Secret blog of a shy german cinephile.
34,827 words

The Importance of Talking to each other

Do you know that feeling? When something that deep deep down you already knew was true, suddenly gets revealed as actually being fact? But you’re not happy to have been right. After all, you forgot the suspicion for a reason. You wanted it to not be true. You were lying to yourself.

I though this was going to be a very mundane day and it almost was.
Quiet Sunday morning. I slept in, one flatmate was visiting friends over the weekend, another had to go to work for a few hours. I read some books, went for a run, meditated, listened to music, had myself a nice and calm day. In the evening me and my flatmate were invited to a small dinner party. We had a nice barbecue, vegetarian sausages, various dishes, I helped cooking (only a little bit), everybody was nice, I drank some alcohol (but not too much) and eventually we went back home.

When we had arrived back home, he awkwardly sat in front of me for a few minutes. Then finally he told me he needed to talk. His voice tolf me he meant the kind of serious talk concerning emotions of love and desire.
Cut to the chase: He’s been having an affair with a very good female friend of mine who I once had strong feelings for. They’ve been hiding this from me for the fast four months, but now they’ve decided to try themselves on a relationship. So. How do I feel about this? Do I still have feelings for her? Like. Maybe a little?

And yes. I did fell for her almost two years ago. And because I’m shy and stupid I never talked to her about it. Oh. Also. She had a boyfriend. She moved away, so we basically didn’t see each other for one entire year. Time calms all storms, the feelings went away and I moved on. Then, we end up making a movie together, she has multiple breakdowns while shooting and don’t get me wrong. I like her. She’s a good friend. But after that I was mostly just fed up with her difficult and overly sensitive character. But over the course of shooting that movie she had started to befriend lots of my closest friends. Like my flatmate. One could even say I sort of introduced them to each other. So we all started spending more time together. Months pass. It’s easy to reinterpret past events as signs of something more going on between them. I distinctly remember having the thought at some point. I even remember talking to myself about it and worrying whether I really am alone and nobody just fucking heard me say that out loud. Anyways. Suddenly I’m helping her re-edit the film, suddenly we spend more and more time together, suddenly I’m really enjoying being close to her again. It’s her birthday and her ex boyfriend send her a mean text, suddenly she’s crying on the side of the street and I’m there for her and we hug a lot and it’s nice. But again, I’m reminded how fragile and frustrating she can be. I couldn’t possibly sustain any kind of relationship with her. Idk. Maybe 15 years from now, once we’ve both more mature? If ever.
Still. It’s COVID-times, I haven’t had sex in months, I’m honestly just starving for physical contact. And she’s always been a weirdly physical person anyway - so we have a lot. No Sex, just physical contact. We cuddle on the couch, massage each other, one night I ended up almost falling asleep while spooning her. In retrospect these moments are fucking hilarious, considering my flatmate was there the entire time, awkwardly looking at us.

I think one of the main reasons why I developed feelings for her in the first place and the main reason why she continues to confuse the fuck out of me even today. She was one of the only women who had ever seeked out physical contact with me. And at the time I thought that meant she wanted more from me than just being friends.
Only since the past year I’m slowly starting to realise that when it comes to emotions, you can never trust peoples actions. Only their words.
And I think this is why I started to get so physically close to her as well. I wanted to provoke a reaction. Force her to respond. Draw boundaries. I was playing with her tendency to be so physical. I felt like I had nothing to loose and I’m trying to get used to the idea of flirting and being close to people anyway. Haven’t really done that a lot in the past five or so years. But I now realise that she was too shy, too scared of what might happen once I get rejected. She would have never reacted, she would have rather ran away. I’m immediately reminded of a quote from Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia: “You’re the kind I’d rather sleep with than explain why I don’t feel like it.” It’s context in the movie is completely different, but it still fits.
Oh, yeah. And when we first got to know each other she had a boyfriend. So her being close to me was even stranger and the main reason why I never bothered to talk about my emotions with her. Other than being shy and scared and a bit stupid, of course:)

I wish he had told me ages ago. I wish she had told me. Instead now I’ll have to contact her. She hid something from me for one third of a year and now I have to tell her that it’s going to be ok? This is the kind of difficult personality I’m frustrated by. But I also completely understand why they didn’t tell me. My flatmate didn’t knew where this affair was going to lead to, he even mentioned a moment where I almost caught him in a lie, about where he had been last night, he was also scared shitless of how this was going to go, how I would react, how I will react in the future, how this might destroy our friendships. I get all of that.
But still. This would have saved all of us so much confusion and awkward moments. And it hurts the most, that they hid this from me for such a long time. I mean. They are about the closest of friends I have. It feels weird. It’s going to feel weird for a while.

When I started writing this yesterday it was hard not to place myself into the victim role. To overdramatise my emotions. To feel envy and hate. To rage against the unjust universe. It’s has been passing. My friends are in love. I should be happy for them. I am happy for them.

