Letter From the Stoic

Dear C_______,

I remember the first day we met; it was about as cold as was permissible in the California wintertime. Your beautifully wavy blonde hair fell in lengths on your shoulders. I could tell you were self-conscious, from the way you held your arms over your chest in your oversized maroon sweater, to the way your beautiful brown eyes darted away from mine, as if trying to hide behind your spectacles. I thought it was amusing that you had to work up the courage to come talk to me. Your knuckles were red, but I assumed that was from the cold. But you did, you introduced yourself to me. I thought you were cute, in your awkwardness. You were so hesitant to talk to me, as if you weren't used to talking to boys. I told you that your name - your real one, the one you hide from everyone because you think it sounds odd - was pretty.

For the next few months, we hardly spoke…talk so small I can't even remember ever saying a word. Which is when the study-group stood us both up.

Midterms were coming up, and in my haste to be as prepared as possible, I contacted every single individual (including the professor) in the class to arrange to go over the study guide. I'm crazy like that, sometimes. I was almost a little miffed that no one seemed to want to show up. I stayed around for an extra hour in the coffee shop, idly reading my book (I, Lucifer by Glenn Duncan, at the time). Just as I was about to leave, you showed up.

You were flustered; almost as much as you were that first day we met, and you smelled of horses. I remember how you haltingly stuttered your excuse for being late, and I joked about the lack of other industrious students. You seemed to lighten up a bit after that. In fact, for the next 3 hours, neither of us found it possible to shut up. Study, schmuddy. The light attraction I felt for you before seemed to grow with each passing sentence. You were not only classically beautiful, but you were ridiculously intelligent, as well. We discussed Ginsberg, Bukowski, Pastafarianism, Stumbleupon.com, politics, religion, Scrubs, Robert Downey, Jr.. Some sentences I didn't even have to finish; you and I were always in the same paragraph.

Let me preface this next part by saying that I never thought about having sex with you. Sure, I was physically attracted, but the level of intellectual attraction far outweighed my body's urges. At the time, you seemed to be basically a female version of me. Sure, in this light you can make the assumption that I'm a horrible narcissist…but the thought never even crossed my mind. All I wanted was just to be close to you, to bask in your light (and no, not in the crazy creepy stalker sense). We were so complimentary that I had to really try to make you laugh. You made me want to always be better, smarter, and wittier than I was. THAT is why I liked you.

Without a trace of doubt, I know that you liked me back. The way you fiddled with your hair, the way you fidgeted, became tongue tied around me. Always going out of your way to say hello, even if you occasionally said so a little too loud. We flirted mercilessly for weeks. When you went out of your way to visit me at work, my BOSS even commented on our compatibility (which is to say nothing of our classmates…our mutual friend, A____ went so far as to ask me once, "so, are you guys dating yet, or what?" – and when I responded with a negative, she said, "could have fooled me"). Which is why it came as such an incredible shock to me that you were already spoken for.

You let it slip, just once, but in such a way that suggested a deep seriousness.

At the time, I acted like it was no big deal. How could I not? I reasoned, within seconds of your tell, that I would rather you be my friend than girlfriend (of course this was only partially untrue). My best friend, who was already very worried about my love life (or, as it had been for almost a year and a half, lack thereof), very nearly wanted to strangle you for being such a let-down. I told him off, naturally, sputtering the usual "tough-luck" psychobabble that's so popular with kids these days.

I wasn't nearly as shocked to find out, a little less than a week later, that you and your boyfriend were having problems. Why else would you have lead me along like you did? I shrugged it off.

I think you became angry with me around this time…angry that I didn't take advantage of your weak relationship; you stopped talking to me like we used to. I might as well explain in full why: I have very serious intimacy issues (surprise, surprise).

I could say this stemmed from my first real sexual experience.

It sucked, to say the least; my (then) girlfriend laid there like a dead fish while I fumbled around trying to figure out what to do. I found out later that the reason for this was because she had been ******* another guy for the entire 2-month duration of our relationship.

Sure, I could call her a cheating ***** (which she is), and blame her for sending me into a sideways spiral of self-loathing, but her infidelity was less to do with sex and more to do with my complete inability (at the time) to separate social life from relationships. I was the kind of guy who lost himself for his girlfriend. I broke up with her, I realize now, not because of her cheating on me, but because everything I felt for her was fake, and I hated who I was when I was around her.

