In Between

My most recent breakup was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a minute, but the clarity and the peace that I’ve felt since allows me to make no apologies for it. Not a single regret. I walked into being single with my head held high, gracefully, and aching to get my feet wet. But for what exactly? I didn’t know.

Post-breakup, I’ve encountered my fair share of men, but have only really delved into two of them. After months of enjoying time alone, reconnecting with myself, and learning what it means to cut my ex off completely (bomb d and all), I met someone new. It was the kind of someone that you don’t know you’re looking for until you find it.

We met at a mutual friend’s place where we were engaging in an album listening party for a few artists that had new projects out. Among them were Syd the Kid, Big Sean, and Sampha. I remembered talking to him here and there, but for the most part was entranced by the sounds of all the new music my senses were becoming privy to. Two mixed drinks later and over a game of Jenga, I was playfully touching his thigh. He was a writer too. I was intrigued by the nature of a wordsmith. Even if what moved us to create were different things, it felt like we were one and the same.

I slid into his DMs about a week later on Twitter to pick his brain about inspiration and muses. He followed up with a lengthy email that – to this day – I look back on in moments where my mind and my pen feel tapped out. I think overall it took us a couple of weeks, but we, as he puts it, “exchanged math” and went on our first outing at Lil 5 for a slice and a couple of beers. It was there, I learned it was a date.

With him, things never felt force. Not time, not energy. We were always on rhythm, even if we marched to different beats. It was easy to be transparent with him about truths I don’t tell most people, truths that were scars that were still in the process of healing. He looked at them and kissed them away. It was easy to feel safe. We’d spend several hours together and time would lapse between us effortlessly. He was a busy man, but always made it a point to make his presence felt with me. I appreciated that.

I appreciated him.

And even though things didn’t work out, he holds a special place in my mind. It was the kind of coupling that felt like, if the timing was right, it could be it. But it wasn’t. I had some more healing to do and he had so much on his plate. His work life was of the utmost importance to him and I could respect that because I wasn’t quite there either, even though I wanted to be. If nothing else, that man left me with one soul-stirring lesson that I’ll never forget. That lesson is, I’ve never asked for too much, I’ve only just wasted too much time asking the wrong person for it.

Even still, despite the lesson I took and still carry with me, I knew that I wasn’t ready for a relationship.

I didn’t want to commit deeply to anyone but myself.

About a month later, with my 26th birthday frighteningly around the corner, I was reintroduced to a soul that I met a couple of years back when he was newly 18. Now newly 20, here he was again, in my presence, looking tempting as ever and two years older, which made me feel less guilty about being dehydrated for him. I did my best to play it cool, however, but the day involved us being on the water, barely clothed and the night was something similar.

It would have been appropriate to give one another some birthday sex that night since our birthdays were consecutive - his Saturday, mine Sunday - but my carnal desires were having a hard time battling my inner critic. Carnality won four days later. I texted him up about seeing the new Spider-Man flick with me after work. We never made it.

After so much time being without, it felt good to be with, someone. He quenched my thirst in a way I hadn't felt in so long. Again, again, then again - him as thirsty as I. The benefits that came with fucking a 20-year-old were quickly revealed to me. There was no downtime between plays - just a smack on the ass, and a self-assured statement, "I need to get back in there."

It’s been like a drink from the fountain of youth. I feel vibrant. I feel refreshed. I feel renewed.

And the best part is, we have no expectations of one another, other than honesty and respecting the boundaries we’ve put in place. It’s easy to feel safe. He too is a busy man. But he always makes it a point to make his presence known, leaving me with something I can feel. I appreciate that.

I appreciate him.  

I'm not sure about where I am right now - of whether I want a relationship, a situation, or something in between - but I know that there's no place I'd rather be than confidently lost in this limbo.

And somehow, still found.

PersonalSheriden Chanel