2003-10-03 - 8:16 p.m.

Things are difficult right now. I manage quite nicely when things go the way I am used to them going. I am not one to ever use the word lonely and perhaps it still isnít the right word to use here because my loneliness does not mean I am lonely without people, it just means that there is void where he is supposed to be. So now, when things are not the way I am used to them being with him, there is a huge, gaping gap in my day. And I feel lonely. I have friends, I have even people who are not necessarily friends that I could call and just go to a movie with, but that wouldnít quell this feeling. Being with people would not help me, being with him would.

Right now his cousin is staying with him for two weeks. Suddenly things have gone back to the way they were, with him, before I came along. Back to where he goes out every night, regardless of whether he has to work the next morning, when he constantly has people, lots of people in his apartment. So there is no time to call me, to just sit on the phone with me to keep the connection going. So I am lonely. And agitated and reverting back to the defensive self I used to know so well, the one that just saysÖI would be better off alone.

I remember when I started dating him. How it confused me because I knew I was happy alone, would be happy alone for life. But I also knew that having him made me happier, that there was another level of happiness. I didnít take into account that there would be times, like now, even the times when we are 4,000 miles apart for weeks and weeks, when my happiness would plummet below any level of despair I had previously felt. So now, left alone, lonely, my mind is in panic mode, clutching at whatever shred of sanity it can and that answer is alwaysÖyou should just be alone. I know that is not what I want and that it is only a matter of patience and time before he and I can be together, consistently. If I only wait it out I will be able to climb back over those hills and experience that happiness that can only be found when I am with him.

In my loneliness I crave solitude. Oddly. I donít want people around me, I donít want to talk to anyone. I wish that I could just sleep all those hours away when I am not at work, but I am not tired and cannot even force sleep. I just want to go away. I want to get in my car, like I did that one weekend a couple years ago, and drive away. Go to that spot where I feel right. Leland. I want to go to Leland. I want to get my hotel room, the one right next to where they make the coffee in the morning, want to go to the store and buy cheese, bread and wine, like I did that one weekend, and lay in bed and read. Quiet. There was no one around that weekend, just me. During the day I wandered sand dunes, walked the beach with my cheeks bright red and burning from the cold wind. Then I would drive through those towns, thinking, getting lost and finding my way. I was completely alone. Thatís what I need right now. I need to overdose on alone. I need to reconnect with my solitude because that is the only thing that is ever guaranteed.

I need to get this straight.

It is later now. I have just talked to him. There was someone else there to entertain his cousin while we spoke. It filled a need in me, to talk to him, just me and him. It didnít matter what we said. It didnít matter that he told me, repeatedly, how much he missed me, how much he needed me, I just needed him talking to me, alone. He and I. I hate being this dependant on anyone, anything. But I am.

I remember that day. February of 2001. I met him and his uncle for dinner that night. He had just flown in; I arrived at his uncleís house just minutes after he did. He was disheveled a little; the obvious smell of foreign still traipsing on his heels. He went to shower and when I saw him walk up the stairs to the shower I immediately felt like something was missing in the room. Even though it was his uncle that I was friends with, his uncle that I have known for six years. E. was just an addition at that point. Someone I casually knew from my friendship with his uncle. But I felt it. I felt like he needed to be back downstairs. We drank wine that night, the three of us. Then his cousin and his friends stopped over and there were a lot of us in that basement drinking wine, talking. At some point, with all those people around, E. either sat on my feet or stuffed his feet under my back. I canít remember but I remember being startled by the touch. Of him touching me. And I remember not wanting to get up to go to the bathroom, though I desperately needed to, because I didnít want to break the connection. That night when I left I gave him two hugs instead of the usual one quick one as I was walking out the door. At that time in life I was at the most extreme of my solitude that I have ever been. I remember that, I remember driving home, listening to Travis and fighting the urge I had to drive back and kiss him. Because I didnít want anyone. I fought that urge all the way home. It was snowing that night and my tracks on the normally busy road were the only ones. I was leaving my solitary mark on the untouched whiteness of the roads. It seemed right. But what I whispered to myself as I was getting out of my car and going into my house wasÖ.next time, next time I will kiss you. I fought my solitude then, as I always do, to be with him and over the next few months, after that February night, our e-mails increased from once a week to three or four a day. Then he started calling me once a week, then every day, and then it was July and he was coming here and then I kissed him, just as I had vowed to do, the next time, when I last saw him in February. I have to be patient this time, I will fight the way my mind falters and retreats to its solitary state of silence. Because in the end I want to be with him. I really, really, really want to be with him.

That is what I want.


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