Can Lisa ever be happy?

My brother and I were sitting on opposite couches last night discussing the fate of our lives. It seemed that for every few good steps we take forward, we get pushed back another five. When the topic turned to relationships, he started cracking walnuts and I felt like it was some kind of sign.

On my way home from Denver, I flew through MLPS. A young couple with a child were in the seats next to me, with me taking the aisle seat (preference for leg room). The overhead bulkhead was closed and I thought perhaps they had already filled it with stuff as I needed a place for my messenger bag. But when I popped it open to verify, it was empty. After placing my bag up in the bulk hold, I noticed the father (presumedly) struggling with bags at his feet. I asked if he’d like for me to place that stuff in the bulkhead for him. He was quite rude while declining, and I just shrugged as I sat down. During the trip, the child was quiet and when it started to whimper a bit, the mother started breast feeding him.

I was a bit taken aback by the whole experience, especially since they apparently felt uncomfortable around me. The father and I kept jostling to not touch each other during the 1.5 hour flight. I kept to myself, leaning towards to the aisle with my book and my legs on the far left side. Megan and I were lolly gagging around the luggage carousel when I noticed the mother staring at me. I have no idea why she was so intent in me, but apparently one good deed for the day was enough to warrant the evil eye.

My brother and I were watching About A Boy last night as we talked. Our conversation stilted while we watched what was happening on screen and then would rev up again. I felt like I’m living in a glass jar. Being watched and scrutinized by those around me. I’m falling between cracks I never thought possible.

My birthday is coming up and I’ll be turning 32. I’m feeling the pressure of not having consumed enough or done enough by my early 30s. I should have my masters by now! I should be married! I should have kids! I should be doing a hundred and one different things and not worrying about whether or not a group project is being completed or if my grades will be good enough. I feel like I can’t relate to anyone in my age bracket and especially to women who are all walking that normality line that I’ve swerved so damn far from.

Everyone keeps asking me how Denver went. My monosyllabic answer of “Good!” or “Great!” seems to not fulfills their demands. I’m not sure what to say because in the end, I still have no answers to my questions. So perhaps I’ll start with what I perceive to be the truth and take it from there.

If you were not aware, Patrick had (has) three jobs. He own(ed)s part of a local company in Denver and does contract work for two others. I knew that while this was to be *my* vacation, for him, it was to be a hellish week of work. He was/is currently in flux with the local company, with him quitting the company half-way through my trip. One of his bosses for the contract work showed up prior to my arrival and left the morning I arrived.

He kept Patrick on a tight leash, calling at all hours of the day and night to get things completed. Many “dates” we had were broken by us driving to downtown Denver to work on shit at the colo, many plans disintegrated because his work schedule. Coupled with both of us being sick as dogs, tensions were high. Verbal fisticuffing ran rampart. It was terrible.

Verbal fisticuffing is the term I use when Patrick starts pushing my buttons, making smartass comments that only ignite me to push HIS buttons and make comments. This gets nasty really quick. There were no holds barred accounts where I let both guns fly. This was not the sound of a “happy couple” at all, rather, of people who could barely tolerate each other. It was distressing.

I grew tired of this game quick, opting to keep my mouth shut when he started which only defused him, which was the point. I was beginning to feel like an object, not a person. I whittled away the hours while he worked suffering on the couch with the illness that would not go away. After he would get done with work, he would spend a few hours playing video games on his PC. He would occasionally check up on me and make sure I had things I needed and that I was still breathing, but I did not feel like I was being comforted enough. Like something was missing, and I never really knew what it was.

The sex was interesting. Taking into account the stress from work, being sick and other shit going on, I didn’t care about those things. I wanted the sex to be as hot and passionate as it was the last time we were together. It wasn’t. Perhaps I’m rare, but despite all the emotional bullshit he was going through, I wanted him to treat me like he did before and he didn’t. I was getting tired (and bored) of always initiating it. And it wasn’t that he was not affectionate or showed affection to me, he did, but when it came to the actual act, it was always ME who had to take charge. Always, always always. Then the issues came up. According to him, his exes were dead lays. No imagination, passion or interest other than things vanilla. Things had to be done a specific way at specific times, heaven forbid that anything deviate from that pattern. Me? I’m not like that. By a long shot. And I tried. Tried to make him feel loved, wanted and needed. I introduced new things, taking baby steps. Nothing seemed to work as sex always ended with me on top.

Always.