The time was around 07:52. Though a veritable hurricane had been forecast, the morning was calm and bright. The shadows cast by the buildings stopped just short of where you were sitting, right at the top of the steps that lead down to the library.
I hesitantly glance over as I walk past you. I see you’re reading a book. Perfect, smooth black hair covers your back and shoulders. A denim top, white jeans, black blouse, and those brown pumps that are so goddamn fucking adorable. Your eyes are focused intently on the pages, you’re absorbed in them, lost in whatever you’re reading.
Of course, why wouldn’t you be? You’re not like the others. You’re intense; you find and pursue things that have depth. You favor meaning, challenge and growth over cheap thrills and mindless entertainment. This is why I want to find someone like you, someone I can drive through the desert with for hours, listening to music we both love, not saying a word. Someone I can make love to in a tent pitched in the Himalayas. Someone I can lean over to kiss on the Eurail train. Coming back from the university, the gym, the mountain, the recital; I can come home to you, waiting for me, waiting to have me recuperate in your embrace in preparation for the challenge of another day. In that perfect future I’ve imagined, the light that will follow this darkness, you are my best companion.
Apprehension gripped me as I passed. A big part of me urged me to say something, anything, to just make some kind of connection, however vague, something that can be built upon.
But I keep walking. Inner turmoil accompanies me down the steps. I reach the entrance and look back, you’re still sitting there, at the top, not too far away. You look up.
Oh, shit. I avert my gaze and walk into the library.
To the beautiful blonde who smiled and looked down as I walked past her yesterday.
To the brunette who taught me mathematics in first year.
To the dark-haired violinist I was introduced to in the conservatoire.
I see you, and I’m reminded of why I’m here, why I’m doing this. You embody my anima, the feminine reflection of all it is that I aspire to. You have the beauty, the intelligence, the creativity, fucking everything a man could ask for. As much as I want to convince myself otherwise, I live for the day when I can approach you. The love, the sex, the shared experiences, the togetherness, it’s what makes life worth living*.
But I can’t start that journey with you just yet. In a relationship, the man is the rock, the constant, the protector, the provider. I cannot give you that yet: my branches are still blown this way and that by the wind, my foundations lay on shaky ground. I’d be so swept up in the contemplation of you, of us, that my life would revolve around you.
I’d be clingy and needy and live only for your affections. To be fair, I’d be a handsome, sophisticated, articulate clinger, but a clinger nonetheless.
One of the great ironies of life is man’s pursuit of a woman: my goal should not be the woman, but rather myself. Only once I have built my skills, my identity, my purpose, only then can I take another along for the ride. If I have no other source of joy besides you, then I become addicted. I become a servant and not a leader. I would come to use and exploit you for pleasure and validation, repeating the same pattern of all my previous addictions. Though I yearn to drown in my love for you, I can only do so with you at my side, and not on a pedestal before me.
Trust that I am on the path, that I climb towards the summit. My hands become calloused by the jagged rocks. My will grows tempered by the steepness of the slopes. My resolve hardens with each plateau I cross. I live only to collapse into your arms at the summit.
When I get there, I’m going to ask that you not inquire about my sexual history with the rather rotund specimens I became involved with along the way. A man has needs, jesus.