plot twist

When I get home from work on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I am emotionally trashed. The texting I've done with Upstairs that night - and in fact, having spent the day with him - has me completely twisted. One minute, I look at all the amazing qualities he has as a person and that we have, together, and I feel like I'd be crazy not to date him. The next, I feel weirdly like I'm trying to talk myself into it. I'm scared of how bad it will hurt to lose him, when he's inevitably ready to move on from me.

I know that getting involved with Dimples has an expiration date, too, but it seems like something I can engage in short term, and survive without getting too emotionally attached. He's just too different, coming from/going to so different a place, that I can keep him at arm's length. Meanwhile, Upstairs is too lovable, and our paths parallel in so many ways, that I know I can get really, really attached to him if I let myself. And I don't know what it is - maybe the emotional distance I feel I can maintain with him - but I feel more physically drawn to Dimples. It's probably because for so long, sex and love have been mutually exclusive concepts for me. And I know that if I start regularly sleeping with Upstairs while dating him, I'll fall in love with him. That's unquestionable. Then I'll really be fucked when it ends.

I write Upstairs an email. It's short and short-tempered, probably because I'm so angry at myself. Angry at my inability (fear?) to feel everything for him. I'm angry at what feels like some kind of deficiency in me. I'm angry that I find myself more drawn to someone who is completely wrong for me (wrong lifestyle, wrong interests, wrong personality). I send him an email that says, basically, "Friends. That's my final answer. That's what I want: your friendship. Platonic. Please give it to me, because I don't want to lose you."

I can't sleep after I write it. I feel sick and unsure. I second guess myself.

He writes back in the early morning. There's anger. Disappointment. He calls me out, fairly, on my many mixed signals. There is also kindness and generosity and understanding and respect. And a promise that I'll always have his friendship, but that maybe it's time we had a little space from one another.

I am relieved, saddened, disappointed, and angry at myself - all sorts of messy, confusing emotions.

Then, the plot twist comes.

Dimples texts. He says he's having second thoughts about seeing me again, and about getting further involved (I haven't seen or spoken with him in a week). He says he's scared of getting hurt, and that he isn't sure I'm the right thing for him. In a nutshell, he dumps me.

I'm surprised and disappointed, and my ego develops a big, ugly blue bruise. But then I realize how utterly ridiculous I am for feeling surprise. I should have seen this coming, one, and two, I fully deserve it, for having just cold put him on hold while I waffled. After the drama he was a party to, who'd blame him? I sit in the bathtub, stunned not at the fact that I've been dropped, but at the fact of how stupidly chaotic and drama-filled my life has become, in the course of a week. I'm thirty-six years old, I think. What the fuck.

I'd been planning to go to work that night, to fully immerse myself in profitable distraction until the whole mess was a few days behind me, but when W. texts, wanting to go out, I jump at that plan instead.

An hour later I'm dressed to maim and on the train; we go to Akbar in Silverlake. He has some ecstasy he hasn't tried yet, so we take that: pressed tabs that I don't expect to be nearly as good as the pure MDMA I'd done in the past. But it's an incredible roll - slow-starting, but lovely. (For those of you who've never done ecstasy (I'm planning to write more about it soon), one of its effects is a pervading sense of well-being and empathy. You pretty much feel benevolent and loving towards everyone. At the risk of encouraging illegal behavior, it's an unbelievably pleasant feeling. Euphoric, truly. Which, uh, would be one of the reasons it's called ecstasy.)

We dance to 80s deep cuts. We have an amazing, randomness-filled talk about life. We shut the bar down, catch a taxi home, and have food delivered: a huge serving of chili cheese fries. They come with a side of potato chips, and I actually use the chips to scoop up the fries.

My name is Ellie, and I get by with a little help from my friends, their drugs, good music, and carbohydrates.