Be Here Now

I’ve been having bad sex with a man I’ve been dating–and by “been having” I mean just two times. But still. That’s enough. I’d idealized him so much in my mind that neither he nor anyone else could’ve lived up to my expectations, a George Clooney look-alike, the type of sophisticated older man swooned over by Lana Del Ray in her songs, a father figure to dominate and nurture me, someone who’d take a lot of time in the bedroom, with lots of romance, etc., when really he’s just a regular guy, a man who happens to be 54 years old.

One of my friends read that when women have an orgasm during sex a chemical is released called oxytocin which causes them–us–to fall in love. I don’t know if it’s true because I feel like I never fall in love although I have had plenty of orgasms, but one thing that does happen is that after the first time I found myself wanting to hug and hold this man, and for him to hold me. The morning after I checked my phone more than necessary, wondering why he hadn’t texted me yet, and then I fantasized about being in his arms, even if the sex was bad and he’s a teenager in someone’s dad’s body. Having sex with someone else was unthinkable; biology kicked in and I only wanted sex with this one man. I’d daydream about sitting on his lap and wrapping my arms around his neck and resting my head on his silver-haired chest, and then I’d wonder if I have daddy issues and should I get therapy.

After the second time of bad sex though, the teenage boy in me comes out. Imagine you haven’t eaten all day but you know you’ll be getting a gourmet, four-course meal later from your favorite restaurant. You get to the restaurant and the waiter serves your favorite dish right in front of your nose, and then poof! Uh uh. Nope! Can’t have it. It was all just a cruel joke to see how badly you wanted it, or to make you see that you should be focused on something else more important, like job hunting.

Because now I’m not so interested in dating anymore. Not him, not anyone.

This fantasy of how my life would go was better when I imagined myself with a full time job in a couple of months, with my own apartment right when the weather is warm enough to move, while a beautiful relationship blossomed with my sugar daddy, who was going to take me out to nice dinners. And by “sugar daddy,” I really am not asking for much. I’m not looking for someone to pay my rent or bills. I just want someone who will pay for our dates, and if he happened to buy me an occasional flower or some lingerie or some new shoes, I’d be grateful. But I wouldn’t expect it.

The gritty reality is that I’ll be lucky to get a full time job or even an adjunct position and to be able to afford my own place by myself without a roommate. It won’t necessarily be a nice place, not if I’m living here in the DC or Baltimore metro area.

Often I ask myself what the purpose is of all this. What am I meant to do? What message am I supposed to be getting from this? When life gets tough I wonder if I should move back South, where it’s warmer, closer to my family, who will probably help me if I ask. Of course I don’t want to ask because I want them to know I don’t need their help and I can do all of this on my own because I’m strong and independent. I don’t want to ask, but it sure would be nice if they’d just help me anyway. On the other hand, I am almost 40 years old.

The standard of living in Atlanta is higher, and it’s even better in Charlotte—more affordable. There’s also Greenville, NC, and Springville, SC, which are even more affordable. Asheville, NC, is probably more my speed because it’s a liberal, artsy town, but there aren’t as many jobs available there. But regardless, I can get a nice place in any of these towns, and probably a job. Maybe that’s what I should be doing. Every year for the five and a half years I’ve lived in Maryland, I fight it and I stay here. My network is here and the men are gorgeous and successful. I repeat: the men are gorgeous and successful.

Part of why I’ve stayed here—a big part of why—is because I had this idea I’d meet some wonderful man, fall in love, and take him back South, or out West, or overseas, where we’d live in a nice home with fulfilling careers. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t really want to be here. In this limbo of trying to jump-start my life into what I want it to be, which is really just settled. And for what? When I’m settled I get bored. I was settled and I decided to change my life into what it is now. I have this idea when I get the man, the job, and the house I’ll be happy, even though I know from past experience that doesn’t work. The time needs to come when I’m at peace with the present moment. Can that time please just come now?

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