Cleo's World

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." – Elizabeth Taylor

Waiting For You — September 30, 2017

Waiting For You

I waited for you to love me. I was falling for you and I waited anxiously for you to catch up with me. Just when I thought you might actually be ahead of me in the race to learn to love again, I realized how badly I interpreted your mixed signals. Your kindness wasn’t born from a place of love for me, and as much as you tried to take care of me in the little ways, you didn’t truly want me to lean on you.


Then I waited for you to say you were sorry. But it took me over a year before I could even tell you how hurt I had been. I don’t think I ever believed you were sorry until I was brave enough to tell you the truth and heard you say the words.


I had faith for the first time in a long time, and I let that faith open my heart. I finally trusted you enough to truly be honest. I tried my best to be considerate and to communicate clearly. This was important and I wanted to give you every chance to get it right. I wanted to build a friendship that would be stronger than the false love we had shared at first.

I believed you would get it right, if I would just get out of your way and stop doubting you.


But that faith was just a false hope. I know you’d give me the moon and stars if you could – but you’re not Prometheus bearing the light for all mankind and it was probably unfair of me to ever hope for you to give me anything in return for everything I gave you. You warned me from the start, but I chose to ignore the signs. I chose to believe the best in you when you couldn’t see the best in yourself. But just because we believe in something, doesn’t make it true.


So I’m stuck here again, waiting for you.


The Dream — October 16, 2018

The Dream

I’m dreaming.
I’m at a party at a friend’s place. The living room, that’s also a dining room, we’re all crowded into is softly lit by the setting sun. We’re all laughing and drinking. We get together after work to unwind. We hate our jobs but we love each other. There’s wine and beer and food and we’re all happy and comfortable. We are happy as long as we have each other.
I look out the window and see a group of older women with their dogs. The sunshine is shining and it’s that beautiful golden yellow kind of light. One of the women loses control of her golden retriever. I don’t even hesitate I run downstairs into the street in my bare feet. I run across traffic to help her with her dog. Her friends get there right after I do. And she’s fine. Everyone is happy and safe. I say my goodbyes and leave them with a smile.
I go back upstairs. Irritated by a man who takes up the entire stairwell without consideration for me.
“Seriously dude?”
“Oh umm I dunno whatever.”
“Of course you don’t.” Eye roll.
I get back to my friend’s place. The guy by the door smiles as he lets me back in and I smile in return. He’s such a sweetheart, but I can’t remember his name. Only his smile and his softly curling brown hair. I get back to the dinner table, sit down, and immediately retell the story of the run in with the rude guy on the stairs. I’m talking to the handsome man on my right side. We’re at the corner of the table, him on one side of the corner, me at ninety degrees on the other. So when he leans forward he takes up my whole view in this small cozy world. He’s large; tall and broad. With a blonde and gray, well groomed beard. He looks so familiar to the part of my brain that knows this is a dream. An easy smile and blue eyes make me feel at home. He cares for me. And I am learning to let him.
And then I notice you. On the other side of my best friend on my left. You’re as dashing as you ever were. Wearing black. You look a bit more wild and relaxed than I remember. Your beard is longer and your hair is tousled. The way it used to look after I’d run my fingers through it. I can still feel how thick and luxurious it was in between my fingers. I could never resist touching your hair when we were together. Even when we weren’t sleeping together. I couldn’t keep my hands off of you. Physical touch was the one thing we could give each other that wasn’t broken and wrong. Of course it always led to sex. I tell people now that the only thing we could do right together, was sex.

