Love Makes the World Go Round

After months of silence, Lauren decides to tell the truth about Christopher.

I came across a journaling prompt;
What would you do if fear of rejection or pain wouldn’t ruin you?
My initial thought was:
“Write Christopher. Tell him the truth about my feelings!”
You know honestly? I still might.
If this blog post doesn’t give me the truth-telling relief I hope it will, I still might send an email to Christopher.
Because it’s SUCH a good story!
And if I tell him, I can be a 100% honest. For this blog I still have to withhold and alter a significant amount of information, to protect his identity.
I can’t tell you when exactly, where exactly, I met him. Or why.
But I will tell you more than I did before.
The reason I’ve decided against telling him, is because I ve had men confess their feelings to me, and it has always made me slightly annoyed.
Furious might be a better word.
The reason I feel so provoked if a man tells me how he feels about me, is because their confession always seems to include the expectancy that:
a. I didn’t know already. And I always know already. Men want to have sex with me. Period. It’s been that way since puberty, and that’s fine.
Presuming this is new to me, however, is not fine.
It’s an insult.
Not to my sexual attractiveness but to my brain.
b. They assume their feelings for me have any influence on my feelings for them.
That’s not how it works.
Either I m in love with you, or I find you attractive. Or I don’t.
My feelings for you are independent from what you may or may not think about me, and again: It’s an insult to my emotional maturity that you expect your feelings for me, to be of influence on that.
In short, a man telling me his feelings never sits well with me, and is interpreted by me as a WTF-moment where I search for the nearest exit. Either physically or communication wise.
“Oh, look at the time!”
My disdain or sympathy for men confessing their feelings for me, makes me extremely reluctant to share this story with Christopher.
The only reason I would tell him, is not because I expect him to change his feelings for me, or make a different decision. It’s because it’s such a great story!
There is of course a fair chance that he knows this story.
I ve always assumed our feelings for each other were mutual, and he has hinted at that himself as well. So in that respect, it’s also a bit pointless to tell him a story he already knows.
And pretty presumptuous to assume that I would tell him something new.
Which is why it is better for all parties – and my ego! – to just close the entire Christopher story-line in this blog, by telling the true story.
As much as I can.
First of all: Christopher is not Idris Elba.
I ve used Idris Elba pictures on this blog, to give you a picture and make him an intriguing character. He actually IS intriguing! But the parts of him that make him that way, I can’t reveal.
So that’s why I resorted to strong measures, and played the Elba card.
Also: Christopher is not black either.
And way older than Idris Elba.
When I started this blog I had no idea how old Christopher was. Still don’t. Maybe I’ll do some online spying to see if I can find out, on a day I feel really low and need a little treat.
I also didn’t know Idris Elba’s age, but I thought he’d be about ten year younger than Christopher. Turns out! Turns out! – and I knew this because Christopher Elba was voted sexiest man alive since I started writing, so his age was suddenly all over the media; that Idris is only 46!
That’s my age!
Idris Elba will be attractive his whole life, so he is a great choice in portraying Christopher because it’s clear age doesn’t matter at all.
But Idris’ age could be like twenty years younger than Christopher’s.
I m not sure.
Just that I was a bit bumped out when I realized the actor I had chosen to “portray” Christopher, an older friend with whom I had suddenly fell in love, was born six weeks after me.
Which brings me to the second bit, which was entirely different than I told in the blog;
Christopher is not a friend.
I did not, after years of seeing him for dinner dates, suddenly fall in love. Writing about him as if he was a friend, for whom I had developed feelings, was the only way to protect his identity fully.
Just remember; At the time I started this blog, I didn’t know what would happen.
Something could…
And in that case, men who were my friends would be suspicious.
And men who I d just met, would be off the hook.
I altered his history with me, so that everybody would not suspect him of being Christopher.
Now ironically a very funny part about everything I wrote here, was not a lie;
I was indeed totally unaware of my feelings.
And my suppressed feelings were derailing my entire business and life.
Everything I tried just didn’t feel right!
My little cat Max, love of my life, died at the beginning of the year, so maybe closing off from my feelings was simply a survival mechanism. As I was trying to “fix” my life, by “fixing” my business.
