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LJI 10 Week 3: The Infinite Lovebot

This is my entry for Week 3 of LJ Idol, Season 10 (therealljidol). The topic this week is "Brushback Pitch," which is when a pitcher throws a ball very close to a batter, in order to get him or her to step back from the plate.



That day in the record library, I realized I'd fallen into a tragic pattern.

"I have something to tell you," I told my fellow DJ, a slender blonde guy who wore a gray trench coat, was intelligent and wry, and reminded me of David Bowie crossed with Christian Slater. This time, I opted to reveal my truth through a poem.

With a trembling hand, I handed him the cloth-bound book where I wrote my poems in colored ink. (These days, I am more open to revision, rarely seeing the point of affixing a piece in such permanency.) The poem, though I'd like to think was written with more skill than a typical 18-year-old, oozed with teenage angst, propped up with obscure, pretentious imagery. A demon lover swirled amidst dark swirls of desire. I shudder to think of it now.

Silently, he read it, and then looked me in the eye and gently uttered, "I'm flattered, but..."

My world collapsed, again. I reclaimed the book, muttered something I can no longer remember but probably was along the lines of agreeing to remain friends. Bursting out of the ornate marble hallways into a chill, charcoal day, I sobbed the ever-cycling tears of the damned.

While I can recall with vivid detail the soundless cavern of the record-lined vault where I spent so many undergraduate days -- how I had hung on the shush of his breath as he read, wondering what he thought -- I don't recall exactly where I went afterwards. Probably to seek out a friend, like Holli, my bubbly Wiccan friend, who had marched into my life, sure of our destiny from the start. She could make anyone believe.

As my wracking tears subsided, I recounted my earlier failings. A note passed to my middle school crush, "Do you like me? Yes or no." He'd circled "or." The day I'd called a classmate I'd liked for years, to ask him to a dance, and he'd told me he didn't plan to go. The other high school heartbreaks, a litany of failures, culminating the previous year when, as a college freshman, I'd confessed my love to a fellow member of the Monty Python Society, cornering him in an empty classroom after a meeting. The results were predictable to anyone but me.

Always, I dreamed of impossible bliss with boys who did not share my vision. Inevitably, I would eventually feel compelled to confess my love, in a quiet nook that would forever be tarnished as a place I'd taken my heart to die.

Sadly, the process actually took far longer, and I complained to Holli that falling out of love was like waiting for a clockwork robot to run down. Long after you'd stopped turning the key that fed its engine, the gears would click, the arms and legs flail. After rejection, I'd be a winding-down robot for weeks.

I would, that is, until a casual look or a shared joke would spark my heart alive again, for another unknowing -- and likely unwilling -- target. Locked into my tragic pattern, I was doomed to repeat it once more.

Years later, my eyes traced the black-and-white fleur-de-lis wallpaper of my counselor's office as we unwound the tangled mess of my past loves. She asked me why I had fallen so often for those out of reach, and why, when I had been in relationships, I had allowed myself to be neglected, devalued, emotionally abused. Maybe, I suggested, I thought I didn't deserve better. That love was impossible for someone like me: nerdy, frequently overweight, with no skill to allure.

Perhaps I had learned it in childhood, from my closeted mother, effusive in her love for us children but rarely accepting a public kiss from our dad. He tried so hard to please her, acquiescing to her wishes, bringing cards and flowers. She would bite her lip and mumble thanks, recoil at a kiss on the cheek. When my friends' parents would kiss, I felt scandalized at their inappropriateness, my internal beliefs about love dreadfully askew.

Now, looking back from even further forward, I realize with a shiver that I had perpetually sabotaged myself. Four of my biggest crushes, I now believe, were on boys/men who were either gay or perhaps asexual. Another two beloveds were still hung up on ex-girlfriends, while the very first was a charming, funny jock to whom I'd never actually spoken very much, just longed for from afar. Of course, when you think about it, all of those loves were destined to remain unrequited.

A sad lovebot, I had tick-tocked along a self-fulfilling program, caught in an infinity loop programmed before my birth.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
mrstotten
Dec. 15th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC)
I liked this, very honest, with almost a dry humour that didnt detract from the story you were telling
alycewilson
Dec. 16th, 2016 12:16 am (UTC)
Thanks! That is the feel I was going for.
rswndrlst
Dec. 16th, 2016 12:16 am (UTC)

The first part, whew!been there


When I was 18 I gave my first girl crush a poem I'd written about my feelings for her only to find out the feelings weren't reciprocated but we stayed friends. I always wondered though. (ps I sat in a bathroom stall and cried for a long time after she passed me a note in class a few days later)


Very honestly written!



