Friday, February 20, 2009

On Dating...

So, I've tried to immerse myself in the dating world, given that I am attempting to fully and finally move on from Narc. This is not an easy task, as I am still in love with him and probably will be for quite some time. That said, how much of myself do I have to emotionally expend to casually date?

I think I first made the decision to really do it when at my birthday party, Jake's girlfriend offered to set me up with a friend of hers. She is a total matchmaker. It's in her blood. I was mad at Narc, having just fought with him when he left to go drinking with his friends, so I agreed that she could give that guy my phone number.

I didn't think much about it in the following few weeks because I was caught up in my surgery and the holidays and my general anxiety about Narc cheating on me. As you know, I broke up with him in that horribly sad fight on the morning of New Year's Eve. I was feeling very weak at the time and feared that my iron count might be low from all of the surgical blood loss. Plus, I have low iron to begin with and take prescription pills for that. I had scheduled an appointment to get my blood checked and was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office when I heard a woman call my name. It was Jake's girlfriend. Even though I had only met her once before and even though I was a teary, bleary mess with hardly a touch of makeup on, she recognized me and came over to say hello.

"Did that guy ever call you?" she asked.

I told her that I hadn't heard from him and I told her about my breakup with Narc.

"Good riddance to him! The guy is a loser," she said. "You deserve so much better!"

We talked about her most recent (pre-Jake) breakup and about how she moved on. She insisted that plentiful dating was the cure. She suggested an online profile.

"Oh God, that sounds awful," I said. "I wouldn't know what to write. I can't stand the idea of packaging and selling myself like that!"

"Don't worry, I'll help you with it!"

I was convinced that our paths crossed that afternoon for a reason and I resolved to take new risks and to try to truly move on.

I was scared of dating. In some ways, I still am. First and foremost, I have never tried dating sober and I couldn't imagine taking my clothes off in front of a stranger without the lubrication of alcohol. All of my friends laughed at that idea and told me that dating didn't necessarily mean taking my clothes off. But I guess, being new to dating, my only real experience lies in drunken one-night-stands. What is dating without taking your clothes off? Somehow, that idea seemed even scarier to me.

In any case, the guy finally emailed me and we set up a coffee date for the first week of January. The only problem was that in the interim, Narc and I got "back together" and he became my boyfriend. I kept the date anyway. That afternoon I was shopping with Anxious, and bought some smoking green eyeshadow at the Mac counter. I was so nervous to meet this guy, but when I arrived, I realized that all my fears were unfounded. He was just some nerdy, nice, smart guy. I was afraid of being judged, of not being pretty enough, of not knowing what to say... But I ended up feeling pretty gorgeous and smart and felt for the first time that I have choice. I think my old M-O was to wait for someone to show interest in me and then to just take that person hostage. I so don't need to do that anymore.

Anyway, the date was fine, but there a was no real chemistry. Besides, I was back with Narc and felt guilty for even meeting this guy. I tucked it away as a neat little reference point for future dating and I moved on.

Narc and I remained officially "together" for another two weeks. After the second breakup I was devastated and could hardly breathe. As much as I was bolstered by my good friends and family, withdrawal from him was sharp and painful and I could hardly bear it. I texted Jake about my awful withdrawal pains and asked if I could meet with him and his girlfriend for the help she promised setting up an online profile.

So, we met the following week after a Thursday night AA meeting at a little cafe on the Upper East Side. I really like her (I should probably give her a proper blog-name. How about Shadkhen!). After dinner and conversation, the three of us went back to Jake's place to work on my profile. She wrote something cute and breezy that didn't sound at all like me, and pulled some pictures off of my facebook page. Then, it was just a matter of waiting.

Well, there are plenty of guys looking for love, that's for sure. Many of the men who have contacted me are just not to my liking. But there was one guy who seemed cute enough and also interesting. He works in equities, but also plays bass in a band. I thought it was an okay balance. We emailed back and forth a bit via the website before he sent me his phone number and asked me to call him. I was a little annoyed at being asked to take the initiative (I want to be courted, for god's sake!) but I sucked it up and made the phone call. We played phone tag for another day before I finally got a hold of him while I was at my parents house on Long Island.

He had a sexy voice, which is very important to me, and seemed nice enough, but it was the most awkward conversation I've ever had in my entire life. It was so artificial and weird. In any case, we set up a coffee date for the following Thursday.

I met him not far from Union Square and we had a quick lunch. Everything that came out of my mouth seemed to impressive him. Well-- whether or not he meant it, he kept on remarking about how "impressive" I am.

If I'm impressing you so much, you must not be smart enough for me, I thought.

I realize that I have to be careful though. I'm one of those people who doesn't want to be a member of any club that would accept me as a member. A sign of low self-esteem? Probably.

It was a nice lunch. I wasn't totally feeling him, but I wasn't sure if that were due to lack of chemistry or due to my total emotional confusion. I just have a really rusty radar and I'm not used to trusting it. He said that he wanted to see me again, and right away. He asked if I were free for dinner that night. I agreed to meet him for a quick bite.

