I just want to feel something again. Especially the day before Valentine’s Day.
My heart feels as numb as my hands do since I lost one of my lovely cashmere gloves two weeks ago. Why? Has it blacked out, having taken one too many shots? Is it coated in a plaster cast that I won’t even let anyone sign or remove? Has it mutated in a Darwinian survival strategy and grown an impenetrable exoskeleton? Maybe it’s just frozen, this winter has been especially cold.
I haven’t felt my heart flutter in my chest, nor jump into my throat for many, many months. It’s still beating, I checked. Stopped typing and placed my hand atop it, resisting the instinct still ingrained from elementary school to recite the pledge of allegiance. Is this normal? Is this just how it goes after a heart”s been broken? My heart is a first timer, never having been broken before. Maybe it’s similar to loosing your virginity? The first time is painful, but then it gets less so each time after? Until it’s finally fun? Yeah, no. Major analogy fail.
You may have noticed a lack of posts about my love life recently. Maybe you thought it correlated with my blog coming out, that revealing myself as Mary Lane meant rescinding the dish on romantic conquests. Nope. There’s just been very little in that department.
Turns out I’m wretched at rebounding. After having finally felt something for someone, the thought of throwing myself into a likely meaningless coupling seems oh so bleak. As bleak as the mid winter. I have had some feeble attempts, but my heart is not in it. No, it’s somewhere in my chest, wrapped in blankets, hibernating like a bear.
An old friend passed through New York awhile back, around Christmas. We had long been flirtatious, including one occasion where we kissed. On paper, it was the perfect recipe for a rebound. I invited him to stay with me, if he needed a place, and of course he jumped at the chance. Instead of having the whirl-wind 24 hour romance I hoped for, he instead reinforced the controversial cliché: all men are assholes.
I took him to see his first Broadway play and he fidgeted and whispered loudly throughout the entire show. I shrunk in embarrassment, feeling the annoyance of all those sitting around us. He was loud, brash, and flirted with other girls in front of me. A guy sitting next to us at the bar even commented that he was kind of a dick. Yeah I know, I though, but I already agreed he could stay at my place tonight.
Maybe this is good, I thought to myself, maybe canoodling with someone I’m physically attracted to but whose personality I find obnoxious is exactly what I need right now. Of course my mind was aided to this conclusion by alcohol. He had even paid for insanely priced $22 glasses of wine at the theater. I don’t like him, so no feelings are involved, this will just be fun.
The next morning I awoke to a tinkling sound. The door to my room was open, and the sound of someone peeing was strangely loud. The bathroom is down the hall from my bedroom, not close. No one else was in my bed so I knew it was him. He is 6’3, I figured, his bladder is proportionally on the larger side. Maybe that’s why it sounds so loud. Unless–no it couldn’t be. He wouldn’t! Seconds later he emerged from the hallway. I think he washed his hands, but I don’t exactly remember. “Did you just pee with the door open?” I asked him, point-blank. There was no need for niceties.
He shrugged and smirked, “Yeah.”
I looked at him in disgust, knowing the chance he’d left the toilet seat up was 100% likely.
Then I looked in the mirror. Staring back at me was a bright purple hickey on my neck. My first neck hickey, first visible hickey I’ve ever had. “You gave me a hickey??” I yelled, “Are you kidding me? You’re 27 years old and you give people hickeys!? I’m a performer! I have to work tonight! I’m playing a new character, a sexy vampire, I have no idea what my costume is like! I can’t show a fucking hickey!” Fortunately, it turned out my costume was basically designed to hide hickeys. Another fortunately: this guy doesn’t live in New York, it will be easy to never see him again.
What an awful guy, you’re thinking. How the hell was he ever someone you’d call a friend? There is no excuse, but I will say he was heart-broken himself. His heart still bloody and raw, he’d pick at the scabs, still talking about is ex. Very obviously still in love with her. A state much sorrier than myself.
I believe I’m at the point where my heart may unfreeze, emerge from hibernations, or outgrow its exoskeleton at any moment. I just need a warm spell, wake-up call, or protein shake. But I think men can sense there is something wrong with me. The number of men who flirt with me has drastically decreased since before my heart was broken. Can they sense I’m scared and closed off? Or is it that I’m old? I’m officially in my late twenties now, my eye cream is no longer just preventative.
Walter says it’ll all get easier after Valentine’s Day. No man wants to start something new between Christmas and V-day. Maybe he’s right. Or maybe me and my heart are so clearly damaged goods that this is going to take even longer than I ever dreamed.
Wah wah wah, how’s that for a Valentine’s Day post?
Tomorrow I am celebrating with girl friends by going to a drag show. I’ll automatically be in a better mood tomorrow. What are your V-day plans? And don’t worry, I don’t really think all men are assholes- I know my dude readers get ruffled by that cliché. That’s what I love about you.
feature image by John Michael Decker