I had one of those dreams – the kind that casts a hook deep into your subconscious and tugs at forgotten feelings, pulling them up, up, all the way up, so that when you wake your mind is not as it was when it hit the pillow.
It was in the midst of this reverie that I woke, my eyes opening fully aware as my conscious sprang into panic at what its hidden layers had regurgitated.
It started with this story, and I'm ending it with this one.
Back in school Clay was the first boy I ever felt a strong attraction to, but the night I discovered he was gay was also the night that ruined our friendship. By the time we left school we were all but strangers, until a few months ago when messaging picked up between us via Facebook, followed by a friend request sent by him. It was the mundane civilities of basic conversation: "Have you finished uni", "Are you back in NI these days", "What are your plans" etc. etc. There was a giant elephant in the chatroom – that night – and it only once ever so briefly tiptoed on the edge of our conversation. As we had lain on the floor after our sexual foray, we had spoken about being gay and those other tentative topics usually brought up when two souls bump closets. I had told him about the boy I had lost my virginity to – a guy in our school. It was this name that he brought up in a message:
"I saw ****** the other day lol". He probably threw in a pointless "lol" as they tend to feature heavily in awkward correspondence. But other than my acknowledgement (probably something like "oh right lol"), our chats went no further in that direction, and the elephant stepped back into the corner.
At that point I was heading to San Francisco, incidentally where my boyfriend saw the messages and got suspicious, but I quelled his worries. I thought nothing more of Clay... until I had the dream.
As dreams go, it was far from x-rated. As I slept my mind twisted itself between romantic and sexual desires. I was in the shower with him, we were touching hands, kissing, smiling as water and elation splashed over us. It wasn't just erotic, it was kind of beautiful...
and it was dangerous. See, it was more than a sex dream, it meant something more – something I didn't want to say, something I didn't want to know. There was a very real source to my worry, because instead of waking up thinking "Hmm, that was a weird dream", I woke scrambling for my phone, thinking "Fucking hell, I still feel for him, I have to stop this." I had given myself away, my subconscious couldn't keep it hidden any longer.
Self-restraint was never my strong suit, but in this case I think it worked to my advantage. I didn't want to leave it with silence, I needed to put a nail in the coffin, to hammer this shut once and for all. Few things hit harder than the truth. To just delete him without a word would raise questions, especially as we have a few mutual friends, and besides that, it annoys me when people just up and cut you out without any apparent reason. He had only added me recently, so I didn't have the excuse of us not being in touch. Essentially "unrequited" is a sad word to use, but it was the case, and I was certain once he knew how things stood we would never be in contact again. For my own sake it had to be this way. Facebook had been the only means of communication, hence it was the only bridge that needed burning.
So I told him, plain and simple.
Hey. I'm gonna have to delete you on here, I think after all this time I still have feelings for you which is stupid and embarrassing and not good for my relationship, so this is for the best. Sorry about this, take care of yourself.
His reply was short, though I hadn't been expecting one at all. It ended simply with ok cool. take care.
It is odd that the feelings that urge me to get closer to this person are so capable of repelling him. No good could come of having him in my life. Finally I've strapped on a pair and hauled myself out of his life by choice. It only took 7 years...
There have been few circumstances lately that resolve in a way I am entirely happy with, but fortunately this was one of them. It feels healthy taking the necessary steps to leave behind a burden that was so unnecessary. Smell steps, yes, but in the right direction, that's the important thing. Pushing myself to shed more baggage. I knew there was something else I could do right there and then: it was time to close the chapter on Portuguy. In the past year we have barely communicated and I had almost forgotten he was still in my friend lists, so it was as easy as a few clicks on Facebook and Skype and I bid farewell to the adonis and his brief but.. primal effect on me – a legacy I won't likely forget.
This bit of emotional spring cleaning is good for my relationship and good for me, because with the future fogged in uncertainty, the best thing to do is take it one step at a time and try not to slip.
(Nothing like a clichéd "journeying" metaphor to finish a post...)