From there, I was off to get my roots colored. I was so unsettled by the experience of a date with someone other than Narc, that I freaked out and told them to make me a blond. (My hair was a dark brownish-red). About halfway through the bleaching process I freaked out again and told them to keep it red, but a blondish red. It actually turned out really pretty. It's a reddish strawberry blond now. I might go blonder this summer, but I'm not sure. There's something about going blond following a boob-job that just doesn't sit right with me!

Anyway, I went to AA after getting my hair colored and then back downtown to meet him at a little cafe in the West Village called La Lanterna. Our conversation over dinner was fine-- passable, I guess. But I was still having a really hard time sorting through my feelings. He was telling me that he's a fan of Star Trek, Next Generation. I laughed and told him that I had never seen the show but was willing to remain open minded.

"I'll have to show you an episode," he said.

He said a lot of things like that. When I mentioned the opera he said "we'll have to go!" When he mentioned roller-blading he said "I'll have to teach you!" When I mentioned a road-trip I once took he said "We'll have to go on a road trip!" It was weird.

After dinner he suggested a walk. We walked past Lupa.

"I'll have to take you to eat there!" he said.

It was a cold night and I was freezing. I didn't want to go for a "drink" with him. I sort of just wanted to go home. He, however, didn't want the night to end.

"We could go back to my place and watch an episode of Star Trek," he suggested.

Of course I knew what that meant. But, I found myself being rather passive and robotic, and for some reason, agreed.

He lived around the corner in a grimy studio apartment with a large flat-screen TV. The futon was at a weird angle to the television.

"You'll hurt your neck. Better off sitting on the bed," he said.


But, I did.

Anyway, I don't have to go into every detail in order for you to figure out what happened next. He started trying to kiss me and make out with me. At first, I tried to resist a little, but I just couldn't deal with the discomfort of putting him off, so at some point, I just decided to detach and let it happen.

"Do you have a condom?" I asked.

"Yes!" he exclaimed, running to get one.

I think I completely surprised him with my candid offer of sex. Why did I do it? I just didn't feel like making out with him anymore, nor did I feel like having to find a way to make my exit.

As Cherubino put it-- "With you, Hyde, you always choose to be miserable rather than be uncomfortable!"

The next thing I knew, there was some guy making a nauseatingly dreamy face on top of me, with Star Trek playing in the background. I didn't really want to be there. And I hadn't had sex with anyone except Narc since September, 2005. Ugh. What was I doing???

Afterwards, I tried to make an exit, but he kept pulling me back in and telling me that he wanted to do it again. He apologized over and over for finishing too fast.

"I haven't had sex in a month," he said.

I didn't care-- I was grateful for the fast finish. And besides, a guy should never apologize for his performance. It wasn't attractive.

I ended up staying a while longer.

"I wish you could spend the night just like this," he said, pulling me onto his chest.

I didn't like how slim he felt compared to Narc. I was starting to feel rotten.

When I finally got out of there, yanking on my jeans and making a hasty exit, my head was spinning. The guy was nice enough to give me cab fare, but it somehow felt even more gross to be handed a $20 bill on my way out the door. That's when I texted Narc.

My head is spinning. Everything is so fucked up right now, I said.

All I know is that I miss you and I still love you and I'm dumb for writing this text, but I don't care.

Anyway, that was that. He texted me the next day, but I never wrote back. I decided to let that one go.

I had a fun weekend, in which I put it all out of my mind. On Friday night I went out with Jake and Shadkhen (and got free drinks all night, thanks to my low-cut shirt) and on Saturday night, I went out for dinner, drinks at Tao and dancing with the girls for Valentine's Day. Fun, fun, fun!

On Sunday morning, I met my friend Farb for brunch near Gramercy. While we were eating, the waiter came over with a note for me.

I would love to take you to dinner sometime. Perhaps even tonight? It read.

It was signed with a name and a phone number. Farb and I were a bit bewildered and didn't know from whom the note came. The waiter told us it was from the general manager of the restaurant next door and that he had been in the restaurant but had since left. Very weird-- why did he not come over himself or at least try to make eye contact with me? Farb asked the hostess to point him out to us if he came back. She said he was a nice guy, not sketchy, and when he came back in, she signaled to us.

He was really cute. I could only see him from across the room, but he looked sort of like Hugh Grant, with a lot of stubble. He was wearing a suit with an open collar and no tie.

"He's hot. You should call him," Farb concluded.

I agreed. But who does that kind of thing? Who calls random phone numbers passed to them by waiters?

Hyde-- that's who.

I was happy to be able to access my old Hyde free-spirit-ness without any drugs or alcohol in the mix. I sent him a text the next day.

Hi. You sent me your phone number via the waiter at brunch yesterday morning. I have to ask why you didn't come over and say hello yourself. :) --Hyde

He wrote back pretty quickly:
I didn't want to be intrusive. Would you like to meet later on for a coffee? Around 7?

