Saturday, November 13, 8:30pm: I wish I could be at Occupy Denver instead of doing school work. I haven’t been able to go in a couple weeks and I feel terrible. but I am overwhelmed. One more week of classes and then exam weeks begin.
I’m sitting across from J in his cold studio. He is writing a letter on his typewriter, I am writing/doing research on my mac. It’s a nice juxtaposition of things in time.
This is the same J that is the subject of “when i knew it was over (the first time).” We’re still friends and talk occasionally. I’ve seen him for other reasons since it “was over” but I haven’t actually spent real time with him.
Last evening, while taking the light rail back home from H&M (yay) with one of my best school friends, I decided that even though I was absolutely exhausted, I could not be home on a Friday night. School friends were staying in to be good little nerds. Most of my Denver friends were ragers. I knew I would be in for a chill night if I hung out with J. so I texted him. He wrote back that he was at home working on a story.
I began to write a reply, but decided I’d rather hear his voice—it’s one of my favorites. The perfect octave. Not too deep, too high, gruff, raspy, or scratchy. His accent hints that he grew up in our part of the country, but that he also spent time in Chicago. His words give away that he is a writer, and that his favorite is Twain. His way of speaking reminds me of my grandfather. Actually, in a lot of ways he reminds me of my grandfather, a man born in 1925, raised in the Bronx, studied journalism at Columbia, Tigers Fan, Catholic, Irish, all-American, man of whiskey and scotch… J is an old soul.
We decided to meet on his side of town.
We caught up over $2 beers and somehow through the course of conversation, one of us proposed that we be completely honest to one another.
This would be a first for both of us. We, like most people, have never told anyone the absolute, complete, nothing-omitted truth about everything. It’s a scary prospect.
This is as close as one can get to knowing another as he knows himself.
Our history and dynamic make it especially foreboding. We briefly dated not too long ago. I am much more open and honest with other people in my life. He and I are not that close; I feel he doesn’t really “get” me, like we’re on different wavelengths. And now, we’re not dating. I don’t think we will in the future, but the possibility hangs over us. I’m still half-attracted to him. I gather he feels the same. While I care about him, it’s only sometimes a jealous-don’t-look-at-that-girl/i-want-to-fuck/why-didn’t-you-want-me/let’s-spend-all-day-together-i-miss-you kind of feeling. So to completely mentally and emotionally expose myself to him, of all people, is daunting. It’s sort of like people who become friends with benefits: you have access to a special, intimate part of someone else, but without any sort of promise, commitment, or expectation of the future beyond maintaining the status quo… which inevitably comes to an end, at least with actual friends with benefits. In our case, we’re not really friends to begin with. Not friends friends. So I see this going one of three ways: 1. we become very close friends for life, 2. we become better friends until one of us starts dating someone, at that point one or both of us will feel necessity to hold back or back off, 3. we fall in love. Or, I guess number 4. the novelty wears off and we go back to our habits as casual friends.
Ok, back to my story. Conversation got real after that. My like for him as a person progressed with the night.
We took the talk and some pizza back to his apartment. I slept over. It’s been about 24 hours and we have not yet left each other’s company.
Right now the only sounds are ‘Explosions in the Sky’ and each word his fingers spell out on his typewriter. I look up at him over the top of my glasses and our eyes meet. I raise my head so that he is within the frame of focus and we share a smile. This is all we have said in over an hour.
I want to interrupt our work. I’m getting impatient to talk. I can’t wait for us to unravel more of each other.