By Anthony Paull
My boyfriend will not be thrilled with what he’s about to read. You see, like the other encouraging souls in my social circle, he doesn’t care for it when I write about him, but that’s why I love to do it. It keeps him on his toes, igniting excitement – and the truth is excitement is exactly what our relationship has been lacking.
God, how it pains me to admit that. That for once, I don’t have the perfect relationship, and that it’s normal for me to step outside of it for awhile to figure out what the hell went wrong.
So picture it. There’s completely fucked-up me, and I’ve downgraded from a queen-size bed, complete with a soft blueberry-colored duvet and an awesome boyfriend, to a single-bed mattress with no sheets. Yeah, I’m that loser who opted to move in with his father after separating from his boyfriend. Oh yeah, and dad ain’t down with me being gay; that’s the fun part! Now, instead of getting anal-sex, I get anal-yzed at the dinner table, where dad’s current topic of choice is why Anthony should prefer tits over dicks.
Sorry. I know! I know! I’m cursing a lot, and I’m bound to get more hate-mail for it, but the reality is I don’t care.
This is me. I say what’s on my mind, and sometimes it’s not appropriate or remotely poetic, but it’s me. And for the last six months, I haven’t focused on me because I’ve been too preoccupied with making him (my boyfriend) happy, and now I’m Lost.
Yes, that’s Lost, with a capital “L.” And just like on the popular TV series, my problems all became too clear while stranded on a deserted island.
You see, for our annual vacation, my boyfriend decided it would be “fun” to book another cruise to the Caribbean, and while I wanted to tell him how tired I was with the idea of going to sea every year, I kept quiet. Hence, the reason I’m in this whole predicament.
“Just be quiet and do as your told!” my boyfriend’s mother later informed me in a British tone, as we skipped along turbulent ocean waves on an excursion to an “exclusive” private island where we planned to snorkel. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, his mother was invited too. Romantic, huh? Pardon me while I break out the lube …
“Um, I’m really not feeling well,” I confessed, turning seasick green from the boat ride. And when we arrived, I sadly realized there was no toilet in which to puke. As for towels and refreshments? Well, those weren’t being provided either. I suppose that was the exclusive part. The locals, I was informed, weren’t privy to toilets. They crap on bushes and pee in the water, which is fine and dandy, except I had to pee and the water was freaking freezing.
“I really have to piss!” I kept telling my boyfriend, after being stranded for three hours. Mind you, I still feel like puking and I’m sweating under the cap of a black hoodie, because even though the water is glacial, the sun is frying my skin.
“Then go in the water!” he finally snapped, as his mother began to walk laps around the island, dead-set on turning a bad experience into a positive one.
“I’m exercising!” she proudly proclaimed, as I passed her on my trek to the water.
“Good for you. I’m going to piss my pants!” I replied. Lucky her, I failed to mention the fact that something was also knocking on the open door of my butt. And no, I’m not talking about my boyfriend’s penis. God, I wish!
So there I was, wading in the glacial water, pretending to be on mad hunt for seashells, and every time I dipped my shaking hand below the icy surface, I’d take a tiny squat and release, before turning to realize that most of the islanders had been watching me, and for the first time I felt exposed for being the liar I’d been for far too long.
God, tell me I’m not broken! Please, tell me this is what inevitably happens when you’ve been with someone for so long. That the fun, somehow it dissipates, even if your love for that person is tireless and strong. Why, why, why does this happen? I feel as if I’ve been tricked, led down a road once filled with roses and love poems only to be dropped off at a dead-end where I’m hollow, cold and quivering each night I attempt to sleep alone.
The truth is I left. It was my decision. I felt like I was being suffocated from being in a relationship where every day, every vacation was planned and banal. In the process, I began to avoid him, and as much as he won’t admit it, he was doing the same to me. And the end result was I felt so neglected and ugly that I could no longer look myself in the mirror without turning out the light. I was so busy going to the gym, eating right, and searching for sexy clothes to make him see me again that I lost who I was. And I don’t want to lose that person because I like him.
So this is what happens when you don’t talk about where you stand on the inside, because where you stand on the outside looks perfect. I can’t change what I’ve done. If I could, I would have told him I didn’t want to go on another snorkel excursion just because it was fun the last seven times. I would have much rather jumped in a cab with him and told the driver to take us anywhere and see where that goes. And my boyfriend, he would have been OK with that, because even if we were sitting in a pile of pee, being with me would have been fun enough because that’s love.
So here I am steering down uncharted waters, asking for your advice. I don’t know where this journey will lead, but that feels OK because I know you, my unyielding readers, have been in my shoes in this mad, riddling universe called The Dating Diet.