Anyway, we went back and forth for a while, making a plan. I wrote again:

Ok. So-- Irving & 17th at 9-ish? How will I know you? Or will you just recognize me?

I'll recognize you. How can I forget? came his reply.

So, I got dressed and headed out. (Before I left, I stopped by to say hi to NDN and Tamika. She was having some drama about having cancelled for a friend's bachelorette party.)

I got to the coffee shop first and sat on a bench outside, smoking a cigarette. A charming guy approached. I kind of knew it was him, but played it as if I didn't.

"Do you have a light...Hyde?" he asked.

This guy was definitely a slickster. He had a bad boy vibe, and I couldn't help but be attracted to that.

It turns out that he is 33 and is from Tel Aviv. He was a bartender there and followed a girlfriend to NY three years ago, although they've been broken up for a year and a half. (When he asked me about my last relationship, I tried to skirt the issue, and only said that I was coming out of one). He is also a short story writer and has started taking a class in screenwriting. (Yeah-- I know). We had really great conversation chemistry, talking about everything from the metaphysics of history to religion, philosophy, travel and food. He is really into food and wine (two things I can't really partake of) and was going on about the sensual nature of food that has been crafted with intention.

He tried to extend the date a little, but I had to be up early to teach and was scared I would end up giving a repeat performance of the Thursday night debacle. So, instead, we shared a cab and he dropped me on my corner. Before I had a chance to make it to my front door, he had written me a text:

I enjoyed your company, Hyde. Have sweet dreams. I would like to see you again soon.

I didn't answer his text.

The next day I got another text from him:

Hyde, I'm going to leave the next meeting in your hands. I know it is hard to get used to others. Ciao beautiful.

I wasn't sure what to make of that. Why is he leaving it in my hands? Didn't he leave it in my hands to call him in the first place? I like when guys take charge, so I was a little annoyed. I waited a day before writing back:

Well, this week is turning out to be pretty busy but maybe dinner or a drink next week... I enjoyed our meeting on Monday.

His response:
Hi Hyde. I had a good time. Wish it could be longer... I can make myself available in the beginning of next week.

So-- that's that. We'll see if anything comes of it. In the meantime, I have a possible date tonight, picked out of the deluge of improbable matches coming through the online profile. Some 40 year old guy wants to take me to the Met Museum. We still have to work out the logistics.

Bottom line-- no one can accuse me of not putting myself out there.

And that's Hyde "on dating."


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Narc

So much has been happening that I think it's time to blog about some of it-- and I can only think of it in three broad categories, "On Narc," "On Dating," and "On Cherubino." And I guess I'll have to do it in installments because there's so damn much to say!!

So... here I go.


I will try very, very hard to make a long story short.

Last April, I tried to break it off with him. After all of the torture I went through, staying with him while he was traipsing around with PopStarChick, I knew that I couldn't put myself through that again-- sticking around while he was with another woman. When he started hanging out with LA-Girl, I was ready to be done. Well, it's obvious that I didn't want to be done, but I just couldn't survive it emotionally. Rather than allowing the break-up to happen, we both talked ourselves in circles until he agreed to be monogamous with me, but not to be my official "boyfriend" in title. I thought that it could and would be enough. We had one other bad night-- around the time of his birthday in May and I told him that it was over between us, yet again. But by the end of May and the start of June, I had buckled and allowed the status quo to return.

Over the next several months, Narc and I grew closer and closer. When he got sick this past summer with another blood clot, he stopped going out and drinking as much, and we started spending more "down time" together. There were no other women in his orbit and I was with him 5-6 and sometimes 7 nights a week.

Around Halloween he even acknowledged that he might have a problem with his drinking and that he wanted to change his life.

Then he backed away from that idea and started having more and more "boys nights" out with his latest crew. I had the nauseating feeling that he was trying to pick up girls on those nights out, and the suspicion and fear was hard to deal with.

In November it became more and more clear that my suspicions were based in reality and I had to confirm them. I saw that he texted some girl "Next time I'll have to take you on a proper date." There were other confirmations as well. It made me feel sick to my stomach (especially as that incident happened while I was on Long Island having surgery!) and I started to throw up more and more often from anxiety, but I tried my best to ignore it and not rock the boat.

I was anxious about my birthday and about whether or not he would come to my party, buy me a present, or anything else. It turns out that he did come to my party even though all of my AA people were there along with my mom and BigSis. Narc brought two of his friends and didn't really talk to many other people. Even though I wasn't serving alcohol, he and his friends had some sort of stash and were drinking. They left the party mid-way to go to a bar and Narc and I got in a fight about it. I told him I didn't want him to leave. Later that night, he came back to my place (at around 2:00 AM) and the party had already wound down. He was drunk and we had a fight in which he insisted that he's "not my boyfriend" so he had "no obligation to stay." I told him that if he wasn't my boyfriend, we had to stop acting like he was. He insisted that all of my friends were rude to him. (They weren't). I told him that he was just being paranoid that they don't like him because they know how he has hurt me.

