The white bars from the cross walk stepping stoned me ‘cross the street toward a man I already knew I wasn’t attracted to. He looked at me with the same disinterest but I was here and had committed myself to the meeting so I hopped on through traffic to arrive face to face with him. He was polite. I was polite. He ate his frozen yogurt, I watched and couldn’t help but notice his discolored teeth. Eeee. That wasn’t showing in the one photo he’d posted online. Hey though, this is what these first meetings are for. You don’t go all out. And profile-ly speaking he was perfect. He was a West Point Graduate, had been in The Peace Corps, put peace and respect first- only he never offered to buy me a frozen yogurt. He just sat and ate his in front of me. Mental note. And when he talked his voice never modulated. Monotone. He was nice. He was calm: too calm, like the calm that comes before death. He kept mentioning how he was always at the gym. I wouldn’t have been able to tell had he not kept telling it because he was so slim, frail. Jesus, if a bar fight broke out I’d have to step in and protect him. Not that we’d be going out to bars because he didn’t drink. Which had been a plus! No drinking. I don’t really drink, not much, and that had seemed to bother so many people so this was supposed to be the kind of guy I was looking for. Everything statistically was perfect. I could check almost every box in my mental check-list. But he was the least perfect match for me. He was boring. And I tried so hard to continue a conversation that just didn’t want to happen. Every minute that past helped to form a new revelation in my head:

If he’s not right, then nothing he says will be. If he doesn’t inspire you then what he cares about, what he shares, is inconsequential-
The wrong person can sit inches from you saying the most absolutely perfect things, philosophies you’ve compiled, morals you share, and bore you to death with them.
And then my mind went elsewhere. It drifted to the thought and image of someone who I’d been trying very hard to push out of my mind. A person who said things that pissed me off and made me want to challenge every syllable. A person who’d done things that made me weep inside and out. A person that pushed me, and made me feel alive.
I must have reverted to his image just to avoid falling asleep. It was self defense really. That and I just wanted to be polite. In front of this perfect person who was all wrong for me the memory of an imperfect person who had the potential to mean everything to me was the only thing that made the next hour bearable.
My revelation continued:

The right person could say all the wrong things, fuck up in monstrous ways, and still inspire your faith in them.

I am not smart enough to articulate to you what makes someone right and someone wrong. If stats and traits and ideals and morals and characteristics were it then the wrong one would have been all right and the right one would have been all wrong. And further analysis of myself would lead me to the conclusion that I purposely pick bad choices for myself in order to avoid real love and relationships. That I obsess over the “bad” ones in order to avoid a potential connection with the “good” ones. And I’ve come to the conclusion that all of that is bull shit. Because I’m not as screwed up as therapists would like me to be. Because we are all “good” and “bad” trying desperately to stay in balance. Because I know what is important to me and it’s not where someone has graduated from or the color of his eyes.

It’s how he uses what he knows and the intensity of his stare.

To be my match he has to match me and I him. If I have to hold back who I am to be around someone then he’s not the one. If I don’t inspire him then I’m not the one.

And the therapists are right. It is me. It’s all me keeping me from connecting with most men. But it’s not all wrong. They are. They’re all wrong and I can feel it. And that feeling is the essential in what I look for. Do I feel you? Are you feelin’ me? Not in my groin in my gut. And if we are feelin’ each other then even my greatest fear isn’t going to keep me from joining you.

I’ve hurt myself so much. And it’s that hurt that’s taught me I’ve been doing things wrong. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the hurt is just a bi product of what I’m doing, the way the blisters on my toes are when I dance on pointe. Should I not dance on pointe? Am I doing it wrong just because I get blisters? Hardly. Professional Ballerinas get blisters all the time and they weigh thirty pounds less and are infinitely more skilled at what they are doing. I’m hurting because that is a bi-product of what I’m doing. Not because I’m wrong or bad or malformed or twisted. Not because I’m jaded and cynical or mistrusting or “dysfunctional”. I’m hurting because I’m dancing, in the right shoes, on the right floor with enough wrong partners to wear me down and give me blisters. But the dance is worth it. And the blisters are right. They are supposed to be there. And when they get too much I sit a few out to let them heal. And my skin gets thicker. And the next time I dance, I blister less. So when I find that perfect partner, the one with the faults in his rhythm syncopated perfectly for mine, I’ll be able to dance forever without blistering at all.

So for the time being I’ll dance alone. I love to dance so it doesn’t make sense to sit out. And I don’t mind the blisters. Because I love to dance enough that they can’t discourage me. Because they create the kind of hurt that helps you step more wisely the next time around. And I’m learning to rub less, to whine less, because I’ll never dance again if I allow that pain to be my most prevalent thought. Dancing is joy. Even through the pain. The joy of dancing out weighs the pain.

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