I write this as a blog, but like the bloggers known as everyone, I really want it to be a book. A book has some structure, a definite shape: there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Something has probably been learned or someone has changed in some way by the end, right? A blog is like a gas; it fills its container. It repeats a theme. A blog doesn’t have to change. Nothing has to be learned. You don’t end a blog, you stop it.
Full respect. I keep hoping this is really a book, though.
I’m still going to those meetings and not having sex; I count days through gritted teeth, but something is being realigned. I get up an hour earlier and write, and I could never do this before.
I am getting way too interested in the sex lives of my friends; when a gorgeous friend tells me she just wants to get laid, I text her picture to a friend of mine, suggesting that he tap it. I am finding that I am completely unable to mind my own business when my own business has such a paucity of dick in it.
On the recommendation of a friend, I scrape $200 together and go to see an acupuncturist who is supposed to be good with heartbreak; I lay on her heated table in my bra and underpants as she slides needles into my hands and feet, into my crooked face. It feels good just to have someone touch me. The ones she slides into my chest are the ones that hurt the most. I can feel them when I breathe. There are visualization exercises: pink light entering, clouds of blackflies exiting (this may be my image more than hers). I follow her suggestion and keep a glass of water by the bed, dutifully thinking healing as I was told to do every morning while I drink it, but things feel the same. I am an open wound. I am raw with want. It takes conscious effort not to rub my crotch against people on the 7 train.
I feel guilty, going to the sex meetings, where people are counting days off contact with the person they are addicted to. Meanwhile, I’m secretly fielding texts from Sketch wearing different hats to make me laugh (make me laugh, and then cry and cry and cry), and my friends are all posting pictures to Facebook of their boyfriends carrying home their Christmas trees. The carols piped down Steinway Street have taken on a macabre death-camp quality, the shitty loudspeakers distorting the sound as I grimly trudge on. A Northeaster has blown in, and I take savage pleasure in riding my bike home through it, shopping bags dripping.
There is pleasure in giving up.
I decide on a Tuesday that I can’t do it anymore.
There is a world of difference between wanting something and not being able to have it, and being able to have it but not wanting it. Once I decide that it’s OK to see him, I’m able to hold off another day.
I go over my friend Courtney’s, and use her OKCupid account to track down Sketch and Kick. I tell her I just need to see where the bodies are buried.
OKCupid is one enormous mass grave of mistakes.
That night, I come home and go straight to bed, so tense with unresolved emotion that my body is ramrod straight under the covers, toes pointed, attempting to jackknife myself into a sleep that will not come.
Sketch’s profile sounds like him. It’s the voice he uses when he talks to me, funny and gentle, but now he’s using this voice to talk to every other woman in the internet.
Kick is online at the moment we invisibly browse past his profile, and it’s like nothing has changed. I have the desire to poke him the way I have the desire to reach through the bars of some dangerous but charismatic animal to offer up my fingers. It’s sex-vertigo; I back away from the edge somewhat reluctantly.
I read these men’s profiles with the wisdom of hindsight. I know one has a picture taken on his back are doing that because it smooths out a doublechin, eradicates the little pouches under the eyes. I know that the other mentions truth and honesty six times in his profile, because his last girlfriend was not honest.
I was that last girlfriend.
All online dating profiles give clues about what went wrong in the last relationship; you can see the attempts to course-correct if you look hard enough.
I walk around wearing headphones so I won’t hear any Christmas carols, and I wait with diminishing patience to start being the person I need to be to have a chance at being a partner.