The only thing I HAD in my life, the only thing constant that still demanded my attention, was my yoga company!
No wonder I automatically directed my love into my business, when Max died and I couldn’t have a new cat. For multiple reasons, really.
So it wasn’t a lie when I said my feelings for Christopher had gone unnoticed for months and had completely pulled me offtrack business wise.
Because of course nothing I came up with felt right!
I was in love. And the whole situation was completely hopeless because he was married and I already had a secret lover. Either we weren’t going to get together. Or if we did, I would have two secret lovers.
When it had already taken me years to get used to one!
After more than three years of only having feelings for Mr.Big, completely immune to any other man, I had fallen for someone else.
That does not feel right.
That feels like a crisis.
But if you’re unaware of those feelings, yes, you will keep reorganizing your company until you drop, (or it drops) assuming that your restless agony stems from a malfunctioning marketing system.
Or whatever.
Of course!
So I can see how Max’ death, and not being in touch with my feelings, contributed to me not realizing I was in love with Christopher.
And the age thing, maybe that too played a part.
I just didn’t take him into account, whenever I found myself having such strong feelings of joy, and excitement, and it was like I knew very well I was in love. Just not with whom!
I even remember going over all the men in my life, and yet I never included him!
We didn’t have a relationship of any kind at the time, but I did know on which occasion (which I will never reveal) I could run into him.
And I had noticed my undeniable feelings of exuberance around that setting.
And I did go over the men I was closest to, when I was there.
But never him!
So call it the revenge of ageism. And it was revenge I deserved.
But the absolute weirdest thing, is that in hindsight the way we met had all the characteristics of a scripted meet cute. The way they stage the main characters coming together in a romantic movie.
Do you know how Mr.Big and Carrie meet?
They bump into each other, and Carrie drops her bag and all her condoms fall on the sidewalk. Mr.Big, who would be her number one love interest for six seasons of Sex and the City, helps to pick them up.
We had the same meet cute.
It was spontaneous, in the sense that neither one of us planned this.
There was clumsiness. On both sides. Or maybe clumsiness is not the right word… but someone who had a radar for things like this would have picked up on it.
It seemed like the world had stopped turning.
And I know that’s an absolutely cheesy way to put it, but it really describes how clear it all was.
Just like a romantic comedy.
Everybody knows these are forces that can’t be budged with.
All the more remarkable that I then IGNORED it!
Took it out on my company!
Went over the men associated with the location, and still did not see it!
I was so ignorant – this is embarrassing – that I ended up having a good reason to spend time with him. AND YET I STILL DIDN’T SEE IT.
Yet my energy just sky-rocketed every time I saw him!
How on earth did I manage to not notice?!
And then, suddenly, after months and months, it hit me.
Oh. My. Fucking. God. It’s Christopher.
Now contrary to what I wrote here, I never wrote him a long tell-all letter where I confessed my feelings and asked him how he wanted to proceed from now on.
That would have been totally ridiculous because we weren’t friends.
If Christopher had indeed been a friend for years, and suddenly my feelings had shifted? A real heart to heart would have been a believable story.
But I didn’t even know Christopher.
We ran into each other by chance, and I hid my feelings so no one could find them, least of all me. We saw each other, but very occasionally and never in private or anything.
I could feel we were getting friendly, and that we were in the process of determining what we wanted. If we wanted to see each other, or not.
I did feel that.
But it wasn’t as if we had a bond that required explaining if my feelings had changed. And in retrospect they had not even changed, because he literally had me at hello.
Just that I had managed to ignore that for months.
So when I had that light-bulb moment, finally, after all those months. And I realized me and Christopher were testing the waters about what we wanted,  that’s when I did the bravest thing imaginable.
I would call it my personal, most altruistic moment to date.
I gave him a little heads up that I would love to go on a date, but that it would probably not be without risk and that I could imagine him passing. THAT’S ALL I WROTE.
And then he answered to that, and he did choose for his wife and marriage.
It was a very mature conversation, between two emotionally mature individuals. It was drama-free, respectful and discrete.
It’s been months. I’ve carefully avoided him, and I never saw him again.
And yet I can still remember every single word.

