So there's this guy, (there's always this guy), and he's back. Again.
Jersey Boy is one of my oldest and dearest guy friend's best friend. We all spent so many nights playing beer pong and kings and just being ourselves in college together that even though Jersey Boy was never really my best boy, I've always cared about him and considered him a friend. He's also just an all around stand-up guy.
There was always serious sexual tension between us too. Yes, he's tall and skinny like I like. And dorky. And wears glasses. And is a total gentleman. And laid back and quiet. At the same time he always appreciated that I was NOT laid back or quiet. We've always just gotten eachother and clicked. We have chemistry. I like being around him and its easy to be together. For no reason at all. Its effortless. Even when things haven't made sense. Even when we've been sort of together or not together at all.
So what's the problem? Timing and geography. No small obstacles. I was single for only about 4 months of 4 years of college. I always felt that "thing" between us, but I was in love with someone else. When I'd hang out with the boys (not my bf) and got really drunk I'd worry I'd cheat and so would "check myself" from going too far. But I wondered what it'd be like. If I were with him. In the three weeks I was single in college before I began seeing my next serious college boyfriend who I would continue to see through law school, we almost hooked up. At a crazy all-night party off-campus Jersey Boy and I were partners at the beer pong table all night. We played till sunrise never losing a single game. We were also all over each other grabbing and laughing and teasing and high fiving. In short- It. Was. On. But when I went to climb into bed with him he was drunk as a skunk passed out. A fact that for about a year after, myself and all my friends ruthlessly made fun of him for. He was going to get his chance with me FINALLY and blew it. And before I could give him another chance I found myself dating the love of my life to date, who shattered me forever. Who I still cannot seem to replace. But this post isnt about that guy, this post is about Jersey.
He did eventually get his chance. When our best guy friend got married, about two and a half years ago I went up to New York City (where Jersey Boy lived and still does) for the wedding and finally there were no obstacles. He was single. I was single (and enough time had passed since THE GUY had broken up with me that I was ready to be with someone else again). And he look sooooooooooo good. Partially because he just looked good. Post-college. Working a decent job, living in the city, confident in himself, a little grown up. This new-found maturity and sense of self identity made him sexier than ever. But he was still sweet. And respectful. And a good person. I knew I wanted him and hoped that something would happen. And it did. Instead of staying with other friends, I stayed with Jersey. There were no bells and whistles. There was no dramatic "talk" or seduction or games. It was like we'd been dating for years and were just picking up where we'd left off. Yes, we slept together. Our first time together. And it happened a lot that weekend. We snuck into a closed off pool at the wedding hotel on Long Island and skinny dipped and made-out like we were teenagers in our parent's basement. And even broke the bed in his apartment one night. I laughed so hard I cried while he was furious that such a thing could happen and interrupt. To this day, me and my friends ruthlessly ALSO make fun of him for that as well.
Here's the thing about how things were never weird. It was never weird we liked each other but weren't together in college while I dated other people. And when we showed up at a wedding with all our nearest and dearest friends of years kissing and grabbing and going home at the end of the night together - No one - said ANYTHING. Not a joke. Not an inquisitive question or look or smile. It was like it was the most normal thing in the world.
And I was supposed to leave NYC on the Sunday of that weekend. But I stayed for four more days. I just kept not getting on the Chinatown bus back to DC. We were just having too much fun. We lazily walked around the city holding hands, napped in Central Park, watched tv. But then I had to go back to reality. I had to. He carried my suitcase for me and held my hand on the subway. And then kissed me goodbye outside the bus and asked me to text him when I got in. We talked on the phone. And texted. And emailed for weeks. Maybe it was even months. But I was in law school. And in North Carolina. And he worked for a law firm. And was in New York City. We never had a talk about trying to see each other. Or what that weekend had been about. Or what we meant to each other. There is no doubt in my mind that if I lived in NYC we would have dated. And see where it led. But as it was, it wouldn't work. We were too far apart. Geographically, physically, financially, mentally, emotionally. Better to remain friends. Better to not torture ourselves. We never spoke of this. We didn't need to.
Over the last two and half years I've been up to NYC to visit my many friends many times. When he or I is seeing someone we play the "friends" role like we were never lovers. When we are both single, we fall back into a few days of perfectness and then leave it at that at the bus stop. Until the next time.
Last January, I spent my birthday in the city. He had been with the same girlfriend for some time now and I had just started seeing a guy. This girl was so beautiful and nice and thin. And he seemed to love her and want to protect her the way guys do when they put their hand on your back and guide you through a room. I couldn't help but feel that tinge of jealousy. That feeling of only, if only we both were in the same place at the same time. Both available. We could give it a real shot. And this feeling like it might work.
This all might sound so unhealthy, but in fact, its the healthiest relationship I've ever been in. We give each other what the other one needs. Friendship, understanding, support, laughter, without unrealistic expectations, requirements, obligations, guilt, baggage or drama. It is what it is. And it always has been.
And Jersey Boy is Back. Again. He's a Giant's fan. I'm a die-hard Redskins fan (if you didn't know.) We don't talk very often. Lest I'm planning a trip to NYC or the Giants play the Redskins. Which they did today. He bet me that if the Giants won I'd have to come visit him in NYC. I could stay with him you see, because he'd broken up with his girlfriend. I was sorry I said. And I am. I really am. I just want him to be happy and she seemed nice/cool/pretty all things I may or may not be. And we ended up talking for hours. Flirting and planning when I could visit again. And I may try to get up there in the next few weeks but we've definitely planned a ski trip in upstate new york with our best guy friend and his wife for both our January birthdays next month. And I can't wait. If we are both single, clearly we'll share a room. And hot chocolate. And play on the same taboo team. And ski together. And be together. But if one of us isn't single a month from now, I'll just get to catch up with my friend. See how he's doing. Be myself with someone who knows me and likes me. With our other friends. And we'll still ski together and drink hot chocolate and play board games. We'll just have separate bedrooms. And the best part is that we won't have to talk about it or analyze it or worry about it. Because it is what it is. It always has been.
I know he's really just my fuck buddy and nothing more. But he's also my friend. And so much more than that. And I can't help but worry. Because every time we go another round the feelings I have get stronger and stronger. I think about him and wait for his next text like he's the new guy I'm crushing on that I met at a bar next week. That I have a date with on Saturday. But that's not the case. We are still the victims of bad timing. And geography. And nothing I can do is gonna change that. You don't move for someone you "enjoy being with." Who isn't your boyfriend. And I would NEVER do that. And I would NEVER let him do that. And we're too smart to do long distance. We've both been there before.
Which is why we don't talk about it. Which is why we don't try to make it more than it is. Which is why, each time it ends, I push him out of my mind. Hope to forget him for a little while. But also hope, that soon enough...Jersey Boy is Back.