Edited at 2016-12-16 12:18 am (UTC)
alycewilson
Dec. 16th, 2016 12:24 am (UTC)
Awww! I know exactly how you felt! I'm proud to say I did remain friends with all of those guys (except the jock, who ran in different circles from me).

I didn't think it fit here, but I also accidentally broke a few hearts, too: nice guys pining for me while I dreamed of other guys. I was always surprised when they made their feelings known, and would try to let them down easy. Friendship and love are so intermixed, I don't blame anyone who gets it wrong.
j0ydivided
Dec. 17th, 2016 12:46 am (UTC)
Honest and painful, and something I can relate to myself. Thank you for sharing.
tamaraland
Dec. 17th, 2016 09:09 am (UTC)
"Do you like me? Yes or no." He'd circled "or."

Brilliance.
uselesstinrelic
Dec. 20th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
Agree.
eternal_ot
Dec. 17th, 2016 12:00 pm (UTC)
This is beautifully captured. Loved the way you have written this.A great read. Thank you <3
rayaso
Dec. 17th, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC)
My heart felt for you as I read this, but I was struck by your willingness and courage to keep trying!
bleodswean
Dec. 17th, 2016 10:38 pm (UTC)
We are far more fragile than society realizes....And teenagers most especially. These small woundings. You did a great job capturing this awkward and painful attempt at LOVE that so many of us have experienced and endured. I love how honest you were here and how you brought a more mature sensibility to young heartfelt earnest yearnings.
dmousey
Dec. 19th, 2016 01:59 am (UTC)
I like your honesty and self analysis. And you gave it just the right balance of humor. Thank you for sharing! Hug and peace. ~~~D
penpusher
Dec. 19th, 2016 07:44 am (UTC)
Certainly you've touched on some universal truths here, and some really great self-analysis. It seems like it (eventually) worked out for you!
sinnamongirl
Dec. 19th, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your entry!
mamas_minion
Dec. 19th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Sadly I know the feelings you are talking about in this piece( I was very awkward around the girls for long time). Thank you for sharing this experience.
murielle
Dec. 20th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hear you. I wish I didn't, but I do. But in this we differ, only once did I have the courage to tell the guy. Only once in all my life.

So, you are my hero! Brava!
magazhchi
Dec. 20th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)

Really well written. Loved the last lines.

halfshellvenus
Dec. 20th, 2016 08:00 pm (UTC)
I would eventually feel compelled to confess my love, in a quiet nook that would forever be tarnished as a place I'd taken my heart to die.
There was so, so much in this that was familiar. Like you, I began to wonder if I was self-sabotaging by being attracted to men who weren't attracted back. My parents had a very loving relationship, but I grew up with the impression that while THEY loved me, nobody else really would.

Terrific piece, and I'm glad you finally found the right person-- as did I. *hugs*
m_malcontent
Dec. 20th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC)
He circled or....love this
my_name_is_jenn
Dec. 20th, 2016 10:17 pm (UTC)
When my friends' parents would kiss, I felt scandalized at their inappropriateness, my internal beliefs about love dreadfully askew

I was the same way. I can count on one hand the number of times my parents kissed each other, and those times were never more than a quick peck. They very rarely said "I love you."

I love how you wrote this.
uselesstinrelic
Dec. 20th, 2016 11:11 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I feel like the only sad lovebot. It sucks sometimes, but other times what sucks most is feeling like it comes so easily to others. Reading things like this makes me feel like I'm in better company than I usually feel I am. Like you suspected of some of the boys you wrote about, I am asexual and sometimes I worry nobody will really want to be with me for that reason. Like they'll assume it means I'm not capable of love. I guess that's just lines from my own therapy sessions. :) We all have our issues, right?

Even though it's a retelling of things that are a bit of a downer, it actually helped perk me up. Thanks for sharing.
bewize
Dec. 20th, 2016 11:11 pm (UTC)
Great entry. Really honest.

"A sad lovebot, I had tick-tocked along a self-fulfilling program, caught in an infinity loop programmed before my birth."

Ahh, but you're not done yet. You can rewrite your own program. Good luck!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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