Monday, October 25, 2010

My Brain, the "What-if" Machine

So, I had a giant crush on this friend of mine for a little less than a year. I don't really want to get super specific, but I met him in the beginning of last year, thought it was weird that we'd been in a similar vicinity for over four years and never met, but we became fast friends. Blah blah, I liked him, blah. One time, relatively recently, he made a comment to me that rubbed me kind of the wrong way about constantly being single. Something about, "I only dated girls that were desperate." Later, when I got home, I called him kind of offended after letting it sink in for a few minutes. "What do you mean by desperate? What does that mean?" I asked. He said that was only when he dated, and he hasn't dated in years, and he tried to last year but the woman ended up having two other boyfriends. (He never actually explained what "desperate" meant, but he may have been embarrassed to elaborate.)

I told him that it really wasn't fair to complain about your lack of a dating life to someone who even more severely lacks a dating life. And, in my mind, I added "to a person who has liked you more intensely and for more substantial reasons than she's ever liked anyone." We talked about our lack of dating life together, and I said something like, "Yeah, the only non-gay, single guy I know is...I think you." He completely ignored this inference I was trying to make. He said, "Well, and I'm an old man anyway." Totally not true. Yes, 13 years is a noticeable age difference. But 40 years ago, a gap like that was normal. I don't see him as too old for me at all.

But something in that comment flipped the switch. He didn't count me as a person eligible for him to be in a relationship with. And suddenly it was over. We talked for a half hour after that, about everything. It was a relief that those feelings were gone. I felt like I could finally be his friend for real.

Over the course of this weekend, though, my switch has been weakening. I think I may be starting to feel things for him again. This is made obvious by the dream I had last night--

I dreamed I was pregnant. (Yes, another pregnant dream...these come and go in phases.) I don't know who was the father of my pregnant dream-baby, but I rushed over to my friend's house, panicked. I started crying. I had no idea what to do.

He took my hand and said, "You know what this means, right?" I said no. "It means, we have to move in together. I will not let you go through this alone." I was stunned. "You would really do that for me?" I asked. He said, "I have to. You're the second most important person in my life" ("Who's the first?" I wondered later. "His cat?") "and your baby needs to have two parents." I agreed. Then the weird part came: "We have to leave here, though. We need to go to Missouri." (What the fuck is in Missouri? That's weird.) I said, "That's fine, I think. I can't believe you're being so nice to me." Then my cat, in real life, howled her 7:00 howl and my dream ended.

Here's the bizarre part. You know when you're really into a dream, and you wake up and kind of consider how different life would be if the dream were real? I would have been okay with those circumstances. If I were somehow made preggo, and my friend offered to take care of me and give my baby an opportunity for a somewhat normal life, I may be happy. As I started my day I thought about how that could work...we could just be friends living together, then fall in love eventually or fall in love with someone else and move elsewhere and still be friends. I like that.

That wouldn't likely be the case, though. I would never let myself get close to that unless I were really close to the guy.

I wonder if he could ever get past the age difference. I don't think it's even nearly as substantial as our friendship.

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