Ahh New York in June. Hot. Sticky. Smelly. Ahh, New York in August. Hot. Sticky. Humid…Gross. Ahh, New York in the winter..ahh..new york..in…the Winter
A long time ago (which is years in my life, not decades yet thank you) I wrote a song called Winter. It was inspired by a good friend of mine. Male. Attractive. Successful. We do that, don’t we? We try to sum up people and life in as little amount of words as possible. Some people call it being specific, others call it lazy or curt. Me? Oh, you’ll have to wait for that one. But look, I’m going to call this friend, Douglas. In order to explain the song, I’d have to explain Douglas. In order to explain Douglas I’d have to give you his stats, his resume and a few life experiences so that you’d “understand” where he was coming from. Or you’d “sympathize” with what he was going through. Or with what *I* was going through, or anyone, for that matter. And what the HELL is that about??? It’s emotional reasoning. It’s logically-illogical. what-what-what?? This ones about *feelings.* And you know what the first rule is to feelings that I didn’t learn until I was in my thirties (yes, I’m there)?
Feelings are not facts
And then I added “but they are a factor”
Picture it: (not) Sicily. (not) 1939. A beautiful young man (true story)….wait wait wait. Picture it: (not) Sicily. (not) 1939. A bright young woman (also true story) fooled by the beautiful young man (bait and hooked)
When you meet someone new and you’re dating and “hanging out” and “chillin’ ” and this and that’n…you’re running on the top three best and worst factors (some will argue facts, but lets just keep it like this) 1) More debt (you know you’re spending money you a) don’t have, and b)shouldn’t )…are the parenthesis too much and too often? ANYWAY. 1) More debt. 2) caffeine. 3) Infatuation. You know it, and you like it. Infatuation is where people too young or naive fall prey to the immediate moments of emotional, physical, or mental stupidness and claim it’s love. They’ve “never felt this way before,” Or “it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.” Unfortunately all of that infatuatedness is is quickly followed by the hesitance statements: “I’ve been hurt before” “I’m working on me right now” and one of my favorites “I’ve put up a lot of shields” Really?? REALLY? Doesn’t all of that just bother you? It bothers me, and what bothers me more is I’ve totally said each one. YES I am statistic. I’m a percentage. A fraction. I mean, who is doling these cards out without letting me know how the game is played? This is a reason I don’t play poker, or strategy games. I have to think too much and I’d really much rather have someone else entertain me and educate me a bit for once. Geez, that sounds egotistical–you’ve said something similar so get off me. Is it God? GOD is playing with our lives? –no..no.. lets not turn this story that way. It’s too political. heh. Lets get back to factors:
1) More debt. You know, I have student loans I have to defer them as much and as often as possible because not only do I not make enough for them (but thanks for supporting me wanting an education Uncle Direct Loans, and Aunt Sallie Mae) but I barely make enough money to keep the roof over my head and pay the phone bill that the people keep calling me on to remind me I owe them money. Vicious circle. But you know what? Apparently I didn’t need to eat the first few week we went out new-beautiful-man, because we went and got drinks, and some food. Sure you paid too, and you have a story of debt behind yourself, but this is my side. Really I’m just spending money so I have something to complain about, or have something else in common with my friends, family and new-beau. I’m spending money *now* so I can complain later, after you get to know me and think I’m great and easy going and make enough money to splurge the way we are. Inside though, I’m freaking out and already reminding myself to pick up more shifts to make up for it, which will take time away from you but I won’t tell you that. I’ll tell you something like “so-and-so called out and I could use the shift” This way you’ll think I’m not only easy going and have a commendable position that allows me to go out with you and spend my own money, but now you will also think I am accountable. And oddly enough that will be something you later tell me is nice to see. That the last few people you’ve dated were flakes and what not. Which may, or may not be true–but you know I’ll believe you because stroking my ego is just as important as pretending you have a reason to do so. (read that last sentence again, i swear it makes sense) But you know what, after I accrue more debt and we’ve passed each others tests I’ll let you know I can’t go out, and you’ll just come over and hang out and we’ll fall into a new pattern of comfortability. Make no mistake though, all of that happens in the brain before action is taken. Oh, and to add to our new stay-at-home dates I now am suffering from a mild case of anxiety and depression because of the money I don’t have, and you’re totally worth it–I think.
