oh, honey. all fire but no flame. in over your head and hiding under an argument, flailing and fragile and trying to forgive yourself for knowing better but saying yes anyway. mad at everyone else for a choice they told you not to make. soon you’ll see the difference between what he gives and what he’s taking. soon you’ll feel the difference between who’s just barely bending and who’s breaking.
A year ago I wrote, “Standing on the corner of Greenpoint Ave., I looked up at him and thought, I am not worthy. I am less than.”
But time has passed and my hair has grown back down to my hips and we both live in Manhattan, together, and he admits standing in our kitchen that he is not worthy and while he cries I close my eyes and tell myself, You are not too much as a result of his being too little.
I’ve been here before, in this position. It varies, it evolves, but I’m always here: an emotional fetal position. Crippled by the idea that the men I love could ever betray my trust with girls I’ve spent my entire life trying to stand apart from.
I’ll love you through the ups and downs, the in-between, and you know that. I’ll be your light in the dark shielding you from the shadows. I’ll keep you warm and comfortable and kiss your flaws until you admire them as much as I do. I’ll talk about your shortcomings as if they give you character and I will do it so often you will start to believe me. You’ll start to see yourself as the man I know you can be and once I’ve given you everything I have and taught you everything I’ve ever learned you’ll leave. You’ll leave me with nothing but the memory of the boy you once were, teaching me the difference between a boy and a man and which ones are worth falling in love with.
I think the hardest part is accepting that he’d never love me the way I needed him to. He’d never understand my definition of loyalty. He wouldn’t ever identify with the way I feel when I hear Manchester Orchestra or Kate Nash or Sarah Kay poems. If I offered him a threesome he’d glow at the thought. He wouldn’t turn it down because I alone was enough for him. I’ve never been enough for him. He’d admit, “Your words, not mine.” He wouldn’t push on the rare occasion I needed to pull because what is he if not in control? He’d drool with his friends over body types exact opposite of mine but swear I was all he wanted. I’ve never been what he wanted. He’d say I love you and he’d convince himself he meant it but only because this was the first time he felt something. And when you go from feeling nothing to feeling something you want that something to have a name, but love isn’t something. Love is everything. I gave him everything. He gave me something.