I’ve always been a lone dreamer living inside my head, and here’s one of my dirty little secrets: I desperately need to be connected to a woman (and not just in the obvious “plugged in” way). It makes me feel alive and whole and wanted. That’s really it – it makes me feel wanted! And that shit is like crack.
When I’m not with a special someone (like right now), I become depressed and feel less than myself. And I think that’s also it. Being part of a couple makes me feel more than myself, better than myself, or perhaps even, my best self.
This isn’t a macho needing a woman to feel like a man type of thing as much as it’s about an almost pathological desire for the naked intimacy, shared experience and extraordinary closeness that comes when you’re connected to another human being. And it doesn’t hurt if you’re also both not wearing any clothes while doing it.
But here’s the naked truth and another little secret: I’ve been with women and stayed with them knowing full well that they weren’t the best choice for me. And admit it — so have you! Because the truth is, to paraphrase Jean Renoir, everyone has his reasons.
Mine happens to be an unbearable intolerance to the itchiness that accompanies being untethered, which is the writerly way of saying that I’m a big fucking baby. I stayed in a moribund marriage for way too long, well aware that it was wrong but too scared to experience what else life held. Life and wife were more than just two words that rhymed.
And I’ve repeated that sin with several women afterwards, denying certain truths along the way, telling myself whatever it was I needed to allay my fears, tamp down my anxiety and allow me to breathe in the fresh air of being wanted, which we all know is the writerly way of saying being loved. And if you haven’t noticed by now, I crave that more than anything (so much so that I even changed the tagline of this blog today).
I know what it’s like to be alone — sometimes even when I’ve been with someone. And I also know what it’s like to stand on my own two feet and face the world by myself. All things considered, I’d just prefer not.
Because nothing feels better than to be in the arms of a woman who loves you, especially when you wake up from a dream in the middle of the night or early in the morning and she smiles that sleepy smile, kisses you, mumbles something incomprehensible before turning over and falling back asleep.
So I’ll continue to dream.