Friday, April 04, 2003

The Dance of Intimacy, Part II

I spread out on the beach, feeling my body sink into the sand and relax under the sun. I was so exhausted I could barely speak. It was my first day in Maui during Christmas holidays with BC, and I desperately needed a day to unwind.

I watched BC run like a child, into the warm blue waters to dance with the waves. He explored the beach with a playful curiosity. He would come by a few times each hour to tell me what he discovered, and I wished I had the energy to explore with him. It wasn't until the next day that I got to join in his explorations and during the rest of the week we reconnected, as my stress released and I felt emotionally open again. I thought it had been worthwhile to be so busy. I was able to afford an airline package for both of us, so that we could enjoy a tropical vacation together. He was so much fun to be with.

BC was already sprawled out on his living room floor on a foam mattress we used to watch movies. Normally we set up the mattress together like a choreographed ritual. I would get the stack of sheets, blankets and pillows he kept carefully folded in his closet for our makeshift bed, and throw the cover sheet across the mattress. While I hastily tucked the edges under, BC would tail me, tightening the folds and giving each corner a military tuck. BC was an oxymoron - an easy-going perfectionist. Somehow, his need to have everything perfectly in place never caused us stress or conflict. I liked it, because he could be counted on to have packed the first-aid kid, flashlight with extra batteries, and wet wipes for spills when we went camping. But his thoroughness made most tasks take longer than if I did them alone.

After the quilt was neatly in place, he arranged his five pillows carefully. Three would go underneath his head, another between his knees, and the extra long pillow would be placed under his feet. I found comfort in his disciplined habits - a safety in his predictability. BC could be trusted.

Exhausted, I undressed and sidled up to him under the duvet. He wanted to talk before we watched the movie, so he began telling me about his day and asking about mine.

Then he said, "We need to talk."

"Sure," I replied.

He looked me in the eyes and said, "Are you happy with our relationship?" I become alert, surprised by his question.

"Yes, of course. Ours is the most effortless relationship I've ever had. You know that."

He jumped in. "I'm not. I haven't been happy for a couple months," he said. "I'm not happy with the amount of sex we're having."

I nearly laughed, and immediately relaxed. It wasn't that serious. In fact, I felt flattered. I thanked him for telling me, and said it was only because I was working too much, and that this was about to change in the next couple of days. My term was nearly over. I reassured him that I found him very attractive, and that I was sorry it had caused him to feel rejected. The issue, I thought, was resolved and we watched the movie.

He ended our relationship the following week.
- end -