Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wet Noodles

Whenever I'm hurtling down the FDR Drive in Manhattan in a cab, I hear a quote from a high-school driver's ed video echo in my head (imagine this with a Midwestern accent, please): "People say, 'Oh, instead of wearing a seatbelt, I'll just put my hands up against the dashboard to protect me if I get into an accident.' Well, when you get into a wreck, your arms become like wet noodles. Are those wet noodles going to protect you when you're about to fly through a windshield?"

Strong words, those. So now, I try to always buckle up if I'm flying at high speeds down New York City streets. Because Lord knows my wet noodles won't protect me.

I spent the weekend with N. At his request, at my request, at both of our naked, sweaty, instinctual requests this past Monday night. That was back when he said he felt something he never had before, and I let my guard down, and all of those infant possibilities that we nurtured this past winter seemed to be coming back to us...in some form, anyway.

I'm trying to be honest with N now, even if that means shooting him an e-mail about something completely random (like snacktime cravings) or telling him I love him 50 billion-trillion-million times. Sometimes it seems to work. Sometimes it doesn't. I call this tactic throwing pasta against the wall -- both flat, saturated, linguine-like sentiments that have the best chance of sticking (declarations of love) or spiky, barbed, farfalle-type jabs that might catch him off guard (half-jokingly calling him names). Either way -- any way -- I decide to hurl words at him, at this relationship, it's all just wet noodles in the end. And as I've learned, wet noodles aren't enough to keep me alive.

I came home tonight and ate a piece of pizza and poured myself a glass of Chilean cabernet. I went through the mail, and I put N's and my used water glasses into the sink. I took a shower. I smell like lavender. I am writing now, and I feel connected. I think, "If there were only some way to integrate N into this world -- into my world, where I feel crucial and effective and strong."

But there's not. Because everything that happens is on his terms, in his world, per his preferences. What I have is wet noodles.

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