I'm not sure why I was surprised when I eventually found out that he was quite affected by that text message; but I was. Surprised, that is. My ability for empathy, limited as it already was, seems to have been further diminished by the various ways in which I have actively sought to turn off my ability to feel over the past half a year or so - this is the only way I can explain why I didn't think, or didn't anticipate, or didn't realise, that my telling him that 'we need to talk' would affect him. How could it not have? It's almost like I'm unable to put myself in someone else's position and imagine how I would feel if I had been on the receiving end of that text message...or maybe the real issue is that I more or less think that I wouldn't really be that affected (or I wouldn't allow myself to be so affected) because I have acquired the skill of not feeling on demand.
I have spent a bit too much time actively compartmentalising my emotions. It's not a bad thing per se, but it does have its drawbacks when I'm required to be a normal human being and consider someone else's feelings - especially when this 'someone else' is someone whom I purport to care about. The possibility that I may not actually care about him, or about anyone in my life save for myself (and I mean, ANYONE), is one that is actually pretty real, if remote; but it's real enough to scare me quite considerably. I remember how, when I was 14, I was drawn to the image of the modern career woman with barely any emotions because it symbolised strength of character in my pubescent mind. Is it telling at all that it still does? I don't know.
What I do know, however, is this: Arnaud is a sweetheart. There is a very good reason why I found myself in this position with him instead of the other guys that wanted me or whom I thought I wanted. He won me over with his sweetness. He is one of the few things in my life that make me happy, which makes him precious by definition because happiness, at least for me, is a pretty sacred and rare commodity. Yesterday, when I was mulling over what I should do, trying to approach the situation in a coldly rational manner, setting out the facts in my head, I inevitably found myself recalling three moments with him that made me inexplicably happy: the first time he kissed me and the way he looked at me in those pregnant few seconds before he did so; a random moment at his place in which I said something facetious about how dating him would make me fluent in French and he said oui oui oui before proceeding to kiss me; and that magical night at the shisha place across the road from my flat when I felt sheer, unadulterated perfection, with everything miraculously falling into place, a sense of invincibility permeating the air, simply because I was with him and he made me so happy.
I don't know why these moments don't last longer than they do. The happiness disappears almost as quickly as it deigns to bless my life with its presence. But I remember those moments anyway and I remember how I felt, and I am keenly aware of how I feel when I recall them - that counts for something, doesn't it? I have to let go of my hang-ups and this constant need to keep my feelings under control or rationalise them away; because last night made me realise that, against all odds, I actually stumbled onto someone pretty special - and I'll do whatever I can to keep him.
On another note, OH MY GOD I AM SEEING JULIAN BARNES IN MY SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't even know what the fuck the event is about and I don't care because I have waited ONE YEAR for him to have some sort of public event and it's FINALLY HERE!!!!! This was one of the first things that I thought of when I came to London - that I would check his website religiously for news of any publicity things that he may have and GET MY ASS THERE, and I was so disappointed when he published TWO books and had ZERO publicity events to support them. I told Arnaud to postpone our trip because I had to see Julian Barnes in person, and I have to because I worship the air that he breathes and I would sell my soul to the proverbial devil to be able to write like him. Oh my god, I'm totally gonna try to talk to him after the event, but of course, I'm gonna be so tongue-tied and retarded and I'd probably forget how to speak English.
I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU LONDON!