Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A letter I wrote to Sassy. I think it sums it all up. I don't feel like going through writing again, so forgive my lazy repeat. I'm spent, understandably, I'd say. And if you want to call me and comment, I don't want to psychoanalyze it. I don't want an " I told you so, why didn't you see this coming?" I want you to understand that I went into this with open eyes, and was as careful as I felt was warranted. I used my judgement. I am not an idiot, and if you try to make me feel bad for taking the first risk I have in decades on someone I felt deserved it, I will likely turn on my heel and disappear. I did the very, very best that I could and I reality-checked many things along the way with people I trust, including professionals. I gave it a chance, full well knowing the possible limitations, and issues that might prohibit its survival. I don't regret it. But it failed anyway, and there's not much to be done. It is what it is.

And what I need right now is a hug. As many hugs as possible, and just some love from my friends. Time. Distraction. And even more hugs. That's all. If you think you can manage it.

Anyway. On with the show:


Live fast, die young, that's what they say, so I guess I've seen it to be true. Anthony and I are least that's my decision, anyway.

We got into it big time tonight, and short of a complete attitude change and some seriously grovelling apologies ( that are sOOOOOO not forthcoming, I can pretty much assure you) I don't see this going anywhere anymore. He's so impossible to deal with when there's any conflict. Even if I try everything I know, I cannot get to the place he needs me to be in ( which is essentially not making a mistake about his intentions, motives or emotions in a situation). He refuses to even come to consider the place I need him to be in, which is not so mean and escalated when he's pissed, and willing to talk things out.

This discovered after 4 hours of straight mind-fucking (him) and and arguing ( me) and just ending up on the front porch of my house, with him yelling, "you need to think about what kind of man you want, Jessica, because if you need *this* ( referring to any of what he calls "the proccess- the big bullshit chain of stuff where you say how you felt and I say how I felt and then we say how it affected us and we rewind and we decide to do blah blah blah. Total crap.") I am not the guy for you. I cannot give it to you. I don't WANT to give it to anyone. It's not you, it's that I am so PAST all that, I could go a hundred years without visiting *that* place again. I think you need all that. Not there's anything wrong with you for it ( this he says after basically telling me how screwed up it is and rolling his eyes and being insulting about any alternative action to this stupid conflict I might offer), but it's not me."
I got really pissed and said, "Anthony, you need to think about what kind of girl you want, because if you want allllllll of *this* ( pointing to my boobs and ass and lips, which he adores) and smarts and great conversation and great fucking and closeness and intimacy and all that stuff, you're going to have to do a little of *that*. Good luck finding a girl who will just give it all to you and not need a damned thing for herself." He looked at me and said, "Don't be so fucking arrogant. You think I can't find that? Please. And if I can't, I'd rather jack off the rest of my life than deal with any of this psychoanalytic bullshit." I just went in and slammed the door.

Clearly that last exchange was terribly ugly, and I regret setting myself up for a slam by being arrogant. But the bottom line, Sassy, is this: you were right. You said to me when he first came home and before he and I had gone out that it sounded to you like he wanted to not ever deal with conflict while he was away, and that was semi-understandable, if a little unrealistic; you also pointed out that while he was home it seemed like he just wanted to decompress and not deal with any of it then, either. At the outset of all of this, we had a big conversation before we even slept togethter where I pointed out this dichotomy to him and he steadfastly denied it. "No, no, " he said, " it doesn't have to be Constant Happy Fun Time for Tony all the time. That wouldn't be fair. We can talk things out. " And we did, a little. Then he went off to visit his mom in Ohio last week,and I said to him when he got back, "before you run off to Global Hotspot again, we need to clear up all that shit and come up with a way to communicate with each other that's better." He was cool with that.

We were going to do it this weekend. THEN he got a call today from his boss giving him his flight info to come back today. And he was tense all fucking day. We went to dinner, super on the defensive and irritable. He essentially picked this fight, and then picked apart my attempts to clear it up, and it all seguewayed badly into Everything Else.
What I realize now ( 7 or so hours too late) was that he just realized today that he's running out of time. He's got 11 days before he goes back... and all the decomprerssing he gets to do before he goes back to Hell needs to be put crammed in and anything problematic or even intimate needs to be pushed away.
( Earlier this week we had a bit of a tiff, if you'll recall, about What Is This Relationship?, a whole other set of coordinates that basically had me hearing that even though we're a.) fucking b.) emotionally intimate c.) he told his mom about me, and d.) hanging out on regular basis, involving dates where he pays, etc, I'm not his girlfriend. Ahem. Okay, then what are we ? "Just Dating". Um, sure. I'm going to spend the next 3 months waiting around and celibate and not date any other person for "Just Dating"???