I finish the story and get the laugh I was expecting. The man on my right is smiling sweetly at me. If I stay here he will touch my cheek. If I keep my eyes on him I’ll be okay. I try to focus on him. I can’t. I need air. Suddenly the soft sunshine coming through the window is too bright. I get up and walk into the small kitchen. Where’s the wine? It’s all been drank. The only thing left is champagne, which I dislike but in this dream I hate it so much more than in reality. I know when you come in. I can always feel your presence. I can close my eyes now and instantly recall how it feels to have you standing behind me. Tall. Hard lines against my soft ones. Strong shoulders. Gentle hands. A delicious shiver runs up my spine and my heart cries out to me: don’t do this to me again! My brain takes charge with a confidence I can’t feel. “I got this Heart, we won’t fall into the trap again.”
I turn around and you’re not alone. You brought two friends. Okay that’s not so bad. Buffers are always good. You and I cannot be alone. Alone we’re in trouble. With people we’re safe. They’re polite and kind. We all lament that there’s no more wine. You keep looking at me with that stare you used to give me when you knew I was holding back. I’m trying to be light and casual. My heart is screaming to kiss you or run away and cry or all of the above.
I think I pick the second option. The tension is too much. I excuse myself and go upstairs. You follow. I want to tell you don’t. But like always I won’t. At the top of the stairs, I can see all three rooms clearly. Two small bedrooms and a tiny bathroom. There isn’t much space in this tiny bohemian apartment in the city. This is my world. The city is where I live. You live outside of the city. There’s an invisible boundary we don’t cross now that we don’t speak anymore. What are you doing here in my safe zone? I don’t come into yours. It’s our unspoken truce. Why did you break it?
We start arguing in the way we always do. We both want each other but we can’t have each other and we can’t seem to stop. I’m trying to escape. But you’re blocking the door. I look towards the window. There’s that soft golden sunshine lighting the bedroom off the landing where we stand in the shadows.
I look back at you and something snaps. Then we’re kissing. God it feels so good. Just as it did the very first time. Your arms around me hold me together. I feel full and complete for the first time since we went our separate ways in what was supposed to be the final time. My heart is breaking and celebrating at the same time. I know this won’t work out. But in this moment. My fingers in your hair. Your lips on my lips. Our bodies pressed tightly together. It feels like tomorrow doesn’t matter. This moment on this shadowy landing in each other’s arms is all we need and all that matters.
We pull apart with a gasp. There’s muttered apologies and “what are we doing”s. We can’t stop touching each other. Your hands on my body. Mine on your neck. Your face. Your hair. Your touch feels like a complete hug. Each brush of your hand blurs into the sensation of being completely held.

I’m awake. I’m alone. In my bed.
We’re still not speaking b/c I walked away and meant it that time. My body hurts. There’s a pain in my back, my leg. My left arm is asleep. My head is dizzy. I’m still half in the dream, swirls of darkness and light swishing around my mind’s eye and all of the images are drowning in the darkness of my bedroom. And one thought comes through loud and clear. Tell him I love him and I’m sorry.
I sit up quickly despite the pains and aches in my muscles. I want away from that dream. Away from the feelings you stir up in me. I stumble around my dim apartment half awake and clumsy.
Once the harsh bathroom light cuts through my foggy mind I remember Venus is in retrograde. It was just a dream. But I know for a fact I still love you. And I’m afraid I’ll never stop.

This Pit Of You — April 29, 2018

This Pit Of You

You’re a hard habit to break.
I want you.
I miss you.
I think I need you. But really: I need to let you go.

Why has my heart latched onto you? Every part of me, including my stupid stubborn heart, knows that I need to let you go.
But it never seems to stick.
The few times I’ve attempted to cut the cord, I just reel you back in to wreak havoc on my well being.
You’re still a good person, despite the fact that you’re so bad for me. I’m starting to think I’m addicted to the way you make me feel.
The high highs.
And then the low lows.
The roller coaster ride that is us is full of adrenaline and excitement. I look to more stable sources when our roller coaster gets to be too much. But it never fails. Deep in that dark part of my heart. That part that’s ashamed of itself: I still long for you.

I’m sure there’s a cure.
I’m sure the answer is out there.
I just worry I won’t recognize it even if I see it.
I leave my friends with their supportive loving partners, and I go home alone to think and wish for you.
It’s really a sad existence. It’s lonely too.
Do I want to suffer? Do I want to pine for you? Did the romances of the past condition me to believe that I’m not real if I’m not in agony?
So many people live in a safe contented kind of love; I can’t believe that my destiny is this twisted, dull, self-inflicted pain. I don’t want to accept that destiny even if it is mine.

Sometimes I think I need a goodwill project. Somewhere I can feel like I’m making things better.
If I have that, then I won’t want for you. The broken thing I can’t fix with my love.

Sometimes I think this dysfunction isn’t something I can replace. It’s something I need to remedy. A remedy I’m not sure exists.
I’m not sure I’d even commit to it if it did.

All I do now is ask for answers. Ask for guidance. Ask for help finding the way out of this pit.
The pit that I dug myself into.
This pit of you.

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