Compartmentalisation is not my thing. Putting a busy and in absentia lover in a mental box, tying it with string and setting it aside on the shelf for later isn’t in my sanity-protection tool kit (I wish it was, oh, how I wish it was; perhaps I’ll get one for Christmas).
If I can’t be indulged in my preference for the luxury of regular communiqués, I’ll survive better in a harsh landscape of no contact because little dispatches from elsewhere crack the protective layer I’ve constructed to save myself from, I don’t know … stabs of self pity and loneliness, or myself, I suppose.
That’s the main reason flings and casual fucks aren’t chronicled here: I don’t have them. Apart from being too lazy to find a quick fix with a variable likelihood of success when easy masturbation and sleeping in my own comfortable bed beckons louder, I like the little somethings with a lover between meetings. Of course, it has nothing to do with feeding a delicate ego that I’m special enough to be indulged with attention inside and outside the bedroom.
Jekyll is a master box stacker and cannot fathom that others aren’t. He packs his daytime stress in the work box when he finishes for the day and it’s forgotten until tomorrow. Just as easily, he can have a heated discussion about a family issue and the problem is bound, boxed and shelved as soon as he gets off the phone. To my puzzled amusement, he has broken off with past long-term lovers and wondered why his exes haven’t wanted or been able to revert to platonic friendships immediately.
I am thinking about this because he is going through a life change that will disrupt his (and our) routine and opportunities for the next couple of months. I saw the break in the horizon and forced myself to switch off as a protective measure to survive the drought.
He doesn’t understand why I haven’t responded to his unexpected ‘Hi, I’m back for a while, miss you, how are you, where are you?’ e-mails within a couple of hours of receiving them – because he’s got a few moments to play, why aren’t I at my desk? I ignored him for a few more hours as a form of payback for being so damn well adjusted and making me realise how vulnerable and needy I can be. No one will ever describe me as clingy because I do a good line in carefree independence but sometimes I dislike myself for suffering the consequences of my needless emotional vanity.
There’s no joy for either of us with our differing ways of managing interruptions unless he develops greater empathy and I tell him how I think I want to get through it. This period will be harder for him: he is so busy he will need to fight for scraps of unallocated time while I can complain extravagantly that I have had more ‘me’ time forced on me.