The Substitution Method
During our shopping trip, I could feel him pulling back. As usual.
When I get that vibe from him, I try to fade back myself. It's hard, though, because all I want to do is wrap him up in my arms and kiss his soft right cheek and make sure he's not cold.
After our foray into luxury retail goods, he left me in the rain at the 59th Street subway stop so I could catch an uptown train.
"I want to go home with you," I told him between goodbye kisses.
"I...," he said when his mouth wasn't on mine. "No...I have so much to do."
"I'm a good muse," I said. Another kiss.
"I won't get anything done," he said.
We parted, and I felt lost.
As if on cue, Sunny called my cell within roughly two minutes of when I stepped into the subway turnstile and interrupted my emotional paralysis. I went over to her place for red wine and mac and cheese.
Sunny and I ended up going downtown ostensibly to see a band with our friends but actually to get out of our respective love funks. I invited along a cute 23-year-old screenwriting student from L.A. that I met on Christmas Eve and had instant chemistry with, mostly to forget about N and have some fun for once.
Roughly four Bud Lights later, I was in tucked into one of the bar's red leather booths, deep into conversation with the Screenwriter. We had seen the same movie recently, we both love Mad Men, we both have the same favorite stand-up routines, and then the Screenwriter's fingers were interlaced with mine and he was looking into my eyes and kissing me hard.... Before I knew it, I was hurtling uptown with him, in a cab bound for the Upper East Side. It all happened so quickly.
The Screenwriter and I are hanging out again tonight -- packing a picnic and watching the fireworks in Central Park. I don't really want to go. I already miss N terribly and feel guilty about the Screenwriter, and, if we're being honest, I'd rather take a Xanax tonight and zone out alone, cradling a bottle of red and watching HBO OnDemand.
But I know I have to get over N. I have to at least fill my life with non-N things so the entirety of my thoughts don't become N, with all of his hangups and half-promises and glimmers of hope and letdowns and mood swings.
I wish we could choose whom we love.