So I figured this out, talked to Raffie in the afternoon (who said I overreacted), and was picked up in a Mustang from the law faculty later in the early evening. I was pleased that he'd driven to the right location - the back entrance of the law faculty - without my having to tell him to. What a smart cookie. We went to the Light whatever it's called, this entertainment centre near Homerton College, i.e. Really Fucking Far. It was only the second time that I'd been there; the first time was with Bruno who had, of course, driven us there in his BMW Z4.
Anyway, I really liked The Shape of Water. Thomas and I were both glad that there wasn't some weird inter-species sex scene between the woman and the fish man. I definitely had tears at the end; I also definitely thought, 'I want someone to look at me the way the fish man is looking at her.' The Rumi poem was also well-used. It sounded really moving when it was narrated over the final scene, but when I looked it up and read it, it wasn't something that would blow my mind in isolation, so that was well done.
I'm not sure it was Best Picture material, however. I really liked that it explores the theme of loneliness and the yearning to be seen, to be known, intimately by another; it's a relatable theme and Sally Hawkins portrayed it really well. But it was also a bit conventional in the story-telling sense with familiar hero and anti-hero and villain tropes. I get that it was all deliberate but it was lacking in nuance a little for me. Since I've only seen two Best Picture nominations, the other being Three Billboards, I have to say that I prefer Three Billboards because the dark comedy was sheer brilliance.
Thomas is thoughtful in his own way. On the way to the cinema, he'd asked me what food and/or beverage I consume when I'm at the cinema. Just water, I said. No soda, no popcorn.
When we'd reached the cinema and I was getting the tickets from the machine, he'd gone off to buy snacks. When I joined him at the counter, I wanted to get this fruit bar thing that the idiot behind the counter mistakenly told me was somewhere else. So I went off in search of it, just to fail to find it, because the bar was behind the counter all along. I went back to the counter and saw that Thomas was already paying for it. Then he handed me a bottle of water.
'Is this for me?' I asked, surprised.
'Yes, it is,' he said.
If he'd asked, I would have told him that I had a bottle of water in my bag and so I didn't need one. But it was really nice, what he did.
Later on, after the movie had ended, he put his arm around my shoulder as we walked in the direction of the loo; then casually let his arm fall, his hand first grazing the small of my back before lightly touching my butt.
His reaction was hilarious. He quickly pulled his hand away as if scalded, and was all apologetic. 'Oh sorry! I didn't mean to do that. That's not proper; that's not how you treat a lady.'
I adore how he makes all these sex jokes, sends me flirty text messages, but was so apologetic when he'd accidentally touched my butt. If he hadn't apologised, I would have thought nothing of it; maybe I would have even liked it. But I'm happy that he's not that type of man, the sort that thinks he has free rein to put his hand(s) as he wishes on the body of the woman that he's dating just because she consents to going out with him. The sort, that is, who doesn't take this limited and contextual consent as an admissions ticket to her body.
That's certainly not a problem with him; in fact, if I were to name a problem, it would be the exact opposite of that problem. More specifically, while I enjoy cuddling with him on my bed and just talking, I cannot help but wonder: why isn't he making out with me?! Like tonight: he came over at 8.20, giving me absolutely no notice as to what time he was gonna get here (the original plan was to meet at 7.45pm in town but he was held up at work so the plan changed), let alone any notice that he was planning on entering my room...but those aren't the point. The point is, he was here for almost two hours and all we did was cuddle, talk, and tried but failed to book tickets for Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party because he couldn't log in to his PayPal account.
