Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring break...

This week is spring break for my university. Of course, I work fulltime and have a child, so there is no wild beachside revelry for me. But I decided to rebel, even if only for a couple of hours.

I left work early as though I had classes, keeping mum about the break so as to grasp four or so hours of blissful nothingness. I changed out of my usual workday uniform of loafers, khakis and a conservatively shaped sweater into clingy indigo jeans, a low-cut t-shirt and a bright green sweatshirt. I put on my evening makeup, tossed my hair and headed out into the daytime world like a normal 20-something. 21st Century Grandma had offered to pick up The Kid for me, and while I still had to be home at a reasonable hour, I didn't have to rush.

I hauled out (at a mildly elevated rate of speed -- oops) to Bassman's house where he greeted me with open arms. I collapsed into them and time stood still right there in his driveway -- sound died away, stress ran like melting snow off of me, and all I could do was feel the warmth of his arms shut out the snap of the breeze as the smell of his neck chased away the scent of damp earth. I could have stood there forever on that spot.

We had originally planned to spend the afternoon in his canoe down at the lake, but the nip in the air and the grey clouds threatening to open up again at any moment made us rethink our plan. Instead, we went for a short hike down the trail behind his house to an old abandoned dam and sat and talked and listened to the running water. It was peaceful and isolated and everything I could have asked for. I didn't want the moment to end. I wanted the world to just fade away and leave us there on those rocks, a peaceful oasis emerging from the chaos.

* * * * *

It was there that I realized what I admitted weakly to Second Self ("A friend is, as it were, a second self." - Cicero) this afternoon. I have fallen for Bassman, and I have fallen HARD.

Second Self has long held fast to the belief that deep down, I was head-over-heels for Bassman, a proclamation I vehemently denied. I swore to her (and to myself) that he was no more than a friend and brother (an attractive brother, but a brother nonetheless). I'd done such a good job of repressing my feelings that I truly believed I felt nothing. The only inklings I had felt were whenever I hugged him goodbye -- something about our hugs was so awkward that I suspected that one or both of us felt something. But I dismissed it and went about my merry way. (As it turns out, he now confesses that he made each hug purposely as awkward as possible to conceal his own feelings and throw me off the track.)

But now it's like the feelings I had bottled up have erupted in an avalanche of grins and joy and laughs.

Self has spent a year or more trying to convince me that Bassman and I wanted each other. Thus, I assumed my confession would be not only expected but welcomed. I was wrong.

"[Self,] I lurve him."

"Uh oh."

"What?"

"[21], that's not good."

And she's right. We are too busy to see each other often, and it is about to get worse, as he is taking a second job which will eat up weekend evenings, the time I traditionally get to spend with him. He needs the money and I understand that, and we are fully aware that, even without that job, we are not going to be one of those couples who are a fixture in each other's lives every minute of every day. But I feel like now, the moment I admitted to myself how I've felt all these years, it is starting to look impossible.

"Do not get attached" has basically been my mantra the last couple months. I had to remind myself every few days. Now it's an hourly chant.

At this rate, it will become my own personal rain dance.

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