The Friend Zone Episode 28: Pandora’s Box

‘dis bitch…

Are you familiar with Teresa Caputo? The Long Island Psychic. I’ve always said, you believe what you want as long as you don’t try to indoctrinate me or hurt others; and Caputo has oft been in the background of people I’m not fond of. She’s full of shit, but until recently, it’s just been about entertainment and if people are dumb enough to believe her, then so be it.

There’s no such thing as psychics. That’s not my opinion, the way I see it, that’s a proven fact. Houdini gave a password to his wife before he died, so she would know if a psychic claiming to speak with him was legitimate. Not one, in a long line, was able to repeat that password. Howard Stern did the same with Valarie Harper before she passed away; same result.

Believe it if you want, tell me stories about a psychic who told you something that could easily be found in a fortune cookie, but they don’t exist. They’re full of shit, you’re full of stupid. And again, it’s all background noise to me because you’re an adult; a dumb adult, but an adult.

But last month, TLC…which, can someone tell me why a channel full of psychics and fat people is called ‘The Learning Channel’? But TLC released a one-hour special, in which Teresa Caputo did psychic readings for the families of victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was in shock that this woman was so brazen as to flaunt her bullshit to this particular group of people, and even more shocked to see that TLC aired it.

TV psychics are bad. “No shit, Mike.”, right? They’re some of the most exploitative self-aggrandizing horse shit shoveling people to walk the airwaves, and I blame the hosts of the daytime talk shows that entertain their line of crap, as much as I blame them. But in this case, Caputo, with her ‘OG Karen’ / Keith Urban haircut went on TV and told these people about their loved ones burning to death, about smoke inhalation, and even cried at her own lies. I’ve never seen exploitation like that on TV, outside of the OJ special “If I Did It.” This woman should be arrested for grifting America’s consciousness, and I don’t know why the cancel culture bandwagon didn’t pounce on her and TLC immediately after it was over.

Making someone believe you’re talking to their dead relatives is pure ‘bujo’’, or an ‘egg grift’. Caputo scammed genuinely troubled, mentally unstable victims of violence, into believing in a closure that doesn’t exist. She put a stopper on a bottle of emotion that needs to be poured out gradually through legitimate forms of therapy and psychology; a stopper that will eventually make those emotions explode like the cork off of a shaken up champaign bottle. And she did this to further sell her brand. And you might say, so what’s wrong with her putting hope into their lives? First of all, you’re an idiot for asking that; second, it’s false hope and false hope leads to stupidity in perpetuity. The fact that TLC aired this, also invigorates other scam artists to jump on the deception bandwagon. If someone can make you believe they’re talking to a dead relative, then someone else can make you believe anything; that’s the problem with organized religion and the republican party; they sell stupidity and people buy it in bulk. but those are different stories.

For more on psychic bullshit, check out this great episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”

Psychics: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – YouTube

In any case, I feel lucky that I have a modicum of intelligence, at least enough to let me see through these random acts of bullshit. And I don’t like to complain, because comparatively…I have a pretty good life. Who am I to gripe about anything when there’s so much misery in the world? But I’ve gotta tell you, 2021 was a rough year for me romantically. It started with Gloria (FZ26) back in January, a few flings and ended with some Russian girl and her whole mind-fuck; then late December ‘21…

Look, I’m not the best looking guy on a dating website. I get that and I’ve made my peace with it. Where I shine is my personality. I’d say that 90% of women I go on dates with, come from THIS blog, which is why I mention it in ALL of my dating profiles. Women tell me they like that I’m so honest, even when that honesty isn’t very flattering. Life just be’s like that sometimes. You’re not always going to come out of things smelling like a rose. We all fuck up, and I try to take responsibility when I do because that’s the only way we learn.

Some people have also said that they’re surprised I don’t have harsh things to say about women who have hurt me, and my response to them is that this blog is about catharsis for me, not revenge against them. How women treat me, is ultimately how they treat themselves; why pile on? All of the women I write about have either given me permission to do so, or the stories are so old it doesn’t matter anymore. I change everyone’s name and all identifying information.

