It swells deep within my stomach
Acids struggling to digest it
Push it down my
So it never meets
Or parts my lips
…I daydream of her
Wet dream of her wet walls
Against my digits, cheeks, and thigh…
And when this feeling starts
They each begin to tingle
(Subconsciously) I’m tapping the digits of her phone number on my inner thigh
(I can) hear her voice reverberate
Feel our images
Replay in the whites of eye
To fight the impulse
Praying for it to pass
I wrote this poem six years ago in the midst of an experience that was just as complicated, uncomfortable, and emotionally taxing as this poem suggests. I shudder every time I read it because I can still remember sitting Indian style on the floor of the apartment I shared with my girlfriend, crying my eyes out as I fought not to dial the numbers of a certain young lady I had met only weeks before. The emotion was and still is intense. So much so, that I have purposely never shared this poem with anyone other than the lady who edited my upcoming poetry book. I guess the circumstances surrounding the poem have always been somewhat embarrassing, and I never wanted to have to explain it. But today, for some reason I feel different.
Today, I am able to look at this poem from the perspective of compassion instead of judgment. Today, I am able to see that my tears were not the result of my impulse per se, but the result of my emotional inability to follow that impulse. (because I felt unnaturally guilty for an emotion that felt…well…natural).
That unnatural guilt is the subject of this post.
Its amazing to me how open minded most people are about some things and yet how conversely close minded they are about others…especially romantic relationships. In my book, I spent quite a bit of time discussing the powerful attachment that is present in most romantic relationships, so I won’t belabor that here. What I will say however, is that the attachment and subsequent insecurity that come with most romantic relationships can often lead to a great deal of shame and in most cases unnatural guilt. I will be the first to admit that I completely understand the purpose of monogamy. I get that it’s functional and I am currently in a monogamous relationship. But even in the midst of that I am able to behold beauty almost everywhere I look. People are such intricate enigmas that something in me longs to unravel, figure out, and crack. I am so curious about what makes people tick, their stories, their hopes and dreams and so on. My curiosity often manifests itself as a very real attraction and for that attraction; I have spent more guilt-ridden sleepless nights than I care to admit. The whole thing makes me incredibly uncomfortable because I am firm believer that people can be “independently beautiful.” Meaning one person’s beauty does not compromise the beauty of another. And while I think most people can intellectually understand this, within the confines of our romantic relationship something gets lost, and this pervasive need to have the full undivided attention of your partner grows to the size of earth’s atmosphere. People get selfish, possessive and in my opinion unreasonable.
Now, I am sure some will say that just because you are attracted to someone, it doesn't mean you should act on it….and I tend to agree. But I also think that the very nature of attraction is a desire to connect (not necessarily sexually…but to connect nonetheless). Why then, do we subject ourselves to the mental and emotional turmoil of trying to fight so much of what comes natural to us? The simple answer is because we don’t want to hurt our partners, but the truth has more to do with (you guessed it) attachment and security.
Foiling the Fairy tale
I can’t speak for men, but most of the women I know want nothing more than to settle down, get married and have children. Most have wanted that since they were old enough to conceptualize the idea of “happily ever after.” The knight in shining armor was presented as a metaphorical savior to them and because of that, most women have spent their whole lives trying to recreate that fairy tale As a result landing a spouse has become not only a social symbol of success but also the ultimate promise of physical and emotional security. Women want to feel chosen, loved, and safe. But just like every other social contract…in order to receive safety one must surrender some freedoms. For some that loss of freedom is unbearable and they just choose not to commit at all. For others it means making the commitment and breaking it by cheating. I tend to favor a more realistic approach, one that allows for one to love and be committed to someONE but also makes room for the appreciation of the independent beauty of others.
My position has often been unpopular but having been on both sides of the “cheating” coin, I know firsthand that when one person beholds beauty in another is has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but the two people involved. It is not a reflection on the role, beauty, commitment or person of the partner. People don’t like to hear that...but it’s true. In my opinion it’s an immature mistake to think that another person’s world revolves around you…at the end of the day, everyone’s world revolves around them. And more often than not, people are going to do what makes them happy, even if that means they have to lie, cheat and deceive you to do it. Call me crazy, but there are things more important to me than physical fidelity. I want to be a part of my partner’s life forever and I would much rather be a cooperative component to her happiness than the reason for her guilt.