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8:04 am - Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003
Requiem For Two Dreams

Requiem for Two Dreams

During my time in Lansing, I got to see more of Jennifer than I imagined I would.

It was great.

I know it's kind of sad and pathetic, but she just sends me. I've joked about it sometimes, as if it's funny that I have this abiding little schoolboy crush on her, but it's really no joke; No woman's ever had this kind of impact on me.

She's lovely, and talented, and funny, and when we're together, it just feels good. It feels...right.

And since I don't "feel good" a lot of the time, since I go through life most of the time feeling as if something's not quite "right" somehow, that means a great deal to me.

For years, we've had this flirty relationship, where I've made it pretty clear how I feel, and she has implied (And sometimes stated outright), that the feeling was mutual, that it was only circumstance that kept us apart.

When I moved to LA, Jane threw a going-away party for me, and in the card Jennifer gave me, she wrote at some length about how wonderful she thought I was, how talented and smart and funny and all that, how special I made her feel, expressing her pride in knowing me, and her confidence in my ability to succeed here in LA.

All very lovely, and certainly nice to hear, but what leapt out at me was this line--"It's no secret I'm very attracted to you"--which pretty much qualified as "The Thing I Wanted To Hear Most In The World".

But she didn't mean it.

I kept that card, re-reading it often when I was feeling particularly sad and lonely here in LA.

But she didn't mean it.

Then Jane, apparently tired of hearing me go on and on about Jennifer, and obviously feeling like I needed her to inject some reality into my thinking on the subject, told me how, in a conversation with Jennifer regarding yours truly, Jennifer had said she didn't think of me "that way" (This was the same conversation where they apparently shared their regrets about my not having the money to get my teeth fixed. I've never thought my teeth were that bad--I certainly have bigger concerns about my appearance, anyway--but I've been sensitive about the issue ever since. Which goes to show you, kids--Never comment unfavorably on someone's appearance, especially if there's not a damn thing the person can do about it).

It was one of the rare times I've been just furious at Jane. I already knew, at some level, that I was going on about something that wasn't real and was never going to happen--I'm not an idiot, after all. Why's this beautiful woman want unattractive, poor, middle-aged me?--but I didn't think she needed to crush one of the few little fantasies I had. After all, it wasn't as if being in love with Jennifer was impacting my life in any way; I left for LA when the time came, and didn't hang around Lansing waiting for her to get divorced and marry me. And as I've discussed in here before, I've asked out women all along the way when I've felt any kind of attraction; It wasn't as if I was putting off any plans or keeping myself "pure" for a day that was never going to arrive.

But it was fun for me to imagine a beautful woman, for whatever reason, found me attractive as well.

Especially this beautiful woman.

So I was mad at Jane, and for a time, I was mad at Jennifer as well; "Why did she say all those things she said, when she never meant them at all?", I thought to myself.

But I got over being mad at Jane, since she was only telling the truth, after all, and thought she was doing the right thing (I'm pretty sure Jane's never said anything to me, however I might have received it, that didn't come from her having my best interests at heart). And what was I going to do, end the most meaningful relationship of my adult life over some hurt feelings?

And I got over being mad at Jennifer as well. I think she does like me, "as a friend", and I'm not just "making up" the sense of us having a "connection" (It's just a "connection" that has nothing to do with sexual attraction, at least not on her part). I think she enjoyed the attention and the obvious sincere feeling I have for her, and probably just thought she was making me feel good by suggesting she felt the same way.

If the relationship is on an equal footing, and if you both understand what you're doing, I imagine meaningless flirting can be fun. But I obviously got confused, and ended up thinking more was going on than was obviously the case (I think also that Jennifer was also going outside an unhappy relationship to get the attention that she wasn't getting from her husband at the time).

Again, I don't think Jennifer ever meant any harm. She wanted to make me feel good, and maybe enjoyed my attention too much to risk ending it by "shutting me down" outright.

Anyway...Saturday night, after the party Jane organized on my behalf (A pretty small, mellow affair, but well-attended enough that it wasn't just Mark and Jane and I looking embarrassedly at each other), Jennifer and I went to the Green Door, a bar in Lansing that used to be one of my hangouts for a few years.

I had called her the day before, leaving a message suggesting that we "go out", since I had only seen her with other people since I'd been back.

I was surprised, and very happy, that she went for it (If you're wondering what I was thinking, I'm kinda wondering that myself. Let's just say that seeing her again, I somehow forgot the hurt feelings and the "I don't feel 'that way' about him" and all that).