I applied for a film school in Berlin a few weeks ago. The truth is that they’re never going to accept me. I’m not qualified enough, not experienced enough, not the kind of student they are looking for.
But suddenly I hope, they will accept me. It would be a fresh start. And it would create distance. Distance that might be deeply necessary.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep after a talk like this and I felt like I needed some fresh air. So I decided to go for a small walk outside. It was three o’clock and everything was silent. I laid down in the grass in a park and looked at the stars. It got too cold and started wandering again, I randomly walked into a former fellow student of mine and had to convince his I was ok. The fact that he cared made me happy. I walked around the town at night, I took some pictures at blue hour. They’re shit, but trust me, it looked really nice in reality. I was freezing, but at this point I had looked up how long it was until sunrise. Suddenly I felt like I wanted to wait for that moment. And I waited a lot. It was cold, windy, I should have brought a scarf, my iPhone’s battery long depleted.
But I waited.
And waited.
And then I gave up.
I started walking back home.
It was just too goddam cold. I was tired. I had been walking through the night for more than three hours now.
And who fucking cares? The are 365 sunrises in a year! Also. Fuck you sun. Fuck you universe for not even giving me a nice sunset!
I looked back one last time and stopped.
It was getting brighter.
And finally. I saw the warm flare of the sun. Our sun. My sun.
I cried a bit.
I took a picture of the sunset. It’s a very boring and ordinary looking sunset. But it was mine. And it always will be.
Then I went home and fell asleep.

The more I’m writing this, the more the feeling of confusion leaves me.
I think?
I think I’ll be fine.
Writing helps.
Distance will help as well. I’m on a train leaving to work in another town anyway. Maybe that’s all the distance I’ll need?

Movies and Thoughts

The Deer Hunter

I felt like I already knew everything essential going into this movie. But really I only I knew it was a war movie and that there are some crazy-ass Russian Roulette scenes in it.
It’s a pretty long movie, almost three hours right? I’m writing this more than two weeks after I watched it so my memory isn’t particularly fresh anymore. Sorry.

I can however still remember how absolutely stunned I was by how much time they took to establish the characters. It probably wasn’t the entire first half of the movie, but I mean … for a war movie there really wasn’t that much war in it. Think of your apocalypse nows, your thin red lines, your platoons - all almost entirely taking place in “the war”. So this was a completely different approach. It tackled the before and after the war like I’ve never seen it before.
I love the fact that the movie solely focuses on three characters. Everybody else is non essential. We get to know all three before the war, in their most extreme moment in the war and after the war. Yes, there’s Meryl Streep and she’s great but I feel like she acted more as a mirror for the three guys. This movie isn’t going to survive the Bechdel test anyways.

Also. That merciless cut from them being drunk and happy in a bar to them being in a fire fight. And shortly after being held captive and tortured, forced to “do” Russian Roulette. (Play seems like the incorrect word here.) Any other movie would have shown them going though boot camp, going on their first mission, seeing their first corpse, their first kill. This movie doesn’t care about any of that. None of it is necessary. Instead it’s just one setting, one location, one horrible challenge until they escape. And instead of showing us yet again how war is bad in every conceivable colour, they just focus on one moment and how these three characters deal with it. The escape almost seemed simple and rather short, also almost non essential. The weird helicopter hanging bridge scene seemed too grandiose and unnecessary. It felt more like nice trailer footage than actually necessary for the plot.

I liked how every character ended up with a completely different kind of PTSD. John Savage without legs, ashamed of himself (possible brain damage? I can’t really remember.), terribly scared of ever seeing his friends and family again.
Christopher Walken basically gone insane and obsessed with the idea of dying or not being able to die, cursed to relive the most traumatic moment of his life over and over again.
And Robert De Niro, the oldest, really the most grounded from the very beginning of the movie. The one who kept calm. The one who always was used to killing. The Deer Hunter. But still, disgusted by the idea of being celebrated for serving his country, for killing, being lucky enough to survive where others did not, disgusted by himself, but reluctant to ever give up.

And what an ironic way to end the movie. The war has destroyed their life, possibly forever and yet they sing God Bless America. You have to believe in something after all. All of this coudn’t just have been for nothing.
I liked this movie a lot. It’s probably too long for me to rewatch it in the near future and it didn’t make my Top 10, but as a huge fan of Apocalypse Now this one certainly showed me that there’s a more character based and empathic way of telling these anti-war movies.

One thought kept coming up again and again while writing this: I would love to see the exact same movie, but with Vietnamese characters. Or. Even better: Have one American and one Vietnamese as your main characters. Now tell the exact same story: One living an ordinary life in Pittsburgh, the other an ordinary life in a suburb of Saigon. Then both go to war, meet once, survive, come back and have to deal with their PTSD. Hollywood always tells stories from an American perspective. Time to change that.

Mr. Noboby

The Rorschach face-paint psychiatrist is just so hilarious to me. So over the top and impossible to take seriously. It honestly just felt so so stupid.
The musical choices felt so weird. I might be misremembering this but, I think there’s this ongoing argument between Chris and Jonathan Nolan about pop music in movies. The reasons for using it seem obvious: A lot of pop music seems perfectly tailored (in terms of lyrics and musical tonality) for certain scenes. Also it usually sounds pretty fucking cool.
The reason why you probably shouldn’t use pop music in movies is because depending on how popular the song is, people might already know it. And once they already know it they might associate a certain memory or experience with it. Like the music you listened to while having sex for the first time or while going through a particularly bad breakup. So instead of having the effect intended by the filmmaker, it might have a completely different effect. You basically loose control over your audience, which I personally would always try to avoid.
“Where is my mind” will forever be linked in my head with Fight Club. “Sweet Dreams” made me think of Sucker Punch, the absolutely excessive use of “Mr. Sandman” made me never want to hear that stupid song ever again and really “99 Luftballons”? Really?

Again, I’ve watched this movie more than two weeks ago and I actually took some enraged notes while doing so. I genuinely don’t remember the story well enough to understand half of what this was referring to. But here you go:

  • It’s time to turn the stereotype of the girl who is desperately in love with the abusive asshole even though he doesn’t love her back, but he keeps her because she’s a good fuck around! Switch genders. This is getting boring.
  • If you make no choices you really are Mr. Nobody.
  • I don‘t know a lot about mental illness, but i‘m pretty sure that’s not how that works.
  • The under the blanket shot was a straight copy out of Eternal Sunshine.
  • The goddam old people prosthetics. I can’t believe anybody still accepts those. To be honest it almost seems top me like both filmmakers and the audience have sort of silently agreed that those prosthetics look “real”, even though they really never have.

