Monday, September 17, 2018

Sweet Surrender Part 1

A month after their last meeting, a text popped up from Nameless at 5pm: "Sorry it has been very hectic.  Been on travel from Vegas to Texas.  Just got in from Texas last night and drove up this morning.  I'm in town for the next 2 days."

They decided that in a few hours when she got off work they would meet.  She went to the bathroom and immediately assessed how she looked in the mirror.  Better than expected, though her sunburn was still radiating heat.  She took a painkiller and went about the rest of her day.

By the time they met up they were both starving and ended up at the steakhouse inside the hotel he was staying in.  He commented that she looked tired, and she said she was just a bit wiped from the sun she got that weekend.

"You didn't have to come out tonight if you were tired" he said, a hint of sadness in his voice.

"Are you kidding?  And skipping out on a night with you?  Who knows when we'd have another chance between our two schedules.  And I wanted to see you."

"Yeah, especially since they just de-funded my project here.   Now I don't even have an excuse to come back occasionally, except maybe for fun."

Her heart sank.  This really was potentially the last time that she would see him.  "You don't have time for fun."

"I might, later on after my thesis is complete.  I might get some more free time."

She was quiet, then said softly "This is a bummer.  I'm really going to miss you."

He agreed.  "I was really disappointed.  There were so many factors that made it really sad, you being one.  A big one actually."

She felt her cheeks get hot and thanked her new tan for hiding it from him.  He did catch her smile, and didn't call her out on it.  It was a really nice moment between them.

The steak was great but the service was lacking, and she pointed out later that he seemed like the tired one now.  He agreed, and she asked if he just wanted to go back up to his room and call it a night.  He answered "Yeah, but with you."

She followed him up to his room after dinner.

Friday, September 7, 2018

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Goldie was asking if she was still driving KSL to work.  She said yes, and explained about the two cars back and the payments he was still making.

Goldie was already a few drinks in and asked if she could text him, as if she could "fix" the situation.  She told her to go ahead.  Goldie started texting away on her phone, and she dug back into her crab legs.  Most of the conversation just came back around to who was doing the best on getting their crab all out in one go.

She shared her "perfectly casual" encounter with Nameless, and Goldie was super-proud that she was able to get to that point.  Of course she wanted to know why it wouldn't work out forever, and she explained the distance, the feeling that she just knew that it was never going to be "love" in the strictest sense of the word.  Affection, trust, respect, for sure...but not love.  Because the respect was there, she was perfectly happy with how everything turned out.

Maybe she was so happy with it because she knew that for the most part that might be all she could ask for when it came to men, to "relationships."

"Not to Rodney Dangerfield all over it, but I feel like no one gives me the respect I give everyone else.  KSL doesn't respect me."

"KSL loves you." Goldie retorted.

She rolled her eyes before responding "Yeah, okay sure...but he doesn't respect me."

Goldie still didn't get her point.  "He's very respectful.  I had to literally straddled him for that show every night and draw a scar on his face, and he never once made a move or a comment about anything sexual."

"Of course, because he respects you. He would never make a move on you."  She told Goldie.

"Yeah plus I'm married and not desirable"

Again she rolled her eyes.  Goldie was gorgeous and totally missing her point.  She changed the subject and they were back to talking about film festivals and dog sitting.

Still, being respected and being desired seemed to be mutually exclusive.  She couldn't expect love on top of it, it was a Venn diagram that never intersected...basically 3 circles.  She tried, for weeks, to shake it off.  Forget it, get it to stop getting her down.

It didn't work.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sex In A Different Bed

She and Nameless decided to go to the bar at the base of her old building, since it was so close to where he was staying.  She assumed incorrectly that they had a good beer menu, and he decided to order a cocktail when he realized she'd been wrong.

After arguing about Marvel movies, who was the best Batman, Why a movie was a best Batman, the differences between "masculine" and "feminine" and him bullshitting with the bartender, he asked her if she wanted another drink.  She declined, again stating that at some point she was going to need to drive home.  He was again disappointed that she wasn't staying, and she told him with all the last minute she didn't have time to prepare.

He had one last beverage, she enjoyed her water, and then they walked back to the hotel.  The evening had been so wonderfully nice; good food, good conversation, great drinks. He listened to her, respected her opinions, but was able to debate and throw down when need be.  Even though their hang out sessions had been rare, they had finally maintained an ease.  She leaned into his towering 6' 2" frame as they got into the elevator, and he maintained the closeness.  She wasn't used to someone not pulling away, emotionally or physically.

She checked out the view, which was just her old view but closer to the ground.  They were suddenly kissing, the act was so fluid she didn't even remember it starting.  It felt so familiar and warm, as if they had been doing this all along.

