To the dude from last summer and the summer before that

We have to stop meeting this way. I am putting a stop to it, against my addictive urges.

We are not going to meet tomorrow night.

I want to see you, but I can’t.

I never told you that I’m a sex and love addict in recovery, and that I have dissociative identity disorder. Previously, I told you that I have PTSD and a severe dissociative disorder. That was my way of downplaying my DID. I know I did this because DID is most definitely unsexy. It’s so not sexy that it’s unsexy.

I rationalized getting intimate with you too soon two summers ago because I liked you. I told myself it was okay because it wasn’t casual sex as casual sex is my bottom line behavior. But then we went our separate ways, and we’ve just had false starts since then.

Out of nowhere I hear from you the same day that I learn of a loss that I’m grappling with. I can’t trust myself to go out with you when I am feeling this way. I have to sit with this loss, feel it, and not try to numb it away by being with you.

I can see myself going to bed with you, and regretting it when I don’t hear from you for another 6 months.

I am no longer interested in playing out this script. I am throwing it away. I truly hope you have a good life.

Be well,

Beatriz

Deconstructed cranberry apple pie

pie

I had just one job for Thanksgiving, and that was to make the pie, my apple cranberry pie. Coincidentally, we had a white Thanksgiving in the northeastern United States, and the snow along with the baking brought me back to my short time with you. For our first date we met right after a snow storm at the lovely French cafe in town. As I walked into the cafe on that fateful January Sunday nearly 4 years ago, I noticed that you already ordered croissants for us, and I believe you also had my Earl Grey tea ready for me. At first the quick-to-jump-to-conclusions-feminist in me was a teeny bit annoyed, but then I quickly realized it was just your way of being thoughtful.

The night before Thanksgiving I had planned on prepping the pie crust, and making the cranberry jam that makes up the bottom layer of the pie. But the snow outside my window just kept bringing me back to that first walk we took in the park right after we finished breakfast at the French cafe. I wish I could recall the conversation. What I do remember is that this was the first time you took my hand in yours, and my heart just sailed with our gloved hands hanging on to each other as we circled the snowed in park. I could sense you were nervous with the way you would glance at me sideways, which made me like you even more. Usually on a date I’m the one who is the most nervous. It was a nice switch.

I glance at the clock, realize it is nearly midnight, and I’ve not made the cranberry jam, nor have I started the dough for the pie crust. I decide that I need to do something before I go to bed, and the cranberry jam is easy enough to make. How hard can it be? It’s just cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water and salt. But the cranberry jam purplish red hue reminds me of the Valentine’s Day we spent together cooking and baking. We made my favorite red velvet cake recipe. I wish I could ask you if my memory is correct in recalling that we also made a key lime chiffon pie as well. One dessert per person? We were indulgent, weren’t we …

I fall asleep on the couch in this state of remembering that will not quit. I wake up the next day in a pained fog when I realize that the memories are a dream, and the reality of our ending is lived every day in our separate lives.

Eventually I drag myself into the kitchen to mix the pie crust dough. As I separate the dough into two halves with my hands I close my eyes and remember how you would take one hand and rub the back of my head. You would do this to tell me you loved me, and you would also do it as a way to reassure me when I’m feeling anxious. Sometimes when I miss you too much I put my own hand on top of my head the way you used to place yours on mine.

The real slog in making this pie is peeling, coring and slicing all 7 apples. The big heaping glass bowl of apple slices with cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch is stirred over a pot of simmering water. I taste the apples, and realize that they could use more spice, perhaps some cardamom or allspice. If we were making this pie together you would likely advocate for more spice, and the ardent rule follower that I tend to be would argue for leaving the pie as it is since I get nervous veering off a recipe. You would be right, the apples could use more spice, and because of that fact the apples will remain as they are.

At last the pie is ready to go. I get in the car, and look in the rearview mirror as I back out of my parking space. For just a moment I see you in the rearview mirror the way you used to watch me drive off after our weekends together. You would stand there and watch me drive away, and I would see you eventually turn into a mere speck in the rearview mirror. Just for today you will remain a speck in my rearview mirror.

This is why you’re my favorite

The first time you called me I wanted to get back to watching Law and Order: SVU, mind you it was on Hulu Plus, so it’s not like I was forever going to miss a critical moment. Your Match.com profile seemed a tiny bit bitter in that you very specifically noted that “cheaters” should not contact you.When someone is compelled to put that it into their profile it means they’ve been cheated on. You confirmed my suspicion without any inquiry from me. I wondered if this fact would spill into your dating interactions, but it didn’t scare me off completely.

I reluctantly said yes when you asked me out, and where did you take us on our first date? You booked us at a Hibachi place, of all things. I was tempted to cancel. I loathe Hibachi meals, all the hullabaloo with the knives and the squirting of sake into open mouths, not to mention the sodium-heavy mediocre over-priced meal that we get to consume. But something inside me kept telling me to give it a shot, so I did. And sure enough I get there, and we are seated with a large party that is celebrating a 21st birthday. I silently groan inside. But I am already distracted by you, the way you introduced yourself to me in that way that says you are truly glad to meet me. Yes, you do have a round belly, but I shop at Lane Bryant, though I like to brag that it’s the one place where I’m a “small.”

And as soon as you speak to me I realize how much I truly am an ass. Your voice, which I found strange and jarring on the phone, has a comforting quality to it. You don’t quite have a lisp. I don’t know what it is, all I know is that I realized in that moment that I met you that I judged you for it, and It was jerky of me to do so. Your eyes speak authenticity when they meet my eyes. I just think to myself, “Geesh, I’m a weenie jerk. Look at you! You are authentically happy to meet me, and all the beautiful women in this high end sushi/hibachi place don’t even get a stray blink from you.”

I decided very quickly upon meeting you that I liked you, though I was still flummoxed by the prospect of spending a meal with this young group of people celebrating a birthday. Really, this is a nightmare. I still did not like you for this … this first date with a group of young things. I wanted to melt away, so I attempted to do so by opening up the heavy and voluminous menu in front of me. I pretended to study it intently in an attempt to avoid small talk with the others. I didn’t know what else to do. Then I hear you start speaking to them, and I’m thinking what are you doing? I want to reach out and pull you back. You’re asking who’s the birthday girl, and you’re talking them up, and they like you (how could they not?). Me, the idiot behind the heavy menu, looks up and realizes hey, these are people too, perhaps they didn’t exactly relish having two forty somethings crash their birthday dinner. Again, it’s very clear who’s the jerk here, and so far, it’s been the same person all along.

It was a lovely dinner with the young peeps all on account of you, of course. Who am I kidding? You had me the moment you met me the door of the restaurant with that affable “Good evening!” that you greeted me with as you embraced me.

After that date our lives got in the way of us going any further than a few dates. We both have demanding jobs, and your kids live 3.5 hours away and you try to visit them most weekends. There simply were not enough hours in the day for us to get know each other better. We drifted apart, and then, somehow, after many months we’ve started texting and talking on the phone again. I’ve no idea how that happened.

You’re completely unfazed by my PTSD and DID. You live in the here and now, and I find myself wanting to be more like you.

I don’t know what the future holds for us. We may not have a future. I do know that I like you on a deep level that I’ve not felt for someone in a very long time. it might be two weeks before you’re back in town so that we can go on a date, and I’m willing to wait.