Mr. Nobody is a weird Hybrid of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Magnolia and The Fifth Sense - all movies I really love! And yet I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t call it a bad movie, I just didn’t like it. Too be entirely honest I can’t exactly put my finger on what I didn’t like about it. It’s just too much confusion with no concrete message. It was trying so hard to be intellectual and artsy. It was too much. It didn’t feel right. I’m not going to watch it again, I just feel absolutely no urge to do so.

random thoughts (not a movie, just me)

So. I’ve know for a while now that I have sort of a serious problem with the concept of no knowing, of not having an answer. I’m not talking about not understanding, but not knowing why things happened they way they did. Possibly so I can prevent it from happening in the future. The problem is that all people are infinitely complicated, ultimately impossible to comprehend, but I guess that makes it interesting.
I’ve been doing the 30 days on how to meditate course on the calm app - the full version is completely free on apple TV btw. And todays lesson was about not knowing. I struggled with it a lot, more than with any other lesson so far, I guess this one I’ll have to practice a lot. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to a point where I’ll be just fine and happy with not knowing. But it did occur to me only just now, that not knowing doesn’t just make the future more scary, but also exciting and interesting. maybe that’s a thought to hold on to.

the apartment that fell to earth

The Apartment

Holy Shit. This must have been one of the most perfect movies I've seen in years. It's so fucking good. It immediately became one of my all time favourite movies! I'll have to watch it again very soon, just to take it all in again.
On the surface it's just another comedy by Billy Wilder, but it's so much more! For a movie made in 1960, it has such great and non-stereotype characters!

Omg! Jack Lemmon is such an amazing actor, he has so much charisma in this movie. You just have to love him. He's just so lovely and nice and just want's the best for everyone, but he's also too shy to just take what he wants or tell people to just leave him alone.

The reveal with the broken mirror! Oh my god! I didn't see it coming at all! This came out of nowhere and it was such great and effective storytelling!

I've never been as scared for anyone as I've been for her, when he finally finds her lying in bed. They absolutely had me. I thought she was dead. But it's a comedy and a hilarious german doctor lives next door! (Side-note: Please stop hitting her in the face Dr. Dreyfuss. Jesus! This scene really hasn't aged well at all. I actually can't believe it was normal at the time to slap people who were barely conscious.)
As someone who has had friends that were … at the very least well aquatinted with the concept of self harm and suicide, I completely get the sudden mania that Bud befalls, of hiding razor blades, closing windows. It all worked for me.
And the way everybody thought he was a horrible human being, and not a Mensch, and he just accepted his role, the way he was fine with it was amazing. He knew he was doing the right thing. He never tried to explain himself. And only to protect the lifes of bad people who'd throw him under the bus without thinking twice about it. And all while having a smile on his face.

The running gag where someone says three but always holds up fur fingers. And the ending that is somehow happy, but not too happy. They don't kiss, they don't confess their love to each other. They're just, finally, together, maybe even just for a day.

Anyways. I fucking love this movie! This one instantly became one of my all time favourites. Apparently rewatchability is my main factor when it comes to rating movies? So. This one will stay on my c-drive for the next years. Close to me. Like a good friend, ready to be there whenever I need it.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

I watched this one with my flatmates and I wish I didn’t. It was too slow, it was too weird, it was too ambiguous. The low budget effects, set design and costumes definitely didn’t age well. As with most of these old-school Syfy movies, they just look kinda hilarious now. There is a reason after all that 2001 a space odyssey continuous to be one of the absolute greatest of its kind.
I think one should probably read the book the film is based on first. I’m sure it would help to appreciate the entire story so much more. I guess David Bowie was in a weird way the best part of the cast, yet odd. I haven’t exactly see a long of movies with hin anyways, but his bulge in Labyrinth will forever stay with me. And you know what? I’m fine with that! And after this movie I’m seriously considering dyeing my hair fiery red or just shave it clean off. Especially since corona quarantine is still in full effect.
But, yeah. I don’t need a rewatch on this one. Sorry:(

Corona, Love and Movies

Corona

Life is weird right now. You'd think that I should have had the impulse to write sooner, but quite frankly I'm struggling to motivate myself a lot these days. At this point I've been self quarantining for about a month. I'm not with family, I haven't done anything with friends in a long ass time, but at the very least I don't live alone.
We have a new flat mate for half a year. She's nice. I think her arrival in my life is a good thing. She's quite a proactive person, she makes the most of her days and I think I'm also still trying to make a good impression on her, try to be a good flatmate. So in a way her existence already motivates me. Yet. Things aren't fantastic. I've basically lost my job - in times of social distancing movie-shoots are impossible after all. Also.

My granddad got tested positive yesterday.
And if he's positive, my grandmother must be as well.
His symptoms are very mild at the moment,
but both are the very definition of a risk group.

I just hope they’re not going to end like this. I want to see them again. I want to hug them again. And more than anything else I don't want them to die alone. I sent them an iPad so they can Facetime/Skype with family. But parcels are suddenly taking forever to get delivered. It's less than three hours to get to their town by car, but the parcel will take an entire fucking week. I just hope it won't arrive too late.