2) Caffeine. No, no I stay up this late all the time talking about mindless topics. It’s all of a sudden WAY more interesting to discuss different kinds of pudding now because I like the sound of your voice, and I’ll tell you that because it will flatter you–yes yes, I mean it, but it flatters you and you’ll speak to me more. So we both win. And I mean well, I do. Caffeine is possibly what we partook in (is that even a word?) during date 2 or 3 because it was safe and during day light or “normal” hours –I’m assuming of course we met at a bar, or at work, because we didn’t meet at my apartment and those are the only other places I go…and this coffee shop we met at that’s around the corner from my apartment, but quite a trek for you–but you tell me I’m worth it and I like that. During the caffeine period of time there’s not too much food consumed. It’s early and I’m jittery already but exhausted at the same time. I get up earlier to look more presentable for the possibility of a spontaneous meet-up. I go to bed later so I can talk to you as I come down from my day, and we’ll text into the evening until one of us finally says it’s late–which I secretly hope is always me because as the girl I actually do want some control, and if you tell me it’s getting late I may feel that I’m not fun enough for you. But this subject and phase is neither relevant or important at this time. Those phases come during “confession” and we’re still in the midst of the early stages of this relationship. Eventually caffeine doesn’t do it for us, and that’s fine but less we forget the most important part of what keeps us going during the beginning of this new venture:
and if you don’t know the difference between love, lust, and infatuation you’re kidding yourself into believing what’s going on is real. You know what? I take that back. This is what I mean: It’s real, it’s not realistic. I said that to a dear friend to me a few years ago. I think it rings true here as well. AND I’ve been there. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m being honest and I’m delivering that honesty with a hint of sarcasm and a firm grip. Which may be misconstrued as meanness. At which point I will say perception, and the age old cliche to each his own. Then I will shrug and move on, because that’s what I do sometimes. Infatuation is tunnel vision. It’s what gets heightened in the event an ability is taken away. Like your ability to think straight… it’s like when people lose their sight, then they say their hearing is clearer and their sense of touch is more sensitive. Stuff like that. Infatuation is driving with a rearview mirror, but no side mirrors. Infatuation is what people confuse love for. I know I did. I had to learn the difference. Which I was of course against, and more so than that I didn’t want to admit that I needed to be taught anything. I’m hard-headed that way.
After those first few weeks, one if not all of those factors may still be present. And you know what? That’s fine. You’ll adjust, just like we always do when something changes. We just have to be careful of how our feelings are defined if we’re running on no sleep, too much caffeine, infatuation that we don’t go into more debt..See how I did that? eh. But listen, there’s more to it than that. I know this. And you know this. Once we start to get to know each other better the glossy look that has stained our vision starts to clear and the real stuff comes out. So you address all that. You learn the quirks that make you giggle and the stuff that triggers the irate bitch within you. Fine, I could be speaking for myself but again HONESTY, delivered perhaps with too much speed and pressure it causes blunt force trauma. Literally. Figuratively. oops.
Then. You know EVERYTHING. At least you think you do. And I’m going to tell you something, that’s no fun. I like a little mystery, or dabbles of unknown and new stories or experiences as time goes on. Why the rush to know everything? It’s like the people that rush to the altar…now what? Well, now comes the work of the relationship incorporating all the lessons and experiences you’ve learned prior, the communication it will take to tell stories without feelings sidetracked, run over with questions or comments, or the worst: judgment. Can’t we just take our time? No way, I like the comfort zone. Guilty as charged. I do like being in a relationship, but I (finally) don’t NEED it. That took some growing up and learning and addressing. And it’s still a work in progress. “I’m working on me right now” See, told you I’d said it all. And the absolute downfall of any relationship after the beginnings, during the Iknowalotbuti’mstilllearning phase where unwelcomed questions and comments arise is the ever terrible: Double Standard. (lowers head in defeat) Guilty. As. Charged. And you know what? I’m really good at twisting it around to make it NOT appear double standard, but it is–it totally is. And again, Im working on that. bla bla bla.
