Of Relationships and Money

Warning: This is not my usual geeky-tech rambling about Org or Emacs. This is a somewhat NSFW post about my life. If you’re not into that and you’re here for the geeky stuff, I’d skip this if I were you.

When I was reaching my 30s, I hit a jackpot. I secured a deal for a rent-controlled apartment in Morningside Heights in Manhattan. I had a job that didn’t quite pay the bills, even for that, so I drove almost 900 miles to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to fetch a friend whom I convinced to live with me in the city.

The apartment had three bedrooms, a living room, a dining area, a small kitchen (which I loved a lot) and a shower. It was packed with old furniture and dusty chachkies because its owner was about 80 years old. He asked me to wire rent money to his account every month, left me with a key, and left for Florida.

I’ve met, dated, and enjoyed many women during that period. I had professional dominatrix taking photos naked on my dinner table (I had to help them put on corsets), and I had a high school girl who I was afraid was underage (she wasn’t) take a shower with me. I had a woman come over to have sex with both me and my friend-turned-roommate, and another who had an orgasm telling me I’m gay while penetrating me with her fingers. All remarkable, all faded out of my life as quickly as they came.

A few years later, in a different apartment, I wasn’t able to keep paying the rent. For the first time in decade, I had to move in with my mother, who moved to Manhattan by then. My mother’s apartment had only one bedroom, a long hallway, and a living room. The kitchen was a corner carved out of the hallway and had strong fluorescent lights. I remember this because the lights and the noise of dishes woke me up every morning when my mother started making coffee a few inches away from the sofa on which I slept.

I’ve dated almost no one during that time. As a matter of fact, I can remember only two. That’s because when I moved (with my mother) to another apartment, the relationships I started forming on top of the sofa with these two moved with it. I graduated from the sofa to the bedroom. My mother, coincidentally, found a boyfriend in Pennsylvania and was away or most of the week. I noticed how slowly, with a stable job, better clothes, and the aforementioned status upgrade, I started dating more people again. Not as many - there wasn’t much time and less energy - but it was a steady rising slope. The new people I’ve dated came and went. The job, also, quickly transformed into a new career. The two partners and the sofa remained.

It’s funny how you think all you want is to be able to keep fucking everyone (figuratively and literally) but what you actually want is companionship. It’s something we as a society keep shoving into everyone’s throat, yet somehow, doesn’t seem to stay in anyone’s skull. Yet, it’s the fear of being alone, completely alone, that we often afraid the most. I know because I’m an as introvert as they come, but even I have to admit that my life is a hollow shade of gray without the color these two relationships brought to my life. These connections shape us, make us who we are as adults, and eventually, these connections are also what is remembered when we are gone. there’s nothing as painful as losing such a connection.

You can’t make a relationship out of thin air. That’s because a relationship is forged from common experiences that you often try to avoid. Embarrassing little moments. Painful memories. The terrifying realization that at some point (you can’t be sure when) caring about that person is more important than caring for yourself. Then, the peace that comes with accepting this realization. You can’t find this sort of experience on Tinder, even if you pay their premium.

I never wanted to end up on my mother’s sofa, and to be honest, I never wanted to end up in relationships with both of my partners. But just like the sofa, shit happens. This is who I am now, and who they are, and how we came to be. My partners, who I affectionately call patches, live with me now. We often enjoy a good movie sitting on that sofa, which is with us still. I’m older, I’m scarred, I have way less patience than I used to have, and I like it all just the way it is, good and bad, sofa or no sofa.


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