This week I am sick of subliminal.
I am sick of plausible deniability.
I am sick of pretence, and mealy-mouthed allusions, and the edited id.
I want hearts on sleeves, and spilt guts, and TMI, and burning-cheek honesty.
Good news or bad news, I can’t fake it anymore.
Polaris and I are still hanging on and hanging out. It’s annoyingly great when we spend time together. We are not “just friends”. We stand at the crossroads – between friends and more – and at some point we are going to have to choose. And the hard truth is, neither of us is ready to choose. Neither of us is ready to give up. And, this weekend, I needed us to acknowledge that. Without that honesty, frankly, I look like a mug.
Polaris and I are children of the 80s so perhaps it is appropriate that our lives have become like one never-ending episode of Just Good Friends, where viewers are either shouting at the screen about the inevitability of them getting back together or telling Paul Nicholas to get a haircut.
We are already great friends but embracing the “just” means giving up the possibility of more. It would mean giving up the levels of intimacy and sexual connection that are so core to our relationship. It would mean accepting that we would lose that part of us to other people, to new partners.
Polaris agrees that we don’t know, and we’re not ready to make a decision. I think he knew that I couldn’t go on without agreeing that. I am working hard on my anxiety and I would prefer to make a decision when I know my own feelings better. It’s not a commitment from either of us. It’s just an acknowledgement of our reality. Settling for friendship because you’re scared of what you really want is never going to work. I have to know how it ends.
How will it end (or begin again)? I turn to my two relationship bibles for insight – if a person can have two bibles, and Jack Nicholson is God.
In Bridget Jones, after a declaration of affection for Mr Darcy, her friends tell her: “If he didn’t leap over the family heirlooms, and whip you up in his arms, then sod him.” And we all respond in chorus, “YES, BLOODY WELL SOD HIM!”. Yet this is old-fashioned story of farcial bad timing and misunderstandings, and only a few moments later, Mr Darcy is on her doorstep. This tells me that sometimes it’s just not the right time, and I could still end up in my pants getting smooched in the snow.
In As Good As It Gets, after Helen Hunter tells Melvin that he has paid her maybe the best compliment of her life, he says: “Well, maybe I overshot a little, because I was aiming at just enough to keep you from walking out.” They end up together too, after accepting that no-one gets to have a normal relationship.
The Wizard asks why I don’t just walk away (the third path perhaps). Going through the process of detaching myself, knowing that as soon as I close the door, Polaris will be on my doorstep – that terrifies me. But not wanting to lose someone, is not the same as wanting to keep someone.
I am not scared of in. I’m not even scared of out anymore. I’m scared that it will always only be just enough to stop me walking out the door.