Friday, May 27, 2016

Stepping Stone

“If I died today, I wouldn’t have died happy. Anything that people say about someone living a happy and productive life before they passed would be a lie.”

She contemplated for a second before blowing out her cigarette smoke, the wind catching it and sending it away from her face. She then looked at me and said, “Is this about her?”

“It’s not just about her but it involves her. Her and a long line before her and possibly, no definitely, after her.”

“And that makes you think you’ve had a shitty life?”

“Based off of what happened, it doesn’t make me think I’ve achieved the happiness I’ve sought out. Everyone looks for different things but a good portion of us just want to love and be loved, at least I do.”

“So you should be hopeful, right?” she asked me, taking another pull.

“No,” I shot back, “the exact opposite.” I loved Kim but she sometimes saw a brighter side to things when I didn’t. I can usually see both sides to any argument but this time was harder than normal. Something that had been a plague for the entirety of my life wasn’t getting better and I didn’t have the feeling that it ever would.

“You have no hope at all, Amir? So life is just over and you’re going to live in sadness until your body rots? Don’t fucking do that.”

“I don’t think I’m going to live in sadness but I’m not going to be happy, just like I haven’t been. You know me, I’m a generally upbeat guy but I want what I want and when I don’t or can’t get it, it makes me rethink things in a serious manner. Having gone through this a multitude of times only shows me that it’s not going to improve anytime soon.”

“Because a girl wasn’t interested in you? Amir, there are lots of girls out there and you haven’t dated all of them. Not even a large portion…”

“But the reasons I keep getting for their rejection doesn’t seem to change. I’ve been told or shown all my life that nice guys finish last and some have even tried to spin that around into a good thing but that doesn’t change the fact that I see guys worse than I am are finished with a marathon I haven’t been able to sign up for.”

Kim looked at me, puzzled. “And why would you think that?”

“Because I’m the end game. That’s what it’s always boiled down to.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Okay…I’m usually seen as the end. The last guy that anyone wants to date because I actually am a good guy. There’s not a huge problem with me but I make women think of marriage because I’m apparently cut out to be the perfect husband.”

“I can see that,” she said. “So why doesn’t that make you hopeful?”

“Well, 100% of the time I run into 2 categories of women. One wants a guy that’s more of an asshole than I am and another that sees me being husband material and then realizing that they haven’t done enough dating yet. Both are out of my hands because I’m not going to act like a dick just to get someone. Eventually the fa├žade will drop and they’ll see that I’m really just a nice person. Maybe they think I can’t fuck since I’m not about to yell at them?”

Kim laughed loudly. “The other set fucks me up the worst because I’ll meet someone that seems very into me. They’ll say that they can’t find a specific flaw other than the fact that there aren’t enough guys like me in the world. They talk about how great I am as a person and tell me that I’ll eventually make SOMEONE ELSE very happy one day. They somehow think that maybe I’ll stick around and wait for them to get through their promiscuous phase and come back to find me later. Or better yet, they just KNOW that another girl is going to scoop me right up. And that’s the problem…”

“They always think there will be a ‘next girl’ but they’re the ‘next girl’ from the last girl. I see your point.”

“Exactly, it never ends. I’m constantly being pushed off to the next one like a fucking hot potato. And the shit that kills me is that they all say the same shit each time. ‘Don’t ever change. Stay just how you are.’ Why? It’s obviously not doing me any favors!”

Kim finished her cigarette and flicked it into the grass. She then began to dig in her pocket for a stick of gum. “I mean,” she started. “Maybe it is.” I looked at her like she offered me Quaaludes. “Hear me out. Maybe them pushing you away is their way of showing you that they’re not right for you and they know that ahead of time. It’s very possible that they can see pretty early that they’re not going to be able to be true to you and who you are right now and this pushing you from girl to girl is a good thing. You’re not wasting your time on bitches who don’t appreciate you.”

“The thing is it IS a waste of time because I get invested before they drop this on me. I get attached, I start showing them that I like them, I get invested and then when it seems like the next logical step is coming, I get dropped. It’s like they can’t take someone being all of the things they ask for?”

“Amir, take it from a woman, we have no idea what the fuck we want half the time. We want a lot of things we’ve never had and when we have them it seems like too much.”

“So that makes me too much to handle? Like they get this string of assholes, run into me and think to themselves ‘maybe the assholes weren’t so bad.’ You’re not making me feel better, Kim.”

“Sorry, I’m just being honest. We’re a little crazy but that doesn’t mean that there’s no one out there for you.”

“But that’s the other thing about the last one. I thought she was. Nothing was the same and I feel that she was the closest I’ve ever had to everything I’ve ever needed. I’ve never felt like that before. From what you’re saying to me, a bunch of women had the opposite of me, asked for me, then when faced with potentially keeping me, decided that I wasn’t what they needed after all. Well I ran into the opposite issue. I had the opposite of her all my life, asked for her, got her, then when faced with potentially keeping her, it was a no-brainer. I had to keep her. And she had other plans.”

“Don’t call it a plan, Amir. That makes it seem like she was going to do this from the beginning and you know that’s not the case. You approached her so you know she wasn’t peeping at you from a parked car in the street just waiting to make you miserable and break your heart. Her wants changed. She’s allowed to do that. Every woman you’ve ever encountered is allowed to do that and it’s okay. 
It’s setting you up for something better. Focus on being alone.”

“I am alone. I’ve been alone. Even when I was with Misa I was alone. For all of the years we were together, she was never really there. I was alone before her for a while, then alone with her, and now I’m alone again. I’m sick of being alone. That’s why I’m not happy.”

She took a long drag from her cigarette and contemplated for a moment before exhaling and repeating the same actions. She then looked at me and said, “So maybe stop focusing on going after love. Just chill and do everything else in your life.”

“That’s bullshit. No one ever says that about anything but love and relationships and it’s a bullshit platitude to get people to stop complaining. Kim, when people talk about being broke the advice that they’re given is to go after the money. Make a plan, set something up and go for it, not wait for it to come to you by not focusing on it. When you want to get a job, no one tells you to wait for them to call and let the opportunity fall in your lap. They tell you to put in a resume and apply. And even still with relationships I’m always told to go out, you can’t get the girls by not putting yourself out there so it’s a fallacy to tell me to not focus on the thing I want the most and simultaneously telling me to wait on it. That. Is. Bullshit.”

“People aren’t jobs, Amir-“

“Yes they are! They’re work. Relationships are hard work. It’s a job paid in love, respect, admiration, all that good shit. Getting to them is a job. Everything involved is. And my resume is everywhere and no one is hiring.”

We both sat there for a while in silence. Kim's my best friend because I’m able to have that silence with her yet not let it get weird. We appreciate each other’s company to the point that we’re comfortable around each other in public and private without having the weight of being a couple. It’s nice being there but there’s always something that’s unspoken.

“So, Kim…”

She turned her head to look at me.

“Why aren’t we together?”

She looked away and shook her head.

“You know why.”