October 14th 2012
Story originally written and experienced: December 8th 2010
He picked me up at 11:30 pm.
I quietly grabbed my jacket and snuck out the back side of my college house, slowly shut the back door and did a brisk jog >>> towards the glowing headlights that were s h i n i n g across my front lawn.
I could see the smoke from the exhaust breathing through the street lamps and felt the comforting warmth of the lights battling the chill that was lingering in the air.
I opened the car door
and slipped inside.
He looked at me
And I looked at him
And then he looked back at me and said
“Let’s go somewhere neutral. I really just need to get away for a second.”
We drove in silence for approximately 7 1/2 blocks.
He made a hesitant right into the back lot of the business building and put the car in park.
And then he said nothing.
At least not yet.
So I started
“So…you just called me at 11:30pm on a Wednesday night….to talk…is everything okay?”
He shifted in his seat. Looked
n and said
“I know. No, no I’m fine. I just…needed to talk to someone. I’m a little confused.”
“Whatever I tell you just…don’t tell my girlfriend okay?”
“Well that’s a stellar line to start out with.”
“I’m being serious, Olive.”
“Alright, alright. I won’t tell her.”
“So tonight I went out. She didn’t go out so it was just my friends and I. And we’re standing at the bar and this girl comes up to me. And she was pretty drunk, and I did know her. A little bit. Friend of a friend type deal. Anyway, she tried to kiss me and I…didn’t stop her. Not right away at least. But I did! I did stop her…eventually.
And it meant nothing.
Of course I felt guilty. Partially because of what happened…but mostly because, I’m not sure that I hated it.”
“…What does that mean?”
“I don’t know, Olive. I’m a 22 year old guy in a great relationship and I’m just not entirely sure what the hell to do. I go out with my friends and they’re out and single and ready to mingle and ready to test the waters with someone new, maybe anyone new, take someone home, or not take someone home, or stay the hell away from commitment in general. I mean, might as well, while we’re young, right? And I’m sitting here and I’m like shit.
I want that.
I want that selfish lifestyle.
I want that freedom.
I want to live for myself. .
People are looking at me. And my relationship. And we’re far from perfect. We fight. We push each other’s limits. We stress each other out. But christ man, I love the hell out of her. Like more than I’ve loved anyone, ever. And people will tell me that
They want that.
They want that companion.
To keep 51% of themselves to their self and give the other 49% to someone else.
They want what everyone else says they don’t want, but really kind of do.
II He paused II
“And I guess I just can’t decide which one is better…or which one I want more. If I’m a terrible person for not knowing one way or the other or if I’m making a mistake. If I’d potentially be letting go of a great thing. Or doing exactly what I need to do…what do you think? Don’t tell her I said any of this. I don’t want her to know I’ve been having doubts. It’s not about her, it’s about me. But I don’t know how to say that. It would kill her.”
“I won’t say anything.”
He finally looked uP
“…Well what do you think I should do?”
I told him that contrary to popular belief, knowing what you want isn’t always so black and white. Isn’t always a yes or no. Can’t always be obvious or vague. That sometimes we do need to check off the “I’m not really fucking sure” box in the “what do you want” section because sometimes it’s just not that easy. And sometimes answers to these dilemmas don’t always come in the form of decisions but rather taking risks to trial and error your way through what just might need to happen.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.
And I guess if you really thought about it. If you really, really thought about it. You really can’t lose either way. And the only way you really lose is if you know you’re doing something that you don’t want to do. And not doing anything differently. Not at all. And as far as I’m concerned, confusion is the main symptom of preference. That if you really didn’t care, or if it truly didn’t matter, then you wouldn’t have this dilemma. But you do care, and it does matter.
So no, I won’t tell her. Because it’s not something that needs to come from me. But just so you know, not knowing what you want, doesn’t make you any less of a person, and the fact that you’re trying to figure it out at all? Well, that makes you about 7 1/2 blocks ahead of everyone else.