Tonight I got off the plane at LaGuardia and had this urge to call 'F'. While we haven't actually seen each other since August, he and I have still been in not infrequent contact, though the purpose of said contact remains hazy at best.
It happened while I waited in the cab line. As I stood there in the 40 degree weather in my 65 degree outfit, I watched a couple in their late 20s/early 30s in line in front of me, him holding her close for warmth. It was clear that he had been away for the weekend and she had met him at the airport. She announced happily that she had made him tortillas. "Made them?!" he responded. "Okay, okay, I didn't make them. But I got them for you!" Just as I was ready to peg them as a three to six-month-old couple - somewhere in the stage where one still wants to meet the other at the airport - I noticed their simple, matching wedding bands. And suddenly my eye-rolling at their cutesy cuddliness turned into a combination of envious yearning and mad jealousy. A wave of loneliness hit me. I thought I might start tearing up in the cab line, and that is when I had the urge to call 'F'.
It's pretty ironic considering I see 'F' as this emotionally unreachable being - a bit set in his own ways and a lot closed off. Though I doubt he would never admit it outright, I think he tires of leading a solitary life. The one time he ever hinted at feeling alone, he all but retracted it the following day. I think part of the reason I haven't fully cut him out of my life is that I almost feel sorry for him, in an empathetic way. I look at him and fear that his life is what mine could look like in five years - living alone, with almost all of my friends married or coupled off and feeling as though my job was a dead-end. I can't help but wonder whether there was some dramatic event in his life that rendered him so emotionally shut-off - a broken engagement or unrequited love perhaps? Or was it a series of failed attempts at relationships that gradually chipped away at his capacity to love?
I honestly have no idea, but I rather hope it's the former, for my sake.