There’s people you should date, people you want to date, people you end up with, and people from whom you should stay as far as possible. It’s odd how seldom these categories overlap.
What is that spark of attraction? More to the point, why is it? Apart from nothing you can define, reason with, or manufacture. It’d be nice and safe, and certainly easier, if we could bottle that spark, put it on a shelf, and forget about it. I could get on examining my solitude, mending my broken heart with words and workouts, not letting my mood depend on outside sources. In other words, how well I’m handling the breakup on a given day is directly related to hearing from my unrequited crush. This is not healthy. I know this. I tell anyone who will listen (and now, apparently, anyone who will read, har-har). Knowing it’s unhealthy doesn’t stop depression in the face of her silence, because the heart wants what it wants.
Sorry, I hate clichés, too. Yet again and again during these past months, clichés have popped up to wag their fingers in my face. Told you so, told you so, toldyou-toldyou-toldyou-so, they say. One day at time, they say. We grew apart, they say. The heart wants what it wants? Oh, just fuck right off. But…yes, it does. If I could pluck that longing from my heart and box it until I’m ready, how less dizzy my head would be, how even my emotional recovery, how neat and inhuman my heart.
Take it to another level. Imagine pulling that spark from someone who doesn’t spark back and putting it someplace you wish it would. I’m speaking of my friendships with some truly amazing women.
During my marriage, I often looked at these fabulous singles and wondered what’s wrong with the men in Miami. Now that I’m single, I have two dilemmas. First, the odds of a relationship working out are low. I value my friendships too much to jeopardize them on what if. Second (and this is where the spark-in-a-bottle comes in), I’ve been in the Friend Zone too long. I’m having a great old time with perfectly attractive female friends, and part of me thinks, my life would be so much easier if there was any sexual tension between us. My dating life, at least.
Of course, sometimes you get lucky. The spark sneaks up from an unexpected source. Someone you never considered turns out to be exactly the person you need. Friendship turns to flirting, laughing to longing, and there my alliterative comparisons run out.
I know it’s too soon. I know it’s foolish. I know there’s a reason people warn against rebound relationships. I also think I’ve been miserable long enough. I’d forgotten I used to be a joyful man. The joy Cleopatra (not her real name, obviously) brought back to my life has lately felt like something more than friendship. Something like a spark.