Love

I've also still been dealing with the loss of a person who once was very dear and close to my heart. I've written about her on this blog countless times. I've definitely written an absolute ton of bullshit about her and me and us and my feelings and thoughts and it has gotten me nowhere. I stopped retelling our story because it wasn't helping. Because at some point you just have to accept that some answers you might very well never get. And it's about time to move on, swallow down your thoughts and push trough the curtain of loneliness to live life again. And then a global pandemic comes along.
I still think of her too much. I still dream of meeting her again. What it would be like. What I would say. How she would react to the things I’d say. In my mind she would usually react nicely, in my daydreams we would come to an understanding, steer back towards the path of friendship. It would always be so easy. So simple.
Such a stupid fairytale.

My new flatmate met with her ex-boyfriend today after they had broken up in January. To talk things over one last time in person. I can hear them laughing though the walls. I don't know a lot of details about them. I've been living with her for less than three weeks now.

But I could. Never. Imagine myself meeting. Her.
And have everything be "normal" again. To laugh and smile about the good old times again.
Maybe this means that I still have a lot to learn. It probably does. Kitten in the hurricane of love.

One thing is for sure. I will never again just accept the sudden cutoff of any kind of serious human relationship without talking about it first. We owe each other this much. To make each other understand what we were feeling when we made that decision. To reduce the harm done to each other to a minimum. Because even if we don’t want to have anything to do with each other anymore, we are still responsible for each other.
But it’s too late for that now. (Or is it?) Too much has happened in the meantime, in the world, in my brain, in my life and - I'm only guessing - in her life as well. I haven't heard from her since Christmas, I don't follow her on social media and I continue to suppress the urge to look for her.

My life might be so much more lonely and boring and shit without her.
But it's also so much more safe and calm and happy.

I have my bad days. I guess that has become part of my human existence now. Sometimes I cry because the feelings of loss and pain come back with too great of strength. Like a tsunami that only happens only once every 100 years. I recently watched Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies - an absolutely fantastic movie. I fucking loved it so so much! And I cried so much at the end! Not because of the sad ending. But just because she was the one who had once recommended the film to me.
I guess I'll wait a few more months until I continue to watch her remaining movie recommendations.

Movies

It's quarantine time and I lost my job. But I still have my flatmate's streaming accounts and booze, so I'm watching movies! A shit ton of movie to be exact. In the last month it must have been close to 50. And I've noticed one thing that I'm starting to miss: Just watching movies becomes boring. I'd also like to have a discussion about them or at the very least voice my opinion. To sharpen my instinct. My very personal definitions of what constitutes a "good movie". So I’m going to try to do that again. It once used to be a major part of this blog.

Knives Out

This one was a classic Whodunit story. Except it really wasn't at all! (Spoilers ahead.)
And that's what was so special about it! I think it only takes about half an hour until the audience gets told exactly who murdered the victim and suddenly it becomes a completely different story. This was by far the strongest and most interesting plot twist of the entire story. The fact that they then had to turn it around again at the very end to prove that she was indeed completely innocent was a bit of a stretch. It also turned it back into a classic Whodunit.
While those two twist were most certainly hard to predict and quite inventive, there were many minor twists and moments in dialogue that were horribly easy to predict. And not the fun kind - where you think you know what’s coming and then it happens and you’re proud of yourself and its fun! But the kind where you were seeing it coming from two miles away and when it happens it's just boring.
Just to give you an example: The way she notices that she could just hire lawyers to safe her mum herself, instead of relying on the family. That entire conversation felt way too stretched out and the conclusion way too obvious to me.
I think I would have rather seen the characters stay more morally ambivalent, just because life is more ambivalent and complicated. I would have loved to see a version of this movie where she actually gets convinced for involuntary manslaughter, but still gets the inheritance. So suddenly she has do deal with the furious family, prison, an endangered family of her own, the media and all the other possible madness that might occur now. Btw. I really liked the way smartphones, social media and the media itself got portrayed. And I absolutely loved how every one of the family members occasionally switched up which country the nurse actually came from. Do you remember? Was it Ecuador? Or Brazil? Or the Philippines?

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Maybe I'm getting old already, maybe I'm too bourgeois, maybe I'm just not cool enough. But I didn't like Ferris Bueller. The character. If he'd be a real person, I wouldn't want to spend any time with him. He's just such an arrogant, self convinced, oh-so-clever, privileged dickhead how get's absolutely everything he wants, just because he takes advantage of others.
What maddens me the most is that this movie stops right where it get's interesting. Just when conflicts are about to escalate! I would have absolutely loved to see a version of this movie where Ferris gets caught skipping school by his parents, where his friend has to face his fathers wrath for destroying the car and where his sister gets together with a completely irresponsible drug addict.
I didn't find any of the plot line about the schools principal entertaining. It wasn't very funny, too slap-sticky and it never got anywhere. It just got more and more stupid.
Don't get me wrong. It's completely fine to make a movie that celebrates living life and the freedom and rebellious nature of the youth. And maybe in 1986 this movie managed to do this. To me, in 2020 Germany, it did not. John Hughes already made a better version of this movie. It's called Breakfast Club.

Status Quo

So. I just binged Season 2 of HBO's Barry. Episode four made me vomit draft this and I don't care if its spell checked or if I still feel like it's true tomorrow. I'm publishing it.

She was an abusive friendship.
She constantly made me feel sorry for her.
She constantly made me worry for her.
She was never really able to fully commit to me, but could also never really end it.
She never said that she had feelings for me, but she never was able to say that she didn't either.
She used me for all the support I could provide and the moment it got complicated she dropped me.

