Rooted, I used to think.

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Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 @ 1:32 pm
Running with Peter

I keep meeting up to run with Peter even though I often leave feeling unseen and untended.

I don’t understand for myself why I keep re-inserting myself into the same unrewarding situation.

Our relationship - our friendship - feels flat. I ask about all aspects of his life. I listen with empathy. I am curious. And that curiosity is never returned.

I know that he can be different. I’ve experienced that directly: the openness, the tenderness.

The other night, after running for several kilometers, I stopped carrying the conversation to see what would happen. There was silence. The sound of our feet hitting asphalt, the sound of our laboured breathing. The moon hanging over the skyline in a navy blue sky.

The silence continued.

Why does he even want to run with me? He doesn't express any interest in me.

The silence extended into minutes and broke only when I nearly tripped over a darting tiny dog.

“Maybe he doesn’t understand how to be friends with a woman,” Mike suggests. “Maybe he knows how to behave when dating, but maybe he is lost when it comes to friendship.”

After a run, up in his apartment. Taking him up on his offer of a glass of water.

I stand awkwardly on the tiled area near the door, not trespassing onto the wood flooring. I scan the room for evidence. There is little to study - a few dirty dishes, a remote control resting on the arm of the couch. The only change is the absence of the little desk in the corner that his last girlfriend used for work.

As I drink water, he shows me a few things. Seeking praise or appreciation? I don’t know. I’m more confused than ever.

I set my glass on the counter and tell him I’m leaving.

He says goodbye as I walk out the door. It’s all so… flat.

The next night, I dream about him.

In the dream, he’s the Peter that I recall. He asks me direct questions, and there is that closeness and his brown eyes and the intensity that I loved. He puts his arm around me. His warmth is comforting, and the conversation is engaging and real.

I wake from the dream and suddenly understand why I continue to see him:

That feeling of knowing him was powerful. The intimacy was a drug, a high, and I keep thinking that I will experience that again with him.

“Maybe you should just ask him why he wants to be friends with you.”

Maybe I should.

Roots | Shoots