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we meet again

April 6, 2004

scb took a cab (im assuming) over to my place last night. He lured me into spending time with him–not that he had to–by promising me we would go hiking today. scb is like a little boy–when he does something that makes me upset, or when he knows Im upset, his instinct is to suggest something he know will make me happy.

common enough of a reaction, but there are a few things we don’t agree on–I like sports, but i dont like watching sportscenter at 9am every morning and 11pm every night. I like to run, but I dont like going to the gym. I like to read the NYTimes, but almost always skip over the business section. Im not crazy about Pizza.

Scb, on the other hand, dislikes reality tv, steers clear of ice cream, prefers the ritz-carlton over camping in yosemite. Prefers strolling the streets sipping on starbucks over hiking. Went to the Chicago Institute of Art and only stayed for 30 minutes. The night we stayed at the Radisson Miyako, he suggested both going out for ice cream AND watching dating shows (I cant help that Im addicted to Elimidate)–a sign that he was super happy and wanted to return the favor.

Well, we never went hiking today, and I kind of knew that would happen. When he mentioned working out, I knew my time with him would be too limited to travel across the bridge, hike, and then drive back.

I made the mistake of mentioning that it was the first tuesday of the month–free admission to the SFMOMA. scb took that to be his get out of jail free card–in other words, he thought that meant museum over hiking.

In the end, I was turned off by his lack of enthusiasm and ended up not wanting to do either.

Instead, we got coffee and ran errands, ending up at Borders where we talked about–what else–books. Especially the David Eggers book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I suggested the book to him a while back and he finally got around to reading and loving it. We found the book on the shelf and then read through several passages, analyzing and discussing them–we were like 2 beatniks or something with our intellectual blabberings.

To complete the experience, scb suggested going to a coffee shop and reading. scb can go to a coffee shop every day of the freaking week and drink the same coffee and eat the same egg bagel sandwich and read the same section from the same paper. I can’t. So we compromised. I suggested we drive to the beach, open the back of my Forester, pull down the seats to make a bed, and read and hang out. Surprisingly, scb was very enthusiastic about the idea.

That was how we spent the remainder of the day–him reading, me watching all the wind surfers sail past each other. clusters of wet suits and sails and kites and dogs little kids in hoodies running around on wet sand. We stayed until the clouds rolled in, and the beaches grew quiet, and the light turned from yellow to blue. Four hours flew by like time didn’t exist at all.

Despite the ease of our day, something still felt off. Last night, I had that feeling that we were following a script–that he came over because he felt like he should come over b/c thats what boyfriends did. I held his hand but I didnt feel and overwhelming softening of my heart or anything. It just was, and maybe it had a lot to do with the distance, the time, and the events that occurred when we were apart.

Around 2am, we realized we were both awake, and he brought up going to vegas. He didn’t want to say what we both knew–financially we would be unable to go. Admitting that killed me just a little bit. It was such a nice dream, a respite from reality, to have a like that to plan for and look forward to. Eventually, we talked about us and where we were going–in life in general, and with each other. It was one of the most honest, soulbearing coversations I can recall having with him. And then he told me that if he received a job offer in NYC–the perfect job–then he would feel as if he had to go. And I told him that I was thinking of some jobs in DC, but I wouldnt leave unless it was the perfect job. We both discussed our time in San Francisco–how it has been up to this point, and how maybe it was time to move on. The reality of that statement made us both pause. I told him that on the one hand, I was ready to pursue other options, and on the other, I knew that if I left SF, I doubted I would ever return. And then we both became prematurely sad and sentimental realizing how true that statement was.

It almost felt like a euphamism for our relationship–about decisions that transform them–about moments that happen that you can never return to. About the possiblility that life will take us in different directions, different places. I asked him what he saw happening to us, and he responded that he didn’t know.

Its funny b/c its not like Im close to being married with kids, but at the same time, I guess I want to hear that he is. I’d like to know that someone out there can see me in their future.

At least we both agreed that there are always hard decisions that have to be made concerning career and relationships. We both acknowledged that relationships came first. So far, the first guy Ive ever met who has truly realized that.

On a lighter note, scb is all of a sudden the poster child for Judaism. While he’s never hidden (if thats the right word) the fact that hes jewish, hes never seemed to really embrace it either. When I asked him if he wanted to celebrate passover, he blew it off and said that he hadnt done so in years. Now, all of a sudden, he’s decided he’s not eating flour/leavened bread for a week. At Borders, he walked by the Jewish cooking section and described for me all the various Jewish holiday food traditions. And last night, he told me he ate maztah pizza and matzah soup. Interesting. Not that its some huge deal, as he is, after all Jewish. Its just curious that hes all of a sudden really gung-ho. Its kind of cute anyway–boyish. Like all of a sudden he’s super proud to be jewish instead of being blase about it all.

anyway–

its been a while since seeing scb, and i guess it will be a while before it starts feeling natural again. its been even harder trying to adjust to this lifestyle again–even though i havent been away from it that long. I thought I would welcome the return to the secret world scb and I existed in, and that it would receive me with open arms. Instead, it feels a little empty and little numbing, and little bit like the puzzle piece that doesnt quite fit. I dont know how things could have changed so quickly. Sitting in the back of my car, staring out to sea, watching the waves–it all felt rehearsed. Like I was living a life that wasn’t mine.

Theres no way to return to what I had before, and there’s no way to stop what will happen days, months, years, down the road. I guess I’m just caught somewhere inbetween then and now. Yesterday and Tomorrow.

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