My process, is that I typically write about women in which I find that they’ve had an emotional impact on me. I send them the story and ask permission. Plenty have said ‘no’, and so those stories sit, like chambered bullets in my ‘unpublished’ folder. And some I don’t write about at all because they were just flings, insignificant dates or purely sexual encounters. Some women have only gone out with me because they want a piece of the passion and intimacy that I talk about in some of my stories, but it’s not something I can ‘give’, that’s something that has to be ‘felt’ between the two of us and sometimes, sex is just sex. I dated a woman last year who wanted me to write about her so bad, that she got pissed at me when I didn’t. She was very pretty, but even more narcissistic. She essentially wanted me to write a yelp review about how great she was. Ultimately, I told her that she just wasn’t an interesting enough subject, and WHOO-BOY, did I get an earful.

Anyway, I write, you read, we date. That’s the process. Which brings me to the story of Delilah.

Part 1

Everywhere I’ve gone lately, I’ve been distracted with this…I don’t know what you’d call it: loneliness, maybe? Longing? I hate to admit that because it’s so dumb. We all want to act like we don’t need or want anybody. Everyone on dating apps is quick to point out how ‘independent’ they are, and it’s great to be independent; to not need anything from anyone or want to give anything in return…but isn’t it also great to be needed and to have desire for someone else? I mean, we’re all suffering from the same disease in online dating, though we might be going about different ways to cure it. We may have family, friends, cats, dogs, but we keep coming back to that forum because we’re missing a touch, an emotion, a desire to be heard. Loneliness is a fire that rages within us all, and we each try to find our own way to quench it. This blog is mine.

Back in February of ’21, I met someone online. Well, she approached me. She’d read one of my blogs about something or other, and it made her laugh. Her name is Delilah; she was 32 years old. At the time, I was seeing Gloria so I didn’t really think much of it. I responded to her, made a few jokes, and told her that I was seeing someone.

Delilah told me that was fine, she just needed someone to make her laugh. She was intrigued by how open I was while discussing sex in my blog. She told me that she was from the west coast, and although she’d lived in Chicago these past seven years, she didn’t know a lot of people out here. So that’s all it was; for a few months, Delilah and I would discuss my dating life, her future goals, and talk about music and movies. It was all very ‘surface’ level conversations.

A few things I noticed, but didn’t really bring up, were that Delilah’s profile on the dating ap where she first approached me, was up for one day and then gone. There was only one pic on it, and I mean…it was a head shot and she was very pretty, but you never know what you’re dealing with in a head shot. There was a level of sadness sometimes to Delilah’s messaging, which led me to believe that she was very lonely; she intimated that she didn’t go on dates, and although she was very close with her family, they lived out west. She wasn’t going to school out here; well, she was but it was one of those online schools, so the question in my mind was, why is she here?

And of course, I tried broaching that subject, but Delilah would say things like “Just make me laugh, Michael. I need to laugh and you’re such a great distraction.” I could be that to her, and she was very good at listening to my issues with Gloria.

As time passed, Gloria and I broke up, and I started paying more attention to Delilah, though she would tell me that we would probably never meet. She was very nervous about meeting anyone. I felt comfortable talking to her about women I would go on dates with, and she was always interested in my stories. She told me that she really liked how open I was about discussing sex, because I wasn’t bragging; I wasn’t mean about women I was with. Even though I could be explicit, I spoke with respect, and a genuine sadness when things didn’t work out. She liked that about me; that I was a respectfully sexual man in a world full of frat-boy misogynist mentality. Ok, I’ll take that.

As the fall began, I met Natasha, and that ended poorly. Nothing ‘ends’ well, does it?

Oofa.

In the time we’d talked, I’d often thought of what sex with Delilah might be like, I mean, she’s a stunning looking woman and she’d begun sending me a selfie nearly every time we talked. It turned out that she was really into cosplay; she’d order outfits, dress up and take pictures of herself, but that was as far as she was willing to go. She didn’t attend ‘conventions’. You could tell by the pictures she sent me, that this was a young woman exploring her sexuality. They were pretty incredible, and I absolutely got Delilah’s permission before putting up the attached picture. But I tapped down those feelings because at the same time I knew we’d never meet. Until we did.

Delilah read the story of Natasha, and had a lot of questions about that experience. She was mostly interested in our sexual history, as she had been with Gloria. Delilah told me that she never thought of sex in terms as I’d described it in those two stories; that it could be so different between different people and so much joy could be found in those differences. I asked her if she’d never found desire and passion for another, and she asked me to call her.

This was the first time we’d spoken, and I could immediately tell from her voice that Delilah was from the west coast; she had a hard California accent which was not unpleasant. Before she told me her story, Delilah asked me to write about it. “Please, change my name and don’t say where I’m from, but I want you to write about this because…. I feel like people should hear it.”