But wait there’s MORE. So we have the facts of ourselves. Fact, I am X years old. We have facts of the other. He has been married four times before, and has no children but wants them. We have factors (that’s the stuff that plays IN to the experience after the facts have been established. That’s why you can’t say it’s love so early on, you haven’t an experience there to back it up with–says I. you’ve established a common language as far as communicating. You’ve been honest. You’ve yelled, you’ve been heard, you understand, you’re understood. But you know what you lack? Do you know what *I* lack? The ability to feel exactly what the other feels. You can define your relationship, your feelings as you see fit, but no matter how hard you try–you may never truly, 100% understand what the other means when he says “I love you so much, it hurts.” Sure you may have your own experience of that, but not his. Never his. And that will always put a small hiccup in the stability and function of the relationship. THAT is the wind factor.
Sometimes that extra debt is just like knowing its raining, and not only do you have to go out in that rain, you have to buy an umbrella at some point, you realize you don’t have any shoes that cover your whole foot, and it’s not going to let up anytime soon.
Sometimes that caffeine becomes the addiction and you cant function without it. You’re cranky without it. You get a headache without it, maybe. And you start to wonder if you should start adding baileys or not.
Sometimes infatuation is just your way of hiding in the glorious warmth of the sun without SPF, and getting burned is only a matter of time.
Sometimes people explain themselves, and it’s a breeze to understand. It’s even refreshing in the middle of your day, like a cup of iced tea on the roof of your apartment providing the landlord doesn’t find out. … Sometimes people can give you the facts of the matter: “I have an ex-wife and a son” but that doesn’t mean I understand the feelings of that fact, nor do I understand how to measure how that will factor into our relationship. It’s possible that one day,with all that information, the weather will remain calm and easy. It’s possible that one day that information will cause a stormy blinding wind that captures you in its cyclone and tosses you down where you haven’t been before. It’s possible that one day when it appears beautiful it will rain, the good rain…the bad rain. It’s possible that in the middle of the summertime in New York, when the weather has cooled for the evening and windows are open to allow the light breeze in, that it does also allows debris into your home. Your comfort zone. Your space, and it’s then that you have to decide to either shut the window, put in the filter (or screen, I suppose), or go back up on that roof and let it really hit you. And whichever you decide will tell you more about your relationship than I can, or anyone else can. Because sometimes it doesn’t matter what the weather tells you it’s going to behave as, sometimes in the midst of a hot summer night it can feel like snow. But then again, that internal feeling is only a factor, and of course your feelings, just like mine, remain to be determined.
Winter, by Aiyani Mersai in 2003 (no, I’m not attaching the music, we’re not there yet)
Winter comes inside, summer burns outside.
Feel the rain and the cold and the thunderstorms, stereotypical…why did you go?
Winter snows indoors; fall leaves now on my porch.
Can I shed this skin to reveal how I feel within?. . . Come home again.
I guess I always thought you’d come around.
I guess I always counted on us.
I guess I always thought you’d come around,
I guess I was wrong you still can surprise me
Winter breathes in me, the white outside agrees.
Ice upon my heart and windowpanes, its all the same . . . Who am I kidding?
Winter stays here with me, though spring warms the seed.
The love you planted in me, stopped growing…why did you leave?
I guess I always thought you’d come around
I guess I always counted on us.
I guess I always thought you’d come around,
I guess I was wrong you still can surprise me
You still can surprise me, but don’t….
Please, don’t surprise me anymore
Please, don’t surprise me anymore.