OK, so this post today is inspired by an article in the NY Times that I came across: A Kite That Couldn’t Be Tied Down. Go ahead and read that first. It’s quick and easy and heart-wrenching. I’ll wait.
See? Wasn’t it beautiful? And it got me to thinking a whole lot about this process that all humans go through at some point. The falling in love for the first time thing. How crystal clear everything surrounding that time is, how utterly perfect in all it’s hindsight. And I take it a little further in thinking that a certain aspect of this phenomenon is unique to being gay, because in addition to falling in love for the first time, it’s the ‘who’ we are falling in love with that tells us something entirely new about ourselves. So not only are we having the butterflies and the swooning, but the whole “Holy shit, I’m in love with a girl” dilemma as well.
But I truly think the thing about this article that struck me the most was that the author, in some way, was looking for some affirmation that she had affected the other person in some way as well. That what those two people went through together meant something, to both of them. The fact that her heart skipped a beat when she saw that the object of her affection had felt something on that day, flying a kite in Tienanmen Square, gave meaning to it all. She had made a difference that had been recognized by someone else.
And of course, all of this, leads to me thinking about my own experiences with my first falling in puppy love episode, which was also my “Oh shit, it’s a girl” moment. And how I, much like this author, fell hard and fast without much awareness as to what was actually happening to me other than the fleeting thought of “I wonder why I ONLY want to spend time with L.” And then she kissed me, and I knew for a concrete fact why I wanted to spend all my time with her. But again, much like this author, the object of my obsession would inevitably pull away from me and show up with some boyfriend, acting as though what had happened between us was nothing much, when, to me, she was crushing my heart at every turn.
And for the next 3 years, I would remain her “BFF”, while not-so-secretly pining for her, to no avail. But whenever she would feel me start to slip away, she would have some way to bring me back; brush my hair behind an ear, hold my hand while we were driving and a few times would even grace me with some kisses and my heart would soar. But it was always followed by the inevitable drop of my heart, when, if I tried to kiss her again, not on her terms, I would be rejected. It was the most vicious roller-coaster ride I’ve ever been on. And eventually, I wizened up enough to make myself get off of this nauseating ride, because no one was keeping me on it but myself.
“The only thing worse than losing her was the realization that I’d never had her.”
And right here, the point that I’ve been trying to get to, is the wondering that has always nagged at me. The wondering if I had as profound an effect on her life as she had on mine. And the back of my head knows that the answer has always been No. That she did love me, in some way, but she was never in love with me. That yes, I was a good friend with occasional benefits for those few years, but in the end, I was disposable. And the event that drove us apart for good, was unforgivable to me. And this is something that I almost never talk about, but I think I have to just write it down, so I can just release it, once and for all. The thing that drove us apart was that I was raped, in her house, by her brothers best friend, and she did not believe me. She sided with him, who took something from me that can never be returned, and said that I had lied about it. And this betrayal, from her, has hurt me more than the actual event that she denied. There was no going back to her after that. So I had loved her, and she didn’t even have the courtesy to believe in something that no woman would ever joke about happening.
He had hurt my body, which is easily healed, and my mind, which took longer, but healed nonetheless. But she hurt my very heart, which also eventually healed, but not without a reminder in scar form. And, in a way, these actions on her part caused me to be much more cautious with my heart in the years that would follow. Almost too cautious, since there was a small period of time where I almost didn’t let HH into my heart. But I came to realize that everybody wasn’t like L, and that I was worthy of someone who would love me back.
So I guess, in hindsight, she had an effect on the path my life took. And I’ve always wondered if I had the same affect on her. But really, it doesn’t matter anymore, so I’m going to let it go. Yes, it’s part of my past, but it’s also an unchangeable event. It is what it is and all that jazz. In some twisted way, it’s led me to my life today and how happy I am with HH and I just have to be grateful for the experience. But the wondering is stopping today. It’s over.
I think the author of the article sums things up perfectly with her closing line so I’m going to steal it: “There are so many fruits in the world; we can’t remember exactly who introduced us to what. But we never forget who showed us that there were, indeed, more fruits to discover than we’d ever realized.”