A few months later. A bourbon infused, embarrassing snoop session told me that he’s got a new girlfriend.
I hate being right
Seeing in print that he has a new, beautiful, young thing who he is showering with gifts feels like my worst fear is coming to fruition.
She’s a significantly younger artist. Beautiful in the tragic kind of way that usually comes with a generous, tender heart. She looks like a girl who is an old soul and wise beyond her years. One who wants nothing to do with boys her own age. Thin in a coltish way. Big eyes and a young, untouched face. 2016 will be her first time in the voting booth.
This is the kind of girl who can be hours late for a get together. Who will frequently curl inward, hating herself. Who will demand more and more attention. She fuels her paramour’s fire because she’s so stunning and fragile and kind that it’s impossible not to love her; and she’s kinky. Very much so.
It’s hard to picture her helping with his three children, the oldest of which is less than a decade her junior. Nonetheless I can see him leaving for her, drawn in by her fragility and innocence and the high of trying to save her.
Knowing about her brings an extra set of shame.
I am not a young, artistic, thin sparrow. I feel big and demanding and awkward and old. I have enough years on me to dull my sweetness into skepticism.
Strangely, I feel embarrassed that I don’t wear my hurt on my sleeve. Most of the trauma of my childhood and 20s has been handled in therapy or gets shoved aside in favor of handling my life. There’s never been anyone else to share those duties. No one would ever meet me and think I’m someone who needs to be taken care of.
I feel sick thinking about him getting lost in her body. Thinking about what a fool he was to think he loved me – or almost worse – not thinking about me at all. I try to focus on other things, but can’t help imagining him excitedly waiting for her emails, looking at her the way he did me, doing with her the things that I loved to do.
It is strange to have thought you were so significant in someone’s life, only to realize you were just another temporary diversion and are easily replaced.
A year ago I wrote him a scathing email. It was during one of our angrier exchanges when Matt told me for the umpteenth time that he was going to give his marriage “one last shot”. It said that if he didn’t get a divorce, I knew he’d go back to seeing sex workers or, worse, have another affair. That he’d replace me and leave for her, or leave that one and leave for the next.
I didn’t hear from him for three days, which had never happened. He was angry and hurt. When he finally responded, he told me that he could never replace what we had. He wrote that we were a once in a lifetime thing. Ironically, it was in that email that he first told me he was in love with me.
In addition to the shame, I feel jealous not only of the women in his life, but also of Matt himself. He has so much love and lust all around him. He knows that both his wife and I would do anything for him. He knows that I still miss him terribly.
What would it be like to know that there are two (possibly more) people who would give anything to be with you?
While I don’t hate being with my clients, I am certainly not having the kind of sex we had, or the kind of sex I would prefer. I envy his ability to find that so easily.
I miss him.
I miss him an embarrassing amount considering the time that has gone by. Considering that even though we had contact, we’ve only been in the same room twice in the last year. I wake up sometimes expecting to be in our bed in his little apartment, or reach out to my phone thinking I’ll find a “Good morning, baby” text message. When I’ve had an especially long day, I crave curling up in his lap, pressing my face into his chest with his arms wrapped around me. There are times when I remember his scent so intensely that I would swear he’s in my apartment.
I can’t bring myself to sell tickets we have for a concert two months from now. Selling them feels like finally accepting that the future we dreamed about isn’t happening, that I won’t ever get to hear his gravely voice in my ear or hold his hand again. Even though I know that is true intellectually, it is a struggle to accept it in my heart.
I would like to say more than anything I miss our friendship, or the teamwork that helped us navigate the ups and downs of getting his new job and led me through an especially trying experience with one of my non-sex work projects. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be entirely true.
I miss the sex, the romance, and the affection.
They are one in the same for me. Sex without a deep emotional and intellectual connection, and without being able to muddle through mundane stuff together, is basically just like being at work. Friendship without sex is, well…friendship. I miss all of it in a way that sometimes makes it hard to breathe; knowing he doesn’t miss me the same way just adds fuel to the tears.
It’s been four months and I am slowly adjusting to the idea that I will never hear from him again.I am trying to glean lessons from my grief; the main one being that perhaps being temporary is what I’m good at.
Every day I try to think about him less. I try to distract myself with work and tasks and crappy TV. I try to emulate Matt’s ability to accept that things are over and move on with his life.
Maybe I should stop fighting it and instead embrace it and capitalize on it instead of chasing the ideal of being someone’s one and only.
At the same time, I’m working hard to make myself better inside and out. Hoping that if I can just make myself kinder, more thoughtful, more skilled, thinner, fitter, prettier,
…then maybe one day someone will say they want to stay and mean it.