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7:38 p.m. - December 30, 2003
Non-sequitur: I feel queasy
Ryan II came over a while ago and we took out the tree. I've decided Christmas trees are wasteful, though a beautiful indulgence, and next year will be tree-less, despite having been gifted with some nice not-from-Walmart ornaments. We talked and somehow meandered into putting out feelers regarding relationship status and I think Ryan II verged on saying the taboo word, so I cut him off - dodged? - and mentioned how glad I am we're taking the time to get to know each other, how we haven't jumped into a relationship, how I'm not ready for one, and how appreciative I am he's not pushy.

People, I felt terrible even before I looked at his face.

He said that's not what he had hoped to hear from me, but he respects where I am and we finished up, but Iíve been unsettled since. When weíre together, Iím touchy-feely and canít get enough of holding him close, grabbing or rubbing body parts, bumping and grinding against him and I feel safe not only doing these things but comfortable. I like being playful and making him grin or just sitting on the couch together, sometimes talking, sometimes just being quiet. Most (?) defenses are usually down, though when he says I like you more than I should or I think of labels I push away and want to be like a jumping platform in the middle of a pond, away and by myself where I can keep an eye on things. Undisturbed, wary.

An occasional visit is welcome provided too much is not asked for Ė too much what? Emotional investment? Risk-taking? Ė and how can I communicate this effectively without driving him away? Or is skirting the issue indefinitely while tangoing even possible?

And the pieces in the puzzle are discordant. Our age difference comes up in subtle ways, like when I find myself wanting to caution him from becoming trapped in easy credit the same way I did in my early 20s, and while I donít bring it up I think about it more than occasionally. Is there something wrong with me (28) dating him (22)? It wouldnít be so bad if he werenít mature, which illuminates my relative (emotional) immaturity.

Largely, my discomfort arises in skepticism and doubt: What does he see in me that is worth pursuing? Are we both so lonely that an inch of common ground stretches like a highway to Massachusetts or New Hampshire? What are my own motives? Abating or mitigating loneliness? After each conversation I wonder how it is two people who have little in common Ė whether itís politics, books, sports Ė have so much to talk about, but like I said, I donít think these things until later.

Open, though wary, interested though jaded: The question is, how to retain potency before weariness ensues? And which do I want?


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