And I was the one who keeps suffering. Who still wants to go back to her. Who cries himself to sleep at night. And I was always afraid I was going to hurt her. Always scared I would say something wrong. Trigger some trauma. Make things worse for her. I was always just thinking about her wellbeing, never mine. And so I ended up never defending myself.

And the few times I did she always reacted annoyed and overly aggressive. In the six months we ended up dating, I only found the courage to speak up like twice, I think. And not once did she apologize for something I accused her of.

And what did I do after she ended it and I sort of ran with it because I was hurt by her words and horribly overworked and stressed out and couldn't think straight? After three months I fucking sent her a letter telling her that I miss her and that everything is my fault.

And only the instinctive reaction of my body stops me from becoming friends with her again after she read the letter and writes to me on instagram.

I fucking trembled!
Not out of happiness.
But of fear and panic.

I think I didn't fully understood it at the time, but I was scared of having contact with her. She had become the personification of panic and pain and yet I was still convinced that I wanted her. Heck! If I'd randomly meet her drunk in the streets tomorrow I would absolutely still spend a night with her.
Actually.
Maybe I'm finally at a point where I wouldn't.

Still.
Fuck you.
Fuck you for being so difficult. Fuck you for giving me the most traumatizing first half-relationship I'll ever have. God I have learned so much from you. And I wish I never had. But I did. And I won't make those mistakes ever again. But it will take me years to fully process what you fucking did to me. I wish I could hate you for it. Instead I just want you and your kid to be happy. And never fucking see you again.

Setup for requiem.

between date seven and breakup.

The idea to spend a few days in Paris must have stuck with her, so she started planning exactly that. I would have loved to join her, but I wasn’t in my home town and I was busy. More busy than I’d ever been the entire year. This was the last month before the final deadline to finish our movie, everything was getting very close and stress levels were extremely high. I started to have chronic pain in my jaw, sometimes it got so bad that I could only fall asleep with pain killers. Nothing was finished in time, nothing worked as planned, we ended up finishing the final mix three weeks after it should have been finished and it was bad. I’ll actually work on it a few more days after the holidays, just to make it more bearable.
So, while I couldn’t come, she had decided to spend one entire week there, to see some art, feel sorry for herself for being alone in the city of love and go on tinder dates. Turns out she also had a friend in Paris who she had never met, but had fallen in love with online. I think she mentioned her once or twice, never really detailing how much she was in love. I guess she really fucking loved him. Or at least the idea of him. She complained at one point about some mean comments of his about how she looks, I think. So she had already blocked him like five times only to then write him again.
But she wasn’t going to meet him in Paris. Why would she? That would only hurt and accomplish nothing. Right? She was so happy to find herself a cheap airbnb in the middle of Paris. Somebody even made her custom memes to celebrate her upcoming trip. I was happy for her. I really wish I could have joined her.

It must have been around this time things got more serious with me and the other girl I was dating in the other town. We had kissed, she had asked me if I wanted to be her boyfriend, I thought fuck it. Never had a relationship, I like the girl, we had kissed for the first time a few days ago, what could possibly go wrong? Right? We’ll get to that relationship a few blogposts later. So I told her. I told her that I have a girlfriend. And I think she was sad, because she realized that there’s not going to be more biting on trains to Paris. But I honestly think she was genuinely happy for me. Still. If there’s one sentence I learned to absolutely hate its: “I’m so happy for you.” I can never tell if it’s meant nice, ironic or full of self pity. It always sounds to me like: “Oh. So now you think you’re more happy than I am? Good for you.” I don’t want people to compare themselves to me, I dislike showing off my happiness. (I definitely like to show of my unhappiness though. Just look at this fucking blog:) Idk. I just don’t like the sentence.

One day before her trip she wrote me something about how she really hopes she’s going to see her child again and what if she’s never coming back from Paris. And then just never really explained what she fucking meant by that, which obviously scared the fuck out of me. But I guess those are the kinds on text messages you have to live with when it comes to depressive friends? She had also in the past from time to time just randomly mentioned how she’s thinking about killing herself or that she had recently hurt herself. And every single time it would hit me like a brick wall. I would be scared and very worried for her, yet unable to really to anything about it. It FUCKING HATE “Just being there”. It is the worst feeling, especially over the internet. And all that would always make me extremely anxious. frustrated and angry. Moodnotes (It’s an app, where you can take daily notes about your mood.) calls this thinking trap “Intolerance of Uncertainty” and suggests:

Notice the areas in your life where you accept uncertainty with respect to how things will work out. What does this say about your ability to tolerate uncertainty?

The thing is. I don’t tolerate uncertainty whenever I can avoid it. I’d always rather know and understand. Even if the answer is horribly painful. Isn’t this blog the perfect example for this? Idk. I guess it’s a thing in need to work on. I guess I’ve always tried to embrace uncertainty when it comes to creativity? Maybe I need more time to think about this.

Whenever she would write scary shit like that I would always ask myself why she’s even telling me this. I mean. Sure, it’s great that she’s able to speak about it and if she has no professional to talk to, I guess a friend must suffice. But has she ever considered how this would make me feel? How it would just make me worry for her whenever she wouldn’t text me back after more than a day? Constantly thinking that maybe … she had finally done it? And I would have no idea. I very sure I had at one point or another told her about how that makes me feel, but I guess it never changed anything. I haven’t had contact with her for months now and even as I’m writing this I worry about her. How would I even ever know if she had already ended up dead? If she had never returned from Paris?

How friendships crumble.

between date six and date seven.