An unexamined life is not worth living

Love makes the world go round is the thirty-fourth chapter from Project M. 

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Een meisje vrijt met een jongen en een homoseksuele man. Naast het overweldigende verlangen, is ze zich hyperbewust van de risico’s. Zal haar lust het winnen van de angst?
Zo opent het magnum opus van LS Harteveld.
Na de coming of age novelle Mango, duik je in het dagboek van een yoga docent. En hier blijken de fictieve karakters uit Mango bestaande personen.
Benjamin keert zelfs boek na boek weer terug. Maar wat is de waarheid?
En wie is Benjamin?
Het laatste boek gaat over haar affaire met een getrouwde man die ze Mr. Big noemt.
Waardoor de vraag rijst; Is hij Benjamin?
Heeft LS Harteveld haar muze in bescherming genomen en zijn identiteit veranderd? Of heeft ze een nieuwe liefde gevonden? Een vrouw leunt over een tafel. Ze is naakt, op haar blinddoek na.
Haar minnaar rekt haar grenzen op tot het uiterste van wat nog passend is, in dit spel der geesten. Misschien gaat hij eroverheen, dat blijft in het midden. Maar 25 jaar na de eerste scene, is één ding duidelijk;
de lust heeft gewonnen.

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Beschrijving boven, losse boeken beneden. 

1. Mango, een novelle  €15
Seksuele safari, van de jaren 80 tot de zero’s.
Een stoer, technisch meisje groeit op met alleen een moeder, in de roerige jaren 80. Roken is nog van alle leeftijden, drinken idem, en seks ook zolang je bestand bent tegen voorlichtingsfolders over aids waarbij het woord AIDS in bloedspatten is geschreven.

Dat blijkt helaas teveel van ‘t goede.
Vermengd met een verleden in Afrika, en een overleden vader, ontwikkelt deze arrogante tiener een angststoornis waar geen psycholoog haar bij kan helpen. Maar ze blijft aangetrokken tot mooie jongens en homoseksuele mannen.

2. Dutch American Diary (2008-2009) €15
Yoga teacher Lauren is in love with two men; One cunning wizard and one half her age.
 The affair was secret so Lauren called him; He Who Must Not Be Named. After the dark wizard in the Harry Potter series. She tried to get over this American but after a year she only has her mistakes to show for. Including dating an Israeli spy and a Buddhist photographer.

Now her wizard obsession is back full throttle and the next disaster has already emerged;  an attractive yoga student. Young enough to be her son.
Faced with nothing but diabolic choices, Lauren confides in her best friend; the warm and friendly Lara. Despite having the same nationality as He Who Must Not Be Named, and working at the same office coven, Lara seems to lack his foul nature.
Or does she?
Once you’ve read Dutch American Diary? You’ll never ever in your life make the mistake of messing with a yoga teacher. 
~Dutch American Diary part 1

3. 22 Erotische Verhalen €15
Literaire pornografie in de geest van Anais Nin en Isabel Allende.
Ze komen en gaan; de kleurrijke personages in deze dromerige erotische wereld, waar ze je één verhaal lang deelgenoot maken van hun diepste verlangen en hun ergste pijn. Die vaker wel dan niet op magische wijze met elkaar verbonden blijken.

Grenzen worden genegeerd, lusten gebotvierd, wonden geheeld.
Sinds Anais Nin heeft geen schrijver zo onbevreesd het grijze gebied durven te betreden tussen het verbodene, het gruwelijke en het goddelijke. De lezer krijgt naast onversneden liefde en zinderende ontknopingen, ook een spiegel voorgehouden die je laat zien wat er zich afspeelt in de donkerste delen van je ziel. 

 4. LS Diary (2012-2013) €10
About three dark men and Lauren getting naked on stage. Not necessarily together.
 Being dark, smart, and handsome, a Dutch writer bears the characteristics Lauren only knows  too well. He looks exactly like her male muse and unwanted protagonist in the majority of her writing.

