When it’s tolerable at night, I walk from 59th street down to my apartment. It’s a good 20 blocks and I take my time. You realize if you put in headphones and just wander, it’s like being in your very own b-roll footage (I’ve accidentally walked into many filming at night). When I wander, my mind mimics my feet. Tonight, my mind drifted toward this girl. The latest in a string of unrequited emotions, except this one is complicated. And when I use the word ‘complicated’ it really means a unique kind of fucked. As I was drifting away thinking about what might happen, or what could be, I realized something.
Unrequited love is easy.
As much as people complain about it, it’s really selfish in a way. Unrequited love is all about one person, yourself. It’s about how you feel, how you want someone, how you want to define a relationship. Except that the relationship is imaginary, and the relationship has nothing to do with the other person, and everything to do with yourself. As bad as unrequited love can feel, it’s easy, because you define the terms of it. It takes no work, just a fantasy. I recently got into a fight with a close friend of mine, and I had forgotten how hard relationships are, no matter what kind of relationship it is. It takes work, understanding, vulnerability, and patience, none of which I have much of. I honestly can’t imagine what it would take to sustain a romance, especially a fulfilling one.
That’s probably why most of my romances have been unrequited, because I’ve just wanted to define the relationship by myself. Realizing that kind of took me aback, but it was something that I needed to recognize. It’s really cool to say, hey, I made this happen for myself, but at the end of the day, anything worth doing or worth having, was probably the sum of more than just you. I’m tired of living an unrequited lovelife, and maybe it’s about damn time that I open myself up to more than just what I feel. I want to know what it feels like to work at the little things, and hopefully to know enough so that when the right woman comes along, I’ll be able to show her that I’m not completely self-obsessed. I’m not exactly sure how this is going to happen, but I do know that I’ve gotten too comfortable with unrequited love, and that in order for me to grow up, I have to take chances with other people and not solely define things through myself.
But still, unrequited or not, this girl’s eyes devastate me, and talking with her feels like going home, so my mind wanders. I just hope as I’m typing this on my phone, I don’t get hit by an errant CitiBike while jaywalking. Such are the dangers of New York City by streetlight and a backlit iPhone screen.