Friday, July 20, 2012

Beautiful Mess

"I seem to have gotten myself into the most beautiful of messes" Jenna stares at me across the table and can say only "a beautiful mess indeed." It's a payday Friday and we're treating each other to dinner at a pleasant little bistro on 4th. A pack of cigarettes between us we sit on the small covered patio, me mulling over a double latte and her sipping sporadically on a cuba libre. I'm desperately trying to sort out my feelings about the man in my life. Jenna the ever faithful friend ever there to help me gather my thoughts. "Do you want me to be honest? Or do you want me to be nice?" she asks in all earnestness. Of course I want both, but I want honest more than I want nice tonight because my mind is a muddled mess of a million conflicting thoughts. Jenna proceeds to lay out the facts for me, clear, straight, to the point. All I can think about is how he makes me feel. She's right of course there are some very practical matters to take into consideration and I seem to be doing my utmost to avoid facing these facts. "It's like this" she says, each hand drawing a hard line on either end of the table."You get this, or you get that, and unless you're exceptionally lucky, which I doubt, you don't get both." I can see the line she's drawing so clearly its as if it were built into the table itself. "But the middle ground..." I begin to argue. "Not this time babe, this time it's a clear choice, this or that and those are the hard facts" she says, her hand drawing that same hard line across the table. She's right of course and I know I've got choices to make. "Why does it have to be so hard?" I ask, relatively rhetorically. She of course can't answer that any better than I can, which is simply to say "that's the way it goes." We order an appetizer and forge on. "The question at hand is really what's going to make you the most happy" she says to me, as though this is a simple matter to discern. It's unfair I think that just as I've begun to learn to make choices for myself I'm faced with the graduate level version of decision making. "It couldn't just be simple" I say, frustrated by my lack of clarity. As our entrees arrive we're going over what I've termed the 'pros and cons'. My ever analytical mind wanting so badly to meld this unruly mass of organic emotion into a formulated equation.
"What really gets me" I say "Is the way I feel when he looks at me. It's not as though we spend all day gazing endlessly into each others eyes, but I get these flashes where in he's looking at me the way someone would look at a beautiful piece of art. They can't quite look away and they look deeply into it , appreciating it's beauty, wondering how it came to be, what might the artist have been thinking when he created it. It's as though nothing has ever been so exquisite, and it's the most incredible sensation." "You thrive on love my friend," she knows me so well. "The question is if that love is contingent on you making love." That is of course the real question. Our minds are already making love, with or without our consent, and what remains to be seen is how our bodies will fit into this affair. We're smoking cigarettes and picking at what remains of desert before I begin to feel like I have some kind of grasp on the situation. "I think I've got it figured out" I finally announce. "And you're meeting him for coffee tomorrow?" I nod, "and I will tell him all that it's taken me all this time to conclude."  In my moment of clarity I pause to take in my surroundings. It's a beautiful night. Rain is falling gently around us, and seated here on this quaint little patio, listening to a lovely young girl play her violin inside, it's easy to imagine we're somewhere else. It's almost reminiscant of a european cafe, and it's beautiful beyond words. My mind strays briefly into a fantasy in which I'm by his side, walking the streets of Rome in the middle of the night, I laugh at a joke he makes and wrap my hand around his. I float lazily back into reality. As I walk Jenna back to her car, the rain is falling in a gentle haze around us. The air is cool and crisp "the rain almost makes even this dirty street smell clean" Jenna observes casually. We stand beside her car in the rain for the length of one more smoke and I thank my best friend for hearing out my navigation of this beautiful mess I've found myself in. "So what are you going to do?" Jenna asks as she gets ready to leave. "I'm going to be honest" I say. "And if he kisses you?" "I'll kiss him back, without hesitation." I respond without hesitation. "Of course you will" she says to me grinning. "Because you're a grown ass woman and you can do whatever the fuck you want to" I laugh a little. "Besides" she adds almost as an afterthought, "I know you pretty well and when it comes to matters of love you follow your heart without reason, and that's just the way you are." I sigh, knowing of course that she's right. We hug each other tightly, grateful for the friendship we share. After she's driven away I walk down the alley in the gentle spray of rain, left only to my thoughts. His words come to me, describing the gentle, lingering kiss we might share and a shudder runs the course of my body. I know as surely as the moon shines that I need to taste his kiss, if only just once, if only just to know. As for however else he might hold me, as a lover, as a friend, for a night, or for forever well that remains to be seen, subject to the negotiations of the days to come. As I walk to my car I feel less bombarded by my thoughts, and I feel some measure of clarity I might bring to the table tomorrow. I'm certain still, however, that we've gotten ourselves into a rather beautiful mess.

1 comment:

  1. Do you want me to be honest? Or do you want me to be nice? That so changed my life.