Patreon · personal · polyamory

(2019) Quality of Emotion, Part 1

Hello, internet. This is a post from my Patreon, which you can find at I would like throw a little preface here before we get into the bloody, juicy, meaty bits.

  1. This post was originally published on December 20th of 2019. We are talking about over a year ago at this point, okay? The things I’ve said here are so, so, so not relevant to my headspace anymore. I am officially at thank u, next territory. It’s part of the reason why I decided I was going to release it for the public to read. So please keep this in mind as you read it. It was on the suggestion of one of my patrons that I slow drip release these posts to the outside world… an entire year later seems fair.
  2. The person this post primarily deals with no longer interacts with me! Please leave them alone if you figure out who I’m talking about. They seem to have a nice, stable, healthy life now and they don’t deserve you harassing them. Tbh, way back in the day when I wrote a different post about them, they asked me not to write about them on this blog but uh well, this is my blog. I can write about whatever I want, lmao. And this shit is so ancient history that I can’t fathom them actually getting upset these days about this old, petty silliness. If they do, well, um, tough titty, I guess.
  3. If you enjoy this post, there’s plenty more where this came from. See: the Patreon link above. There’s two more parts to this particular saga in which I unpack and untangle this brief yet weirdly intense relationship, as well as two other posts where I discuss my dabbles in polyamory. Sorry, “Ash”. Lol. Oh, God, this shit is cringey. I shouldn’t be allowed to have an internet connection, honestly. Anyway. On with the post.

So in my Candid post, I referenced a recurring motif of my life: that of the Unattainable Interest. I feel it’s important for me to clarify that during the entirety of my fixation on Leo, I was completely aware of the superficial and shallow nature of my emotions. Having an awareness of my Borderline Personality Disorder for nearly a decade now, it’s pretty easy to spot. But oh how fun it is to suggest, and tease, and fantasize! One Spotify playlist and a ukulele song later, I got all the fun out of that situation that I reasonably could.

Before Leo, there was a Libra. Before Libra, there was a Scorpio. Before Scorpio, there was a Sagittarius. There’s one cast member who I seem to keep cycling back to no matter how hard I try to shake him: Aquarius.

For sake of brevity, we’ll call him Ash after fellow Aquarian, Ashton Kutcher. This is where their likeness ends except I guess they are both white guys. Really narrows it down for you, I know. Though the reality of all this is that a hundred years before me and a hundred years after me (assuming the human race is still alive, anyway), the same stories will be played out again and again and again. The names will change. The one thing that remains the same is the emotion.

And that’s what makes Ash so different. I was so, so cautious not to idealize him because I was aware of my tendency to do so. As a matter of fact, because of this caution, I always kept him arm’s length away from my heart, retracting things that I said because I didn’t feel as if my emotions could be trusted. But the surest indicator of my feelings tends to be distance and time. Not subject to the constant chemical barrage of human contact, I tend to be able to observe a bit more objectively how I really relate to someone.

Another thing to know about me – and this one I’m not sure if it’s the BPD or if it’s just me – is that people… tend to cease to be if I don’t have contact with them for a while. I’ve put myself at a three message limit: if you don’t answer after three messages, I stop sending them. Your conversation gets archived eventually and the saying “out of sight, out of mind” is almost frighteningly true for me. I’ve told my husband – I’m like a dog. If you just disappeared, I would eventually forget you.

This isn’t totally true, though. I would never forget Nicholas, just like I would never forget my mother or my best friends. They’ve lodged themselves deep enough in my long term memory that they’re not going anywhere. I’m still maybe a little *too* good at existing in the present and will forget about people for extended periods of time if properly engrossed but those I truly love always come back to my mind. If you’re out of this inner circle, however, and you cease to contact me? It’s only a matter of time before you’re erased Back To The Future style.

This is where Ash has proven to be unique. In the year following our breakup, I thought about him often. Songs, cigarettes, street signs, all sorts of things would remind me of him. I can actually tell you the very first day I finally forgot that he existed – August 31st, 2019. A solid year and a half after our very brief relationship, at one point during that day I had the revelation that I hadn’t thought about him in a while. I played Taylor Swift to celebrate. This celebration was pretty short-lived.

The next time I visited our home town, I found myself autopilot driving to his house. I made myself turn around. The following night I locked eyes with a stranger who could have been his doppelganger. I shook myself. The next day I… thought I saw him walking down the sidewalk. So I allowed myself to zigzag up and down the streets for the duration of one song in pursuit of him. This all culminated in the fateful evening I discussed in my most recent post, featuring Google Assistant and a Venus razor refill. I shot him the classic “wyd” followed by a very embarrassing tangent. Since I don’t have the screenshots for that, I’ll offer you something I personally find much more personal and cringey: a list of the playlist I made for him (that I’m totally not still updating why would you think that get out of here who even makes playlists anymore jfc donate your iPod to Goodwill already you sad early 2000’s weirdo). 

