But I am always tempted.
Last night, I was yanked from a sleeping sigh of a fantasy to a shrill, screaming reality. I snatched my glowing clock and put it two inches from my glasses-less face. 3:01 AM. My apartment building’s fire alarm was shrieking into the Brentwood morning like a devastatingly-ignored celebrity attention whore. Loud. Obnoxious. Painful.
I stumbled out of bed into the darkness of my room and threw on a horribly mismatched sweatshirt over my pajamas. 2"-thick glasses. Bedhead. Pajamas. Really, I look no different during a 3 AM fire drill than I do blogging in the middle of the afternoon. I grabbed keys, cell phone, headed for the door, and just as I turned the knob, wondering if I would finally get to use a 1st grade lesson in fire safety, I turned around and grabbed my laptop. Important. I walked down the long narrow hallway with my life hugged to my chest. I didn't have to stop, drop, or roll.
Rewind about four hours.
Last night, while chatting with a friend, I finally admitted out loud – that is, as loud as IM can be – what I want.
It’s not like I haven’t known what I want. I have always thought of myself as a girl who knows what she wants, when it comes to…my brain, my education, my career, my career (did I say “career” twice? I meant to). Though they have evolved over time, I do have lofty goals. I intend to reach them. I don’t care who gets their apron strings tangled up in my KitchenAid stand mixer on my frenzied rise to stiff peaks. Watch out when I power up to “whip.”
However, I have never really thought about what I want out of…life? Life. I had forgotten that there was such a thing. I was too caught up in The Delicious Life to think about real life.
Or real…love? That, too, I had forgotten, existed.
We were talking, in one of those late night buzzed IM flirtations when conversation tilts from the harmless ;)omglol!! flirtation side of the spectrum to...relationships. Not the social web two point oh navi-digg-space-r relationships of which I am the Monarch Social Butterfly, but the human kind of relationships. Human interaction. It’s a slightly more serious point in conversation to which everyone gets, masked by the thin veil of “chat,” that is the beginning of a test. We test each other to see where the other stands in real-live human relationships.
Admittedly, I was a little bit startled that what he was pointing out to me was not only true, but it hurt me. It was unintentional. It was just a statement, but it hurt me…with me.
He had accused me - if “accuse” is the accurate term here - of being afraid of intimacy. I hate to admit that someone else is right, moreso that I am notright (I’m never “wrong”), but his assessment was painfully true. Intimacy is vulnerability, which is loss of control, which is weakness, which is something I have never ever ever ever been able to accept. I don't like to reveal weakness. I don’t like to not have control over my emotions.
It seems counter-intuitive because...I blog. A blogger bares her soul, she wears her heart on her blog, she admits fears and weaknesses and pain and hurt on her blog because it’s easier to write to an anonymous audience than speak to The Close. Isn’t a blog a window into what's inside? Yes, but a blog is an illusion. A blog is an illusion of strength-through-acknowledgement-of-weakness because it is a highly controlled window. I wear a very heavy coat of armor in real life. I protect myself from pain and hurt and don’t let anyone in to see the tiny, fragile, weak, dependent, very human girl inside. I'm so guarded that I don't even see myself. The blog is smoke and mirrors. A blog is, itself, armor. It is protective chainmail made of 1s and 0s that keeps a blogger at an Internet’s-length from real people. You can delete disagreeing comments. You can trash insulting email. You can put up your "Away" message and ignore hurt. You can't ignore hurt from the real people in real life.
In a slightly non-sober moment, which, to me, is the most telling time because alcohol makes inhibitions as transparent as vodka/rocks in a crystal tumbler, I typed it out…
TheDeliciousLife: i want to be broken to a point where i can't do anything but tear my hair out, scream, weep, shake just thinking…
I caught myself. I said too much. And then I stopped.
”Shake just thinking….” About what? Hmmm.
I was confused. I caught myself in a contradiction. That combination of words, "afraid of intimacy," isn't new to me. It's just that I've always been immune to it because I ignored it as false (I'm not afraid!) and unimportant (So what?). This time, not only did I recognize them as true, but for one moment, I actually did let my guard down. I let my confession, the meaning of the words and the fact that I said them, sting. Intimately.
I want to feel it so hard, so fast, so hot, that it hurts being with, but hurts even more being without. I want an overwhelming feeling of tragic joy. I want an overwhelming feeling. I want to cry because it’s beautiful. I want to completely lose control of my senses.
Like I do with food.
I love spice that burns like poison and melts me into a beautiful sweat. I love flavor that spins me to tears. I love sweet and smooth that can make me sigh like a crush. But food is different from people. There are no lasting repercussions with food. The taste memory will be burned into my senses, but it doesn't hurt. Cooking is control. Baking even more.
I know how food will make me feel - control.
I don't know how people will make me feel - vulnerable.
Have I revealed more than I should have? Did I write too much?
By 3:13 am, the entire pajama-clad neighborhood was on the sidewalk, watching firemen pour out of six firetrucks that had come screeching down the street from both directions. Ultra-bright spotlights and spinning red lights turned the scene into some strangely seedy disco fantasy slumber party. The ladders were raised. Paramedics were on standby.
** a year ago today, beef stew was not so dinty any moore **