Jess was distant. He was cold, he was harsh, he was not the same Jess who wrote that heartbreaking email to me the day before. In less then 24 hours Jess became the "other Jess". He told me that writing me that email was a mistake and that he shouldn't have. He said he wrote it at a weak moment and is feeling completely better now.
He then began to once again rip into me. He told me that he wants to move on with his life and that doesn't include me! After a somewhat emotional twenty minute conversation, I asked Jess to meet me and lets talk in person. He hesitated and then slowly but unenthusiastically agreed. I can't believe that he switched back to this Jess so fast. Fuck!
I met with Jess at around 4:00pm. He looked like shit. Like he had gone through the ringer. I could tell he was distant from the moment he saw me. His eyes were empty, there was no love or emotion in them at all. He was cold in his attitude and immediately gave me the impression that he didn't want to be there with me. This was going to be hell!
Here is what Jess told me yesterday. It tore me apart again but by now I am so used to it. At one point I even lost it.
- Jess told me that he doesn't want any relationship with me and he feels that we can be friends but not at this time.
- Jess told me that he loves me but he is not "in love" with me.
- Jess told me that sex with me is hot but only on a purely physical level and that anything more then that physical level gets too complicated with me, so he avoids it.
- Jess kept telling me that he wants to meet men and plans on doing it, having sex and even looking for a new and better relationship.
I think Jess has some big problems. I tried to tell him. I told him that the Jess who wrote me that email yesterday is the "real" Jess crying out for help. I told him that today he is back to being the Jess with his coping mechanism in place. After nearly 40 years of his life, he has learned very well how to cope and although coping is a temporary solution to a much bigger problem, he still does it.
In the email Jess wrote that he uses "poisonous coping mechanisms". That is so true. I think, know I know that he was eluding to having sex with others and about not being able to commit or have a healthy relationship, so he opts for the purely physical aspect of anonymous sex, fantasy and pursuing men that he knows aren't available to him. He even tells me that he wants a happy, healthy relationship with someone else but can't do that right now.
Don't ask me how but through this heated and emotional and unfriendly conversation, I was able to once again tell Jess that I think he is bi-polar. I told him there is nothing to be ashamed of and that I love him and want to help him or perhaps be there for him while he himself gets the help he needs. I told him that it appears that he is so tortured inside and so self loathing that he feels he doesn't deserve to be happy. I also told him that he was my best friend and although I accept that he is not "in love" with me anymore, I know he still loves me. I told him we were close and that you don't just throw that away. I asked him how can you just erase someone from your life when things get complicated or when your issues kick in and make things appear complicated. Friends, I told him are to be cherished especially friends like he and I and not to be tossed out and start new looking for others. I don't have an expiration date stamped on my forehead and treating me as if i do is not only unfair but it's wrong! I told Jess that he needs to get some help. I told him if he didn't get the help he needed he is going to end up an even lonelier, old gay man with nothing and no one! I don't think he liked hearing that! Jess walked away at a fast pace. He was done with me and left me alone on the streets of Soho in the middle of hundreds of people, walking, talking, laughing and having fun on this hot, muggy holiday weekend. I was shattered. Soaking wet from the heat and from the stress. I was the walking dead.
One last time, I went after Jess. I caught up with him a block away. Its miraculous how I was able to find him with all the people walking on the street.
I tried to change the subject so as to calm him down. I asked him if he wanted to go back to his apartment and relax and cool off. He said "no, I don't want you in my apartment," I asked him if he wanted to get a bite to eat. He answered "no". I asked him if his friends were around and if he wanted to go and meet them and all hang out? "No" he said. He told me that he had plans with them for later that evening. I asked if I could go with him and hang out with them all that night. He said "no". I told him, Jess, I have no plans, I'm your friend, probably your best friend, why are you doing this? Let me hang out with you guys tonight! He said "no".
The more I spoke, the more abusive and nasty Jess became. I was at my wits end. I said "okay Jess, you win. Fuck this! I've tried. You need to get some goddamn help. With that, Jess looked at me with hate and anger and sped up and walked away. This time I wasn't going to follow him. He was leaving and walking away. I let him go.
