FINALLY, I HAVE RID MYSELF OF THIS SEEMINGLY NEVER-ENDING PAPER ON 377A. I even managed to get it to a standard that didn't make me cringe in embarrassment at the thought of it. This was made possible with the help of my friends, of course; John and Raffie gave really insightful comments on the latest draft which I incorporated into the final draft.
It feels good to finally submit it - submit something, simpliciter. I have spent the last two days working on it well into the night, and I should have finished it earlier today but I cannot rid myself of my perfectionist tendencies. Even though I spent four hours in the afternoon reading the entire thing over at Fitzbillies, I couldn't submit it without spending my entire evening/night reading it over again for the last time before sending it out.
To say that I don't want to see it or hear of it or to be reminded of it for a while would be an understatement. Nonetheless, I am definitely riding on this 'fleeting yet satisfying' (Raffie) feeling of having submitted something. IT MAKES ME WANT TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. How crazy is that?
I mentioned that I was at Fitzbillies for four hours.
The part of me that wanted to keep avoiding the question to which I still have no answer was overcome by the part of me that really wanted to reclaim my cafe, my conducive working environment for editing/going over a paper that has already been written, and my daily caffeine fix. I decided the evening before that I'd go to Fitzbillies. I stuck to this decision, and even as my legs wavered when I got closer to the place, I pushed my childishness aside and pushed on.
I had to talk to him, of course, and he had to talk to me, and of course, nothing of any importance was said. He would be seriously obtuse to fail to notice how awkward and uncomfortable I felt. I definitely noticed that he felt mostly the same - but was this not because of my inept handling of the situation so far? He didn't bring me my coffee, didn't come over to chat like he'd done the past few months. But who could blame him? I am the one keeping absolutely silent, and my silence is exacerbating the situation. I know that it is unnecessary. But I don't know what to do.
I still have not texted him, but I don't have a decision, so I don't know what to say. I also hadn't wanted to because I had to focus on my paper and I hate - absolutely hate - the dreadful sense of anticipation, of waiting for a reply, when it comes to serious things like this. And so I didn't want the distraction. But this excuse no longer exists. What new excuse will I come up with next?
Pedro - the guy who moved into my old room - gave me a bottle of prosecco as thanks for doing what any decent human being would do: agree to move out early because he will be away from Cambridge on the week that everyone is scheduled to move. When I saw that he'd left that for me in the kitchen (he used to live in the house that I am now living in), my first thought was, 'I want to drink this with Matt.'
If the shit on Sunday night hadn't happened, if he hadn't brought up not wanting anything serious, if I hadn't felt compelled to tell him that I was disappointed by his lack of offer of a helping hand - if things were still normal, I would have texted him to ask him to come over at some point in the next few days to drink this prosecco with me, celebrate my finally submitting my paper, or just drink because why not, it's there, just drink it, just have a good time. No complications, right?
Wrong. People are infinitely complicated. Even he is complicated. He professes to not want any emotional attachment, but where does one draw the line? Can he draw it that clearly? I am already somewhat emotionally attached; why else did I feel so moody and sad yesterday, thinking about how things got to this stage? Why was helping me move a step towards seriousness, but not coming over to give me a hug when I asked if he could do so?
I really want to keep seeing him and I cannot bear to let go yet, but I don't like the lines that he drew, has drawn, draws, will draw. I know that he is a sweetheart underneath all this emotional detachment; I have seen glimpses of it. So his drawing all these lines makes me feel short-changed, as if I am not deserving of all that he can give.
This is, of course, absolutely fucking ridiculous, selfish and irrational. Of course I understand the reasons he doesn't want to do that. Of course I understand why he doesn't want to put himself through the pain and anguish of severing an emotional bond with me when he has to leave. Of course I understand that, for some, the pain outweighs any pleasure or joy or happiness that one experiences from such an emotional bond; that some would rather have never loved at all than to have loved and lost. I used to belong in the former camp, but now I am in the latter. But I cannot cajole him into a course of action that he has decided he doesn't want; a course of action that he's convinced would hurt him, and this hurt cannot be mitigated by experiencing genuine, authentic moments of a true connection with me.
So it's not about me. It's about him. His not wanting anything serious does not reflect on me. Like he said on Sunday, 'There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.'
If only it were that easy to rationalise these feelings - these feelings of inadequacy, of insecurity - away. If only I can be convinced now that I would cease to have these feelings if I decide to stay the course with him.
What do I even want from him? Would I want him as a boyfriend (that's essentially what I'm after, is it not?) if there weren't an expiry date on this 'relationship'? Can I meet John's objection that I am not respecting him as a person, but am using him for my own entertainment?
Actually, it is simple: my head tells me to stop. My heart wants to go on. What a boring tale. Why am I such a cliche?