“….. But it’s the having not the keeping that is the treasure. Ginsberg came to my house one afternoon and said he was giving up poetry because it told lies, that language distorts. I agreed, but asked what we have that gets it right even that much. We look up at the stars and they are not there. We see the memory of when they were once upon a time. And that too is more than enough.” The Lost Hotels of Paris, Jack Gilbert
Her and her short red hair now in my car on our way back to her place in silence. We just spent the last hour and a half arguing at Lyon Hall arguing about where this all was going. The older you get the more you understand that the moment you meet a woman you want to sleep with it’s just a countdown till you break up and hurt her and even though we had been seeing each other for six months this was seven years in the making. She and I had really good times, I was drawn to her on such a primal level and we clicked physically. There was a fucked-up-ness about her. The kind of woman who discovered her sexuality at such a young age and knew she liked it then. She tells you stories about finding her dad’s sex tape he made with his second wife and watching it and understanding the plot line. Somehow this makes you hard. The thought of the young version of herself, maybe getting turned on by watching her father and another woman, like you’re a ghost in the room watching her watching them. A side of us is always drawn to darkest flame.
Truth is we played with fire too long. Reality hit the night I brought up the subject of her being on birth control. She told me at her age the chances of her getting pregnant once she did get off the birth control significantly diminishes and eventually she does want to be able to have kids. I didn’t have the heart to tell her at her age the chances of kids had already diminished or that if she got an abortion it would diminish even more. But then I took her to New Orleans as a date to a friend’s wedding and where we fucked like it was our own honeymoon. We walked the streets long enough to get drunk then head back to our expensive hotel for a marathon fuck session. Again we were happy.
But soon guilt sets in. Every moment she spends with you she could be dating someone else that wants exactly what she wants. An older guy ready to settle down and start a family. Tonight she told me how much (against her own judgement) she really liked me. That each moment she spent with me she kept falling further and further for me. That sometimes I make her feel like I don’t give a shit about her because I don’t ask her questions about what’s going on in her life. She was making accusations but what she was really trying to say is that she wanted me to make her feel like a priority. She wanted me to make her feel like this was heading in the direction of long term dating, marriage and kids. And if it wasn’t, to let her know. If I’m being honest she had her points. I didn’t make her feel the way a woman should after dating a guy for close to six months. All women are vulnerable because all women want the same thing. To feel safe, to feel like they’re with a man who’s not wasting their time. Especially when that time is so short in terms of being able to have kids and start a family.
I knew in my heart I wasn’t ready to go there with her. I knew that my longing for her was a trap as well and you can’t cage a tiger. Although I wasn’t actively dating or sleeping with anyone else eventually I’d hurt her in that way. In my youth I was reckless with hearts, I had convinced myself that they all had it coming. But something changes with age and you’re honest with yourself. I can say she doesn’t deserve it.But someone hurt me so now I have to hurt seven people and they keep spreading the hurt on some The Ring shit. There’s her, standing in her kitchen small and me holding her in my arms. We dance as Flightless Bird plays from her radio. She wears black tights and a loose top hanging off one shoulder, black bra strap showing. She once told me the marble in her kitchen was Italian.
We parked and went in for another 45 minute round. She argued like a woman who boxed southpaw. We did the round were I tried to convince her I cared about her but I showed it in my own way. We openly ask the question of if she should be seeing other people, If she makes me happy, where I see it all going, what I want, if she’s happy. You know, all the relationship questions a woman thinks about when it’s over but she’s not ready to let go and you’re not ready to admit the obvious. That you’re not ready to give her what she wants. It’s dance involving me taking off and putting back on my shoes, taking off and putting back on my jacket walking out then coming back then eventually walking out for good.
Finally I get into my car and drive away for good. As I head into the night I think about the good times. I think about New Orleans and walking in the cemetery with drinks in hands. Of the night she took me to an ASAP rock concert at the 9:30 club and the week before dancing with her at the Logic concert at the Fillmore. Valentines night and the endless supply of wine she always had at her house. I think about the fact that I could have had everything, a sexy sexual woman that was successful intelligent and beautiful. When it’s over you ask yourself how many more girls like this are out there? My luck has to run out at some point. And now I was driving towards