Emotionally and physically they both knew where the other one stood.  He would only be in town occasionally, the worry of any sort of relationship was alleviated by the fact that he no longer lived in town.  It was the perfect casual encounter.  He was attentive both before, during, and after.  It was exciting, wonderful, and she felt like her heart was also in a safe place. 

When she said she should be heading home, he again chided her for not packing a bag, then walked her out to the corner where her car was parked.  He gave her a quick kiss goodbye, and she road the high for a long while.  They tried to meet up again the same week but the schedule didn't work out, so she said to just let her know a week beforehand in the future so she could clear her schedule.

Then the radio silence started up again, but she didn't mind at all.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Shall We Move On?

"Next week I'm at the downtown hotel...right next to your old place."

"I always wondered what the view looked like from there"

"Hahahaha...so you are inviting yourself to my hotel room?"

"I'm not inviting myself anywhere, just saying I was wondering about the rooms."

"Ha, you were totally inviting yourself, but that's okay.  I have no problem taking you up to the room."

She admitted she might have been inviting herself.  After all she was the one who had convinced Nameless that she wouldn't be having him in nature.  He had wanted to forgo the hotel and camp and invited her to join him. She informed him of her extreme princess status and how the outdoors was not a friend of hers.  It didn't take much convincing for him to book a room.

A few weeks later he was texting that he was in town.  After some back and forth they finally decided to meet up at the last minute downtown after she got off work.

She moved her car and they met up at the base of his hotel.  He side-hugged her and hustled her off to dinner, explaining he was starving.  They'd never had anything more than a few tapas together before and she was shocked at his actual hunger.  She got to explain to him that MP on the menu for the steaks at the restaurant stood for "Market Price." He declared himself too hungry to care and told her to order anything she wanted.

Two Market Price Steaks and two Old-Fashions later, and he opted for a third drink and she had some dessert.  He let her wax poetic about what was wrong with the local theatre scene, and what she would do to fix it, if she was going to stay in it.  As it currently stood, she didn't think she was going to attempt it again.  It hurt her heart too much to keep going with people not valuing her opinion or effort, or giving her a chance to direct.

Besides, she was having such a great time having downtime at the moment, otherwise she wouldn't be able to meet up with Nameless.  Hell, she'd had so many other friend commitments she had barely met up with him anyway.  She deliberately didn't make plans for two nights that week.

"Shall we move on to a bar?" He asked.  "I don't know how many other drinks I can have, I still have to try home tonight." She responded.

"You didn't pack a bag?"

Friday, August 24, 2018

This Never Happened...Again

"I'm sorry, um, about all that.  Won't happen again." KSL said before he went off to bed.  He had finally sobered up and all had seemed well.  She was pretty content to never speak of it again.

The next day he tweeted about hangovers in his 30's, which she took as a "I'm going to pretend like it didn't happen." Which confirmed they were not going to have a talk about it.  She breathed a sigh of relief and went on with the rest of her day.

It was a false relief.  When they met up at home after work, he apologized again.  She avoided his eyes and said "I didn't think we were going to talk about that."

But they did start a discussion.  About loneliness, regret, and the whys behind it all.  Even though she didn't want to talk about it, the conversation was a little healing on both sides.

"So again, I'm sorry, and it won't happen again." He repeated.  "You handled that pretty well."

"Okay" she said in a cynical tone.

"You kinda sound like I don't mean it, like you believe it's going to happen again." KSL was quick to respond.

"Listen, every time we've said this to each other, that's it's never going to happen again, something happens.  I'm tired of lying about it..to myself and to you."

He again stated that she had "handled it well" and she felt an inner conflict and couldn't help but overthink the statement.  How else could she possibly have handled it?  Gone along with it?  Slept with him?  Let it get out of hand and risk that box of feelings she had getting out, only to get wildly slapped down the next day, hell the next few minutes after he sobered up and realized what he had done?  No, her heart didn't have any other choice than to do what she did.

He didn't dispute her logic too much in her disbelief that it would happen again.  She tried to explain that she felt like she continued to just make it worse with him, and didn't know what to do to make him feel better where it didn't get into inappropriate territory.

Physical touch was a slippery slope.  Apparently anything more than a hug was just a fast track to sex.    Which, frankly, disappointed her.  There were so many things that they could do to help each other night be lonely...but it was going to be impossible to do so.  She needed to learn how to un-care.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Climbing Out of the Pit

The fatigue continued to plague her throughout the run of the show.  She used to have a hard time sleeping even in her own bed, but now she could fall asleep almost anywhere.  She chalked it up to the sinus infection, the stress of work and the show and never being alone.  She knew this fatigue was much worse than it had been before she had been on medication, but she pushed it aside and keep moving forward as best as she could.