"You make your bed, you lie in it," I said.

He was angry at me, but we ended up erasing it all with awesome sex.

On my actual birthday, we had a beautiful night. He took me out to the Russian Tea Room, bought me a beautiful present and I felt happier with him than ever before. We had amazing sex that night too.

So... it was all a little confusing, to say the least.

I was very anxious about going to Long Island to have my next few surgeries in December because I was afraid that while I was gone he would pursue other women. The anxiety was horrible and mostly manifested itself through terrible nausea and a feeling that I would call "paranoia," except that it was too much based in fact for it to be true-paranoia.

Narc and I had tickets to go see John Edward, the psychic, but once I had my surgery scheduled I could no longer go. We were together up until the very night before my surgery, but I was convinced that he would try to take some other woman to that event. After my surgery I was horribly depressed. The combination of anaesthesia, morphine and percocet in my system, mixed with my anxiety was too much for me to bear. I was trying to get to the computer to see if he posted a craigslist ad even though I could barely sit up and move, let alone shower myself or get to the bathroom. It was really just sick, sick, sick. My brain was in a fog and I couldn't stop crying. As a testament to my utter exhaustion and vulnerability, I even opened up to my mom about this-- something that I never thought I would do.

"Why are you doing this to yourself, sweetie?" she asked. "You are supposed to be healing your body right now. You are supposed to be taking care of yourself. This is a happy and exciting moment. Why are you toxifying your life with this kind of fear and pain? It's just not necessary!"

For some reason, even though I've heard that a million times before and from a million other people, I actually heard her. I had one of those "moments of clarity." Why WAS I putting myself through all that? I decided that I had to get help and that I'd probably have to end it.

In the meantime, I could barely get hold of Narc via text for a few days. Then, we finally spoke and he was very sweet. He texted me all sorts of loving messages. "We'll be together again soon, darling," he said. He told me how much he missed me.

On Christmas Eve I was determined to get a present to him. No one else had bought him a present for Christmas and he had no plans for the evening-- a "Christmas Orphan" once again, as he likes to say. It was hard to find a service that would deliver on Christmas Eve-- harder still because I was so incapacitated. Narc had talked about wanting to make a gingerbread house together and I found a place that brought him a gingerbread house kit and a giant Hershey's kiss. It was the best I could do.

Later that night on the way to my aunt's house, I sent him a text. (I don't still have all of these texts saved, so these are approximations).

Did you get any surprises tonight? I asked.

Narc: There was a package at the door, he said, But I didn't pick it up from the doorman yet. Was that from you?

Hyde: Maybe it was from Santa. What are you up to tonight? Merry Xmas!

Narc: Just coming back from drinks with Scott. Merry Christmas to you too, hon.

About ten minutes later, he wrote again: A gingerbread house kit! I love it!

Hyde: A kit and a kiss. Love you.

I texted him again later that night, but he didn't answer. I texted him once more before bed, still no answer. I was a little anxious about it, but decided to let my psyche rest. After all, it was Christmas. And I was trying to heal.

Over the course of the next few days, Narc wrote several times to tell me that he couldn't wait to see me. I was originally supposed to be back in the city on the 26th but decided to push it off until the 27th because I wasn't entirely self-sufficient. On the day I returned, he rushed up to midtown to meet me in my apartment that afternoon. We went out for Ethiopian food for dinner. We were inseparable for the next two or three days.

However, all was not well. The amazing sex seemed to have dissipated. He wouldn't kiss me during sex. I kept trying, but he wouldn't. It really confused me. And get this-- remember that back in November he texted some woman "Next time I'll take you on a proper date"? Well, I saw that he had, indeed, invited that woman to go see the John Edward show with him. She couldn't make it because she was in France. He tried to set up a date with her upon her return. His texts were very flirty.

Can't wait to see you darling. Kiss kiss, he wrote.

Ugh. I felt sick, but did nothing.

On Tuesday, December 30th I went down to see Narc after my regular AA meeting. He was finishing up some part of a video game. We had plans to catch that Vampire movie at the Angelika-- "Let the Right One In." I went into his bedroom to check my email while he was finishing.

Narc's computer opens the Internet browser to his yahoo account as a home page. He was logged in to his email. I had no intention of looking at anything, but I glanced at the page as I was typing in my gmail address. There were four or five messages in a row from someone named "Mona." My stomach turned. I knew right away that something was wrong. I decided to look.

I didn't have to look long or even very carefully to figure out what this was about. Narc had met up with this woman via Craigslist on Christmas Eve. They met for drinks at Cercle Rouge.

"I'm sorry we didn't get you up in time with the alarm!" he wrote to her. "Too bad you were late to meet your family on Christmas."

So-- she slept there. I literally thought I was going to die. I went into the bathroom and started to throw up. When I came out, he asked if I was okay.

"No." I said.

I just stood there, the lights pounding in my head. I could feel my heart thudding. It was like everything was in slow motion.