Because of this, I've developed this ridiculous inability to attach myself to anything more committed than a one-night-stand. My mind freaks out, and my subconscious screams for release from a non-existent prison. You can call me a pansy, a *****, or a pissant, but that still will not cure me of my comittophobia.

While this is obviously not all of the reasons for my not breaking up your relationship, they are the major causes for the eventual mental breakdown. I've hated the mere mention of cheating; never mind that people would talk about it (which drove me into irrationality), act on it (which broke up solid friendships), and relish in the idea of using it as a weapon to jumpstart a waning relationship (in my book, grounds for complete termination of knowledge of existence).

But something happened with you, C_______.

Because of you, my perception on cheating changed. No, this wasn't just me being selfish and wanting to get into your pants. I truly wondered if it was possible for someone with NO evil intent to destroy the very vestiges of the foundation of trust inherent in any serious relationship. And I let you go, for the first time. I figured, possibly rightfully, that you and your boyfriend would eventually work out your problems, and my desire, at this point, for your happiness made it almost my goal.

Then, the bastard cheated on you, and you, in turn, cheated on him. Not with me, of course (I still would NEVER have had the ability to knowingly have sex with anyone already committed), just some schmuck you met while out of state. So you and the bastard took a break.

I'm no rebound-boyfriend, but it sure as hell seemed as though you were using me like one. We found loads of time to hang out after class. You'd call me up, and with about as much hesitation as it takes for a dog to chow down on its' food in the morning, we'd spend time together. Hell, I met your parents. For ****'s sake, I even took you to see your absolute, number one, favorite band in the world, and at the end of the night, while entwined in a firm, snogging embrace, you stop me, and tell me, almost sadly, "I'm getting back with him."

Yes, of course I was angry; of course I was devastated. The feeling of blind elation pervading the past weeks of your rebound were so intense, your one kind act, giving me the boot, knocked me right back on my ***. But I didn't want you to know. So of course I shrugged it off.

And of course, now he's all you talk about, when we do get around to talking. I haven't even seen you in person since that night.

Am I angry now? Of course not. I could be bitter and say, "once a cheater; always a cheater," and prophesize your next breakup, but I won't do that. I honestly and truly care too much for you to wish you ill.

So now, even though you're moving away, even though you've fallen head over heels for him again, and even though you're gradually trying to cut me out of your life, I'm neither angry, nor bitter. I am, however, ready to finally let you go for the last time.


Best wishes,


- Z
 

zeligocity zeligocity
22-25, M
9 Responses Aug 19, 2008

I go great with cupanoodles!!!

hahaha, yeah, you got me there, oh calorie-less-one

I will take that as a point for the Celerystalk!!!

:(

But it hurt. More than losing a friend. Because it wasn't just your id, it wasn't just your ego. It was your heart.

Yeah. I did let her go, didn't I? (and I do have other platonic female friends)

That's my point, oh brilliant one! Did you keep yours in check? The sex ALWAYS gets in the way, Sally!

Bleh. I'm not really one for romantic comedies. Platonic relationships exist and are easy to maintain, just so long as you keep your Id in check.

Harry: You realise of course that we can never be friends.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: Why not?<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: What I'm saying is... and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or<br><br />
form, is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets<br><br />
in the way.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: That's not true, I have a number of men friends and there's is no sex<br><br />
involved.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: No you don't.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: Yes I do.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: No you don't.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: Yes I do.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: You only think you do.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: You're saying I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: No, what I'm saying is they all want to have sex with you.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: They do not.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Do too.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: They do not.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Do too.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: How do you know?<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive, he<br><br />
always wants to have sex with her.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: So you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds<br><br />
unattractive.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Nuh, you pretty much wanna nail'em too.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: What if they don't want to have sex with you?<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Doesn't matter, because the sex thing is already out there so the<br><br />
friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: Well I guess we're not going to be friends then.<br><br />
<br><br />
Harry: Guess not.<br><br />
<br><br />
Sally: That's too bad. You are the only person I knew in New York.