice, me and The Man, first in 1980 which led to my realization that I was much more interested in a big party and a new dress than getting married. That realization turned into a series of major acid parties that became known as The Annual Bluebonnet Cotillion. Then in 1986 or 87, he asked me to marry him in earnest. He gave me his big old University of Texas class ring, but after a few days, I turned him down. As it happened, after I ran off to New York City to be with Buzz Kill, The Man picked up a woman in a bar, and once he was asleep, she stole that ring and Then Man's big old honking Rolex too. He alleged that she slipped him a mickey.
I got engaged to my high school boyfriend pretty much because this girl in my Humanities class got engaged during Senior year, and I wanted a ring too. Plus I was anxious about going away to college, and being engaged to Billy made me feel more secure. I kind of hated him, though, because he popped me in the chops once when he thought I was mouthy - and once when he was playing Frisbee with some other guys, he slammed into a tree because he wasn't watching where he was going and started hollering at me for not warning him. Notably, he was a devout Christian who attended services at the local Church of Christ and was terminally annoyed because I refused to take communion with him. It was a stupid relationship, and I would have broken up with him after a month or two except that when some of the guys from his auto mechanics class saw me kissing a delightfully bad boy with a leather jacket and blond hair falling into his eyes, the code of the west compelled them to reported it to Billy, who was compelled to chastise me thoroughly for being a Ho. After that incident, it was generally known among all the boys in that countrified environment that I was Billy's girl as per the Code of the West. If I wanted a date to the prom, I was stuck with Billy so I dang well better get a ring. It was only a hundred dollar aquamarine from Foley's, but it still counted.
I must have been traumatized because of that episode with my Uncle Jennifer, the incestuous pedophile. And besides, I had been popped in the chops by my dad a few times and figured that occasional displays of power were part of the male/female territory. Once I was a little older, I learned that real men don't smack their girlfriends or try to fuck their nieces. I'm pretty sure I learned it from Oprah.
The Narcissist claimed we were Lovers, but I told him that was impossible because he was incapable of reaching outside of his own ego to form an intimate connection. Love is a difficult for Narcissists because they tend to view it as a sign of weakness and are more interested in control than connection - even with their own kids which is sorely fucked up, but that's just the way it is. In any case, a couple can have a million booty calls and never be Lovers. I was sincerely attached to The Narcissist but in retrospect, it may have been my first real experience with Co-Dependency. Whatever may have been fucked up about my relationships with Buzz Kill and The Man from San Antone, I can safely say that we were not Co-Dependent because during my brief hospitalization for suicidal tendencies, I didn't have to attend group therapy for Co-Dependents.
Bradley and I were definitely lovers, and we love each other to this day. We were entirely too young and dysfunctional to maintain a healthy relationship, though, so it's a good thing he headed to California the first time I got engaged to The Man from San Antone. There was always an element of Star Crossed Tragedy with Bradley that suited my adolescent notions of Romance.
The reason I'm pondering all this stuff is that Jon-El and I apparently cleared a hurdle this week. I was distressed because I was feeling Out of Sight Out of Mind, and instead of swallowing my feelings and pretending nothing was wrong, I decided to address the issue in an email. He took me very seriously and went out of his way to make sure I knew he was taking me seriously. He was so serious about taking me seriously that my fears about him being an asshole were instantly put to rest. He's got his idiosyncrasies like everybody else - but that's just human. I never see any reason to get bent out of shape when someone is simply being human. He must have been prepared for accusatory histrionics because he seemed mightily surprised to find that I wasn't going to cause a commotion. But really, when somebody listens to what you're saying and understands your point, and makes a special trip to put your mind at ease in person - that's a Thing of Beauty. I'm almost ready to declare it Thing of Beauty #44-101, but I want to see what tomorrow brings.
Apparently, the man values our time together and appreciates my general equanimity. It's such a novel experience that I'm not sure what to make of it. The good news is that I spoke up about my feelings instead of stifling myself to avoid potential damage to the relationship. I figured that if the relationship were worth pursuing, there would be room for my feelings even when I'm miffed. Thing Of Beauty # 44-101: Being able to take care of myself in a relationship. Jon-El taking me seriously can be Thing of Beauty #44.5 - 101. If it turns out that Mr. Williams walks his talk, it will carry so much weight that I'll be up to #50 in a heartbeat. For the moment, however, I will continue to view him as a man whose domestic situation is such that he is, for all practical purposes, a married man.
After seeing what tomorrow brought, things aren't exactly kopasetic, but I feel okay. In the comments below, my old buddy Jim, Digital Existence. wisely recommends treading carefully with a man who is in the middle of a divorce - and I'd estimate that this man is so newly separated that he's not anywhere near the middle yet, even though I'm pretty sure he thinks he is. Anyway - I'll let Carlos Santana (with Rob Thomas) speak for me today
And just like the ocean under the moon
Well thats the same emotion that I get from you
You got the kind of lovin that can be so smooth
Gimme your heart make it real
Or else forget about it
Sadly, despite all my optimism, I'm not so sure we can go there. Divorces don't leave much energy for developing new relationships, and I'm not cut out to be a fuck buddy.
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