Despite her request, I don’t want to get into the details here as it’s pretty rough. But when she was twenty-five in California, Delilah was brutally sexually assaulted. During the course of the assault, her back was broken, she’d been stabbed and cut multiple times, and she nearly died from blood loss. To this day, seven years later, she’s in constant and chronic pain. The trauma had such an effect on her, that she could no longer live in California, though that’s where her parents and family lived. She moved to Chicago to stay with a family friend and her husband. All these years later, she’s still effected, as one might suspect. She’s on pain meds, had many surgeries on her back, she sees a therapist and a psychologist, and though she can do it without any aid, walking is a constant torture of pain and a constant reminder of the incident that brings on that pain.

She went on to tell me that she hasn’t been with a man since the incident. She’s frightened of the violence, and penetration of the act…but as she’s gotten older…the thought of it invades her mind from time to time. I suppose that even through trauma, we’re all sexual creatures deep down. Delilah told me that she’d become an expert at exploring her own body, but even that act can be interrupted by the past. The only time she’d felt empathy for another, that didn’t end in her own feelings of tortured pain…was when she read my stories about missed opportunities. Then she told me she’d like us to meet, in a public place, and I had to understand that we would have to take things VERY, very slowly. She asked if I was OK with that. Could I be her boyfriend, even if it meant waiting a year or more before we had sex?

I didn’t know what to say. It takes a lot to make me speechless. My first reaction was genuine concern. My second was wanting to kill the son of a bitch who could do this to someone. My third was, and forgive me if this seems insensitive, but my third thought was “that’s a lot to throw at someone and then ask them to be your boyfriend; we hadn’t even gone on a date yet.”

There had always been a tinge of ‘relationship arrested development’ in my talks with Delilah, but it was more pronounced now, and the reason for it was made clear. She hadn’t been in a relationship for seven years, and she probably still saw that dynamic between a man and a woman through the lens of that twenty-five-year-old. That’s speculative as fuck, and only my opinion. I don’t want to ever put emotions in someone’s mouth.

I expressed my feeling of concern for Delilah, trying not to sound patronizing; trying not to tell her how to feel or give her advice. She had professional help in those areas, without my dumb input. I thanked her for being brave enough to share her truth with me. I thanked her for trusting me with it. I told her that I’d like to go on a date with her, and we could discuss the rest. I expressed that it might not be in her best interest to be in a relationship with me in that moment. Let’s get to know one another and see where it goes; after all, I’m sixteen years older than her.

“I already feel safe with you Michael, and we haven’t even met; I never realized how important that was to me, and I haven’t felt that in a long time.” She said very seriously, in that Southern California accent which made it a very, very appealing statement, because those are the kinds of things I want to hear from a woman; those are the kinds of statements that feed my ego; my id. But at the same time, I had to think, here we go with the ‘safe’, again. Third woman this year who told me she feels ‘safe’ or ‘comfortable’ with me, and where does it get ME? Twice so far, it’s gotten me hung out to dry.

I’ve been with several women in 2021. But I’m always looking for a relationship. I’m very open and honest about that both here on my blog, and in my dating profiles; yet somehow, I keep stumbling backwards into ‘just’ sex. Granted, I don’t say I’m ONLY looking for a relationship because I may as well have fun while I search for the right woman, but of the women I dated in ’21, I really thought I’d found the right one twice, and I’ll be honest with you…it’s fucking emotionally draining when it doesn’t work out. But each time feelings develop for a woman I meet, I learn a little more about myself.

There were some stark sensual and emotional differences between Gloria and Natasha. Gloria was 36, and very sexually exciting. She had a lot of sexual kinks that spoke to me in a very visceral way. She was also an emotional landmine, which made her volatile, unavailable and very desirable for whatever reason we, as men, find that kind of thing fascinating. Natasha was 46 and very sexually passionate. Sex with her was just intercourse and nothing else, but it was more intense, excessive, and raw than it had been with other women I spent time with this year. She was emotionally open, but selfish with those emotions and unwilling to explore possibilities or imagine outcomes beyond what she thought she was entitled to. This made her elitist, unavailable, and again, very desirable.

If I had to choose though, I’d choose Natasha 100% of the time because I saw a future in which I could grow, in which we could both grow. Also, the passion, the intimacy and the intensity of that sex was more enjoyable than any kink that Gloria might have indulged in.