  1. “…Ready For It?” by Taylor Swift (there is a lot of Taylor Swift on here. And Ariana Grande. And just, pop trash in general. What can I say, I *am* pop trash.)
  2. “Sexy Dirty Love” by Demi Lovato (the song that I performed a VERY terrible dance to for his viewing pleasure at the local bar Gasoline Alley which ended in some kind of strange lap dance? then his ex-girlfriend came up to him and I’m pretty sure she called me a ho?)
  3. “Caroline” by Amine
  4. “Dress” by Taylor Swift
  5. “James Joint” by Rihanna (new album WHEN, Rihanna!?)
  6. “Banana Brain” by Die Antwoord
  7. “disco tits” by Tove Lo (this song was The Anthem of The Winter of 2018 and just, a fucking bop tbh.)
  8. “Fetish (ft. Gucci Mane)” – Galantis Remix by Selena Gomez
  9. “Delicate” by Taylor Swift (this isn’t even the last one. this might be the most on-the-nose, though.)
  10. “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift (nor this one. though this is probably one of the better examples of Taylor’s songwriting imo, a worthwhile listen)
  11. “Untouchable, Pt. 1” by Anathema
  12. “Untouchable, Pt. 2” by Anathema
  13. “Cry Baby” by Demi Lovato (which always brings back fond memories of me laying shitfaced drunk on the kitchen floor, bawling my eyes out because ~he lied, boohoo~ while my husband looked on helplessly)
  14. “Tyler Durden” by Madison Beer
  15. “Quit (ft. Ariana Grande)” by Cashmere Cat (this is where the Ariana starts to overtake Taylor Swift)
  16. “Habits (Stay High) – Hippie Sabotage Remix” by Tove Lo
  17. “Back To You” by Selena Gomez (this was the number one top played song of 2018 for me… I would just put it on loop and listen to it over and over and over and over)
  18. “i love you” by Billie Eilish (this is the best Billie Eilish song ever written and even if you don’t like her I swear you will like this song go listen right now)
  19. “I Forgot That You Existed” by Taylor Swift (the last one!)
  20. “everytime” by Ariana Grande

What compelled me to write this, other than being secretly proud of myself for making a playlist that you can literally play on loop to induce the cyclical feeling of a relationship you can’t shake, is the fact that all day today… I couldn’t stop smiling. My “wyd” text ended up triggering Ash messaging me back and us now talking on the phone every day. I don’t really want to go into the details of it other than the one thing that I think is more important than anything else.

When I talk to Ash, everything else disappears. And I feel like I could talk to him for hours and never get bored. And I know he probably relates to the line in Caroline that’s like, “Don’t wanna talk about your horoscope or what the future holds, shut up, shut up, and let’s get gory like a Tarantino movie. Don’t wanna talk it out, can we fuck it out?” Which is really ridiculous because the little asshole is a super good conversationalist. I used to just watch him talk to everybody and anybody with no issue, a social chameleon with no self-consciousness or false pretenses, just super good at finding at least one thing he and that other person can chat about. It’s an enviable skill. I’m gushing a little, aren’t I?

Later when I think about talking to Ash, his words will rattle around in my brain and I won’t be able to suppress the biggest fucking grin I feel like I’ve worn in ages. This is one of the things that makes my feelings toward him feel so much more authentic than any sort of manufactured idealization – I used to giggle at things I would imagine Leo saying, or situations I thought about occurring, but with Ash, I don’t have to make anything up. I’m beyond satisfied with reality.

When we dated, we were both a mess. The reason we broke up was because of me leaving but in all honesty, the relationship was doomed either way. Although I had gotten permission from Nicholas to date outside of our marriage, he hated it. And as much as I cared for Ash, he wasn’t really doing anything to better his situation. To be fair, I was basically dragged into an alternate universe where I had no choice but to get my shit together. He was left alone in an opportunity-less suburbia where the only escape ever seems to be drugs. Why do you think I smoked weed all day, every single day?

But I digress.

The point is that it was doomed, it failed, a good amount of time passed, and now… here we are. Unstoppable force, meet immovable object. My husband is not as permissive as he was back then and I am only allowed to date women. We both know there are probably some things to unpack there but it’s beside the matter at hand. Ash and I’s relationship wasn’t perfect but I do know this, as surely as I know water is wet and snow is cold:

If my feelings are this strong hundreds of miles away, just talking about inane shit over the phone, after not seeing or touching or smelling him for over a year, I can not be trusted around him.