And we had a great time (But here's the thing--we always have. It's one of the things that always confused me, and made me think there was more to "Jennifer and Jim" than there ever was). We danced and drank and talked about this and that, touching a lot (The touching going both ways), and I was pretty happy I had initiated the "date".

She had given me a ride, so when she took me back to Mark and Jane's, I mentioned Jane's comment, and how I had "struggled" with it.

Kind of a stupid thing to say--I "struggled" with it? What the hell does that mean?--and I'm not exactly sure what I hoped to get out of initiating that discussion, but I think it speaks well of me that I didn't get angry or accusatory, or leave her without any kind of an "out".

The "out" turned out to be the fact that Jane had said that to me, which we could both agree was not really neccessary (Jennifer saying basically the same thing I said earlier in this entry--"It's not like you've been calling me in the middle of the night, crying..."). She didn't deny she said it, and I didn't force her hand on the issue. Instead of talking about flirting or hurt feelings or any of that, the conversation was essentially diverted to why Jane had felt the need to, basically, to "wreck my buzz". Which was not really the issue.

It was the sweetest, most subtle, "shut down" I've ever gotten from a woman. It was so subtle, I didn't realize how completely I had been "shut down" till the next day.

When I got home yesterday (I spent Sunday night at Cary and Kay's), I was unpacking, and moving some things around my apartment.

And I came across the card, the "It's no secret I'm very attracted to you" card. The card I've read from time to time over the past two-and-a-half years whenever I've felt particularly sad and lonely.

The card that somehow gave me hope.

I tore it up, and threw it in the garbage.

____________________

Well, during my vacation, after that "I've got to turn things around in LA" journal entry, I was inspired to "take the bull by the horns" with Mandy. I called from Mark and Jane's, leaving a message on her machine, and when she returned my call, I asked her out, trying to "make my case", such as it were (I had never been happy with how I fumbled my first efforts to express an interest, and felt like I needed to be more...definitive about it. To "take a real shot", as it were. Then, even though I expected to be rejected, I could at least tell myself I'd made a real effort to make something happen).

Not surprisingly, she declined, saying words to the effect of "Haven't we already been through this?" (OUCH!), and there was a little awkwardness afterwards, as I felt myself backpedal furiously, but when the call ended, I thought we were okay for at least being "friends".

But last night, we had to hash it out again–she was uncomfortable with my having asked her out, understandably afraid, I guess, that I wasn't going to be able to get over this desire to "go out" with her--and sadly, I blundered badly in trying to ease her fears, making reference to Jennifer (The unrequited love of my life); I thought it might be a relief, if she was concerned about me "obsessing" over her, to know she's not the only attractive woman I've ever been interested in ( Pretty stupid of me, but I don't think I've ever spent a lot of time in here telling you how much I know about women, so give me a break, why don't ya?).

I made a comment about Jennifer and I having had a "fun" relationship (Meaning that we like each other, have flirted a lot, and had a lot of laughs over the years, even if she doesn't like me "that way"), and Mandy made a comment ("Fun for who? For you?"), that seriously pissed me off.

I had been feeling on the defensive during most of the conversation. I felt like I was being pushed into a corner where I was basically supposed to say, "I'm sorry I asked you out, it'll never happen again", etc. and so on, and I wasn't comfortable with that, because, from my perspective, asking her out straightforwardly like that was a good thing. So I was feeling like I was supposed to apologize, and didn't really feel like apologizing, but knew I had to say something. And all for the sake of a "friendship" I wasn't at all sure would be possible anyway.

So when she made her "Fun for who? For you?" comment about Jennifer, I blew up. I said something like "You know what? I've changed my mind. Let's not be friends", expressed a few more angry thoughts, and terminated the conversation.

So again, expresssing your feelings to another person leads to pain, suffering, hurt feelings, and general aloneness. Think I'm going to just stick with my journal in the future.

Well, I learned a valuable lesson. Women don't want to hear about other women, even if they themselves are rejecting you. Seems like an obvious misfire on my part now, but oh well. I was always ambivalent about having a "friendship" with Mandy anyway, so it's not too big a loss. Still, it's unfortunate it had to go that way (If only she hadn't shot off her big mouth about the Jennifer thing, a situation she knows little to nothing about)

Yeah, I understand her concerns--"Are we going to go through this over and over again? Is he going to be able to handle it when I start seeing someone?" etc--but I'm not going to apologize too much for taking the chance I took, or for being willing to take a chance on a friendship. But she just "pushed a button" with the Jennifer thing. Whatever Jennifer and I have or don't have, it isn't just about me "bothering" her.

But fuck it. Who needs women anyway? I've got...ummm...my computer. And...ummmm...the tv. And other stuff I can't think of right now.

 

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