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29 March 2011, 2:00 pm No Comments

Learning To Drive Stick: Hearts on the Sidewalk

Submission by Student Driver, TNG columnist

Follow Student Driver, a life-long lesbian-identified woman as she dabbles in the world of heterosexuality, in our new syndicated ladysex column “Learning To Drive Stick.” Check her out every Tuesday at 2 p.m.!


That is what I was called yesterday. The text came through midday, nonchalant, while I was in the midst of my workday. The text made no mention of last Tuesday night.

Last Tuesday was supposed to be our big sit-down, Type Geek and I. We were going to talk about my feelings for him, my hopes for us, what it was all about. In the end, we had what turned into an amazing evening, perhaps one of the best dates we had ever had, some of the best sex, only it wasn’t a date. Or was it?

I decided that I wouldn’t contact him, that he needed to make the move towards me. Think of me and reach out. So I kept myself busy, with work, with food, and when that didn’t help, I shopped for gardening supplies. Midday Monday I received a text saying, “Hey, Tiger.” Small talk.

He was having a great Monday at work and his niece had her baby over the weekend. He told me that he is now avoiding the family compound because of his innate dislike for amorphous creatures known as babies. Until they become people, he doesn’t know how to deal with them, so he avoids them. Other than that, no comments about what happened: about how his,”No!” became a maybe, became asking me to dinner and to stay the night, and then to be intimate with him. I believe he might be one of those men who substitute action for a dialogue. Cautiously optimistic, I am allowing him a safe, clean slate upon which to act. I am still talking to other men, but I am remaining open to possibilities.

As I walked home last night, I noticed marks on the sidewalk, gum perhaps. One of them stood out and I began thinking about some of the things my friends and readers have said regarding the Type Geek situation. Rationalizing is a bad thing, excusing human behavior is a bad thing, and allowing others to be as complicated and flawed as we are is a bad thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to disregard my friends’ concerns. I appreciate their support. However, I have been considering lately that perhaps the reason why many relationships fail is that we spend too much time in the ego and emotion of the love, rather than in the reality of what it is: Two flawed and imperfect people navigating messy existences in a complicated world, trying to find connection and understanding in order to feel a little less lonely.

So I allow that people may not always react as we would, or as we would like, when under stress, when in unknown situations, when terrified of the greyness of possibilities. I consider whether I would like someone to offer me the same. I am a great person, and I come with baggage. Type Geek is a great person and he comes with baggage. Is it possible that we may be able to combine some of our luggage, in order to lighten our collective loads? Is it possible that we won’t? Could I be wrong? Definitely. Is it also possible that this might be a great love story, one of perseverance, trust, faith and unconditional love? That is also a possibility, albeit perhaps a smaller one from the view on the sidelines.

I don’t ask anyone to understand why. I just ask that you consider what you would do if you met someone who stopped your breath. How you would react if you woke up one morning knowing that this man or woman was the one you wanted to be old with. I don’t fall in love easily. I do, however, regret deeply. I don’t want to regret Type Geek. I’d rather have heartache, experience, and footprints on my soul and in the end be able to say I tried. I love myself enough to allow myself the possibility that Type Geek could be the greatest love of my life, and that I deserve to experience that fully, even if it isn’t easy, even if it hurts sometimes, because hearing him call me Sugar, or kiss me on the forehead as I lay with my head on his chest in bed, his scent in my lungs, those moments are the moments we will remember when we die, not the missed calls, or sudden business trips.

This may turn painful — as love often does — but there might be another ending to this story. I won’t know until I get there.

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