Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Don't Know Jack

"I'm sad," I replied when my massage therapist when she came to fetch me from the lounge. She frowned at me, expecting a complaint about my neck and shoulders and I took a last sip of my green tea, nudging the slice of lemon off the rim and into the hot water. It floated next to the plump pillow of tea leaves and I stared at it for a moment before directing my attention back to her.

"OK," I offered when she said she was ready when I was. I slowly stood, readjusted my robe and shuffled down the hallway behind her. I nodded at the typical instructions and thanked her as she left the room, moving to hang my robe on the back of the door and arranging myself, prone on the table, to await her return.

"I like the peppermint," I confirmed when she returned and asked about aromas. A little sharp, a bit sweet, completely comforting. And I took deep breaths and tried to focus on relaxing my muscles.

I like a boy. A man. We shall call him Jack as it could be my favorite of masculine monikers. And I like him - find him interesting and funny, sexy and challenging. We've corresponded for months now and he calls me Kate. As though I am somehow different and special in my interactions with him. And I do feel different - braver, perhaps.

Given my affection for him - that he makes me laugh and shiver and feel both distracted and sexy - it seemed natural to send him a note when I struggled this morning. I'm better at fending off verbal attacks - even those that include pretty vicious cursing and yelling - and remaining somewhat dignified.

And I did hold it together, blinking and nodding at the harshest of moments and enduring until it was done. It helped - a little - that it wasn't my fault. It bothered me - more than a little - that there was nothing I could do to change the situation. I hate failing - professionally and personally - but it sometimes happens.

And you know when you feel bad - lost and alone and sad - and you want someone? Sometimes a general someone will do, but others it's a specifically focused need and in that moment, I wanted Jack.

And ignoring more than forgetting that he wasn't mine, I sent a note at 9:30 this morning and mentioned my horrible day.

And in the hours that passed between email and reply, I grew increasingly morose. Increasingly withdrawn. And exponentially more ashamed that I'd contacted him at all.

Given that there's no shame (or shouldn't be) in needing a friend when feeling awful, I made a mental note to take an extra half-dose of anti-depressant tonight. But it seems I've fallen for someone who - despite a quick 'sorry' email - doesn't seem to want to know me. Which can be sexy and fun but it isn't very Katie.

So as she worked on my thighs and calves, feet and toes, I realized I want to have someone. For there to be sex and conversation and quick emails and long phone calls when we're not in the same place at the same time. I want to learn every little thing about him and not feel intrusive when doing so. And I don't want to be ignored. I so hate being ignored.

And so when he accused me of shutting him out in a later email, I couldn't really deny it. Though I don't want to withdraw from him, I decided as she rubbed my hands and arms, shoulders and scalp. And when the 90 minutes was over, I bundled back into my robe and changed back into clothes and returned home to take another conference call while smelling of peppermint.

As I settled here in the darkness, wishing it were time for bed, I don't know how to be completely self-sufficient. To not notice when I don't hear from him. To not want more than what is. Which means that I also don't know Jack. And though I hope that changes, it feels pretty hopeless tonight.

(Poor introduction to a very cool guy - remind me to tell you more about him when I'm not all blah.)

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