So, what I learned in those instances is that I should look for a woman closer to my age; though age does not denote emotional maturity, the comfort level made for a more intimate experience all around, and not just in bed. I should gauge a woman’s openness to commitment before developing feelings for her, no matter what step of a relationship we’re in. Most importantly, and tied directly to the previous lesson, I need to be less selfish in considering the feelings and willingness to commit, of the woman I’m speaking to. It is that lesson, with which I found myself inexorably tied to Delilah.

Part 2

I invited Delilah to a popular bakery very close to where she lives in Chicago, at two in the afternoon on a Saturday. She loved the idea. She didn’t get out much, but she felt the need to do so more and more. She’d been spending some time at a Barnes and Noble nearby, where she could sit in a crowded area. Walking was still hard on her. The bakery was two blocks from her home, she wouldn’t have to walk far, and she enjoyed the idea of having a Latte and sweets in the afternoon. As always, I held no expectations other than us meeting and having a nice conversation.

Delilah was even more beautiful in person, than in the many pictures she’d sent me. Although I felt a twinge of guilt for objectifying her, I felt there was no harm in internalizing that thought. She looked like someone you could easily see in a movie, and I had to wonder if the lack of pressures and stresses that can be brought about in relationships, kept her from indulging in habits that might disrepair a body such as she had.

Her face was that of a Disney Princess; innocent and pure. Yet behind her eyes, you could see a strength on the verge of coming forward. This was a big step for her, meeting a man; even in public like this. And the bravery of her doing so, the desire to move forward with her life, to stamp out the fear and hopelessness within, were not lost on me.

We met outside of the bakery and knew each other instantly. There was no pretense or looking each other over; it didn’t really feel like a date in that way. We fell in step as old friends might after a long hiatus between seeing one another; however, things were a bit stiff on my end. I wasn’t quite my usually gregarious, affable self. Some women can find this side of me charming; it helps them let their guard down and be more open, but with Delilah, I wanted to present a calm and measured front so as to make her more comfortable. I felt I was there for a purpose; to either be this young woman’s valet to a new way of viewing men, or to be her validation of the way she viewed them before. I felt pressure in this role, and pressure is not something I’m accustomed to feeling on a date. Typically, I’m just myself and that’s enough.

I was probably overly gentlemanly, in my effort to be the valet. I opened the door, pulled out her chair, let her take my arm when she stood up; it took a little bit of effort for her to do so. She looked at the menu on her phone and I stood in line to make our order. We ate, talked and laughed, as I’ve done on so many dates this year. Delilah showed concern when I started choking on powdered sugar that I accidentally inhaled, then laughed when I sniffed a line of it off of my arm. She told me about what she wanted from her future and where she wanted to travel now that she felt her life was opening up. Then she asked more questions about my past relationships, and what I was looking for in those to come.

At around five, she asked if I’d drive her home. Her roommates (as she called them), would worry about her and were already sending her texts. She showed me her phone after replying to one, “having an amazing time; better than we thought.” Followed by a smiley with hearts where the eyes should be.

“You’re blushing.” She said through her smile. “I am.” I said through my own.

Her phone buzzed again. She looked at the screen then flipped it around so I could see it, while expressing a questioning look on her face. “Bring him up!” it said.

“Are you sure?” I asked her with concern. “I mean, we just met. Do you want me to know where you live? Are you comfortable with that? I’d love to meet them, but my main concern is that you feel safe.” Delilah had expressed concern to me in the past, that she felt ‘followed’ sometimes, which is one of the reasons she didn’t go out much. These feelings could often lead to sleepless nights, where every creak in the condo she shared with her roommates could bring terror to her, because it could sound like a door being kicked in. She was very guarded about her living space, and I was not only very aware of this, but I did not want to be the cause of any kind of distress.

“I think…” she looked up for a moment in contemplation. “Now that we’ve met, Michael; how can I put this? I think I would be ok with you knowing where I live, because I’ve already thought about what it might be like if you were to spend the night and when I do…I feel safe, and sleep comes very easily.” She leaned forward and with a sly smile, whispered “especially after I masturbate.”

“WOW!” I said a bit too loud. Delilah leaned back with a satisfied, and knowing look on her face; as if to say “bet you didn’t see THAT coming”; and she was right.

“If you’re sure then…” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“I am.” She said, with an air of surety, raising her own and smiling.

I helped her up, she put her left arm around my right and we walked out to my car.