A published writer and sought-after talk show guest, the Dutch writer has succeeded where blogger Lauren is failing year after year. After year. She feels the weight of her unpublished manuscripts, and her failed attempts to become a writer. To make matters worse she already has one ill-natured stalker. As if the liabilities of being famous have preceded its benefits.
Lauren gets her shit together prioritizing her work, ignoring men, sex and stalkers. But will it work?  Star struck Lauren meets the celebrity in real life, and soon enough her supposedly highly efficient sex-free life includes a naked guest appearance on stage, a blow-job in a parking garage and a seven month relationship.
~LS Diary can be read as standalone or as Dutch American Diary part 2

5. De Candystop (2013) €10
Waar de Nederlandse literatuur tot stilstand komt door een Marokkaanse lekkernij.
Getergd door een rits onduidelijke medische klachten, besluit Lauren geen suiker meer te eten, geen Chardonnay meer te nemen, en geen latte macchiato’s meer te drinken.

Na een paar weken is ze zo apathisch dat ze zelfs vergeet te masturberen.
Tot een jonge Marokkaanse god op tv verschijnt die tegen Lauren zegt;
“LauRRRen! WakkeRRR woRRRden! Ik ben ook schRRRijveRRR en ik heb ook een leuk leven!”
Dat is zo. Sam doet de vier s’en. Hij schrijft, hij sport, hij sekst en hij slaapt.
Ineens weet Lauren nog steeds niet waar het naartoe moet met haar leven, maar ze is wel klaarwakker. Zeker als ze erachter komt, dat Sam binnen een week een optreden geeft bij haar om de hoek.
Sam doet haar denken aan een verboden relatie met haar leerling, iets waar ze gemengde gevoelens over heeft. Sam wil die best met haar onderzoeken, maar hij vraag een prijs…

6. Bedtime Stories (2014) €15
Facing her demons and her muse, Lauren’s sexual history gets its worthy finale.
Lauren is corresponding with Elliot, but somewhere between The Netherlands and Vegas, things have stranded. To get their project back on track Lauren resorts to strong measures: making the whole damn thing public.

Sharing eight months of her life, Lauren’s third diary reintroduces all popular characters, such as writer Rafael and his legendary mythical counterpart Benjamin. Young writer Sam and his ghost twin Valentino.
Closing the Dutch American Diary trilogy, the 1991 story lines are finally tied together. With an extremely satisfying ending. Although not in a way anyone saw coming.
 ~LS Diary can be read as standalone or as Dutch American Diary part 3

7. Mirage (2014) €5
Giving you a little dessert, with all gorgeous writers from previous books.
Lauren, the former hedonistic cougar, is home bound, mothering her little ones, sick with worry and about to get dumped by her lover. Together with autumn setting in, Lauren needs her annual Cute Writer Fix more than ever. And this year there’s five of them.
Including a lunch date with the most famous author of the Netherlands; her youth love Henry.
~Mirage can be read as standalone or as the epilogue to the Dutch American Diary trilogy.

8. Big, diaries & erotica (2015-2016)  €20
The crown to Lauren’s life; a secret affair with her Biggie.
Ten years and ten lovers have taught Lauren two things.

One: single life is a disaster.
And two: men suck at anal sex.
So when Mr.Big comes along and succeeds where all the others have failed, Lauren is euphoric. She immediately picks up her pen to write about it, and her first story is indeed called “The Biggie”, about his flawless performance.  
For two years Lauren documents her secret affair with the married business man. She writes about their explosive encounters, her unwavering love, and her powerful insights. Gradually, Lauren changes. From an scarred single, to a woman totally owning her worth and her true nature. Ten years after ending her relationship in order to explore love and sex in all their forms, Lauren Harteveld becomes the ultimate mistress.

los verkrijgbaar, niet in Het Boek Benjamin:

Witte Tijgerin €5
Gids voor solitaire vrouwen die een geweldig seksleven willen en plenty energie.
Een Witte Tijgerin is een alleenstaande, onafhankelijke vrouw. Haar contact met mannen is erop gericht dat ze er energie van krijgt. Stel je voor! Nooit meer gehannes met beginnende relaties die het toch nét niet zijn. Nooit meer die morning-after backlash. Geïnspireerd op het klassieke Taoïstische werk De Witte Tijgerin van Hsi Lai, onthult deze gids;
– hoe je de touwtjes in handen houdt
– hoe je je liefdesleven gebruikt voor je plezier
– hoe je met seks je jeugdigheid herstelt.
Hij zal niet kunnen wachten om weer met je af te spreken! 


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