To be fair, I did tell him that I'm on my period. To be fair, too, he did say that he has to get up at 6am tomorrow. And because I'm on my period, I wasn't really in the mood to make out anyway. But why is he being so respectful?! This brings to mind a Britney Spears song that I love to bits, 'Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)'. It goes like this, edited for better flow:
I know you're trying to be a gentleman
Trying to impress, trying to be the best specimen, perfect specimen
And don't get me wrong - I appreciate ya; I really do
And don't get me wrong, but I'm tired of waiting
You say you don't wanna cross the line...but I'ma make you change your mind
No seas cortés [don't be polite]
I can see it in your eyes
That you wanna be polite
That you wanna treat me right
Oh my (No seas cortés)
The song is basically about Britney wanting to sleep with this perfect gentleman who's trying to respect her boundaries, and she's telling him, 'Stop being polite!' I have been so flirty with Thomas these past few times we saw each other: I sit next to him when we're at a bar or whatever, I touch him all the time, I put my head on his shoulder in the cinema...short of my saying outright to please make out with me, I don't know how else I can convey the same message.
But I will have patience; or at least, I will try. I will have to anyway since I'm on my period...but after that? After that, clothes had better start coming off sooner rather than later!
I love how, during the Monday formal that I organised for my PhD friends, Luiza said exactly this when I said that I haven't slept with Thomas yet: 'You're thinking of moving to Florida for a man you haven't slept with?!' I have forgotten how relatively conservative I am; but then again, I think I slept with Wouter within the first month of meeting him. Not that it necessarily says anything; in fact, I was reading my entries about him today and it became quite clear that everything had moved too fast. So, in a way, it's a good thing that things are moving slower (a lot slower) with Thomas. But it's just a bit confusing. It's not like there's no physical chemistry; when we did make out last week, it was incredible. It's also not like there's no physical attraction: he's made it clear since the beginning that he finds me sexy, and I am very much attracted to how solid his body feels (his arms, oh my god; and tonight, I jabbed him lightly in his thigh and oh my god, rock solid).
So maybe I never should have told him that I'm conservative. I hope that's all there is to it.
I really liked how, at the end of the night on Sunday, at my front door, just before he'd got back into his car to drive home, he'd looked at me and said, as if uncontrollably, 'You're so pretty. So hot.'
This probably doesn't make any sense, for it makes no sense to have had felt this thing when I'd almost ruined things with my antics and things were uncertain between us; but throughout the last couple of months of knowing and dating him, I have always felt this sense, however diminished sometimes (especially after I'd sent that horrible text when I was drunk), that things will just kind of...work out. In a weird way, it's because of this strange and inexplicable intuition that I am not worried about what's going to happen when he leaves, and neither am I wanting to control everything anymore. When I do ask him to do things, it's because I want to do something and I'd like him to do it with me (such as the Harold Pinter play; I've been wanting to buy a ticket for the longest time but kept forgetting, and since he likes the theatre, I asked him if he wants to come with), and no longer because I want to control how the relationship progresses. He makes me feel safe and secure, even when he's taking hours to reply to my messages - and even after he'd said that he needs to think about the long distance element. But maybe it's precisely because he needs to think about it - how it would work, whether it would work, etc. It's reassuring to know that he's taking this seriously, taking responsibility for his grave possession of a piece of my heart.
I am rather hesitant to say this, mostly because I don't like feeling stupid at best if what I am about to say turns out to be wrong. All the same: how strange to intuit that things will somehow work out. It is almost as if I am forgetting my own capriciousness, my changeability, my inability to stay in a relationship without wondering what else is out there. Have I really changed? Am I finally done chasing an amorphous, confused 'ambition' that ultimately has nothing to do with what I really want - my real ambition? Is my realisation that this academic career is nothing more than a means to an end - my needing a day job - that is opening my mind and heart to the possibility of choosing my personal life over my professional one? Am I finally done? Am I finally satisfied that there is really and literally nothing that I can do with my law degrees that would ignite the same passion and sense of meaning that I feel when I write? If so: it's taken me more than ten years, to two foreign countries, three schools, three degrees, and an uncountable amount of angst to realise what I have always known.
Writing is the only thing that matters. Everything else is redundant white noise. I am nothing without my writing. It is, perhaps, finally time to make something of it.