This was our last real date. A lot of time had passed since we last saw each other. I had been out of town for a while and when I wasn’t she didn’t feel like meeting.
And a lot of things had been said: We wrote each other many times a day. She told me things I never expected anybody to tell me. Things that could get her into a lot of trouble. But they were safe with me and they always will be. I told her that I was a virgin, as if that wasn’t obvious already. She was very nice and understanding about it. At one point she basically offered to take my virginity, which offended me a bit. Because I never really complained about it, I never needed her pity, I don’t just want to get it over with. It has never been a huge deal for me and quite frankly now that I am slowly gaining some experience, I still value things like friendship so much more than sex. I’m often surprised how so much hate and conflicts have been sparked because of sex. Actually no. I don’t think sex has ever been the issue, but the completely unrealistic idea of love that surrounds it. Like a great white circling a baby seal.
So I told her that I’d only like to have sex with her because she wanted to have sex with me. Not to take my virginity. I think she didn’t expect that, but it was fine. It was also roughly around this time that she told me this:

[…]
You know. I think you should really go on another date with ... that one girl.
I don’t think I’m interested in you that way.
And it would feel rude to keep that to myself. In all honesty, I’m not sure, but I feel like in order to figure it out things would have to escalate, but it would be unfair to you if that would only make me realise I don’t like you that way.
[…]

To this day I will never know what exactly she meant by “that way”. Love? Sex? Friendship? I mean, I guess it must have been more than friendship. But what the fuck do I know. Also no idea what she meant with “things would have to escalate”. Sex? Vacation? Something about her kid? Was she still hiding something from me? Idk. However, things sure did escalate a lot with us and I guess she eventually figured it out. At the time I didn’t take this as serious as I probably should have. Because after all - she’s not sure! Let’s escalate! Whoohoo!
It was five days later that time she called me toxic and manipulative over not immediately reaching out after I had unmatched her on OkCupid. I had no idea. But I guess that must have really hurt her. Yet she would end up doing the very same thing to me.
Anyways. Those words “toxic” and “manipulative” hurt a lot. They fundamentally questioned my self-image, even though I’m still not sure how much she was right about it. I need to ask some people about this. Get some different perspectives on this question. To this day I sometimes ask myself: “Wait. Are you being toxic and manipulative again?”
And then she changed to a different topic. Just like that. Here was a woman infinitely more experienced in relationships and sex and all those things and yet all she could do was get really mad about the things I did or said. And then just ignore her feelings and pretend like nothing ever happened. She’s almost as shit as I am when it comes to talking about emotions.
So. She probably wasn’t into me. And that’s ok. So I tried to move on. I went on other dates and while we would sometimes talk about it, I wouldn’t keep her in the loop all the time. And why would I? She was now a friend and nothing but a friend. I had some feelings for her and I told her that. At some point I even told her that I’d probably not be interested in hooking up with her because while the night would obviously be fantastic, the next two weeks of not having her would just be a nightmare. I wish my brain wouldn’t do this. If only I had no feeling for her this could have become the greatest friendship+ of my entire life. I think the the sad truth is that when it comes to sex and relationships you don’t start out with a perfectly functioning friendship+. At least not if you’re already socially awkward and would rather always stand on public transport than sit too close to strangers.
But I kept her up to date from time to time. It’s not exactly like I went on a lot of dates at this point anyways. But I was starting to get more serious with one person and when I told her, she reacted like this:

[…]
You lied to me to make yourself look better and keep telling me about your dates.
[…]
I lost interest after the okcupid thing. Part of me thought aye no wait give the guy another chance when we started meeting up so I mean I did.
But sorry.
It’s not happening.
[…]

While obviously sad about this. I tried to accept it. I tried not to look at her as more than a friend anymore and things were mostly going fine. But I was starting to notice something. A sort of disconnect: She kept telling me that she's not interested but would then still approach me physically and romantically. I believe they call this a “Double bind”: A dilemma in communication in which an individual receives two conflicting messages, with one negating the other. And this would become extremely apparent in

date seven.

This one was again, very different. I had been back in town for quite a while when she spontaneously asked me if I wanted to get some sushi. I was very surprised by this, because. Well. I thought she wasn’t interested in me anymore:

[…]
SHE: Hey do you want to meet?
[…]
ME: I though you were the one who didn’t want to see me again?
SHE: I do want to see you again?
[…]

