Welcome to the jungle | “1994” series

December 30, 1994

Maybe I waited too long.
melancholic moments, my saddest moments, and certainly something that resembled tears (I only vaguely remember them…. it was all so strange) must have been the first days after Bear broke up with me.
That although I did not feel like I was feeling it, that was all that was gonna come, making it the best moment to write about the breakup when I was still emotionally involved.
There wouldn’t come a better time, when I h
ad more meaningful things to say.
But I didn’t believe that. 

Bear had meant so much to me and therefor I was convinced I would eventually break to pieces and lose my mind.
That “this” could not be it.
But nothing came…
And now I m on the verge of 1995 and I just want to have the breakup with the most important man of my life in my diary, especially since we no longer seem to be friends. He didn’t show up at a party we both had been invited to and that he had been looking forward to.
We had said our goodbyes with a big hug and actually saying:
“See you then.”
That had been another possible reason for keeping it together:
I still had something to look forward to.

Either way, the party came and no Bear. No explanation either and instead of being devastated I just interpreted it as a sign that he could be having more difficulty with the new situation than me.
Our breakup had not brought the peace of mind he had hoped for, and now he was cutting ties.
Yet, I was still okay.
And with that another good moment to reflect and to write, passed.

So I had already missed the first days or the first week, when my feelings had been the strongest. Then I missed out on the second opportunity, which was experiencing that he didn’t want to see me anymore.
And then the third trigger happened, which didn’t have anything to do with my Bear, but with the second man I am in love with.
A Slash like painter who did my balcony, and whom I later went to see at Warhol’s because he had told me he usually went there on Saturday’s.
In Warhol he let the woman behind the bar in Andy’s room hijack our conversation, and almost pretended he had no idea who I was.
Afterwards I had seen him only once, when I was going out and we ended up at Warhol’s.
I now considered it my time to pretend we had no memorable connection.
He took it well, which I on my turn, found extremely sexy.
“Well played!” I thought.

Then just this month he started working on the building with a colleague. The scaffolding slowly moved up the street, alongside the building. After two weeks it was on our side, the final apartments that needed work.
Probably because I had been impressed with his relaxed attitude the second time at Warhol’s, and also because he had kept his cool every time I cycled by and casually said hi, I offered them coffee.
I didn’t invite them in, or anything.
And I treated him and his colleague entirely equal, nothing flirtatious. I was business-like even.
Which in turn, seemed to fascinate him.
As if he started to wonder if his imagination had been playing tricks on him.
“I thought she had come to the Warhol to see me, but now I m not so sure!”
Something like that, I don’t know.

Like I said, I wasn’t overthinking it. I was just normalizing whatever it was that had happened this summer, with strategic use of coffee and cookies.
I wasn’t bending over backwards to win his heart.
On my way out I passed them again. It was the end of the day, I had been working from home and was now going to a Christmas drink at the publisher’s.
They were breaking down the scaffolding, and as I was taking my bike out of the basement, putting my handbag at my steering wheel and getting ready to leave, the most peculiar conversation arose.
Something in the lines of my Slash-like painter making jokes to the other one, the he (the other one) was single.
But that he (the Slash painter) had a family.

It was all done in a casual boys will be boys kind of way, and it even included the suggestion that the other painter and me should hook up.
Or Slash addressing both his colleague and me in a way that suggested “we” were a group, or the singles or something.
What I also noticed was that the colleague did not seem to notice this was a strange conversation. Or he was too excited to be named in one sentence with me.
Like I said, it was not exactly clear what was said or anything, but I did understand that he was telling me he was involved with someone.
And I know it’s not with the woman who’s working in Andy’s room, that was super obvious. But if you have a family, and you have a sexy bartender who has the hots for you, it does explain why you’re not following up on the girl with whom you unexpectedly had a wonderful afternoon, when you were sent to paint her balcony.
It does explain that.

On my way to the Christmas party I kept thinking why it was that something seemed off with Slash’s remark. Something was… strange. I was too busy trying to get my finger on it, to realize that I had just been rejected.
That after Bear breaking up with me, and then Bear not showing up, I now had the other man I was in love with saying No.
I now had three reasons to feel lonely and rejected, and yet I still did not feel miserable. I was more like a detective trying to figure out “Whodunnit”.
Although in my case, not having sex since July, the answer was obviously not “me”.
I had not dunnit for five months and both men were rejecting me.

It took me over a week to crack the puzzle. Everything.
From why I wasn’t feeling totally devastated when he broke up, to why I was okay with him not showing up to the party;
To why I was unimpressed with Slash telling me he was taken.
The reason is one and the same:
I m still in the game.

It is as if these men have come up and said: “I can’t play.” but then expected me to respond with something.
To stop doing something.
As if I am running around in red lingerie sucking my fingers and winking: “Come here, sailor.” and am supposed to change that.
I don’t know.
But they are treating me, or talking to me, as if they are expecting something to happen with me. As if I am supposed to do something, as a response.
As if they want me to step out of the game.
When they are the ones who have just announced they are either not playing games or have stopped playing.
And now they’re looking at me to leave the board.
Why would I leave the board?
They are the ones who left.

I still like them, both of them.
I like Slash and I like Bear.
But I m not stepping off the board because they are not in a position to play anymore.
I said this to a friend last weekend. That I finally understood that these men had expected me to be defeated. And that even I had expected that. My constant waiting, expecting to at one point “feel” the breakup.
But I was fine.
“It is so strange,” I said to her. “I miss Bear, I really do. And I would have loved Slash, but he doesn’t even let me come near.
Yet I still feel excited. But why?”
“Because you’re still in the game,” she laughed. “And you’re a good player!”

I sure am.

An unexamined life is not worth living..

Welcome to the jungle | “1994” 
is the first chapter of
1994 part 2: A new life

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
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