"Narc-- are you seeing other women?" I asked.

It felt like the voice that asked that was coming from somewhere far outside of my body.

"Of course not," he said. "Why would you ask me that?"

He continued to vehemently deny it, insisting that I was just creating drama because I'm a drama queen and because I had just come from my AA meeting.

I can't and won't attempt to reconstruct that whole conversation. The bottom line is that he denied any wrong-doing. I didn't want to tell him I saw those emails, so I simply said that whether or not he had been seeing other women, I felt like he was, I felt degraded and rejected in our relationship and that I couldn't go on seeing him on a daily basis, sleeping with him, saying "I love you," and not being his girlfriend. I was also concerned about his New Year's plans. He was going out with "the boys." I wanted to be with him. I wanted to share a New Year's Kiss. But most of all, I was just worried about him trying to meet someone else. He said all sorts of terrible things. I pointed out that he stopped kissing me during sex since my surgery. Then he told me that I couldn't be his girlfriend because he didn't feel chemistry with me. That confused the hell out of me. The only thing we have ever consistently had is sexual chemistry. When I challenged him, he said that he used to feel chemistry for me, but not since he stopped drinking. (Do I need to point out that he never stopped drinking? I pointed it out to him.)

"Well, from when I switched from hard liquor to beer."

"You're telling me that we can't be together because once you laid of whiskey you don't want me anymore? What do you even like about me?!"

He wouldn't answer.

"Why am I even here, Narc? Name one thing you like about me!"

"I'm not going to play these games with you, Hyde."

"What games?! Name one thing!"

He wouldn't.

I was hysterical in tears.

"We're going to miss the movie," he said. "Do you still want to go?"

"Um... okay."

So, I pulled myself together and we went to the movie. I cried through most of it. Afterwards we went back to his apartment. I sat on the couch crying and eating Brazil nuts.

"Is this how it's going to be all night?" he asked.


"You sitting here and weeping?"

"Um... I don't know."

" 'Cause if it is, it's not going to work for me."

"Are you kicking me out? You can't kick me out!"

I promised to go to bed and to try to stop crying. He said he was going to stay in the living room and read. I climbed into his bed by myself. I couldn't stop crying. I heard him at the door. I thought he might say something comforting, but he didn't. Instead he closed the door tightly so he wouldn't have to hear me.

I think we clung to each other in our sleep that night.

The next morning, I woke up with all of this sitting in a lump in my throat. I told him that I couldn't let it go. The conversation and the pain started up all over again.

"The only reason we're not together in that way, Hyde, is because you want to have a family and I don't."

"That's the dumbest thing I ever heard," I said.

"Really-- I can't have a girlfriend with whom I know there's no future. That's why you're not my girlfriend."

The conversation went on in some circles.

"You've told me time and again that I'm not your girlfriend and I should stop acting like I am."


"Well, I think I finally hear you. I'm going to stop acting like I am. I'm going to stop seeing you, sleeping with you, practically living with you, supporting you, telling you I love you."

"Hyde, that's not what I meant."

"The bottom line is that I finally hear you!!! I get it. I can't do this on these terms anymore. I love you, but it hurts too much and it's destroying me. We have to say goodbye."

I left in tears.

It was New Year's Eve. That afternoon I went to see B in the hospital. His daughter had been born the day before. For the rest of the evening I cried.

Meema came over to drag me out for some New Year's Eve festivities. I wore a hot red-dress and got tons of attention. Everyone stared at my brand new breasts and some guy told me I had on the hottest dress at the party. I felt numb though. And it was hard to dance, given my recent surgeries.

I came home that night and went to bed around 3:30 AM.

When I woke up in the morning, I had several missed calls from Narc. It turns out that he came by my building at around 5:00 AM. Obviously, he was drunk, and the doorman wouldn't let him in. I called him back and left him a message telling him that I hoped he had gotten home safely.

Later that night, I missed a flurry of text messages and phone calls from him. I was hanging out with NDN and Tamika and didn't have my phone on me. These text messages I actually did save (at least the ones he sent. I don't have my "replies.")

9:14 PM: Can we talk at some point tonight? I don't want to see anyone else, and I don't want to live a life without you.

9:51: Can I at least come up so we can talk for a little bit? I don't have to stay if you don't want me to.

10:11: Darling, please let me come by tonight. I love you and I don't want it to be like this.

10:26: I don't want to reject you, I just don't know where we can go together if you want a family in a few years and I don't know if I can do that.

10:27: If it wasn't for that, you know I'd want you as my girlfriend in name and all.

10:29: Can I at least come by so we can talk?

10:33: There's a lot I want to say that I didn't get to say yesterday. Please, I don't want us to be apart. I don't want to see anyone else. There must be something we can work out.

10:36: If I said I wanted to be your boyfriend and you to be my girlfriend, would that change anything?

(To which I said something like- it would have meant everything- respect, etc. But it's too late-- there's no trust).

