I'm at work and I got an email from this guy I went out with last weekend.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. My Crush and I have cooled it a little. There were some serious stressors that came up, first for him and then for me so we dialed it back. In so doing, we have become surprisingly closer. Now, that closer does not include making out, much to my chargrin. Who doesn't make out when you dial things back? Normally, I find THAT to be the one part of the relationship that stays intact when you decide to cool things off.
Instead, in this back-wards love affair, it's not the making out that keeps happening.
It's the closeness.

Not only is the closeness still there but it seems to be GROWING. This is the kind of growing closer that happens WHILE you are making out with someone.

It's far worse, to be honest, than the familiar road of post-break up making out. That can be confusing and I am vehemently opposed to friends with benefit arrangements (ironically, this is a subject on his show tomorrow. grrr) At least with post-break up making out, there's familiarity and you both know what you're doing and why you're doing it.

It's the kind of closeness that makes things obvious to not only me (and maybe to both of us) but to all the people around us as well. It's cute texts, eyes locked and lost in rooms of people, flirty comments on the phone and silly salutations in emails. It's more often and more easily than it was when we were "officially" dating or whatever.

For a minute, what is going on is okay with me, sort of.
For a minute, I have to finish some things that I thought I'd finished. We have to learn something really quick, right here, right now and if we learn it while we both have a minute to think then we might figure out how to navigate the river that formed when our two creeks fell out of the woods.

But that's not what I'm writing about.
I mean, it sort of is.
So while we dialed it back, I have accepted a couple of dates.
One of them with an EXTREMELY attractive artist, a down-town scenester type who has been honored by his home state of Sonora and by various US art environments. He has something to say, he has a studio, and he digs Voodoo Princesses.
Hot, right?
Especially compared to the little aging guy who sits behind a microphone and who is terrified of admitting his feelings because doing so might lead to the kind of sad drama he experienced as a younger man with manipulative women.

Sitting at my desk, I flipped on my Crush's radio station and heard a rare Springsteen song. It's the all request lunch hour so someone must have requested the Boss as they don't play a whole lot of Springsteen on the station. Rosie Come Out Tongith finished up, I heard a commercial for my crush's show and then the second Boss song, since it's Two-forTuesday came on. Right as I opened the email from the artist. Right as I heard the echo of the register of his voice, The River filled the holes in my heart with at least as much emotion can be let out by a song on the radio at noon-time.

Here's the email:
"I just did a performance peace at the sculpture resource center with my friend. It was his first time but he did great, I wrote this " spoken word type thing" the theme was one love, but we took it to another level.
I, as usual, have a lot to say about the situation and world events, so I used that with a lot of sarcasm of course.
We walked on stage with the bee gee's song "how deep is your love" and then changed it up to the family feud theme song and went with the whole "survey says thing".
I dressed up in those giant boots for women that they sell at HYDRA downtown... man, it's hard to walk in those things! Fishnet stockings, a machete, painted my head and face silver with a heart on my left eye, and passed out Wonder Bread.
Pretty funny, good shock value from the audience but I just don't think Tucson is ready for the extreme of what I do in performance art.
Hey its fun as hell though and, my friend passed out toys like water guns and kid stuff.
When I would pause, he would walk around the audience and talk to them about how happy and nervous he is about becoming a dad in about three months. He is really soft spoken and would signal me. I would start again with the state of the world, the war, Bush, drug cartels , Mexico's corruption. pretty cool stuff."

I'm hearing The Boss and thinking about all the connections to that music and how it represents something important between me and my Crush, how alive it is and how meaningful it is to both of us, how it makes sense.
I'm reading this email from a hot artist who is a downtown guy, who is lauded and happy and who really digs me while The River is pouring out of my speakers straight into my soul.

And the obviousness of who I want to be with, who I should be with is so glaring.

If that wasn't a blatant, flashing, screaming sign that I am a bigger loser than Steve Martin in The Man with Two Brains where he asks his beloved dead wife for a sign about whether or not he should marry Kathleen Turner and the whole room starts quaking and moaning "Nnoooooooo! Nnnnnoononoooooo!"

I had a quick hot cry because I dunno how to unlock what's locked up between us except to wait it out and see if the gears begin turning again.

In the meantime, while I say things I don't have to explain, references places my Crush know as intimately or more so than I do, while I would much rather be watching baseball or trying out Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Edition, I am going out with this:
This guy is hot.
This guy is a lauded painter.
This guy is available and fucking digs me.
There was a time when that much creativity and avant gardedness would have blown my little Springfield brain wide-open and would have been irresistibly hot to me.

It just magnifies for me who I want, who I should be with, how much more I dig my crush's work and how much more I respect what he is putting into and wanting from his work, even if his work is often the subject of intelligentsia disapproval, even if it means things like introducing Credence Clearwater Revisited instead of introducing things like performance art pieces with men in fishnets and fears of babies. Which, hello? Makes no sense. Male in women's accessories but fearing children? It doesn’t need to be spoon fed but it needs to make some goddamn sense.

Reading a random email about performance art while I can hear the sweet sweet strains of my favorite music, a shared favorite, at the exact same time I opened the email must be a sign. I don't say that lightly because 93% of the time, I totally don't believe in signs or destiny. But there is something I am supposed to get and I mean, right now.

Something bigger is going on here. Reading that email right as The River came on my radio only magnifies for me how together we really were and how much we made sense.

It brings into clear sharp focus why we talk, text and email everyday still and how it has come to be that we are as close or closer than we ever were.

And also, that we should be making out still.
But not as friends with benefits because that just plain doesn't work.

arizonasarah at 12:28 p.m.

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