I am bits and pieces of everyone I've ever met.
Sometimes you're doing something mundane like showering or making breakfast and you get triggered. Oh we bought this soap together, I remember when we used to make the bed and, hmm, if I could only open this fucking jar of jam. Life is a timeline and sometimes one life overlaps the next life and bits and pieces of former you tap present you on the shoulder like, hey, hey, whatcha doing? I wash off the suds and I soap myself up again.
I wrote about dating a lot – okay, polyamory, open relationships, ethical non-monogamy. Now I feel like I should be writing about dating. What would monogamy be like? What should someone expect from a monogamous relationship? Would I even remember how to monogamy anymore? And how does one deal with heartbreak? Emotional turmoil? What clothes do you wear when you're single? Are these the same clothes I wore when I was in a relationship? Isn't that – like – wrong somehow? Pieces of lives overlapping.
I went to the grocery store the other day and I was looking intently at kitchen appliances. I was looking at spatulas and Mr. Coffee liners. All of a sudden this guy is standing next to me with his arm extended and he introduces himself as Steven. Hi. I'm Steven. Just like that. I'm not kidding you when I say I took three hesitant steps backwards, bug-eyed, and said no, no no no, oh I'm sorry, but no. I fast paced myself to the other side of the store pretending I desperately needed a new carton of eggs. Then I walked to the front of the store hiding behind those floating islands of off-brand nail polish hoping I could check out before someone hit on me trying to scan my tampons.
There was a brief moment where I felt like insecure. I sat in the cafe and everyone turned their squeaky necks to look at me at once. You're new here, they said, all at once. A production of roses and love letters. They said hello and I started chuckling and answered about the weather even though they didn't ask. Could it be possible I'd forgotten how to flirt? I think I knew how. I thought I did, anyways. Maybe it wasn't them that had changed, maybe it was me. Some idealization of what I thought I might experience. Some realization of what I guessed I might want. I'm taking the longest survey of my life every morning. Check yes in this box, no in this one, rate your desire on a scale of not interested to strongly interested.
I wish I had more to say that could be useful but it's really what I've been saying all along. You wake up each morning and you smile. You do good things for people, even the ones that don't necessarily deserve it, because you're good. You maybe binge on a pint of ice cream and watch an entire season of something on Netflix. You go out and you get a drink and you talk about the meaning of life. You read a book that is so good you have a hard time starting the next one. You relive moments so incredibly intense you feel like everything is falling apart and then five minutes later you regain your composure. You make new friends, and you make the good ones better. And you keep figuring out who you are.
I wrote this a while ago, but finally decided to post it.