10:42: What do you mean no trust? I've never been anything but completely honest with you.

10:45: I don't want to be with anyone else, but at the same time I don't know how I can make you happy without committing to a family.

(To which I said something like: The Dominican Republic Girl, UN Chick, Exhibitionist, PopStar, Laurie, LA-Girl, etc. Clearly you are "just not that into me.")

10:47: What are you talking about, Hyde?? I spend ALL of my time with you!! And have for years!! How could I not want and love you?

10:51: The only woman I dated since having met you was PopStar, nothing happened with any of the others. And we were not exclusive then at any rate.

10:52: Jesus, all I did last night was talk about how much I missed you and wished you were out with us.

10:57: Well, part of what I wanted to say is that I think you're the most amazing woman I've ever met. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you that yesterday. I guess I was just flustered.

11:02: And also, I love you more than I've ever loved anyone in my life.

11:05: Can't we at least talk about all of this a little bit?

Anyway, we did end up finally speaking on the phone. I was sitting on NDN's couch. He kept writing me encouraging messages like "Be Strong!!!" And "Don't forget about MONA!!!"

I said everything I wanted to say and I really stuck up for myself, but the fact that I was bothering to have the conversation at all meant that a part of me still believed in salvaging something. And hasn't it been proven unsalvageable at this point??? He kept turning the conversation to this issue of having kids and having a family and saying that we want different things. I was having trouble remembering that this all started with him cheating on me. I asked him about that text "Next time I'll take you on a proper date." He said it was sent to his friend Monica-- that she had a bad internet date and he was trying to cheer her up. It was a nice try, but I knew for a fact it was a lie. I couldn't tell him that though.

In any case, we talked for hours and got nowhere. We both went to bed that night alone and exhausted.

After that I didn't see him for a few days and it was painful. He tried to inititate a meeting, but I refused. Then, by the end of the week I buckled. I called him and asked to see him. We made a plan for me to go down to his place and we were going to cook dinner. I hopped into a cab with groceries.

"I'm still at Forge," he said. "Meet me here."

I was expecting to arrive at the restaurant to find him paying his bill or something. Instead, he was sitting at the bar, drinking Jack Daniels, and chatting with two of his friends. He barely looked up to say hello to me (despite my pounding heart) and I couldn't drag him out of there until after 10:00 PM. I was angry. He made up some lame excuse about bad timing and having to catch up with his friends, but none of it made any sense. How could he treat me like that after everything we had just been through?

Back at his place he became loving and attentive, trying to make out with my while I was cooking, and kissing me deeply and passionately. I let myself go-- I just gave in to it all, but it was still pretty damn confusing. In my mind, it had to be a one-night deal.

The next day (Monday, January 5th), he called to see if he could come over after his Tarot class.

"No, Narc. We can't do this," I said. "I am not your girlfriend so I'm not going to act like I am. You can't have it both ways."

"So, if you were my 'girlfriend,' I could see you? We could be together? It would really change that much for you?"


(Did I mean that? I didn't know anymore.)

"Okay," he said.

"Okay, what?"

"Let's try it."

"Being boyfriend and girlfriend? Really?"

(I knew how dumb this was, even as it was happening, but I let it happen.)

"I can't be without you, so let's try."

I agreed. And I set out to meet him at "The Perfect Pint," a new pub in the neighborhood.

Over the course of the next week, things got worse. Narc started to ignore me. He had two "boys nights" in a row. On the first (that Thursday), he didn't return my texts and I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. On Friday, January 9th I went to see a Professional Bull Riding rodeo event at Madison Square Garden with NDN, Tamika and their friends. I asked Narc if he wanted to join up afterwards.

"Only if Mike can't hang out," he said.

I felt awful being relegated to second place and we got in a fight on the phone. Things were not going well.

Still, I swallowed it down and hoped for the best.

Another week went by.

I saw that Narc had texted Mona, the Christmas Eve girl, and invited her out on that Thursday evening boy's night. I felt sick and betrayed, but said nothing.

Finally, on Friday, January 16th, the shit hit the fan. It was a freezing cold day that day-- 14-degrees before the wind chill. I was teaching up in the Bronx in the morning. When I got out, Narc had sent me a text.

"Come cuddle!" he wrote.

I went down to see him. He was blood-shot and woozy and hung-over. We had amazing sex all afternoon though and watched "My So-Called Life."

At some point he got a text message.

"Oh, that's from Scott," he said.

I thought it was strange that he bothered to announce who it was from.

Then the smoke alarm in someone else's apartment went off. Narc left me laying out the Thai take-out while he went to tell the front desk. I looked at his cell phone while he was gone. The text had been from the Exhibitionist.

Are you seeing anyone these days? she wrote.

Nope. Pure as a monk! he answered.

Do you want to be seeing anyone?

If the right woman were to come along,
he answered.

I felt sick all over again. That same thudding in my ears. That same wave of nausea in my stomach and my limbs. He came back into the apartment.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"What's wrong with you?"


