Shambles. Wednesday, after Joshua left, I had a dream that he would do this. As usual, the dream was viciously true, painfully accurate. In the dream, he made a lame excuse why he was not going to track a whole 2 miles out of his way off the highway to come say goodbye before returning to Atlanta. You can take a wild guess who I just got off the phone with and who will not be coming by. In the dream, his friend Billy told me, "Don't take it personally Mary, that's just how he is."
Mary. Why did they have to meet me the one night of the year I was dressed as myself? Now they knew exactly what to call me to speak to the right part of my soul, to turn me to Jesus mush.
The only light that didn't fade was Billy, the light, reassuring me in a dream. Otherwise, I would have taken it way too personally and fallen further into mass rejection. 5 minutes before Josh called, I heard him concocting a bullshit excuse to worm out of the promise to come back. I hate being telepathic, I hate it. It's just as invasive to me as it is to them. Soon after hearing Joshua laughing about the lie he is preparing to tell, while in a trance, through my third eye, I mentally see him picking up the phone. 2 seconds later, the phone blares about my four purple walls of zen. I spring up, well aware the clone of the shady Staley kid is calling to try to be polite, but ditch me in the same breath.
"Billy has to work in the morning and we are strapped for gas. I just wanted to update you and tell you not to worry, but we're going straight back to Atlanta." He claims rapidly. He had to fight to not think of the hour long kiss the other morning of temporary splendor, I detected the internal war to not let the extension of the kiss enter his very hormonal brain.
Even though I saw and heard it coming, I still felt all of the wind come crashing out of my lungs. Somehow I managed to hold back reactive tears as the delicate pieces of my heart began to fracture into particles so tiny that not even God himself could sew them back together. I didn't know what to say. I knew he was lying and I didn't want to confront him. I detest it when men call just to lie, it's beyond lousy. Controlling my temper and the integrity of self-respect were at odds and so I smartly went with self respect. Fuck control, I am a redhead, there is a reason people are warned about me.
"I heard you making up that excuse five minutes before you called, I heard you." I said surprisingly removed from emotion, in tone that suggested I was sipping a cup of calm tea even. "It's your life, so that's fine, just go. I know you're in a cool time in life where you have a ton of freedom, I can't stop you."
I didn't know what else to say. It was identical to what I used to unload all over the last Aquarius male who got freaked out by our cosmic closeness and once made similar shitty excuses to avoid me in person. With the other man, Jason, it reached the point of me snapping, "It's your life, if you don't want me in it, it's your choice to dick over nice people and use women like blow-up dolls." What else am I supposed to say? Congratulations, I tried to love you, you omitted the part about having a girlfriend, and yet you slept with me, and mind fucked me back to singles hell??? Way to go!
Back to the current tryst gone awry. Joshua didn't deny it at first but said shocked, "There's no off switch to that thing huh?"
"No, I wish there was so I wouldn't have to know when someone is trying to let me down easy." I asserted softly, tapping my fingers on my teeth to fidget away the burning urge to wail into a weepy pool.
His voice grew deep, so deep I thought I could go scuba diving in his soul. "It's not like that Mary, you don't understand, try to understand." Wait. Why does that sound so familiar? "Try to understand me, little girl." -Layne.
I smiled and relaxed a little, only at the thought of Layne floating over my shoulder laughing at me, but I wasn't going to give him any girly material to condemn or use to make me the crazy one. I let the dead line grow so sharp that I nearly heard my twisted smile stab him in the ear.
"I know somewhere you understand." He continued peacefully. Somewhere. Did he know exactly what Layne dream had been running through my head? I dared not to pout but it was useless, the pouting outweighed the humor.
"I understand Joshua, I am just disappointed." I tried to preserve maturity, while maintaining what was left of honesty.
"I'm disappointed too." He didn't let a beat brush by.
Bewildered, "Why are you disappointed?"
I heard his mind begin to rush, trying to think on his toes, but he came up empty. No, he wasn't disappointed at all, he was more than likely relieved. Relieved I didn't start screaming at him like I wanted to and relieved he had avoided me, thereby neglecting to fall further into real love. I know damn well he felt it too. Because he was 23 and I heard him telling Billy, "I can see myself marrying this girl," ---alone time with me translated into scaring the devil out of him because I was a threat to his playboy lifestyle, to his free floating penis, to his juvenile love affair with the flesh. Ding, ding, ding, what do we have for the psychic, Johnny?
Billy and all his light, light into Josh in a short muffled argument.
"I really like Mary, she's a nice girl and you just used her and blew her off! We could have been staying with her and saving money the entire trip! She offered to open her home to us and feed us for free, but you wouldn't listen to me!"
Thank God for Billy. I heard heard Billy all last week trying to reason with Joshua, "We need to just go back to Jacksonville and stay with Mary." Joshua refused because he knew he was developing feelings.
"I'm coming back Jess, I'm coming back the first week of December." Josh said hastily. "Are you going to be around?"
He lied. Why shouldn't I lie? I grinned, happy the upper hand had shifted in some manner. If he didn't want to see me now, why should I make it sound like I will be available for him to use again later?
"I don't know. I am going to try to go to the Bahamas and blow off some steam, I might not be here then." I glossed my voice over to sound as if I were already on the imaginary yacht.
"The Bahamas? How do you just go to the Bahamas?" He was interested only because he wondered if I had the expendable cash to take him to the Bahamas with me. I could hear it nine miles away.
"I just hop on a boat and go. If the crew is in need of a stewardess for a charter, I get on a boat and I'm gone. It pays $200 bucks a day and I have a kick-ass vacation in the process."
Billy was jabbering away in the background, backing up my potential alibi.
"Yeah man, that's how the industry works, I was a hand deck on a few of those cruises she's talking about." Thank God for Billy! I love you Billy!
None of this was a lie. I used to be a full-time stewardess on a motor yacht, that was my way of life, I could run off to the Bahamas with no more than 20 minutes notice---Florida one day and Paradise island the next, no sweat. I could always return to it, he did not know that I wasn't technically or immediately going to. In a way, I was reliving an old chapter of my very exotic life that has been closed for a year. But seriously, he had no way of knowing it was closed and I will be damned if I sit helpless on the phone, on the verge of tears, with a 23 year-old boy and act like I don't have tropical alternatives.
I let the silence do the talking after that point. Finally, he filled the air with the heavy voice again, "You can stay on the phone as long as you need to."
I advocated my own wind pipe to not to gasp out loud. He had offered the condolence like a police officer who had just informed me that my child had been killed in a car accident. Fuck, why does he know how much this is killing me?
Soon after, I granted the inevitable goodbye. Moments later, in more impatient telepathic feedback, I heard Josh say, "She and I have our whole lives to figure it out, it's fine." I'm glad he feels that way because I felt like ending my life after I got off the phone with him. The figuring is hell.