Courage is something that did not come in my genetic make-up. Don’t get me wrong; when push comes to shove I can become quite protective and stand-up for myself. I did manage to defend myself when attacked by two pre-teen muggers – round-house kicks and all. I am still proud of that moment!
I am the type of person that still gets embarrassed walking in sex shops and I know it’s completely ridiculous but most times I even have my condoms delivered in a little brown box via Amazon.com. If you think that’s bad, I am worse when it comes to matters of the heart. Like any good machine in trouble, I power down. Much like the Cowardly Lion, I run away. And like the Cowardly Lion it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities if I did my big number as I was exiting stage left.
My yellow-bellied ways became rather evident last weekend after Brice and I attended Philip’s modern dance performance. We decided to get drinks at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen to congratulate Philip on an extremely impressive performance. After all of our congratulatory drinks were thrown back, we decided to go home early. Philip hopped on the subway to take him to Brooklyn and Brice and I shared a cab since we both live in Astoria.
About five minutes into the cab ride, Brice talked turned to me and said, “I would like to be more than just friends.”
I really like Brice and have an amazing time with him. I even sometimes look at him and think, “Well. Maybe...” But truthfully, no matter how I spin it, I just don’t have that spark - that fire in my belly - for him. I wish I did. But I don’t. So, instead of “manning up”, I just stared at my hands. Granted, I was a little intoxicated at that point, but all measly excuses aside, I really don’t think I would have been equipped with the right words if I wasn’t. My response: “I just don’t know what to say.”
We sat in silence the rest of the way home.
The next day I sent Brice an email apologizing for my lack of verbiage. Later that day, he replied and thanked me and reassured me that we were good. Oddly enough, he was right. We are still good and I hope we will remain good.
While I was drafting that apology email I couldn’t help thinking about Brice’s chutzpah. It takes a lot of courage to tell a close friend that you have a crush on them because the outcome can go so many different ways. First, and the most desired, the friend feels the same way and you will end up living happily ever after. Secondly, the friend has no romantic feelings and there is weirdness and nothing can ever be the same. Thirdly, there are no romantic feelings but you both move on and your friendship is stronger than before (this is what I am hoping for me and Brice). So, yes I think it takes a lot of courage to risk everything.
Then all of a sudden it hit me. It hit me like a damn Acme anvil. All this time I have been a coward! I still like Philip. I have liked Philip since that time I saw him in yoga a year ago. Ever since I cyber stalked him on Facebook. Ever since we had our first date and I kicked myself all the way home for not kissing him. Then of course, he went on tour and was gone for six months and when he finally came back we decided to be friends. Wait, let me back up, I decided to be friends. You see, he was trying to adjust back to New York after being stuck in Budapest for some time when his appendix burst (long story). He was also dealing with issues with an ex he wasn’t quite over yet, so I took the safe-route and suggested we just be friends.
And friends we became. Good friends. We worked out together four times a week. We hung out everyweekend. Sometimes we would even spend the entire day together. Not to psychoanalyze myself, but I wonder if because of my feelings for Philip, I wasn’t allowing myself to get invested into someone else. And now to add insult to injury, he is leaving in two days. Two days!
Philip is moving to Portland.
What to do? I have two courses of action. One, I maintain my cowardly ways and continue our friendship as is. Or, two, I could try to whisk him off his feet in some sort of romantic-comedy-way before he leaves. Still undecided in my course of action, I have planned a goodbye dinner the night before he leaves. This is completely cheesy but I feel like it is a first date over again. I thought it would be nice, kind of like book ends to a friendship. And true to form, I have played out all the different scenarios and endings in my head...complete with laughter, tears, embraces and “embraces.” Sometimes there is even an orchestra swell right before the credits begin to scroll.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Of course, if I do lose my nerve and revert back to my old cowardly ways and send him off to Portland without a proper cinematic ending, he will find out how I feel after he reads this blog entry. That is my passive aggressive version of courage.