"Hyde-- something is wrong. What could possibly have happened in the two minutes I was gone?"

"Nothing! I'm just a moody girl, okay? Let's just eat."

He sat down on the couch. I drew my knees up to my chest. I was going to crack. I knew it... I knew it. I didn't want to tell him I had seen his phone because I knew he would turn it around and attack me. But I had no strength left-- there was nothing in me to try to make this work anymore.

"I saw your phone," I said. "I saw what you wrote to the Exhibitionist."

"You looked at my phone?"

"It fell."

"I don't think it fell. I think you looked at it."

"That's not the point. I saw what you wrote."

He claimed that he was being "sarcastic."

"That's bullshit I said."

"You know what, Hyde! Get out. This is the reason I broke up with Natalie. I never thought YOU would turn out to be such an untrustworthy bitch!!! Get dressed and get out!"

"My pleasure!" I shot back.

I started to get dressed.

"You know what, Narc? You're a fucking liar! You're a liar and a cheater and you spend your whole life playing the vicitm. If you're alone it's because you make it that way! You choose to be alone. You make it fucking impossible for anyone to love you!"

"What else do you want to see in here? What else, Hyde!" he said, scrolling through his iPhone.

I walked over and peered over the text message list.

"Who's Mona?" I asked.

The texts were right there-- the ones I knew were about him inviting her out for boys night.

"Mona is Monica," he said. "That's just what I call my friend Monica sometimes."

"That's bullshit!" I laughed. "I'm not stupid. Do you really think I'm that much of an idiot?!"

He kept insisting.

"Fine. Show me that you don't have Mona and Monica both listed in your contact list, then!"

"I have her home phone and cell phone-- it's under two names," he said.

"You are such a fucking liar. And who's Anna??"

(There was some other text messasge to a girl named Anna.)

"Just a girl I met out with Mike who wanted me to read her Tarot. God damn it, Hyde! Aren't I allowed to meet people?"

"No! You're not allowed to go out to bars and pick up girls and read their Tarot."

"Mike was trying to hit on her, not me."


I turned away and continued getting dressed.

"I really, really love you Narc. I really do. You make it so fucking impossible though! I hope for your sake that Mona or Anna or whoever will love you a fraction as much because you drive everyone away. You must want to be alone."

"I don't want to be alone, Hyde."

He seemed vulnerable for a moment, but then changed his tone.

" You know what, Hyde? I wasn't cheating on you. I wasn't seeing anyone else. But now I will! Now I WILL!"

"I-DON'T-FUCKING-CARE!!! See who you want, Narc! It's over between us! Dead! OVER!!!"

I was standing at the door now, fully bundled up in my wintercoat, layers of tights and scarveas and my snuggly winter hat with the pom-pom on top.

"WHO THE FUCK IS MONA!?!?!??!" I screamed, at full volume. "STOP LYING TO ME!!!!!"

I think I must have startled him, because he changed his tone. I kind of startled myself.

"Fine, fine," he said, sort of flustered. "Mona isn't Monica. She's some girl I met months and months ago at The Auction House. She just got in touch with me and asked me to do a reading for her. I didn't want to say because I knew you'd be upset."

"You're a liar," I said calmly.

"I'm not lying."

"So... if I come over there and look at your phone it'll be all about Tarot?"


"Let me see."


He pulled the phone back closer to him.

"Fucking, liar," I said.

He then tapped the screen of the phone as if he would show me after all. I walked over to the couch and peered over at it.

"Gone, gone, gone!" he said, tapping each text conversation and erasing it.

"Gone? Well, then I'm gone too!"

I stormed back over to the door.

"Don't call me!" I shouted.

"That won't be a problem."

Those are the last words I heard him speak.

So... A month went by. A freakin' impossibly hard month. I've been counting one-day-at-a-time. I've been crying. I've been working. I've been living my life. I decided to start dating. I've been trying to re-group. I've been spending time with good friends. The night after the break-up, NDN and Tamika took me to Atlantic City wtih them. I've been trying not to look back.

But I miss him like hell and it hurts like hell. Last week I had sex with someone else (a story that I will tell you all about in my post "on dating") and it fucked with my head. I sent Narc a text right after.

My head is spinning. Everything is so fucked up right now, I said. All I know is that I miss you and I still love you and I'm dumb for writing this text, but I don't care.

Four days later (on this past Sunday), he wrote to me.

I know. I miss you too. Don't know what else to say.

I wrote back:
I love you so the bottom of my heart. So much. And whether or not we can be together or friends or whatever, I will always, always love you. I hope that someday we can at least be in touch and that I don't have to lose you forever.

Narc: I love you too. I don't want you to not be in my life.

Hyde: I'm so glad you wrote. To know that I'm not alone right now in all of these feelings. What we were wasn't working. I don't know what we can be to each other. But I say good night to yo before I close my eyes. So just know that for now. I don't know what else to do either.

Narc: I thought it could have worked, but I guess we didn't do it right. Still, that doesn't mean that we can't know each other, love each other as friends perhaps.