Part 3

I met her roommates, and they were very nice people, a little bit younger than me. The woman was a friend of Delilah’s older sister, who she’d known since they went to grade school together in California. Her and her husband asked me a ton of questions, and I felt interrogated, but I also felt that was only natural. I wasn’t insulted, and I found that part of me that puts people at ease come forward. I genuinely liked these people. It takes a lot of courage, generosity and kindness take in a grown woman and care for her emotional needs; I felt those principles came naturally to them.

I had a wonderful afternoon with Delilah and her roommates, and found myself staying and talking with them all into the evening. They seemed generally satisfied with my answers to their interrogation. I made them laugh and talking about my own past, they expressed genuine empathy and even symbiosis with my own traumas. At the end of the evening, I felt that I’d made some very good and new friends, very much different than a lot of people I typically make friends with. I always endeavor to meet people of differing sensibilities.

When it came time to leave, Delilah told them that she was going to walk me to my car. I told her there was no need; I didn’t want her to put herself out because I could tell that she was in pain from sitting so long. Delilah told me that laying down was a more comfortable position, once her meds began wearing off. She could only take so many throughout the day. But she insisted and her sister’s friend told me with a chuckle, that once Delilah made up her mind, there was no changing it, so I’d better accept her offer.

We went down to my car, and Delilah got in the passenger seat; we talked.

“They really like you.” She said with a knowing smile.

“I’m glad; they’re great people. You’re in good hands with them. I can tell how much they care about you.” I replied.

“I want to be in your hands.” Delilah said, leaning over to kiss me.

We kissed for a long time. There was passion in her kiss; a longing, even haste. But it wasn’t sexual to me. Typically, with a kiss like this, I’d make a move of some sort. Put my hand on her body, rubbing her breast through her shirt; sometimes if I feel it called for, I’ll put my hand on her leg and gradually move it up. After all, I’m 48 years old, not a high schooler. But there was something youthful and innocent about the way Delilah kissed me, and I didn’t feel like the moment called for such moves.

I could also feel that Delilah was uncomfortable kissing me in that position, and so I moved closer and in front of her so she wouldn’t have to lean over. I could tell she was on fire, burning with desire, but I didn’t want to push for a sexual outcome. I was very conscious of her trauma, and unless she made a very overt move, I wasn’t going to take a liberty, though I was extremely turned on.

Eventually, I pulled away, kissing her hard and deep, then gently, then lightly, then moving back slowly. I’d taken the lead, as I often do, and Delilah was willingly responsive to that. But now as I stopped, she kept her eyes closed; her lips still at the ready; you could see that she was completely in the moment and her mind was still kissing me. It’s an incredible feeling as a man, to know you’ve inspired desire within a woman, such as that.

She smiled, eyes still closed, taking in the afterglow of that kiss. She seemed to swoon. Then she opened her eyes, looked at me and cupped my cheek with her hand.

“That was wonderful, Michael.” She said.

“I know.” I said, with less humility than I’d intended. She chuckled at that, knowing that my bravado was just a front.

“I should go so you can lie down, Delilah.” I could see that she was uncomfortable sitting now that the spell of our make out session had been lifted.

“Can you come over next Saturday?” she asked, still smiling.

“If your roommates don’t mind, of course.” I said, matching her smile.

“They’re going out of town Friday. We can watch a movie and order out on grub hub.” She replied. I could see a thought dance across her face, and her smile turned to desire. She looked me in the eyes, bit her lip, pulled me close and kissed me deeply. It was a very bold expression, and one I was surprised to find within Delilah. I’ve been with some very bold women in my life, but there was intent in that kiss; a brash confidence, and in cases where a woman kissed me like that? Fucking was sure to ensue. But again; I didn’t want to overstep with Delilah.

We kissed like that for a time, until her phone vibrated. It was her roommates asking if everything was ok. She replied that it was, and we said our farewells. As she was getting out of the car, Delilah stopped for a moment, sitting halfway out of the car with her back turned to me, and looked up at the night sky.

“Tonight…” she paused and said pensively “Tonight was the first time I’ve been on a date since…since I was raped.” She turned her head and smiled without looking at me, and then looked back to the sky. She didn’t thank me, or say she had a good time. It was just a fact; an acknowledgement. There was a superlative nature to that statement; not gratitude, but relief and satisfaction. She nodded to herself in confirmation, got up, closed the door behind her and left. That was heavy and I smiled quietly to myself, humbled by the growth buried deep in that statement. I was also disgusted with myself, and I didn’t really know why. The next time we saw each other, I’d figure it out. Self-discovery can be a mother fucker, especially when it comes at the cost of self-gratification.

