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Fallen into a Rabbit Hole

Published: 06 April 2022


Last Friday, after enduring a week of living in the Seen Zone, I asked you if I can drop by after your shift. I said that I just had something to say in person. That it wouldn't take long and we didn't need to go anywhere. We could have just sat in the car, in front of your building.

I'd have left right after I said my piece. It wouldn't have taken fifteen minutes. But you shot the idea down and it never happened. This was the plan:

Once you've entered the car, I'd have turned off the engine and have given you the keys. I wouldn't have removed my seat belt and the doors would have been unlocked. I'd have parked directly in front of your building's entryway, by the stairs, and in full view of the security guards.

The goal was to make you feel as safe as possible. That at any time, you could have left or screamed for help— actions that you weren't able to complete in one of the stories that you told me. But you would never have had to do any of that.

This is what I wanted to say:


I know that people had been awful to you. I know that you have issues. I know because you told me your story and because when I was telling you about my experience with that "crazy person", about her trust and abandonment issues, I clearly remember you whispering, "I do, too."

I also know that those issues can be triggered by words and by actions. And that what we're experiencing right now is a result of those words and actions, then I can point out at least two instances when I must have triggered you. I know this because when I said and did what I said and did, I felt it. I felt your discomfort. Maybe your distress.

On one occasion, during our "story time", I compared your breasts with that of my ex's. I felt that I said something wrong even before you told me so. That you did not appreciate being compared to anyone, even when you were at the better end of the comparison. For that, I want to say that I'm truly sorry. And I am even more sorry for mansplaining.

It may have seemed out of the blue to you when I messaged, "you are not anyone's replacement and you will never be. You are who you are." It was me remembering that occasion and wanting to reassure you that: I will try my best to keep my thoughts and my words in check; and I wanted to be with you because of you alone, not because of an idea that you were better. You should know why.

On another occasion, when we were driving back to your place, I accidentally touched part of your breast when I reached out for your hand. I felt the tension. I do believe that I said sorry for that although it may not have sounded sincere. But I was truly am sorry.

Even if it isn't your breasts. Even if it is just your hands, you hair, or your shoulders. At any time that you don't want to be touched or held, I just want to say, that you can always say "no"— and there will not be an issue. It's true that I may appeal but I know what "no" means. Even when we get to the point where we have a committment, the meaning of "no" will not change. And the respect that I have for it won't either; because I respect you.

That is what I would have said. I never got the chance.

I didn't have an endgame. I never thought through what you would have done. I would have loved to see a hint of a smile. I would have liked a hug. You'd have given me my car keys back, of course, and I'd have driven home with a lighter heart and a clearer mind.

But that was before Sunday. If you ever come across these words, know that they were sincere— which is more that I can say for yours. I will just leave them here.

So I won't forget.