Scott and I had just had a really big argument. Or perhaps I should say it was I that was arguing.
I had become emotionally triggered and I unfortunately allowed myself to spin completely out of control, despite the number of times I’d said to several different friends on recent occasions, regarding their own issues with spousal squabbles, Nothing will get accomplished when you’re in a heightened emotional state, so when you feel yourself becoming reactive, walk away from the conversation and revisit it 20 minutes later after you’ve calmed down.
It seems I don’t even know how to take my own fucking advice.
I had been standing on Battery Street in the middle San Francisco’s financial district, yelling into my phone at him, railing about how he wasn’t doing it right – whatever “it” was I am sure I could recall if I wanted but the truth is I’d rather forget. I have occasionally found myself in this over-reactive state. I am human, after all, and this whole separation thing has been something of a challenge. But I was in very rare form this particular afternoon, and I am sure there were some businessmen and women heading back to offices from lunch breaks who received unpleasant earfuls of my vitriol. I wasn’t holding back – my tongue sharp razors of blame and punishment.
It was a couple of days later that I was able to get clear as a bell that my expectations of him are beliefs I am not free to have, that his actions are totally out of my control, and that the foundation of my happiness hinges upon no one else but me. But I didn’t know it then. Well, on some level I understood those concepts…. but I wasn’t practicing them. I was, instead, blaming. Shaming. Beating him up while I stood indignantly on the sidewalk as workaday passers-by gave wide berth to my bitterness.
It was not my finest hour. But it was, thankfully, short-lived.
It is amazing how quickly a mood can shift, how focus can be derailed, how one’s psychological atmosphere can morph from contempt into contentedness.
I had just hung up the phone and was looking up towards the tops of buildings searching for their street numbers. I was looking for the parking garage where I had deposited my car, pre-lunch, just a few hours before. I had suddenly become disoriented (likely due to all the adrenaline I’d ushered forth as a result of my outrage) and couldn’t remember what block I had been on. It was exactly that moment, not three seconds after I’d put my phone back into my purse, when a cute guy walked up to me and said, You look like you’re lost, can I help you?
Yes, I replied, grateful for the offering. My car’s parked at a garage on Sansome, but I am not sure where that is exactly. Oh, he said, it’s just over there. My office is right above it. I thanked him with a big smile and began to walk up the block towards the garage.
Funny how focus can shift. How possibility opens up like quiet fields in front of us. How simple directions to a car can become a catalyst for temperament change.
Hey, he shouted towards me as I was leaving, you are really cute. I turned back towards him and if I blushed, I did not know. I only knew I liked how I felt inside of my skin right then. My response was in kind, Well so are you. I smiled.
It’s my birthday! he remarked, and whether or not this was the truth was at that moment irrelevant. The fact that he was standing there speaking to me, acknowledging me, and then asking for exactly what he wanted from me was as big a turn on to me as gay black gangster porn.
He was twenty five, and one of the things he had just decided he wanted for his birthday was to make out with me.
So I said, Okay.
And in the middle of San Francisco’s financial district, on a warm and sunny Friday afternoon, I kissed this cute young man because, well… he was cute, and also because he had asked for what he wanted. Put it right the fuck out there. And I did not even consider moving his hands as they wandered up and down and around my ass as we stood there, but instead grabbed the back of his hair with my hand and very gently tugged. And after a few of these lovely moments I pulled away. Although I really didn’t want to.
But I had to go, I told him.
He looked at me one last time and said, Wow, that was a really good kiss. Can we fuck?
Maybe, I considered. And I was reminded about how simply asking for what we want is the instrument for actually getting it. And with that I handed him my card and walked down the block, where I got in my car and drove away smiling, fascinated by how feelings are so very fluid – one constant rippling motion of delight and animosity. And everything that exists in between.
And how it’s time for me to dump my anger about my situation and move into acceptance. Of what is, of what will be. And how it is I that can make my life exactly what I want it to be.
All I’ve gotta do is ask for it, and make the shift.
All on my own.