Last night, guy #2 called. We had a long, meandering, pleasant conversation. I felt like a teenager, hanging on the phone with a boy because I didn't want the conversation to end, even though I didn't have much important to say. He confessed that something I said on our walk on Saturday made him weak in the knees -- I mentioned I liked Star Trek. (Well, I do!) In and around more casual topics, he said he liked me, and asked me if I liked beards (I said I most definitely did). We referred back to a point I had made on Saturday, about being more nervous the more you like someone. We both confessed to being nervous. After we finally hung up, having tentatively planned our next get-together on Saturday the 23rd, I had to do some work, then went to bed late. Reminiscent of the night T first kissed me in Vail in February 2000, I had a hard time getting to sleep. OK, it wasn't nearly that dramatic, when my whole body buzzed for hours, but I did struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. I like this man, he seems to like me, and I am having a hard time not imagining all sorts of rosy outcomes for our relationship.
It occurs to me that right now, I feel like I'm recovering from a divorce more than a death. I'm afraid I had come to believe that T didn't really like or appreciate the core of me: my enthusiasm and puppy-dog energy, my inclination to organize and plan things, my sometimes changeable passions. Coming home from an appointment with my grief counselor today, I burst into tears when I realized that perhaps subconsciously I suspect that T left me because he didn't love me. Oh, and my mother, too, having died when I was 24 -- everyone important in my life leaves me. If there is any chance that #2 can soothe that pain, then no wonder I'm struggling to keep from spinning romantic endings to this first baby-step beginning.
And then fear of rejection reared its not unexpected head. T left me by dying; what if #2 hurts me too, or treats me badly? And yet I really want to be extra-authentic, absolutely myself, crystal clear in who I am and what I'm like, so that I don't end up in a relationship again where I feel like I have to be different somehow, that expressing my core self isn't encouraged and supported. Being open-hearted and vulnerable, while also taking things slowly and really getting to know this guy for who he is, independent of what he can (or can not) do for me, is I suspect a challenging balancing act.
But boy, it's good to be back in the thick of life! I feel so much wiser about the ways of the heart, yet still so vulnerable to them. I was so glad he called last night. After we hung up I sent him my real email address, and checked all day today to see if he responded. He hasn't. It's exhilarating, amusing, distracting, exasperating, and fun!