And no-- you're not alone in your feelings.

Anyway, another day or two went by. He sent me some innocuous text about Kiefer on "24." I answered just as innocuously. Then, last night just as NDN, Tamika and I were wrapping up our American Idol night, he wrote again:

Narc: Just getting home now, take it you already watched 'Idol'? Was going to see if you wanted to come down to watch it.

Hyde: Yeah, we can't do that anymore.

Narc: Hyde, I wasn't inviting you down for sex, which I'm not up for at any rate, but just to watch 'Idol.' If you've already seen it then no worries, perhaps we'll get together some other time.

I couldn't think of anything to say to that, so I didn't answer. Then, right before bed, I felt anxious, so I called him. I haven't heard his voice since that day in January. He didn't pick up, so I left a message.

"Just thought it would be better to talk in person," I said. "I don't know why I'm calling. It's probably too soon. Didn't mean to upset you with my text. Just trying to figure this all out. Anyway, have a good night..."

I was surprised when he wrote back:
Don't really have the energy to talk on the phone right now, really just want to zone out, watch 'Idol," go to bed. Can talk soon.

Hyde: Ok. Have a good night. Maybe it's too soon anyway. Be happy & healthy. And enjoy Idol.

Then I was really surprised with what came next--

Narc: I'm fine with the amount of time that has passed, or hasn't passed, but because you are the woman and make all of the decisions, we are of course at your discretion when it comes to whenever you feel like hanging out again. So maybe we can leave it at: you can figure that out and let me know when you like.

By the way, didn't mean that to sound harsh, or difficult, just too tired to talk and feeling like a passive player in your self-scripted drama isn't helping. Feel like we'd just get into an argument if we talked now, when really, I just want to watch "Idol"... At any rate, sure you're in bed now, sweet dreams. Maybe we'll talk soon.

So, I responded...

Hyde: I'm sorry you feel like a passive player. I have no script. Just want two opposing things at once-- to see you b/c I love you AND to move on b/c it hurt and it wasn't working. I will try to stay away until I have had time to fully move on emotionally. I don't want to make you upset or uncomfortable or feel jerked around. So-- I apologize for that. I'm doing my best. Sweet dreams to you too.

Narc: I know, I want to see you too. Sleeping alone is no fun. But again, you're in the driver's seat (or "driving the cattle" etc as Dr. Phil might say), so you'll have to let me know what you want to do eventually etc., about perhaps being friends and all the rest of it. Anyway, off to bed...

Hyde: You drive your cattle and I'll drive mine. I do miss you and love you. But I want to be healthy and whole and I wish that for you too. Good night. I'm sad that you're lonely tonight. xo.

Today he sent me some dumb email about a list on and also a text about the possibility of Kim Raver and Kirstin Davis being cast in a script he hasn't written yet. It's raining out and I have to go teach a class in Brooklyn tonight.

There is so, so, so much else going on-- my recent dates, the emotional upheaval with Cherubino, etc. But that's the Narc story. I feel like I did my duty by blogging it. So much of this blog has been my relationship with him, that I felt unsettled not keeping it up to date.

I want so badly to be healthy and to not get sucked back in. But the fear and anxiety I feel when the tie with him is cut is almost as terrifying as the pain when I'm with him.


Anyway, hope you are all well. I'm doing better than this post has surely made it seem!!!

lots of love,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm Still Here...

Well, it's February. I'm still here. I'm still not really ready to write about or process my life online. But I wanted to check in with a mini-update.

It has been 23 days since I've had any contact with Narc. In the meantime, I posted a profile on an online dating website (to help keep myself from the inevitable pining), I'm on a new anti-anxiety medication, I joined a gym and I've been spending a lot of time with friends and family. Anxious and I have met up a few times and she has been so sweet and supportive. NDN, Tamika and I have instituted "American Idol Night" at their place on Tuesdays. Hammer and I have been spending more time together too. We went shopping last weekend at the boutiques in SoHo and enjoyed the recession sales. We both bought awesome designer dresses at Nicole Miller. I have to say-- I've also been enjoying my new physique. Never before in my life have I been "picked up" with lines like "where do you work out?" Last weekend I hit the town and was out until closing time all weekend long. This weekend was much more chill. StarGazer celebrated her two-year anniversary on Friday night and yesterday I spent the day with my family on Long Island. I am totally and madly in love with my little niece. I babysit for her every Monday and it is a highlight of my week.

Other than that, things are pretty much the same-- a ton of teaching, voice lessons, service for AA and life goes on.

As you can imagine, I'm having a very hard time and totally taking it one day at a time, but it's the most I can say about Narc here. Maybe one day I'll be able to recount the story of how it all came to an end.

I think I'm going to cook dinner tonight. I have a date on Thursday. Oh-- and I'm planning on re-painting my apartment very, very soon. I'm going to do something more feminine and totally fresh.

Ok... Well, that's my mini-update.

Hope you are all well out there.

Lots of love,