Part 4

Delilah and I texted throughout the week, we talked a few times late into the night, and on Saturday, I went to her place. Delilah didn’t like action movies, or dramas. She told me that confrontation and violence in film made her uncomfortable, which was understandable. She liked Disney movies and romantic comedies. We ordered Thai food from a place near her condo, and laughed while we ate. Delilah is smart, which makes her easy to talk to. We talked about our families, school and what we wanted from life. Then she curled up close to me on the couch and we watched ‘Kissing Booth 3’ on Netflix. Every so often, she would shift her body in order to get closer to me; rubbing my chest as she held me; her hair smelled of peaches, under my chin.

When the movie was over, we kissed on her couch. As I said before, I had no expectations of Delilah and was willing to go as slowly as she was comfortable going. But as our kissing continued, she became more aggressive. At one point she straddled me as I lay back on the couch, touching my face as she kissed me harder. There was eagerness and zeal in her passion.

We took a break, after a time, to drink some water. Delilah laughed at me when she got up, because my hair was all over the place. She asked if I’d mind if she changed. She was hot from our body heat and our make-out session, so she wanted to put on her pajamas. She went into her room and closed her door behind her; a few minutes later, she asked if I’d come help her with something. When I opened her bedroom door, she was lying on her bed wearing a pink long sleeve pajama top, and matching pajama pants. She asked if I’d come lay next to her. Her back was beginning to bother her as the pain meds she’d taken earlier began to wear off.

Again, I was not expecting, or even thinking of fucking Delilah. She told me that it would take her a long time to get to that place, and I truly didn’t mind, so I lay next her. She found her way into my arm and lying on her side, put herself against my body. My boner was evident through my pants; what? I’m still a man for Christ’s sake.

We lay like that for a time, not talking. Not because we’d run out of things to say…but because it was serene. Though we were as close as two people could be, Delilah would pull herself closer to me every so often, and let out a light sigh in contentment. I was happy to be there, in that moment with her and I begged my mind to soak in every detail, because it was the most relaxed, I’d felt in a long time. There was no pressure of ‘when to make a move’, or ‘how to make a move’. Sex wasn’t on the table in my mind, so I was allowed to just be ‘in the moment’ and enjoy the intimacy, the closeness, the warmth, of our nuanced coupling. 

After a while, I got up to use the restroom. Delilah held me, and asked me not to go. “Sorry babe, when you gotta go, you gotta go.” I said smiling and kissing her forehead gently.

“This means a lot to me, Michael…you mean a lot to me.” She said into my chest, holding me tight while gripping a handful of my shirt. “Right now…in this moment…I’ve never felt so safe.”

“I’m just going to the rest room Delilah; I’ll be right back. I promise.” I put my finger on her chin, tilted her head towards me lightly, and kissed her. She kissed me back and let go of my shirt. When I stood up, she smiled and stretched, then took a pill bottle off of her nightstand and popped a pill.

“Pain med” she said, and smiled.

“Gotcha; be right back.” I smiled back.

While I was out, I thought about what she’d said; there was that word again…’safe’. I’m glad to be that for her; I always am. I’m glad I can provide that in today’s world of ever-increasing creeps…but where does it ever get me? Maybe I want to feel safe for once. Safe in a relationship, safe in not having to worry about the next reason one will end; will it be because someone has bipolar disorder, or because they’re smarter than me? Maybe I’d like to feel safe that someone wants to be in a romantic relationship with JUST me, and not use me as a side piece in their ethically non monogamous bullshit. Where’s my piece of safety?

When I came into the room, the bedroom lights were off and Delilah was under the covers. Only the light from the city street lights vaguely lit the room. I walked around to the opposite side of the bed, and Delilah smiled coyly at me in the dark.

“What?” I asked.

She lifted the cover, inviting me in to join her, and I could see she was naked. I was in awe. Her body was perfect; alabaster skin, with curves set in stone. Delilah didn’t work out much, but she didn’t eat much either. She was very thin, and the tiny bit of body fat she did have, rounded out her curves somewhere between voluptuous and fit; it was a perfect combination. I like a thin woman, but not an anorexic one.

