He’s drunk again.
I let out another sigh. I try to avoid admitting this to myself, but maybe I should just suck it up and say it out loud. He’s an alcoholic. And I’m in love with him.
He’s not my boyfriend or my partner. We’re not building a future together. We’re not in a relationship. He’s just my friend, and we fuck all the time, and it’s been that way for months. Or years.
I tell myself that I’m smart enough to never get into a relationship with another addict ever again, but as I’m standing there, watching him thrash around in a drunken semi-stupor, I realize: isn’t my name on the lease? Aren’t those the keys to my car? Didn’t I pay for the bottle of vodka? God, I’m doing girlfriend shit for someone who will probably evanesce in six months or less. I must be bored. Am I bored? I don’t have anything better to do?
We fuck, which makes me feel guilty because why is he always drunk or high when we fuck? I feel cheap and desperate, being totally sober and still into it. I disgust myself. As I’m sitting on a blanket on the floor surveying the scene filled with empty liquor bottles and dirty dishes and the lonely lines of coke on the plate. I guess it’s come to this.
So I do the only dignified thing I can think of and drive home where I get drunk alone, too. Because this is true love. Or, this is true love for me. I cringe in my memories and wonder when I’ll figure out how to fall in love with a nice man with a good job who wants to build a future with me. Am I even capable of that? Am I capable of wanting that?
I brush those thoughts away with ease and think about him, tooted up and twirling around an empty apartment, completely naked, bottle in hand. In my mind, it’s a beautiful sight. In reality, I tell myself I will never go back there, but who knows what tomorrow holds.
I should stop hating myself because of the people I love. It’s counterintuitive. I’m still locked up in this idea that I should be dating the type of man my mother approves of: rich, old and white. As though those attributes make someone more worthy of my love and affection.
I know that it may seem like I’m punishing myself with the people I date, but that’s such a boring and simplistic way to look at it. It’s more that I grew tired of dating people who were a laundry list of checked boxes full of socially acceptable qualities that make a person worthy of love. Why do we believe that the more money a person makes, the more that person deserves love? Fuck that. I hate that. Why do we believe that the greater a person’s ambition or the more success they’re likely to achieve means that I should want to him fuck him more?
I’ve fallen into the trap that has made me believe I need to be perfect in the eyes of society in order to attain happiness. Similarly, I have allowed myself to believe that anyone I love should likewise be perfect. But I’m not perfect, and he’s not perfect, and I’m sick of hiding my flaws in shame. I will never be the perfect person I pretend to be, and I’m fully content with that. I would never wish the curse of the pursuit of perfection on anyone else. It’s a fucking rouse and a burden.
He makes mistakes, and so do I, but I’m sick of running from the mistakes. Love is pain, but so is loneliness. Just because he’s flawed – it doesn’t mean that loving him is a compromise. It doesn’t mean I’m quietly losing in the game of love because I allow him to be human. It just means that love is a flawed solution, but I love him with all his flaws, so in its own way love is the perfect solution.
Although, I get it – you, dear reader, might not put up with these flaws. These flaws might break you, but they don’t break me, so that’s what matters. My love for him doesn’t have to be right for you, nor should it be. This is my love on my terms, and even though I am being eaten alive by self doubt, everything is going to be fine.
Why am I so bad at wanting what I want? Whose fault is that? It’s not his fault, and it’s not my fault. It’s your fault. Which is why I rush back over to that empty, dirty apartment and sit on the floor while I wait for him to get dressed so we can go to the bar, and I tell none of you about it. If I want to kill myself, I will do it quietly, and if I choose to live, I will slink off into the sunset any way I see fit. The rest of the world can burn for all I care.
Baby, I’m in love.