Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Girl Who Claims to Not Like My Novels: Love and Redemption at the Cincinnati Zoo


Recently a girl visited me from Seattle. She happens to be the only girl I ever loved. If you click on the "love" category on this blog, every single entry is about her. A girl I knew for five years and with whom I thus far utterly failed to establish a normal, romantic relationship.

Instead -in spite of my redundant proclamations of love- she never really gave me a chance to be anything else than some strange, very intimate and pathetic male friend. Too intimate for a friendship and too distant for a relationship. Frozen somewhere in a cocoon between a caterpillar and a butterfly.

We would talk, then fight, then not talk again for months or even years. Then I would write her again and she'd reply that she was thinking of me. I'd say I knew she didn't love me. She'd say, "maybe someday."

If this sounds sadomasochistic on my part, then fuck you. Love is beyond receiving things like sex or consistent affection. Love in its purest form is seeing someone in their full humanity and wishing them to be happy regardless of what the cost/benefit ratio has to say about your needs. And this girl gave me the chance to feel that; and though I was often times borderline suicidal as I felt this, I am still eternally grateful to her for the experience.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or cripples you for life. But I don't feel dead or crippled. I feel alive. And maybe my own self-hating hand did come dangerously close to my throat on a couple of occasions, but the hell with it! That's my own fault anyway and I don't really regret it. Some people jump from planes to get their thrills while all I needed for similarly threatening experience is to send her a text and not receive a reply for days or weeks. Its funny to even write this because is so true and absurd.

But no matter how enlightening beating your head against the wall can feel over the years, at some point the activity has to stop. Even for this deranged Russian.

I still think she feels something for me resembling love but its up to her to express it (if there's anything to express). I did all I could.

I even took her to the Cincinnati Zoo.

...where I saw a Greek Orthodox priest said "Hello!" and we got into a long discussion about the monastic traditions in Tibetan Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity.

All the while I was under the effects of marijuana-laced chocolates that she shared with me (and brought in carry on luggage on the plane). She was fiddling with her broken sunglasses while the father told me how Tsar Peter the Great's reforms undermined the purity of Russian Orthodoxy. He sighed loudly when I informed him that I am a Buddhist now and advised me to read about the desert fathers.

With experiences like that, I don't see how she could pass me up!

I love her still, and don't harbor any real negative thoughts about her. I've done all I could to have a real connection. I also can't be the fall guy for her indecision about her feelings for me. Its not that I hate that indecision or feel like I am entitled to something from her, I honestly just can't handle it.

I'm eternally gratefully to her for the gift of love, even if it was just crazy love that came from my side only. I still couldn't have felt it without knowing her.

My heart is always open to her, it always has been, and that -forgive my Russian sentimentality- is the purest thing I can offer as a human, there is nothing to subtract or add to my open heart. The choice is hers.

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