In the glow coming in her window from the Chicago Street lights outside, I imagined that scene as a painting. If I had that skill, I would call it “The Invitation.” I climbed in, still clothed. Honestly, I wasn’t sure of her intent. This was a delicate situation and again, I didn’t ever want to overstep with Delilah, I would only ever move forward at her request. My sexual desire was as clay, to be shaped by her whim. I’m a very sexual guy by nature, but I also have very good will power. I’ve found that waiting can be difficult, but anticipation can sometimes be the best part of the sexual experience. 

She curled up close to me again, in the nook of my arm. My hand rested on the inner curve of her body, just above her hip. Her skin was smooth. She put her hand on my chest, pulled herself closer and kissed me. She was seductive in her intent and I kissed her, longingly.

“You can touch me, Michael.” She said, through our kissing. I’d kept my hand in place above her hip, but now I began exploring her body with it as I cupped her cheek intimately with the other. She lay flat on her back, and pulled me to her. I was on my hands and knees over her. Now that the blanket was off, I could see her body in the pale light…there were scars. Jagged scars, some were no more than an inch, one was about five inches long below her rib cage. I paid no mind to them, other than to feel a twinge of hatred for the man who put them there.

I backed away, lightly kissing her lips, then her chin, then her neck, moving my way to her breasts. They were spectacular and each lay in a perfect circle, pink nipples on top like cherries on top of a superbly rounded rise of whipped cream; their outer perimeter lightly touching the side of her exquisitely formed body, with no hint of slouch. Her fingers were entangled in my hair. I kissed the tiny nipple of her left breast gently. She coo’d, and grasped my hair. At the same time, I ran my fingertips gently up the curve of her body on the right, from her hip to her breast. I brushed a scar on her ribs, and she moved her hand to cover it. I stopped for a moment, and asked her, with concern, if that hurt.

“No…” she said; looking at me with embarrassment and concern.

“These scars, Delilah? They don’t define you.” I said, answering her concern.

I picked up her hand and moved it away from the scar, leaned over her body, and kissed it; running my tongue along it’s rough surface. She moaned again, and I moved to another scar and did the same, and another. She’d hid these scars away, but they were as much a part of the woman she was, as any other feature. Each time I kissed one, her moans became more pronounced, and she was rubbing her legs together, writhing underneath me. She grabbed my head, pulled me up to her mouth and kissed me deeply, wrapping a leg around me as she did. I could feel the heat coming from her vagina through my pants, just as she could feel the hardness coming from underneath them.

I moved my hand down there and within a few minutes, her body tensed, and she screamed loudly as she came, and another…and another. I felt her mouth go cold and dry as we kissed passionately between her convulsions.

She pulled back suddenly, breathing heavily, and with wide eyes and more sexual prowess then I’d though possible, bit her lip and said inquisitively “fuck me, Michael?” while shaking her head ‘yes’, answering her own question. Delilah had this inviting way of biting her lip that was one of the most sensual things I’d ever seen.

I jumped out of her bed and took my pants off; our eyes were locked in desire as I did. She leaned over, pulled me back to her and kissed me again. She touched my dick gently at first, and then began rubbing it as we kissed. She stopped kissing me for a moment and looked at me very seriously…I could tell she wanted to say something in her lust.

“…I love you, Michael.” And she kissed me ravenously, wrapping her arm around the back of my neck to hold my mouth to hers.

In the two years that I’ve been searching for the romantic love that’s eluded me…that’s exactly what I’ve wanted to hear a woman say…

And in that moment, I realized why I was feeling…off. Delilah was giving me everything I’ve been looking for in my misguided tour, while looking for love. This was the end game for me. Thanos wanted to blink away half of the universe, I want a beautiful woman to tell me that she loves me. I, I, I! This wasn’t about Delilah and what she needed, this was about me and MY selfish needs. An older man, finding love in a beautiful, vulnerable young woman. But that love wasn’t mutually arrived at; it was quick; too easy. Had I accidentally manipulated her into a false feeling? Delilah was deeply traumatized…was I selling her hope, exploiting her for my own needs? Am I no different from Teresa Caputo?!?

Here she was, her naked body in my arms; exposing herself emotionally AND physically to me in the most vulnerable and intimate of ways. She was beauty, she was soft skin, she was a delicate touch, her desire was as a presence in the room; this was my holy grail; this was my quest. But then, a line from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” popped into my head “Ask yourself, Dr. Jones: why do you seek the cup of Christ? Is it for his glory…or for yours?” My nerd-ness knows no bounds, even in the throes of passion.

