I’ve spent nearly 20 hours with Bryan in the last week. And I don’t even know how it happened.
On Wednesday, he took me out for tapas. On Thursday, we met at a grocery store, and I cooked him scallops in a lemon butter sauce with fresh green beans. And on Saturday at 9am, he drove us to a downtown pub that hosts watch parties for Chelsea FC, his favorite football club from his time in London.
When I’m with Bryan, time flies by, and I am never ready for the day to end. We don’t really have sparks or intense chemistry like I do with Flynn, but we share a comfortable companionship. I enjoy doing life with Bryan.
When I cooked dinner for him on Thursday, it was my first time to see his house. It’s a three story house in a ritzy part of town. No surprise. One of his neighbors owns three BMWs. The other has an Audi and a Porsche. You know… no big deal.
Bryan gave me the tour, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he is in the process of building a gazebo on his rooftop porch. He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy to work with his hands, but it is pleasing to me that he does – and that he enjoys it so immensely. There is something very attractive about a man who works with his hands.
Later in the evening that Thursday, in telling me about his travels (and explaining the stories behind the various cultural relics decorating his home), Bryan made reference to being happy to be back in his own bed. “What color is the comforter on your bed?” I asked offhand, trying to envision the room as I often do when people are telling a story.
He looked at me with a puzzled expression. “Don’t you know?” Well, he’d given me a tour, but I hadn’t noticed.
“If you did know, what color would it be?” he asked me.
I thought for a moment. “…blue?”
He smiled warmly at me. Affectionately. Pleased. “Yes.”
“Why are you looking at me like you know something I don’t?”
Bryan explained. “I recently read about hypnosis theories. Apparently your subconscious is constantly picking up on more than you realize in your focused, conscious thoughts. One of the tricks of hypnosis is to ask your subject things like, ‘If you did know…’ or ‘If you had to guess…’. That causes the subconscious to activate those memories you didn’t even realize you had. Your subconscious provides your conscious with the answer.”
These are the kinds of conversations we have all the time. We talk about logic puzzles and brain chemistry and psychology. It’s interesting. Intriguing. Entertaining. Like I said before, when I’m with Bryan, time flies by, and I enjoy doing life with him. But I want – no, I need – more than just a meeting of minds. My heart needs lighthearted playfulness. I need someone who can be silly and who makes me laugh.
Bryan says I still have walls up – or rather (in his words), a curtain. He claims that I peek over the top of the curtain so I can see everything that’s going on, but I never part the curtain for anyone else to see in. He says that I project the image of myself that I want others to see. And that image isn’t false, but it’s only a part of the whole.
Bryan also says he is determined to break through the barrier. Leave it to Bryan to be perceptive enough to recognize my shielding… and to be compassionate enough to genuinely want to know me – all of me.
More than anything, I want to be known. Fully known and fully loved, despite being fully known. But I know that if I part the curtain, Bryan won’t like what he sees, and then he’ll reject me, like so many have done before.
I told him as much. His response? “How do you know I won’t like what I see? You haven’t given me the opportunity to make that determination.”
“Everyone else has rejected me when they’ve seen in.”
“And, based on what you know of me, am I like everyone else?”
But… better to keep the curtain up for now.