The Ache

All disguised beneath the smile of the temptress,
Siren, Evil Child,
The Devil’s sweetest whore.

I told myself not to, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
This one’s between me and my archives.

All through puberty I had a girlfriend, and my mentality was that the whole world didn’t really matter, as long as I had her. This worked both ways- All I had to do was tell her that I’d still love her if she failed, to relieve her of the stress for the upcoming exams.

I can tell you, with my hand on my heart, that I never even looked at another girl the whole time I was with her. I am so certain about that because when we broke up and I began doing just that, a whole world of booty opened up for me. A bittersweet revelation.
I had always seen other girls as a threat to my relationship. All a chick had to do was hit on me, to make me walk the other way after a snide remark or two. It took me years to lose that habit, after the day I had to conclude that my girlfriend’s ethic code apparently wasn’t quite as strong as mine.

This means that I was 22 when I really started noticing girls. My relationship had carried me through puberty like a piggyback ride, and suddenly the whole game of flirtation and casual sex was no longer beneath me. Quite the contrary, it was way beyond me- out of reach. I couldn’t properly talk to any member of the female race to save my life. Desperate, harsh attempts to change that tendency failed and what followed were a few miserably failed attempts to function normally in the few watered-down relationships that followed. It’s hard to love someone if you deem them a threat to your “real” (non-existent) relationship.

Imagine seeing a girl you like. From a distance. She looks clever, has a beautiful smile and glasses that make her look like, well, a good lay. But when she looks your way, you just feel caught and as though the laws of attraction don’t apply to you, you look the other way and act uninterested. Even as she’s giving clear signals that she wouldn’t mind your company and there is nothing in the world you’d rather have that that thing on your lap, you can not –will not– open your mouth to her, or even make eye contact.
Welcome to my world.

“Just do it” doesn’t cut it. If I told you to jump the ocean, you wouldn’t try it either, though nothing really tells you it is physically impossible. You just know it isn’t, and it keeps you from trying.
That’s the exact feeling I have when dealing with strangers. It’s like running into a wall. Something inside me tells me it’s physically not possible, and it keeps me from trying. I used to try methods like “Before the next song ends, I’m taking that empty seat beside her” but they never work.

So what’s a guy to do? Stop making excuses and kidding myself, and learn to live with my shortcomings. I simply stopped trying. When I saw a girl who looked worth wile, I shrugged it off and set my mind to something else. That’s one of the reasons why I hate people encouraging me to go and talk to someone, or asking why I didn’t.
Because I can’t, now give it a rest so I can have a good time.

It’s a difficult life. I have a fragile ego and if it doesn’t get a little boost once in a while, it deflates like a whoopee cushion and leaves me to wonder why, for once, chicks can’t make the first step and show some interest in me. The conclusion that there’s something wrong with me might not be the correct one, but an easy one to make.

It took me some serious mental recovery and the patience of a girlfriend or two to show me that, after all, I wasn’t so bad once you got to know me. A few compliments went a very long way and a little light appeared at the end of the tunnel: The idea that I’m kinda loveable to those who take some time to get to know me. Good thing I went around doing voluntary work and such, it meant I ran into a lot of new people and basically forced them to spend some time with me in one room. Score.

Perhaps that’s how it went: One step at a time. Every encounter with a girl, showing me that I’m not a freak if I choose not to be. Because if I look back now, something definitely changed. I am finally gaining the confidence I craved for so long and though it’s still going slowly, I continuously surprise myself and slowly I’m becoming convinced that all this might get me somewhere, too.

A side effect of this process is that I can still maintain a firm grasp on my emotions most of the time. If she hasn’t obviously shown she’s into me or if she’s involved elsewhere (I’m so not going there), I can suck it up with relative ease. I’m a bit of a masochist apparently, and the ache of wanting to see things grow doesn’t weigh up against the please of simply spending time with this person, worshipping them in silence.
I have to admit though, I’ve been letting this slip a little. Perhaps it’s part of this growing confidence, but I’m starting to mind less if they’re actually catching on. The smarter ones already did and while a little startling at first, it hasn’t given me any trouble yet.

If they’re not interested in a relationship, at least they are in friendship and I’m strong enough to live with that. I’ll be damned if I can shut off the occasional urge to pin them against a wall but at least I can suppress it, smile, and nod. Why yes, honesty is important. Yes, sex is essential in a god damn relationship with someone god damn else. Grin, agree, lie.

In the mean time, I’ve found different means of relief so my sanity is secure- at least for now. And the idea that I might be worth a damn after all is slowly growing. Hell, I don’t cheat, don’t drink, put the toilet seat down and don’t mind sleeping on the wet spot. Give me a white horse and I’m a regular fucking Disney prince.


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