"We kissed for two hours. Eventually, I led him into my bedroom and pulled off both of our shirts. He stopped me.
“This might sound weird; it’s not typical guy response.” I froze, suddenly awkward. “I mean, if I didn’t feel the way I do with you I would be all for it, but I kind of think maybe it would be good to wait. I’ve rushed into sex, and had it be a mistake.” He shrugged apologetically. “I mean, if it’s safe to assume you are experiencing the same date that I am, then I think we will have time.”
I was a little flabbergasted and more than a little embarrassed. How could I explain that the idea sounded like a huge relief to me, that I didn’t quite understand where the impulse to start taking my clothes off came from? I had had the same experience. I rarely enjoyed first-time sex with partners, largely because I usually did it before I really knew or trusted them. Here was where the difference between what I knew and did remained wide. The shame I felt wash over me was tinged with that hatred of my own innocence. Was I still so green? So unconfident? Had I gone straight out of the extremity of sex work to the innocence of my adolescence? Where was my self-knowledge? Still, I was relieved.
“Of course. I agree totally.” I clutched my T-shirt to my chest and smiled at him. “And yes, I am on the same date you are on.”
“I thought so,” he said. “I mean, I don’t think you can feel like this when it’s not reciprocal.”
He left at 2:00 A.M. and called me at 11:00 the next morning to schedule our second date."
"It’s a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them – and they simply don’t need you. That’s all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they’ll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on – this desperate need – and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other."
You do not always know what I am feeling.
Last night in the warm spring air while I was
blazing my tirade against someone who doesn’t
me, it was love for you that set me
and isn’t it odd? for in rooms full of
strangers my most tender feelings
bear the fruit of screaming. Put out your hand,
an ashtray, suddenly, there? beside
the bed? And someone you love enters the room
and says wouldn’t
you like the eggs a little
And when they arrive they are
just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather
I really liked this, especially “You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable.”
But what t he author forgot was you. Over your 20s (or perhaps your lifetime) you will fall in love with yourself. This will happen because in order to survive, to be happy, or just to keep breathing, you will need to love yourself. It will happen because you just aren’t that bad after all. After you’ve met all those people who loved you, or were silly enough not to, you’ll realize you’re worth it too.