Delilah needed more than this; she needed better than me. We were on the same field, but playing different games. I felt that Delilah needed experience with different men; she should go on many dates and not settle for the first guy to show her kindness. Surely, I can’t be the only man capable of that, as much as I’d like to convince myself that I am. I felt that, although I might not be doing so intentionally, if I slept with her in that moment, I would be exploiting her trauma. I also felt that by absolving myself of the expression of what she thought was love, I would be protecting both her and I. See? Self-realization is truly a mother fucker.

Delilah no more loved me than I did her in that moment. I might, in time, but I wasn’t there and having had more experience than her…I knew she wasn’t either; I know because I’ve been where she is right now. Comfort is not love; comfort is fleeting; I was giving her safety and comfort right now, but anyone can provide that, a police officer can provide that. No, love is so much more than just safety and comfort; love is support, confidence, abstract, nuanced, indefinable. She didn’t love me, not really. She may have thought she did, but like the woman I was seeing before her, who felt I wasn’t smart enough for her, not academic enough…I was a placeholder to Delilah, but for a different reason. Delilah needed experiences to form a better understanding of what love can be. I know what it can be; I’ve skirted the rim of that half empty cup many times. I was not her huckleberry. If I slept with her in that moment, it could only lead to resentment, when she finally realized that she didn’t love me; then the inevitable break up, the heartache, and a very different kind of blog.

I had to stop.

I knew that I couldn’t just dip out, because that might traumatize her in a different way. I’m also not smart enough to explain all of the thoughts that ran through my head in a way that would make sense to her. It was also hard…so fucking hard to stop in that moment because I’m a very sexual man. I like sex A LOT. My astrology chart says that I’m ‘sexually obsessive’ and that’s about the only thing in it that I believe is accurate. Stopping now would be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s like trying to stop a freight train barreling down the tracks at top speed.

Delilah was hypnotized; I could feel that she’d been waiting…wanting this moment for a long time. I could also sense that although she’d said what she said…it was something she’d wanted to say for a while, for the sake of saying it. Some people will say “I love you”, hoping that the emotion will follow the words, when it should be the other way around. I know she wasn’t doing that intentionally, it’s an instinct to want love; to say it, to feel it, to be in it. I really hate adulting sometimes.

“I think we should stop…” I said, letting out a deep sigh and dropping my forehead on her breast in disappointment.

Out of breath, Delilah said to me “What? Why?”

“I just think we should wait; I don’t think…” I stopped and took in a deep breath as she grasped my dick hard in her hand.

“It doesn’t feel like you want to stop, Michael.” She said, playfully.

“I don’t WANT to stop, I said I THINK we should stop.” I said smiling down at her.

“You’ve read my blog, Delilah; you know I tend to move too fast. The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. We’ve been talking for months, but this is only the second time we’ve hung out. We’ve had one date; let’s just wait a few more.”

Delilah looked at me quizzically at first…then with sad realization, she bit her lip again and nodded silently in agreement. I lay back down and she curled up in my nook, where she eventually fell into a deep sleep. I lay awake most of the night, contemplating my stupidity.

Part 5

I’d like to take the road of humble narrator here, and present this selfless, noble gentleman front, but I don’t feel that way. I wasn’t stopping ‘just’ for Delilah’s sake; I did this for me as well. I can’t take another brutal ending, and that’s the only conclusion I saw as a consequence of our coupling. Also, Delilah was making a very brave choice, and although I was the subject of her options, I don’t want to be a choice…I want to be a definition, an absolute.

I’ve talked with Delilah here and there, but I let her know that we should continue as she originally intended…very slow; just friends. I don’t want to burn a bridge, but I told her in no uncertain terms that she should try to meet men with whom she has more in common, and I’d be here for her as a sounding board, a relationship guide, a friend, or in any way she wants me to be here for her.

This was the first time in my life that I really considered the consequences of sex beyond STD’s and pregnancy. I guess your little boy is all growns up.

I suppose I could have opened Pandor’s Box, but what evils would I have unleashed into our worlds? Me, always waiting for a shoe to drop, Delilah denying herself a family that I’m not prepared to give her.

So like Kane, the Shaolin Monk in “Kung Fu”, I continue to wander the countryside of internet dating, righting the wrongs of misplaced affection and taking the burden of lonliness upon myself as I search for meaning in a meaningless search.

I don’t claim to be a psychic, but in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

The End

Feel free to reach out with questions / comments at:

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