CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Wednesday July 7, 1996
Well who knew!
It’s two weeks since I visited the hard rock cafe, and realized that it was pointless to go out or distract myself with the company of other men.
That I had fallen in love with my pen friend Nikki, and that despite me rationally being against it, judging it as silly not to mention very unpractical, my hours and Dutch guilders spent in the company of other men hoping I would find a new lover were pretty pointless.
There is Bear, who has a girlfriend and who only visits me occasionally.
And there is Nikki the English bootleg trader with whom I write.
And who has just sent me the most amazing, long, wonderful letter, first time after my phone call to him, but he will not be writing much this summer.
So Nikki is not out, but I will have to do without our frequent correspondence.
But Nikki and Bear have been the men in my life this year.
Heart taken, deal done, and ps get the fuck out of those Thursday (Guns N Roses) and Sunday (Bon Jovi) nights at the hard rock cafe.
I had said goodbye to the girl with whom I was there the most, and I had also given her permission to give my phone number to anyone who wanted to stay in touch.
And tonight I got a call from one of the two men, with whom I had flirted so much it was strange nothing more happened.
His name is Lucas, and long story short he has asked me out. But it was a long story.
Originally, he just asked how I was doing and that he’d heard I had stopped coming.
Just small talk, really.
And we chatted a bit but I was also really honest that I had been surprised nothing had happened. But that I thought it was because I was in love with someone I wrote with.
That’s when I felt a bit of hesitation on the other side.
“Well….” he said, and then laughed.
“What?!” I asked. “There is another reason?!”
I was all ears.
Turns out Lucas has been feeling it too, but that he’s just very weary taking it further because he’s a bit of a wild boy. I think that means he’s not in love with me, and doesn’t see me as a serious candidate and wants to avoid heartbreak.
He said that literally: “I don’t want to break your heart.”
I didn’t deny or say “Oh that would not happen.” or something. It’s a very real risk, and with Bear moving in with his girlfriend after us being secret student sweethearts for years and years, another one stepping onto my heart is the last thing I need.
But it was refreshing to hear us not doing anything was not just because I was behaving immaturely and had a crush on a man in England I had never met nor seen.
It definitely felt better to have a real man who visits the same bar as you, worrying over crushing your heart.
Lucas is 10 years older than I am. He’s turning 34 this summer and I am turning 24.
At one point I said something like, why are you calling if you don’t want to go out with me, and he answered:
“I never said that. I just don’t want to break your heart.”
So it was clear that we both wanted to keep seeing each other and that neither one wanted my heart being broken.
“Don’t get any romantic feelings,” he said. And then that laugh again: “Maybe we should go to a very bad movie. Like very violent or something.”
I don’t know if it was a joke or a real suggestion, but I took my chances and grabbed the movie ladder.
Seven was still showing, once a week and it was tomorrow.
“Shall we do that one?” I asked.
And I added: “It’s with Brad Pitt, so you can split the attention.”
He said he knew with whom it was.
“I review movies, remember.” he said.
“Great! That’s settled then.” I concluded.
So tomorrow, a Thursday, which would have been our Guns n Roses night if I had not stopped going, we’re going to see Seven.
Tuesday July 20, 1996
Lucas never showed up.
I unexpectedly went to see Bear that Thursday, he was staying at his friend’s place again. Bear is “baby sitting” the dog again, because his friend is on vacation.
I made sure I was home on time to shower and to change into something for the cinema, but when I got home there was a message from Lucas on my machine that he was not going to make it, and that he would call me soon for another appointment, and then he never did.
Originally I didn’t see anything wrong with it. He’d probably chosen to go to the hard rock cafe instead, I mean it was his Thursday!
Or our Thursday, when I still went there as well.
I could understand perfectly well.
So I made the mistake of calling him that Friday, just to say it was no problem, and to make a new date.
I got his answering machine, and then he didn’t call back afterwards.
The following days, I simply could not believe what had happened.
The breaking the heart thing had been serious after all, but it was not a real break… it was weird. Very weird.
Part of me thought he’d still come around next week, you know. Probably had an old girlfriend contacting him, someone he still had feelings for, or he met someone new.
There could be plenty of reasons why he had played it safe and had, I presumed temporarily, sidelined me.
Next week, nothing either.
And now both the afternoon with Bear, which I remember to be so lovely in particular because it was entirely different again from the last time, and the evening when Lucas stood me up, are almost two weeks ago.
And I haven’t written about any one of those.
In particular losing a date with Bear, losing sex with Bear, because so shortly after I got kind of sucked into this dating drama.
That bugs me.
I feel bad for not honoring what me and Bear had that afternoon, by not writing about it. And also guilty, because it was my fault all along.
I should never have agreed to come that Thursday, because I knew I d be in the theater with another man within hours.
Even when that was supposed to be platonic, it’s not ideal.
So in a way I ve been feeling guilty for almost two weeks now, instead of enjoying the afterglow of great sex. Because it was great sex, I remember that much!
I remember seeing him naked on the bed, as I was standing next to the bed undressing. I can’t remember why we were in such a practical mood, and why undressing each other was not wrapped up in our love making or in erotic role playing.
Although I do remember why it wasn’t wrapped up in erotic role playing because we have not done that at all since we started having sex again.
We didn’t pick up the role playing.
But it wasn’t unpleasant. I even thought being so practical about undressing gave it a high school like charm. That’s when Bear was on the bed waiting, lying on his back and I almost drank his beauty, his body, with my eyes.
I thought that in another universe, where we were all just energy and not real flesh and bones, I would like to take a little bite or in a way consume him.
Sex really is merely a substitute for a desire to melt together, on the most fundamental, cellular level. Which is of course impossible, so then you go have sex.
But it might explain why we did melt together in a way we had not done before;
I let him come in my mouth.
I have been suffering from anxiety whenever I had unsafe sex for as long as I can remember.
When I met Bear, it was one of the first things I told him, because it was the reason I was unsuccessful as a single. I didn’t want to be a virgin, I wanted to have a sex life, but having oral sex even when a man did not come in my mouth, had been causing so much stress even when I did have a real boyfriend, that I just backed out of even trying such a thing as a single.
Sometimes I kissed or fondled a bit, but I just couldn’t make myself do more.
Bear knew all that, and brushed it aside. He said we’d use condoms for oral, and that was that.
Within six months or something, I gave the blowjobs without a condom but I never let him come in my mouth.
Because he asked.
And I responded with such enthusiasm!
I was so happy that we still had that left, that first time, that milestone. I had honestly completely forgotten about it, and I was happy to say yes to that.
And for the first time since the boyfriend I had before Bear, Jonathan, I tasted sperm. It almost made me nostalgic, but at the same time it was difficult to “swallow” that we were doing this at a time when he was not mine.
Bear and me have never had a real relationship, but during our college days he wasn’t in a steady relationship with someone else either.
So it was hard to realize I was taking this bridge, achieving this milestone, and who knows or who knew perhaps I will suffer the consequences and end up trembling in bed.
And yet of all the moments I could have chosen to do this, I do it now.
Now that he is with someone else and can’t be there for me, if I get a panic attack and get worried I got hiv infected.
Maybe that’s the real reason I didn’t write. And the reason I still feel unsure if this is going to be okay.
Sometimes I feel I m only okay because I don’t think about what happened that Thursday.
Which comes down to that I m not okay at all.
And that Lucas was the least of my worries.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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