It all came to a head the last night of the show.  She got into a fight with KSL that took her to an edge she rarely went to.  She raised her voice, talked over him because she was sick of being marginalized and was just all around over the situation.  It was finally over so she felt herself spewing forth all the things she'd been holding back "for the sake of the show."

The next day she'd thought about her feelings and the situation and how it could be improved, and finally came upon a solution; she must stop caring about what he thought of her.  She would never be able to help him, never be able to get to the level of caring that he needed.

So why try.

She had been hiding parts of who she was, 'dulling her shine' as PJ called it, and she was over it.  She decided to be 100% who she was with reckless abandon from here on out.  If she wanted to do something she'd do it, and she wouldn't if she wasn't feeling it.  She had just freed herself two years ago, she wasn't about to hide herself away again so quickly.

She went about the day with her freedom, playing with the small plastic dinosaurs a cast member had gotten her every time she walked by.  She finally had some time to herself to enjoy the easy, stress free life.

That night was KSL's movie night, and it seemed that only couples were showing up.  At least it wasn't just going to be the awkwardness of KSL trying to canoodle with his ex, but then his ex didn't end up showing up.  Mel's ex did however, but it wasn't awkward.  She assumed that she was aware of their shared man but beautifully never brought it up or let it get in the way of their friendship.  She was kind of an Angel.

Angel ended up snuggling up next to her, and the platonic affection was really nice.  She cursed herself for being an empath as she noticed KSL get more and more agitated by the fact that he was the only one not cuddling with someone else.  A passive aggressive tweet he sent out in the middle of the movie confirmed his feelings.

Angel hung back for a bit to talk, and then once she was out the door, she confronted KSL.  "What's with the tweet buddy?" Then she realized he was drunk.  He admitted as much, and hugged her and stated how he was just suddenly really lonely.  Maybe it was just the couples, maybe it was the end of the show...but he was clearly upset.

The polar icecaps around her heart melted a bit towards him, and she said that they could cuddle on the couch and watch a couple of shows until he sobered up, then he could go to sleep.  She had a bit to drink herself and wasn't going to bed anytime soon.

After an episode he went from having his arm around her to around the couch.  She figured he'd sobered up enough that he was physically uncomfortable around her once again, and she prodded a bit on if he was 'over' the cuddle session.  He insisted that he wasn't, but she commented it was basically her leaning into him and nothing more, and if that was going to be all there was then she could go back to her side of the couch.

"Okay fine, here, does this help?" He leaned over her and started kissing her.

Her heart dropped into her stomach.  Tears stung her eyes but she managed to hold them back.  Never before had she been so utterly sad to have someone kiss her, so used.  He was lonely, and she was there.  She was completely interchangeable from anyone else who could be sitting on that couch with him.  Strange how a kiss can make you feel not special at all to the person currently kissing you.

She waited for him to notice that she wasn't kissing him back, until he finally stopped.  "There, is that better?" He asked.

She dropped her head onto his chest and said "No.  We aren't doing that buddy."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Sinus Infection

Seething hatred for herself.  So weak.  She continued to beat herself up as she felt herself slip further and further into fatigue and self-doubt.

A headache had started days ago, and it ebbed and flowed through her cranium.  Just when she thought it was gone, it would return full force.  Everyone was too loud, everything too bright.  KSL sent her on an errand and she had to keep her sunglasses on in the store, it was too bright.  She was too fatigued and messed it all up.  KSL pretended like he wasn't upset about it, but clearly he was.

One of the actors said that his wife has lupus, so he understood that sometimes...really all the time, was constant pain.  Most of the time she could hide it, but it looked like she was having a harder time.

Maybe she should find another place.  Then KSL's friend could give away her dog and move in and then he'd be happy, and she could go back to not having to pretend 24/7 that she was okay.  He was clearly embarrassed by her, or still just too worried about what people would think.  His movie night was a scary movie, and she didn't mean to be scooting towards him but she was tired, therefore weak, therefore looking for someone to lean on.

If she'd been his ex, he would have snuggled with her.  If she'd been his friend, any other friend, he would have comforted her.

But she wasn't someone else.  She must be avoided at all costs, even if that meant giving up "his spot" on the couch.  Had she'd not been sick, weak...she wouldn't have bothered sitting by him at all.  Wouldn't had even been there.  She considered just going out and sleeping in her car, but she felt too sick.  She slept through most of the second movie in his spot, and continued to beat herself up through the next day as her headache worsened.