I didn't express all my disdain at once, I just said, "I don't want to get into this now since you just got off plane, but I would like for you to consider, over the next few days, exactly what I am being offered in return for this thing I am about to do. I'm pretty sure if we're "just dating", you're gonna have to ratchet that offer up, a bit. I'm not saying we pick out china, or we even plan our vacations together. I'm just saying a middle ground between Super Serious and Just Dating needs to be considered." He grunted his assent to think it over, but I could tell he was Not Happy.).

In essence, he's gearing up to go back, and I think this is his way of doing it. 'I'm going to pull away, I'm going to pick fights, I'm going to invoke my right to Only Good Stuff and Take It before they get me back, goddammit. And everyone else can kiss my ass.'

Most telling of all: I asked him what he wanted from me tonight ( in this relationship), and his answer? "To be quiet". He tried to backpedal a bit so it didn't sound so harsh, or retro, but I thought, hmmmm. What an interesting choice of words. If I were your therapist, the next thing out of my mouth would be, "Anthony, what an interesting choice of words. Why did you choose them? What do they mean?" At which point he would have started breaking furniture or something, I'm sure.

To be quiet. No. I cannot. When in my life have I ever been quiet? Let me rephrase. When in my life when I have had to be quiet to keep someone else placid and a relationship happy has it EVER panned out well?

So. You were right. He wants a girl with whom he does not have to do any work with whatsoever, or not really, anyway. Talking things over is fine. As long as we move past it in a few quick strokes, he's okay. But anything more protracted or difficult than that and he's on his feet ready to hit the door.

The ironic thing is, he wants all this love, intimacy, sex, closeness, you know, the Big Stuff. "A real relationship", as he puts it. He's so fucking happy when we're laughing and kissing and hanging out and looking at books and just talking about everything, it's ridiculous. He's like a teenager. He wants to touch me all the time and buy me stuff and pay for everything and make sure I have enough water and am I too cold and I should lock my doors better, and here, baby, let me get that. Not to overshare, but even in bed it's all 'what do you need?' "what can I do for you?' ( I'm tellin' ya, I'm gonna miss that. Whew.). He's so happy that he wants to make me happy and he's love love love drunk. (But get him pissed and you just do not want to know him. I'm

serious. I haven't been talked to like this in....decades.) He wants all the Real Stuff so much, I can see it. And maybe he'll find a girl who be able to give him all that and not need what I need. It's entirely possible.

I'll even concede it: I don't like the 4 hour arguments, either, for the record. But I do believe in a little post-morbid to clean shit up. I like to move it through as quickly as possible, but sometimes when things suck, really really bad, it takes a bit of work to either shut up and ride it out til it gets better, or to really have it out til you're done, and put it to bed. Still, there are times when I get a little stuck on the "proccess" and should let more go. ( I even SAID that, and asked how he WOULD like to handle things in the future, could we meet in the middle somewhere finding a way to communicate....which led to an ugly diatribe about how scripting things out like that was just "ridiculous" and "I'm just more primitive than that. People need to listen more to their instincts and stay closer to the animal side." Hmmm... because that's working so well right now and you're yelling at me? Um, no.) Maybe there will be a much simpler, easier girl for him to find who's not so headstrong and easy-going and even-tempered. Who knows?

But I'll tell you what's not: It's not possible for him to find that with this job of his. Basically, it's All About It and All About Tony. To do what he does, he has to keep everything contained in himself to such an extent that he doesn't get much of a chance to work on any of his garbage. Because if he didn't keep it together, I think his anger and his feelings of whatever would spill out into his work and they. Just. Cannot. He can't go off deal with the possibilities of being blown up by a car bomb while he's trying to work out his shit about not getting a pony when he was 10 ( as he likes to put it) lest he snap and lose it and mayhem occur. He can't go off on a job where he's got to be alert and sight checking front, back, side to side, every fucker within sight for suspicious activity ( he does this still when he's home out of habit and it's very, very interesting to observe. The other night he told me the waiter we had was sweating for no reason, since he only had a minimum of tables, didn't look us in the eye and was left handed. I wouldn't have noticed all that if someone would have had a gun to my head. I just noticed he didn't bring bread to the table!) when he's distracted by something his girlfriend said that was upsetting. If he does lose his focus, everybody gets bitten. People die.