I aimlessly wandered the streets of Soho, with all the happy people. I was crying inside and miserable. In my mind I kept telling myself that Jess is sick and this is over between us. I assumed that Jess was in a mad dash to get away from me and that he was heading home. I have no idea as to why but 30 minutes later I was still wandering around Soho, lost in my mind and in my sadness. I called Jess's cellphone not expecting him to answer the phone. I was at the lowest point I can remember ever being in with Jess. For some reason Jess answered the phone. His words were "where are you?" I told him approximately where i was and asked him where was he. He said that he was sitting on the steps of a store a few blocks away. When I asked him why, I was shocked that he told me because he looked behind himself and saw that I wasn't following him. So he sat down to wait. Weird huh?
I walked back to where Jess told me he was sitting. I found him there, sitting alone all sad on the steps. He looked mentally and physically wiped out. I think Jess has a form of mental illness, but I know he can be helped. Jess just needs to realize it. I put my arm around him and told him that I love him more then anything on this earth and I literally begged him not to give up on himself, on us. He looked at me and said nothing. All he said was that "he was fucked up." I told him I want to help him and he just turned away. I quietly told him again that you can't do this to your best friend. I'm your fucking best friend! I know everything about you, your life, your ups, your downs and your weakness's. Don't wipe me out of your life perhaps because you feel I know too much. I even mentioned that I know your family, your mom, dad, brothers, friends, etc. With that I started to cry. Probably the hardest that I have ever cried in front of Jess. I couldn't control my emotions. I totally lost it. I was soaking wet from my tears and the look on Jess's face was a combination of shock and sadness. I stood up, composed myself for twenty seconds, simply bent down to where Jess was sitting and kissed him goodbye. With that, I walked away. Knowingly out of Jess's life. I didn't turn around, I kept on going. I was gone.
I stated walking north and was heading toward the West Village. I didn't know what to do. Here, I was thinking that Jess and I were going to have somewhat of a good day together. Shit, less then 24 hours ago, Jess was calling me and writing me emails, the likes of which would tear your heart out. Again, in that email he told me how much he loved me and how sorry he was. (I forgot to mention that Jess told me during the afternoon today that he wrote that email as a way of telling me that he can't be with me and no longer is in love with me).
I called Mary on the phone. I could always count on her to be around. She was and she came to meet me. We went to a diner on 14th St and sat there, of course eating (always when I'm with Mary, food is always involved). She too was confused and amazed and shocked at how much shifting and shit and drama had occurred in the past 36 hours. I need to be careful with Mary because as I have mentioned many times before, Jess introduced me to her and she is really his friend. Down deep inside, I know that Mary thinks this entire situation is fucked up and that Jess is somewhat out of his mind, but I truly believe that her loyalties, even her love is with him.
While sitting in the diner with Mary, my telephone rings. I looked at my phone, it was Jess calling. Mary's eyes looked like she was thinking "what the fuck?". I was thinking the same but I answered it. Jess was on the other end, he was quiet and calm. He asked me where I was. I told him that I was at a diner sitting there with Mary. His response was "oh good, I'm glad that someone is with you." He told me that he was still sitting on the steps of the store in Soho where I left him over an hour ago. I asked him if he wanted to meet me. He said no. He said that he wanted to tell me that he was sorry for today and how he acted and how mean he was. He told me not to tell this to Mary, but he needs help. He said that I am the first and only person who has ever realized how much pain and conflict he is in, pointed it out to him and told him that he needs to get help. He agrees that yes he needs professional help and that yes he is fucked up. This isn't a revelation to me. Jess has told me this before. But, he tells me that he may very well be bi-polar and that he most likely needs medication and therapy. He told me he is going to get help and soon. He again, told me that he loves me but needs me to back off, even for a short period of time while he gets better or attempts to do so. He kept saying that this isn't about me. He said it's about him and I need to understand and respect that and leave him be while he works on it. He said that of course we will still be friends and still be in touch with each other but he can't and wont be in a relationship or anything similar to it with me while he deals with this. He says he can't do that! I said okay. We said goodbye. I walked back to the table where Mary was sitting (when Jess called I walked outside to talk) and I was dazed and yes confused and yes sad. A minute later I got a text from Jess and all it said was "thank you" and "love you".