Today I attempted to make a case for how I could be more responsible now that I’m sober but I realize in reviewing this conversation now that the person I was really trying to persuade was myself. I admitted out loud to Nicholas that Ash is the kind of person who would be like, “let’s fuck behind this bush,” and the voyeuristic slut in me would have an incredibly hard time resisting something as novel and thrilling as that. Considering the literal first time we did in was in the snow, on a hill, behind the house I first lived in when I moved to Michigan, this is extremely within the realm of possibility.

Ash and I have toyed with the possibility of me coming down to visit him and I confess, I am trying to come up with literally any excuse to catch a train south. The reality of it all is that if I want to visit him, I’m going to have to be straight-forward with my husband. And if I want my husband to trust me, I can. Not. Fuck. Him.

I’m more emotionally torn than I have been… well, since Ash and I dated. I’m constantly frustrated by the confines of monogamy and I damn society for force-feeding us this unrealistic fucking fantasy from the time we’re born. Maybe some humans are truly satisfied with being monogamous. I am not.

And this is not a statement on how I feel about Nicholas! I’ve never known a love so deep and steady and pure as ours. It is honest and transparent, it is strong and unrelenting. I trust our love more than I trust almost anything else on this planet. And yet this rhetoric of necessary jealousy and marital possessiveness has tricked us into doubting the only thing we should care about – our love.

My sensitive heart flits between fancies faster than a firefly’s flicker. While the moon’s glow that represents Nick and I’s bond will never cease to illuminate my heart, there are other lights that catch my eye. I have loved more than one person at a time most of my life. It’s part of the reason I would find myself in a relationship before the one before it had formally ended. As long as people open to me, I open to them and very seldom do I reject an open heart. 

There are layers to this, of course. Sometimes my fancies are to alleviate boredom or just have some fun. Sometimes it’s to kill my loneliness. But Ash is one of the special ones I know because were he anyone else, I would simply cut him out of my life as I’d done with all those before him who I didn’t want to be tempted by anymore. But with him… I just… can’t bring myself to do that.

I once told Ash “I love you”, then took it back the next day, terrified that I was misidentifying my feelings as I had done so many times before. In the end, I started saying it again. In the months that passed following our separation, I denied ever feeling such a thing, chalking it all up to idealization. Now?

When you’ve loved before, you begin to be able to identify it’s reemergence in your life. It’s never exactly the same – each love is unique, like the lovers they fit with. The quality of emotion is tactile, tangible, tractable; like an old friend whose favorite flavor of tea you know by heart. Sometimes you might be a bit reluctant to let them in because last time, they broke your teapot and stained your nice rug but you do anyway because their company is worth so much more than fine china and silk.

Ash’s quality of emotion is smoldering. It’s defiant, with a pliability that allows it to survive when it shouldn’t and roar back to life when it was easy to think it had been smothered. It’s just like him – adaptable and flighty, full of humor weighed down by darkness. And though I won’t say the words, it’s a feeling I remember all too well.

Some boys are trying too hard,
he don’t try at all, though
Younger than my exes
but he act like such a man, so
You’re my new obsession
Let go of any hesitation, baby
Be my new addiction
Intoxicate me gently with your loving

Everyone thinks that they know us
but they know nothing about all of the
Silence and patience
Pining and anticipation
My hands are shaking
from holding back from you

Don’t say that you miss me,
just come get me

Sometimes I wonder when you sleep
Are you ever dreaming of me?
Sometimes when I look into your eyes
I pretend you’re mine all the damn time

Please don’t ever become a stranger
Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere

I’ve never seen a light that’s so bright
As the light that shines behind your eyes

I had to let you go
To the setting sun
I had to let you go
And find a way back home

You, you, you,
make me feel everything even when it’s pain

And with your hand around my throat,
I don’t want to see you go
cause I like it

And you say that I’m the devil you know
and I don’t disagree
No, I don’t see the harm
They say, “You’re crazy, just leave him,
he’ll suffocate you”
But I wanna be in your arms

I wanna hold you when I’m not supposed to
When I’m lying close to someone else
You’re stuck in my head and I can’t get you out of it
If I could do it all again, I know I’d go back to you

The smile that you gave me
even when you felt like dying

there’s nothing you could do or say
i can’t escape the way
i love you
i don’t want to
but i love you

3 thoughts on “(2019) Quality of Emotion, Part 1

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