I declined. But offered to meet the next evening. And this is where I made the huge error of not asking what this was going to be: A date or just two friends meeting. Instead I just assumed this was not going to be a date. I accidentally came 20 minutes late, to find her outside the sushi place we had had our second date many months ago. She wasn’t happy about it. Too many things had been said between us, so I was very reserved and careful at first, but eventually we loosened up and after two cups of warm sake and a bottle of wine the spirit of our second date was back. We talked, we laughed, she was fun, she was so different than she had been on WhatsApp. More calm and nice.
It was already getting late, so we drunkly made our way to catch her train. On the subway to the train we sat next to each other, when she suddenly placed her right leg on my left leg and just looked at me. I guess she was drunk and I guess she was trying to somehow make this date end differently than all the others. I was confused by it. Suddenly the ballon of “just friends” exploded and everything was different. I remember considering to place my hand on her thigh, but I still wasn’t having it. So. As I always do, I awkwardly tried to play it off by trying to stack my other leg on top of hers. It was very weird and clearly confused the fuck out of her. God, retelling this really makes me seem like such a weirdo:)
At the train station she conveniently missed her train, so we had to wait another hour, which we spent buying more booze, getting yet another fucking lighter for her - fuckin’ smokers - and getting some snacks. She still owed me some money so she bought me more wine and made me drink the entire fucking bottle. I’m so glad I can take it, even though I usually don’t drink a lot of alcohol. We had the sudden idea to very spontaneously take the next train to Paris and spend a few days there. I would have actually 100% done it. These are exactly the kinds of dumb decisions I need in my life right now. Also. I was drunk. We almost bought the tickets. In the end she only stopped because she didn’t have anybody to look after her child.
Her train was early. I had at this point already learned one thing about trains and dating: Friends sit across, couples sit next to each other. So I sat down across from her. I was wasted and laid my head on the table between us, she started fumbling with her smartphone so I tried to make her stop by randomly pressing my fingers onto the screen. She immediately took my fingers between her teeth and just kept typing with both hands. I proceeded to do the exact same thing with my other hand and suddenly both my hands were partly stuck inside her mouth. She was biting me while my fingers started playing with her tongue. It was at this point that the old man next to us got up with a sigh and found himself a differnet seat. I was too drunk to comment on how dumb all of this was. I don’t think I said anything. I didn’t arouse me as much as it was just absolutely weird and hilarious. But also fascinating, just a thing I had never done before. Later she bit me in my wrist and I did the same to her. She asked me to pet her again. I declined.
Again I stayed on the train for a few stops util I had to leave. As if to finally finish this she gave me a big kiss on the right cheek and said goodbye. I remember standing up and realising how drunk I was. I remember how I wanted to give her a massive hug. How I wanted to kiss her goodbye. Instead I stumbled out of the train like a drunk idiot with a smile on my face, as I heard her giggle about my clumsiness behind me. My last thought was: I will never see you again. And in a way I was probably right.

today.

Fuck. I just started reading some of the old chat logs I still have and god, we did have a lot of fun writing! I miss that. It actually made me laugh, which is weird because I’m writing this in a packed cafe. I don’t think anybody noticed though. But this is the feeling I’d like to remember. Joy instead of pain.

Since all of this had happened I’ve started to become a lot more conscious about my mental health and I realised how often I purposefully make myself sad:

  • Why put on a sad song when you already feel like shit? It really doesn’t help. It’s actually about the worst thing you could do.
  • Why do I keep thinking that I need some alone time, only to then sit alone on the couch feeling sorry for myself? Instead I could be spending time with my friends.
  • Why rewatch a beautiful but tragic movie, only to make myself cry at the end. Why not watch a new movie instead! How about a comedy?
  • Why allow my thoughts to go to dark places when I’m alone in my bed and can’t fall asleep? Instead I could meditate, listen to ASMR, talk to a friend, get some ice cream. Do whatever helps to distract me. Makes me feel better. I just need to do it. I just need to not give up.

A huge part of being sad and depressed is allowing yourself to feel those emotions too much. I know that I can do sth. against this most of the time. I only need to be aware enough to notice when negativity takes over and act accordingly. Training myself to apply this kind of mental first aid has been extremely difficult, but it has been working surprisingly well. Well, shit. I never wanted this blog to turn into a digital self help book. I guess it’s already too late for that. Sorry.

Forgive me, Hera I cannot stay

Laura Marling - What He Wrote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm3uMGfIj2E

Date six. Part two.

So for the first time in my entire life I had spent a night cuddling with a half naked and really hot woman. We woke up, took a shower - separately of course, she asked me for fresh panties in case I had something other than boxers. I only have boxers. She complained that I don’t even have conditioner in my bathroom. I didn’t dare to ask what conditioner is. We spent some more time in bed, watching youtube, cuddling in weird positions. I think at some point she sat on top of me and I was astonished by how heavy she felt on my back. Not to say that she was out of shape. She wasn’t. She was perfect. For the longest time she had one leg stretched over my back. She also bit me in the arm once or twice. I think that was quite sexually charged for her. Biting. But it absolutely wasn’t for me, I was just extremely confused by it, asked her if I should bite back, didn’t get a clear response and decided to just better not …

I remember her telling me “No.” at some point, while making a very serious face. I was so confused, what she was even talking about. It took me like five minutes to figure out that I had sort of unconsciously started humping her. I didn’t really think about it whatsoever, but I guess the humping had taken a direction towards her pants. It’s weird when you catch your body doing stuff that you never wanted it to do. Especially when nobody is going to believe you. Anyway, it wasn’t a big deal. In retrospect I just wished I had apologised about it. But I didn’t. Because bringing that up five minutes after it happened would have probably seemed extremely awkward.

Eventually we left my home to catch her train. We got some coffee on the way, she put on some funny podcast and gave me one of her ear pieces. The thing is, my hearing isn’t the best, it’s actually a horrible problem in my entire family. So when I have in-ear headphones on, I can’t really hear what somebody is saying even one meter away from me, so I would never understand her over the podcast. Also the headphones just kept falling out of my ear all the time. Until suddenly - she pulled me in and took my hand and didn’t let go. Another completely new experience for me. To walk hand in hand through town. Everything changed after that. Suddenly we belonged together, I immediately felt like people looked at us differently, like they thought we were a couple. And that idea made me so happy.
We got some more food, I still didn’t really felt like eating - remember, the two bottles of wine I had the day before? So I just watched her. I even stayed on the train for a few stops before leaving her. I remember awkwardly hugging her while she gave me a kiss on the forehead. That day was probably the happiest of my entire year. I think if I had to name a day where I fell in love with her, this must have been it. But considering what I thought had just happened between us, I wouldn’t see her again for a very, very long time.

