My Last Crush

Everything looks good in my life right now. I love my apartment near the Jersey Shore, though it’s not a fancy place by any means. And the low cost of rent attracts large immigrant families with loud children. This is one small annoyance I deal with, but it is small. I love my job and have great potential for moving up. I work with mental health consumers, who I feel need me. I think I have something to teach them that is worthwhile. And they usually listen to me. I let my “fun self” out at work as well, and always have a new and creative perspective to help make life more tolerable, which seems to be one of my gifts. As I mentioned before, I just joined this new dating site, where I am constantly receiving emails from guys who say I’m attractive, sexy and other nice compliments. It is worthwhile just to go there to feel desirable. I have very little to complain about, and things are fine. I don’t feel I have a great amount of unmet needs in my life, until I start to think about the last guy I had a crush on.

I found him in a sociology chat room and we connected. I’m not sure how. Maybe it was my doing. I knew he was taken. But he acted to me like he wasn’t. We never talked on the phone. We just emailed. And I have never met him. And I’m sure that he in actuality bears no resemblance to what has been triggered in my feelings. I told him. I’m not sure what. He was intelligent, a product of a higher education, and out of my reach. He led me, and I’m now convinced this is what I connected to, clung to. He went on vacation with me through my computer. And so when I remember Michigan, along with the other lonely moments; swimming in my mom’s pool alone because none of my friends could make it, rollerblading through old and familiar grounds, driving to the park to get away and sift through old feelings that reappeared without invitation. Along with these memories, are memories of Joel.

Through a computer one projects, but this projection is no less of a reality. And my projection was a reality to me.  Joel got all my jokes and added on to them. He supported me. In the middle of nowhere one day, when I went into the online community we were a part of together, I asked where everyone was. Joel’s name suddenly appeared and he said, “I am right here with you.” Somewhere inside me I believed it. He was here with me. I was not alone at my mom’s, as I had been so often in my teen years. He was no longer in my computer, but by my side. I emailed him and told him things about my past, about my present. He sympathized. He heard me. He wanted to hear more.

The rest of the group seemed to be with me too. We cared about the betterment of society together, about the homeless and drug abusers living on the street, and how we could make the world better, if only with our ingenious collective thoughts. I thought that transformation could occur. I thought that my sociology friends would support my new theory for change in the world of addiction, hear my thoughts, build on to them, change the world with me. For a moment this group was my most important social club. It was in my life no more than a month or so, and seemed to disappear just as quickly as it had arrived. Joel seemed to be dishonest. He was not available for me. He had someone else he cared about more. He got busy and lost interest in the group. I could see he was also losing interest in me.

He was not the teacher whom I could confide in anymore. He wasn’t really there. And now regretfully, I had to let that be my reality. I let him go, this charade of friendship, the daily emails where I confided so much to him, believing somehow he was listening and was the one who had the answers for me, as he encouraged me to talk, and share, even my dreams of him. I wondered about that other relationship, and who I was supposed to be to him, and why in the world he cared, or what unstated needs he had of me.

I let him go and stopped responding to what I perceived to be games, whether they were or not. I let go of the illusion my heart wanted so much to believe was real, because I have come to know through all my years it never would be. I have been in this place of disillusionment so many times before. Removing the emotions for one moment allows me to see. This thing that happened was silly. And I doubt that many women would be taken in by it. But I am just the type that attracts this kind of thing, a guy with opposite mental dissonance and longing to mine, a guy who senses the openness to whatever strange contributions he has to offer. I take the blame so easily onto myself. But I convince myself that it is not all me, as it never really is. In fact, the lesson I need to learn is always the same. If I had trusted myself from the beginning, my own directives and wisdom, knowing I didn’t really ever need anything from this person, as he may have subconsciously implied, if I had trusted myself from the start, this thing would not have happened, this pain, this sense of longing and loss.

To trust myself always is key. It is the thing I need most to learn. Until then I don’t talk to Joel, though I know where he is in my computer. I do not talk to him because there is still a child longing for this sort of thing, whatever form it arrives to me in. Should I talk to him, I have little fight against it. The child is real. She is here. She does not need such a man, but has not quite learned and accepted that yet. And after all, he really doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know I sing, or write. He doesn’t know my heart. But that same heart is not convinced, and so I think of him frequently. I long for him so foolishly. I do not dream real dreams – that he is beside me shopping with me in the supermarket, laughing at my jokes, planning family get-togethers, daily doings. I only feel him, desiring that thing I have desired so oft before – to be known, to be loved, to be close to something real and warm and trust-worthy.

This is something which my heart believed it had when I was in Michigan, though my mind knew differently. But there was never any evidence to support it. And this, unfortunately, has been a recurring theme in my life for as far back as I can remember. Sadly, the backdrop has been multiplicit, the characters diverse, the theme constant, and crushing, but somehow less and less each time I go through it.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lauraloub
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 10:54:57

    This makes me remember Thunder” on Gateway…and, for me, Kid Doc. I never met Kid Doc, but remember the disillusionment in meeting Thunder?


  2. Valerie L. Parent
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 18:58:41

    Katie, you write with such finesse! Forget about those who fall away for whatever reason, they don’t matter. I understand how these things can happen and leave you wondering what next when it comes to social groups. I like how you stay true to your heart.


  3. Scott Seward
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 17:06:03

    You do write with such finesse, I agree with Valerie. You command words and make them do your bidding with such effortless mastery. But beyond your skills with language you have something honest to say about yourself and your world vision and this is painfully rare. When I read your posts I see life through your eyes and I can almost feel the emotions you paint out for us. Joel certainly didn’t realize the gem that was glittering before him, I guess that means that it was his loss. When someone is dishonest it usually is for a bad reason and not a good one, obviously you already know this, but when emotions take over the decision-making center in our brains we tend to forget basic facts like that one. You are adept at returning to logic after the flood of emotions has waned somewhat; that is a great sign that you know what to do in order to make sound decisions now and in the future. As Shakespeare so eloquently said in “Hamlet” (and Vallerie alluded to) “This above all: to thine own self be true…”.


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