"Just remember that sleeves are for keeping you warm. There's a difference between being open and tripping over every glance that lasts just a moment too long." I used to tell that to myself at times. The need to be loved out-weighed the need to be discerning when it came to love and if it wasn't for that mantra, repeated again and again by the devil's advocate in my internal dialogue, god only knows where I'd have ended up. These days I question a lot of choices I made. What's the use of being sensible if it still means being alone? I should've gotten over myself. I should've gotten over my past, my pain, my problems. I should've noticed her, her needs, her subtle hints. It wasn't as though the interest wasn't mutual, just that I was too caught up in my self-loathing to realize that someone might actually love who I am. So many years were wasted thinking girls wouldn't have an interest in me because I wasn't some washboard emo beauty that I learned to believe undue attention was me reading too much into things.
"You're always writing your great tragedy," she said time and time again. It never occured to me that she might be talking about something other than the story in my head that I could never quite commit to paper. Struggling to get a grip on my emotions blinded me to what was right in front of me, a smart, funny, beautiful woman who longed to be loved by someone that wanted more out of her than meaningless fucking. Sometimes we're so caught up in our own tragedy that we lose sight of what matters, the here and the now. It wasn't until the last time I saw her that it dawned on me how wonderful she really was. Maybe it was the setting, maybe it was the stress of the week having awful effects on my emotional stability, but I was crushing hard for her that night. The desire to say something, to take her hand, to, god forbid, attempt to kiss her, so many urges rushed through me. As the band played on, I feared I'd do something foolish and at the climax of the show I'd find myself hollow and alone. Instead, I kept it hidden, drove back in relative silence, dropped her off, and headed home. It won't be the last time I make that same mistake. The more I try to commit it to word, the longer it goes on in my own life. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned.