the first time…

Hello, friend…

It’s late. And with no one else here to chat with, I figured I’d venture over here and share a story. Apologies if from the title of this blog you thought this would be about the first time I “did it”, but noooooooooo one is going to hear about that. No, for whatever the reason I’ve gotten to thinking tonight about the first time I really broke a guy’s heart. (Well, I kind of know what brought it up… I’m PMS’ing like nobody’s business tonight, resulting in my crying through tonight’s episode of Top Chef: Boston.) ANYWAY. As I was saying.

We met one night in Manhattan. I was there for a movie I made (that got into a festival) and at the opening night party, which was held in a converted church, in he walked. And I remember my jaw dropping. If I was a cartoon, cute little hearts would have floated out of my head. As some random Spanish guy kept wanting my phone number, I just need to know who this other guy was.

I was in NYC for 10 days and I hummed Arthur’s Theme every single day. I really did. I fell for this guy like a ton of bricks! He almost got himself killed running to catch a cab for us on our first date! We kissed in the rain outside Madison Square Garden! He bought me my first Magnolia Bakery cupcake! (Which I dropped on his shoe! But whatever! It was romantic!!) I was starring in my own romantic comedy. The pay wasn’t great, but I had top billing and a very splendid guy on my arm.

And then I came back home to Toronto. This would be where the romantic comedy takes a sour turn, and you suddenly fear that the couple who should be together forever may not make it to the 90 minute mark.

Here’s something about me. I have anxiety attacks. I have since I was 10 years old. And it’s not the easiest thing to bring up to a potential partner. I shouldn’t be ashamed about it, and as I’ve gotten older, I’m much more upfront about it… but this was a case where my head went in one direction. And I couldn’t catch up. And this all happened when he came up to visit me. It was one of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve had. This would be the part of the romantic comedy that gets cut, by the way. Panic attacks don’t really scream “comedy gold”. It would be replaced by a montage of solo walks on the beach and pensive looks to the sky likely to a song by Keane or James Blunt.

Friend, I can only tell you that I was terrible to this guy. Lost in my own thoughts and letting my anxiety direct my movie, I can still hear him, whispering in my ear as we said goodbye at the airport that “You made me feel so unwelcomed”. It still cuts. I’m flinching now as I think about it. I became the worst version of myself.

I can’t take it back though (as an old boyfriend once took back the “i love you” he said to me. You don’t take that back, buddy!).

It happened, it’s part of the story.

But good came out of it. It did.

I got proper treatment for my anxiety attacks as a result. And I finally explained to him what happened. And a year later… I was back in NYC, in Queens to be exact, sitting on his rooftop in the autumn sun. Time allowed us to mend our friendship, forgiveness was granted. One day we had a BBQ as the sun set & he taught me how to smoke a joint. (I’m sorry mom, but yes. I’ve smoked pot.) And… he eventually got married.

From what I hear he met a lovely girl and married her. And I’m happy for him.

Sure, my romantic comedy didn’t end the way the others do. But that’s okay… The sequel is sublime.

xo.

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