15 February 2009

The Revolt of the Body- Part 3

                With us there had always been a lot left unsaid. I was a lot younger and far more new to the dating scene. I never wanted to look like a fool. So when he would try to talk to me about things, I would agree like I knew what he was talking about, always so afraid to ask, "what exactly does that mean?" When he ended things, he gave me some explanation that was so vague that I could not make heads or tails of it. It's not that he went for the old stand-by's "It's not you, it's me" or "I need some space." I just remember getting the message that things were over because he couldn't trust himself to be around me. I took that unclear explanation and assured him I understood exactly what he meant when, really, I had no clue.
           In a lot of ways, I was in over my head dating a guy like Matt, not maturity-wise or in my ability to carry on a relationship, but in life experience. I was 17 and he was 21. But it wasn't so much the age as what we had done in those years. He had lived a full life before he met me and we were in such different worlds. He was always so afraid of having his past life somehow tarnish me that he kept a lot to himself. Matt moved to California from Florida where he was living with his girlfriend of two years. I had never really dated with the exception of a few boys in Junior High. But we didn't date as much as "go-around" whatever that meant. I hadn't kissed a boy in four years and Matt, well, Matt had been living with this woman and all that that implied.
                   After Matt ended things, we stayed friends. Maybe even better friends than when we were dating. We both went off to college after the summer and sustained our friendship through letters, calls and the occasional visit. Leaving was hard. Two days after I moved into my dorm room, I was right back home because Matt was visiting that weekend, too. It was during a visit at his school that I first really noticed the paralysis. It was my second visit to his school, only this time it was a bit different. He had moved off campus, away from the strict oversight of the Administration of the Bible College, away from the no-fraternization rules where boys and girls could never be alone together (an oxymoron I never understood) and from the "Safe Zone" five feet from every dorm room door. I had to stay with a female friend at the college and if I wanted to see Matt, I couldn't call (no phones in the room and this was before the days oft he ubiquitous cell) I had to knock on his door and immediately jump back five feet before he opened the door so as not to violate the "Safe Zone".
             Now he shared a cabin with two coworkers at the camp where he had taken a job as a cook. I got the couch and we got out from all the legalism. Without the oppressive safety net, the tension once again began to rise and with it my ever increasing paralysis. Maybe it was only in my mind or maybe it was in both our minds, but, either way, I was powerless to find out. It seemed we were always teetering on the verge of picking up right where we left off. However much I could convince myself that all the signs were there, I couldn't convince myself to act on it.

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