So after the series on sex I thought I’d like to do one on love. Because, you know, masochist. (Also hello you gaiz when I say I’m broken you’re supposed to leap in and say no you’re not, you’ll be fine, not shuffle your feet and stare fixedly out the window. Humph. Behaving like boys the lot of you. =D)

One of my friends posted this on Facebook yesterday, and it hit me like a sledgehammer.

I miss you. sometimes.
or. sometimes I notice that I miss you. but I think that I miss you always.
it’s a wishing word. always. no one. is here for always.
still. you are still within reach. dare I. reach.
—Ditta Baron Hoebe

You see, I no longer talk about The Flake. But this doesn’t mean I don’t think about him. I have managed to train my brain to instantly veer away to something else entirely whenever it wanders in the direction of The Flake, and even forget that it went in that direction in the first place. I have gone on one date and gotten hurt by rejection after what I thought was good date; I have flirted with other boys and thought about futures and plans and many other things. But not once through all of his have I forgotten The Flake. Not once have I not missed him. When The Knight announced that he was going to buy a Thunderbird I desperately wanted to call The Flake just to hear him react to that. But I daren’t. I daren’t call him until I know I can look at the spot in my head where he lives and be ok. I have even taken to distracting myself by saying quick quick think about the date chap (let’s call him the Divorcee, because I have a feeling he’s going to pop up on and off for a while), be sad about that! Only I find it hard to focus on the Divorcee and I remain sad about The Flake.

Anyway, I thought it might help to relive all the past loves, sort of like The Lost Loves of MinCat, apologies to Arshia Sattar, and see if I can remind myself of what I learnt and how I survived.

The first guy I ever had a crush on was Oldest Friend, who skulks around and comments under saturnairjam. (Come now, you knew this for sure!) It lasted five whole years, from class 6 to class 11. I know, right? This might have had something to do with the school I was in having a distinct lack of boys who read books. Hee. Once I joined the Hyderabad Pig Society of course there were many boys who read, but also they were mostly assholes. There was the guy who was dear friend that I began to crush on who then started the MinCat Hating Association, which most of my class joined. That guy went on to marry on of my dear friends from college, and was also part of BBot’s old gang, leading to my having to put up with him quite a bit. Ugh.

After that there was a lull until I got to college, where I promptly fell in lust with the friend of one of my seniors. I used to stalk that poor boy, arranging to be outside his classes when they let out and so on. But you know it was virginal teenage lust, so I just giggled a lot and gazed at him worshipfully. I also fell in lust at the time with Ankur Kapoor, not so famous actor now, and then Konkona Sensharma’s boyfriend. But you know, they left college and it all passed. MY second year of college was bizarrely empty of crushes or lust or anything–unless The Glare remembers something and wants to remind me!

I had traumatic ending to second year and thus began third year very introvertedly, well for me at any rate, and so it was half over before I met my first love, OOF. It’s a long post, so go and read it. I’m not reproducing it here! To update the story however, we were wrong; he hadn’t changed that much after all; the destructive behaviour returned and we no longer speak. With so much hindsight (ten years!!!) I can look back on how I handled my first love and see where I went wrong. I can also see that I clearly began with the same pattern I follow today:

  1. Like guy
  2. Believe I am completely unworthy of his attention
  3. Do everything he wants the way he wants
  4. Be deeply and irrationally grateful for whatever scraps of attention I do get
  5. Turn said scraps into full blown care and affection in my head
  6. Be bewildered and hurt when it turns out to not be full blown care and affection
  7. Start to withdraw
  8. Get upset by boy’s anger at things changing
  9. Lose friend
  10. Repeat

I didn’t really fall in love while at the Pisspot. I did however fancy people a bit but then they always wanted to date my friends so I used to skip from step 2 right to step 9. Oh no wait. In my early blogging days I redeveloped very tender feelings for OF (don’t pretend you didn’t know that time either mister), and that led to some drama because when he returned he didn’t make time for me etc. etc. It’s funny how whenever I’ve liked someone the lines have been so blurry that I didn’t know if my pain was from rejection or from them not treating me as good friends should.

Then I went to NYU. There I developed instant crush on chap in my class named Maison, because well he was nice to me. Of course being nice to me is a very broad definition. It covers general polite and courteous behaviour, which might not seem like much, but thanks to #2 up there it does the job. Nothing came of it of course, but in the meantime I was busy learning about sex and it didn’t matter that much. I was only twenty-four, and yes I’d never been in a relationship, but that’s fine, there was time enough for that.

When I came back to India in 2008 I was not expecting at all to run into someone from school, let alone start something confusing, fall in love, break my heart, start something less confusing, break my heart, start to make sense of it, be happy and sad and angry and in love, and have it all end so painfully and badly. (Okay in trying to link this up I realise I haven’t written that much about BBot and me when we were happy. Maybe I should do a post. Heh.)

Since then I have been trawling the dating world and suddenly, as I stand here, a week from thirty-one, for the first time in my life I feel real fear. Or so I thought, because I found this post from four years ago, which has me in pretty much the same place. Ulp. But I digress.

I broke up with BBot in March 2010. I took some time to get out there, and once I did I only wanted fun. Which of course you have read about. It was only in March of 2011 that I began to feel like I might want to have a relationship again, and then I proceeded to confuse myself over CB and well you know what happened there as well. While I kept trying to meet people all year, I found myself not meeting people at all. I met the Knight, and well our freilationship flirted with love, but never really made it. It struck me one day, when in conversation with the Flamenca in one of my depression dips, that I was actually petrified of falling in love. I really was. It gave me panic attacks. The very thought of letting someone that close and giving that much power! No sirree, no thank ye. I was going to wait to be chased, for someone to fall for me first and want me first and only then would I commit my love to them. Clearly BBot had quite the effect! But then that shady fellow The Flake sneaked up on me and ambushed me with his kindness, his sense, his affection, his openness, his maturity and of course his hotness. Oh that smile. And suddenly I found myself there again, right there, in love with someone who didn’t want me, and not only rejected my love, but couldn’t deal with it, couldn’t relate to me properly because of it, as if it were some terrible putrescence on my face or a vile stench that surrounded me. I told myself, foolishly, that he must have feelings too, surely one didn’t behave like that with people one didn’t like, only of course I was deep in my frielationship where I was doing exactly that, and The Flake was deep in his need for comfort and the kind of worshipful adoration that I am so good at giving away for free. That did not end well either.

Now that I look back I see that I have been in love only about four times in my life, and one of those four times it was returned and we tried. So why then do I have this feeling that I have loved and been rejected so many times? Maybe because I’ve always been stopped or stopped myself at the early stages, the lau not the love. The feeling of rejection has persisted though. And this feeling of rejection is something I cannot seem to shake. It cripples my ability to do things; it pushes to me impetuous and bad decisions; it feeds my rabid demons. And the only thing that can make it go away is, sadly, the thing that caused it in the first place: love.