I replied with the simple fact that we have history, and that, yeah, maybe I didn't know what I was doing, and maybe I would pick the better candidate next time. But as I sat at home with the sun shining through my window, checking my usual websites and expecting some unexpected message to fall into my lap and change my whole world, I realized that the overly anticipated moments of the eve before had left me feeling oddly empty; void of the excitement that I thought four years of history being validated would so obviously bring me. I left his house just before tenAM, standing in front of his disheveled house for ten minutes just trying to figure out where my damn car was. Lighting a cigarette between my two frozen fingers, curling my frozen toes, and picking at my frozen boogers, validation seemed somewhere in Southern California, hanging out on the beach with the fellow drug addicts and the bitches with tans. Something I had been anticipating for far too long ended with the words "Don't call me Buddy."
As far as why I hold Ben so high on a pedestal is sometimes beyond me. Not that the opinion of others matters so much, but the constant criticism of my liking for him is at least enough to make a girl consider what the hell she's doing. Ben isn't exactly what you'd call a Catch. For four years we've been separated by one thing or another. Be it distance or other relationships, something has always stood in the way of me getting to fulfill a relationship that I knew to work so well when it first began. Despite the fact that Ben is exactly like my father in the many ways that he is completely void of emotion, I still liked to think that the boy had a soft spot for me, and that we had this thing called "chemistry" that most couples like to pretend to have, even though they lack it completely and that's why they're all so miserable. I wondered how long I could let Ben make me chase him before I finally caught him, and if a catch would ever really mean anything other than sex and a blowjob. I wondered if this four year waiting process had meant anything other than an excuse to hope for something, big or small. Something that has, in the past, motivated me to go so far beyond my limits in writing and an art of picking up, has left me this morning feeling empty. Perhaps the feeling isn't permanent, perhaps it's all only temporary and to be rectified as soon as I hear that dopey laugh again, and perhaps all my assumptions are wrong and this truly is and always has been nothing more than a useless relationship meant simply for immediate gratification. A never-ending chase is supposedly a dream to me, except now I can't so easily judge when I should just give up and let it go; I'm too tired to chase forever, and there's more water buffalo for me to eat out there. In positive ways and in negative ways, I like to think that whether I'm right or wrong about everything, there's no way I'll ever know, because one thing I can trust that kid to do is never open his mouth when he's feeling anything more than a latenight BJ.
So to answer your question, New Guy, we have history. Sure, I don't really know what that entails or if it even amounts to anything, but sometimes you just gotta go for it and hope that when your faithful "Buddy" falls short, the New Guy will be around to accept your proposal for a round two in the not-so-distant future. When you've been chasing the same damn thing for so long, you tend to channel out all the other possibilities and find it necessary, even critical, to prove to yourself just that you can actually do it. When the catch finally comes and the meat is less than satisfying, only then can you stop to realize that you're the lion in a field of prey, and you're free to choose who gets it next. You've got to admire something that makes you work fast and hard for that long a time, considering that whichever grazing victim is next will likely take less than five minutes to chase down and devour whole.