Mary and I aimlessly walked uptown. We went for yogurt at Pinkberry. It was now around 9:00pm. While we were sitting there deciding on what to do, I just said, I still have to call Jess. I need to see if he is okay. So I called him and he was sitting in some Pizza place on the east side, alone, having a slice. Even though Mary was sitting with me, I asked him if I could see him. I told him that I was only eight blocks north of him. He said yes and told me exactly where he was. When I got there he was just about done, and paying his bill. As I walked in, he was walking out. We left together. Jess wanted Ben & Jerry's so we walked a few blocks and he got some. We were fairly quiet and Jess told me how tired he was. We made no mention of his two friends that were staying with him that Jess had told me earlier during the day that he had plans with that evening. Maybe he didn't have plans with them or maybe he called and told them he wasn't up for it. It didn't matter.
Jess and I walked to a small park near his place. The same park I've been too dozens of times before with and without him. We sat and we talked. Jess was still a bit on the abrupt and short tempered side. He looked wiped out. He told me again that he really needed help and that he was going to spend some time this coming week researching the best therapist he could find. He said he wanted a gay therapist. Someone who could relate to him. Most topics I brought up to discuss while he and I were sitting in the park, Jess shot down. All he could say to me was "this isn't about you". I said Jess, it is about me to some degree. But I let it go. I let Jess have it his way. Okay Jess, yes this is all about you.
I began telling him that I feel lonely too. (Afraid he was going to tell me that it's not about me. But instead he listened). I told him that for many months I new he had pulled away from me. But I hung in there because I loved him and I hoped he would change. I told him that the idea of being with someone else did nothing for me because I was content with him. But now, I think that I too must look to meet someone. I need to feel a connection with someone even if it starts out as something small. I told him that I think I need to begin looking, and placing ads online. I think that doing so would not only help me eventually meet someone that I can connect with but it will help me adjust to the realization that he and I are over and that he has moved on from me. All he could say was that he though that was sleazy and he doesn't want to know about it. I reminded him that he and I met online almost a year ago, and yes, although it was a hookup originally, we had instant chemistry and that something special was there right from the beginning. He knows I don't like bars and he knows I'm not going to do anything crazy . Jess then told me, he understands and yes he realizes that I may be right, and then if that's what I need to do then do it. But, although he is my friend, he doesn't want to know or hear about me being with any other guys. I told him okay. The only other thing I said about that was that I sadly told him that even though I'd love to meet someone new and feel the way I used to feel when I met him, it would be difficult and ironic if Jess got himself together and wanted me back and I had met someone else. Jess smiled. probably for the first time all day. He looked at me and said, that if that was the case, he would kick their ass and boot them out. We looked at each other and smiled together. Then he asked me for a hug. I gave him one. He got up and told me he was going to head home and get to sleep, he was exhausted. He started to walk away and I stayed sitting on the bench in the park. The fountain was making all this beautiful water sounds -- it was like music. I called out to him! Jess! He turned around and I told him that I miss him. He smiled and said, for me to "Go home and relax and be happy. Nothing really will be that different. I will most likely be speaking to you tomorrow". I smiled and he walked away. In the distance I could see him walk as he was just about to disappear behind the tree's and foliage of the park. I saw him turn around one last time to look at me. Then he was gone.
I went home. Yes I miss Jess, but I know that he needs help. Part of me wonders if Jess truly needs help to be in a healthy and happy relationship, or if Jess just didn't want me and that he can be happy and healthy with someone else. Regardless, I need to stop beating myself up. I also need to move on.
Okay, so reluctantly I am going to place an ad online. I don't really want to but as I mentioned before, maybe doing so will help accept that fact that Jess isn't with me anymore and that he has chosen to move on. Perhaps eventually, if I speak to enough guys and go through the motions, I will meet someone who I can grow to love as much I love Jess. I doubt it, but at this point, I have no other options but to try.
Thanks for reading this long blog today. Happy Memorial Day to everyone.