We met at a foof thing, where a person can “really be seen”. I like going, I’ve rarely had the “seen” experience, usually just the opposite, but watching people feel noticed or have breakthroughs because they get to have someone else hold the angst for a bit; that’s magic. I don't often vie for the hot seat but I still go.
We met, and I was being my usual defensive nervous dork self
“oh I didn’t see it that way”
This is my experiential telling so shut up.
…And it was made worse by the fact that so many of the classic defenses men have were turned off. They were hugging and touching each other. Relaxed and often times not ready to defend at a moments notice. He was not one of these. He was tense and bit walled off, a comfort in the foofiness. A comfortable sharp edge.
The event was a three day thing. I am often hypersensitive in groups add the extra emotion and by the end of the second day I was ready to split. We had one more round of this “Circling” practice and dinner wasn’t something I wanted to partake in. I needed to be away from the crowds so I stayed behind. To tell you the truth I don’t know who started talking first but it was like one of those magic TV moments when the romantic couple whom the story revolves around meet; he says hi, she spills her coffee or ice cream, they laugh. Yeah like that.
He didn’t have anything with him to eat and wanted to go to Ideal Market right across the street so we went and just talked. We made fun of some of the things that happen in the community, talked about how some people’s circles were amazing beyond expectations. I said how much I didn’t expect the benefits that they promised.
We talked about stuff.
Of all the people who said for sure we’d keep in touch he was the only one to respond to my messages and inquiries to life, health, or whatever. We went to the farmers market, played disc golf, sat at the coffee shop and talked for hours. He invited me to a men’s group — in my opinion the hell it sounds like, but guys seem to love them, so more power to ‘em. He listened to the frustrations I had with out condemning or helping. I told him my deepest most self-shaming secret and he laughed. He said it was so funny to hear. He joked with me about it and did it without any “normalizing” care-correction or shaming.
I told him how I felt about him. How every time I was around him my whole body came alive, how my heart raced and how I always got a few degrees warmer. I told him all this, all he said was “I love you and yes it’s a little uncomfortable but I trust you and I’m here for whatever you need. Just tell me so I know.”
Ass hole made it even more perfect.
He’s even been to the best parts of me. He was with me when I saw The Avengers and saw how freaking excited I was. His appreciation and joy at seeing me squee in pure geek ecstasy did more than any circle I’ve ever been in. It was amazing. I actually went home and cried.
I’m here again. The end of another perfect night. I’ve laughed a lot, cried some, and didn’t have to explain myself once. I got to be apologetic for dominating the conversation without being made to feel worse by being told that I don’t need to be sorry. Just a smile that says you’re you. He’s my friend and I need to remind myself every single time we get together. He comes around the truck demanding a hug, and I hug him a little too tight and feel him a little too much. His smell is amazing, that silent smell of a man. Dear God help me. He’s my friend That’s all we’ll ever be. I can tell him my fears, my joys my ups my downs. He’s good looking, well built. Damn and damn again.
We disengage and say good night. I get in my car. That unrequited ache dancing with the joy.