i understand where you are…sort of…pt 2

I will never forget three things:

  1. him not coming to my grandfather’s funeral after saying he would
  2. him inviting me to his birthday weekend thing the night of
  3. him leaving me at the airport
  4. him asking me if I wanted to go to Germany with him for New Years and then getting a passport to do that and then him going alone

Ok. Four things.

And I’ll never forget how silent he is most of the time and how I only feel needed when he’s lonely and sad. And he says I excite him and that he loves me and I know it, but I don’t feel it. The people who I talk about everything with say “Aside from taking you to Italy he doesn’t seem to put in much effort” and “He doesn’t deserve you” and “He doesn’t care about you the way I care about you” and “What do you see in him?” and these are statements from many different people. All who know me well. All who I trust.

Yet I stay interested in becoming important enough.

On no one’s suggestion I keep him in my mind and in my heart. He’s a valuable, mild- mannered, easily embarrassed, thick ass, refrigerator user’s manual. And I never finish those damn things. I typically start on the last page — the warranty page — and work backwards.

When we talk I feel uneducated. I don’t know most of the words he uses and he consistently astonishes me with topics that manage to lose my interest. We’re not neighbors. I get parking tickets when I visit him. I get sad when he doesn’t walk me out and I get worried when I show up late and he doesn’t offer to meet at my car and walk us to his door.

Yet I stay interested in becoming important enough.

I feel old around him. Stupid and old. Like someone my age with my experience shouldn’t be staring at him wondering so much. I should know by now. I should be able to resist his eyes. I should be able to resist watching him sleep. I should be able to look away when he’s in front of me. But I can’t. All I want to do is connect with him.

“As soon as he gets you he’s not going to want you anymore. That’s how we are.”

Coming from the person who’s been trying to get me.

He talks about love being this “low level hum” — I hated that phrase when I first heard it. What a horrible way to describe something that had always been so electric and lively to me.

But I get it now. I get it.

I’m trying to unplug the refrigerator and I can’t.

I want to fill it up. I want to clean it out every week, toss out what’s bad and restock it with fresh, delicious things I want to eat. I don’t want to ever unplug the refrigerator.

Today we each have plugged in refrigerators.

They’re both empty.

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