Thinking of You

I was just thinking of you while I came. You remember the day we had gone swimming when I held you down. You were such a mess from choking. It was lovely.

She’s an ex. We ended badly, not as friends. I had deleted her number, never expected to hear from her again. I don’t know why she sent it. Nostalgia maybe, or as a thank-you. Maybe she wanted to taunt me with what I was missing, or maybe she was just sharing something wanton and wonderful.

I didn’t ask. I didn’t tell her how it made me feel–strutting proud, important, and aroused, with only a touch of bitterness. I didn’t say anything before deleting her from my phone again. Maybe that was the wrong call. It takes courage (or at least bravado) to send a message like that. If I’d sent it, I know the silence would sting.

I’ve left a great many messages unsent. Some I regret not sending, even after years. The “I’m sorry”s and the “thank you”s make up some–it took far too long to learn that those should never go unsaid. But mostly, it was fear. What if I said something vulnerable, something that boiled down to “I’m thinking of you,” and the answer were “why should I care?” What if, ultimately, no one does?

I’ve disappeared from entire social circles, moved states, and changed numbers more than once. Only one friend has ever tracked me down. It is not hard to disengage, when I don’t feel valued. Not feeling particularly valuable makes not feeling valued an easy default. Of course, disengaging means not showing others they are valued too. It can be an isolating cycle.

It’s not one I’m willing to break out of. Sometimes the thought of building intimacy is just as frightening as the thought that it isn’t possible. Fear of either leads to holding intimate thoughts close.

These are a few texts left unsent, presented without context. They won’t ever reach the people for whom they were written. I think that’s probably all right.

The orange trees are blooming. The way you tasted and the way your beard felt when we kissed still hits me every time I smell them.

2005

Remember when you said I could be your Jewish wife? I never thanked you. I know it was a joke, but I go back to that every time I’m afraid it’s not okay to want more than one.

2008

It’s 2:03 on a Monday night. I’m awake. I know you’re awake. The last thing I want is to text you. The only thing I want is to text you.

2013

I hate my skin without bruises. I miss running hands over them, feeling the kind of shabby and well-used that makes one real.

2014

37 thoughts on “Thinking of You”

  1. What a coincidence you should post on this topic – last night (perhaps against my better judgment) I texted The Pedant to tell him I saw a guy at the sex club who could’ve been his stunt double. It’s been over a year since we stopped seeing each other and I’ve texted him ONCE in the intervening time about a practical matter. I had no idea how he’d react to me essentially telling him, out of the blue, that I remembered his naked body with perfect clarity.

    My text actually led to a pleasant conversation. And he said maybe we can hang out sometime in September and I can tell him the whole story of the sex club. This is turning my brain inside out a little bit because I still kind of want the goodbye fuck I never got when we split. And I’m not sure if that’s on his mind, too, or if he’s looking to start over as friends, or if it could go either way.

    Perversely, I think if I hit on him and he said “I don’t want to go down that road” I’d deal with it far better than if he said “Oh, actually I can’t today because reasons. But…sometime! I’ll be in touch” because – well, you know the story. He was always infuriatingly just out of reach and that’s one of the things that drove me batshit about trying to date him. I don’t know if I can deal with that again, even with the harem of other boyfun I’m currently curating.

    Sigh.

    1. I’m glad it led to a pleasant talk! Although I do hope you’re not put in the position of having to deal with poor communication analysis and the ensuing stress with him again because that is awful in so many ways.

      I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t text her back, even though her text gave me all the warm fuzzies (and warm tingly—ahem). It’s a good feeling. I worried talking to her again would just bury that under all the awfulness. I mean, what could I say? “Hot, I’m flattered…so, are you still lying to your partners and sneaking around on your wife?” I don’t see it going anywhere good.

  2. I’ve often thought of texting some exes as I think about them, mostly as a “thank you”, and sometimes I actually do, but then I instantly regret it.
    Sometimes they’re received well, others not, but it’s pointless.
    Unless we’re friends, but then it’s wistful, which is almost worse than pointless.

    1. If it’s well received, is it still pointless?

      With the exes that are still friends, I love this kind of thing. We banter and flirt and it’s great. But they’re generally exes only because they’ve moved and we’re not interested in an LDR; any flirtation can translate to action if we find ourselves in the same zip code again. So in those cases it’s just a nice way to tug at existing sexual tension a little and move that next meeting a little higher on our priority list.

  3. I’m not so good at leaving things unsaid. it’s a lesson I never learned as has burnt me much in later life.

    I’m not sure what I’d say to people I don’t speak to any more; there’s normally a reason why I don’t speak to them, drifting apart mostly. Apart from the girl on the train I can’t think of many people in my life I have much to say.

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