And when he's home, he needs to be totally in control of what he wants to do when, and be at peace to keep his fucking sanity. Honestly, I think it's the only thing that keeps him able to do this job, is having this month where he just totally lays down his arms and is responsible for next to nothing.

There's not an inch of room for a girl in there unless it's a shallow thing. There's just not.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that he has a failure of insight about these very things. So smart, so deep, such a big thnker, and yet.... he doesn't seem to be aware of How His Job Controls Every Part of His Life. He knows it's bad; he knows it's hard on anyone whom he's going to be with, but it's like he thinks that the "bad" part of the equation is just the fact that he's gone and someone will miss him. He thinks "bad" is the fact that he's limited in what he can offer someone with this job in terms of time and attention.
What he fails to understand is that he's not emotionally available, EVER because of what it takes to do this. He vascillates from being *somewhat* aware of this, and actually saying it, to saying things that are like are hopeful about being able to get this relationship ( and the aforementioned behavior). I don't know- but it makes me wonder if this whole thing with me was just some Cosmic Wake-Up Call saying , Anthony. You cannot have your cake ( $150,000 a year) and eat it too.
He also flat out denies any garbage he's carrying around about the Ex. Yet he goes on and on about how The Ex was so "therapy,so 12-step, so pseudo-deep, and my GOD, everything had to be analyzed to DEATH. I would rather DIE alone than live like that again. I cannot DO it." Okay, I get that. I'm not asking you to do that. But you're so angry and tired and burnt out from her that you can't see the difference, or any value in anything she's left you behind, even though, yes, she was a total, messed up, cowardly wench. But whenever I say, Anthony, there's a big difference between being in therapy or a 12-Step program and working on your shit, and being in therapy and a 12-Step Program and using it as an excuse to get away with atrocious behavior, applying it ad nasueam to relationships inappropriately, and using to beat your partner into submission about the Right Way to do Stuff. Did he hear that? Nope. Not EVEN.

And who knows if he'll take the call from the Clue Phone? More than likely he'll just try and find someone to replace me and date and fuck and be with and make it all about Me Being So Needy. Or, if he's feeling kind, try and find someone to replace me and date her and fuck her and say, "well, we just Weren't Right for Each Other." He's supposed to be going on an extended break in March, so maybe he'll have enough time on his hands then to have an Epiphany or something.

But I'm DONE, Sassy. He could come to my door with a dozen roses and a million kisses and it will be a hard, hard thing to turn him down, but I'm going to do it ( if he doesn't get to do it first. I suspect that it will be a photo finish on the end of the race, here). I am terrrifically sad, because you know how you think if you meet someone on the internet, they're not in any way gonna be that cool in real life? Well, he was better than I ever could have predicted. We are an amazing fit. A match that is so great, so perfect that you look at it and go, "whoa, kismet. Total kismet. No WAY these two people could find each other in this huge world and over the internet!" It's a little spooky; we had this running joke where one of us would say, "well, I think this about this one thing...." and the other would say, "oh I totally agree!" and then the first one would say, "yeah. Big surprise." And we'd smile. It was STUPID how compatible we were. Just STUPID. And now it's all down the drain. It's heartbreaking. Like I said to you, I haven't been in love like this since James. 12 years ago??? And its tanking and there's nothing to be done. Nothing will fix it. He is where he is in his life, and it's unlikely to change anytime soon. And the same for me.

And I have to say the words, "Anthony, you know how I feel about you. I care about you very much. But I think given where you are and where I am about these things and the shape of your life as it is formed by your work, this is not going to work out. You're an amazing, fascinating man, and despite the conflict, all the good stuff stays with me and has made me pretty happy. I thank you for that. Please stay safe, and know I'll keep you in my prayers. And when you get that time off in March, feel free to call. You're welcome on my doorstep anytime. "

And then I am going to go get a big birthday cake ( I love birthday cake- not sure why) and eat it. Yes, eating my feelings. But I can't drink, and fuck, well.....

Okay, I'm done now. I don't expect you to respond to all of it. I jsut need a hug. I really do. I'm so tired and sad.

Much love,

ps: ran out of money to send you stuff in the mail. But will be returning all of A's birthday gifts, soo.....soon. I even have it in the envelope, so soon. And I got a great job today ( A sidebar: *fingers crossed!*) so for sure.

And that's the story, Larry. I'm hanging in, and hoping that the job will be a lovely distraction. Good night, and good luck. We all surely need it. But I need it especially. Thank you.