I’m still pondering whether I should write her. And when. And what.
A few days ago I almost just sent her a message on WhatsApp and only didn’t because I had deleted all her contact information, just for weak moments like this. I don’t really do stupid shit when I get drunk. I’m also usually not alone when I get drunk, so I’m not really scared of that happening. It’s more that sometimes I forget the bigger picture, the grand vision or in this case the last seven months and how they made me feel. Sometimes I dream that she’s going to just suddenly appear right on my doorstep. Or that I come home from work and she’s just lying there, back in my bed, like time had stopped. Like nothing ever happened. What the fuck even happened? One of the reasons why all of this is taking me so long to write is, that I still don’t really understand it. I don’t really know how we ended up where we ended up. And I probably never will.
Right now my plan is to handwrite her a nice goodbye letter on Christmas. Nothing accusatory, no desperate love letter, no invitation to talk. Just a honest and heartfelt goodbye. I already revised and rewrote the text for the letter like five times and will continue to do so until I’m satisfied. I also want to finish telling this story on this blog before sending off the letter. I think that will help me to focus. Give me closure.

Confronting trauma one blogpost at a time.

Date six. Part one.

Quite frankly. The greatest date I ever had. The high point. Peak Dating. Ten out of ten possible hearts. I’m serious!
But the funny thing is, it started very passive aggressive.

I was late. About 10-15 minutes late, mostly because I had overestimated how long it would take her to get to the park. When I finally arrived she immediately asked me for fire - fuckin’ smokers - and when I could not provide, she immediately sent me on a quest for lighters to the local kiosk. Once I got there, they didn’t have lighters, so I continued on my journey but could only find closed stores. It was late Saturday already. So the hunter returned empty handed and found his female had now gotten hungry as well. So off I went again. Venturing forth for about half an hour to the next supermarket, buying fruits, pastry and lighters. All this time she sat in the park, reading a book while nervously licking her unlit cigarettes.
Finally I returned. I half expected her to have already asked a group of loud and smelly teenagers next to us for fire, which would have been just the greatest. To send me away for no reason after all. But she didn’t. Still. I was at this point slightly annoyed. But I probably deserved that for showing up late, I guess.

Finally back with her I just lied down on the grass. It was a beautiful summer eventing, the slight breeze was warm and gentle. We opened the first bottle of Rosé she had asked me to bring, we smoked some weed - though at this point I wasn’t as enthusiastic about trying that again, we watched youtube, we laughed, I felt accepted by her. Eventually it had gotten dark and enough people had left the park for us to move to the stream that meanded its way through the park. We originally planned to go skinny dipping, but then decided to keep on our underwear after-all. Still too many people around. We jumped in, the current was strong and really fucking cold. We must have giggled like little children. She looked beautiful in her underwear.

Of course I was the only one who had brought a towel, so naturally she got to use it, while I had to dry by myself. Lying there we could see the stars, she remarked on how fast they were moving and I had to point out that that’s just an airplane. That weird herb. I never before had that feeling. Just lying there, listening to the stream go by, hearing the muffled voices of happy people in the park all around us, feeling the wind gently cooling my wet skin, knowing that she was next to me, only with me, even just for that one little moment. I felt calm and happy and satisfied. This day was already perfect. What else could I possibly still ask for.

It was at this point too late for her to catch the last train back, so she was going to stay the night at my place. But first. We decided to order pizza! We ordered at the closest Dominos and started to walk there my foot, me still soaking wet. We randomly decided to switch to english for a bit, we did lot’s of funny accents, for once a thing I can shine at. She turned out to have the most adorable accent I ever could have imagined and I was surprised to learn how insecure she was about it. We picked up the pizza with the third bottle of wine and spontaneously decided to take a taxi back to my place, which my money was literally just enough for. Officially broke but finally back home, we ate the pizza in the garden, more or less careful not to wake up my family, she smoked one last cigarette and then went to my bedroom.
One thing you have to understand is that at that time, not only was I still a virgin, but I also had never even spent a night cuddling with, well … anybody … really. So in theory I should have been terribly excited. But I wasn’t. I was calm, happy and wasn’t expecting anything. Even if nothing would happen, this would have already been a beautiful day. I was completely satisfied just having spent time with her. (I still made sure to quickly wash my dick in the bathroom. Just in case:) I was also drunk and slowly getting tired.

In bed she immediately asked me to massage her. She even showed me how she liked it, she kept calling it “streicheln”, which is german for “to pet” somebody. A word more suitable to describe caressing a pet cat. First I only touched her back through her shirt, later she removed bra and shirt. A few minutes later she asked me to pet her legs, I helped her slowly remove her trousers. Somehow I still remember that as one of the most sexual things I’ve ever done. While I kept touching her, I kept wanting to touch her cute butt, but I never summoned up the courage. Today I would just ask her if I could. For some reason I kept drinking a lot of water and wine until I had reached my limit. I guess I finally ended up being kind of nervous after all. I drank at least two bottles of wine that day. Lesson learned. I didn’t puke, but I started to feel a bit sick and had to lay down next to her. Eventually she took my arm and pulled me in to spoon her. I had never before been so physically close to anybody. It was the most intimate I had ever been with anybody. Throughout the entire night I had a raging boner, which she must have noticed, but ignored. I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night, because I drunken too much and had to go to the toilet a lot, but also because I wasn’t used to somebody else inside my bed at all. It was completely new territory. I remember us lying face to face at one point, me hugging her, her head close to mine, just looking at each other for a second. It was lovely. We slept well into the next day and I had a horrible hangover. Not the headache kind, just the upset stomach kind. I was still dirty from lying in the grass so I took a shower. When I returned to bed she was still sleeping, but cuddling again felt too much for me at that point, suddenly it was all just a bit too much. So I sat down next to her for a while, trying to read a book, from time to time just looking at her. Happy.
In retrospect I should have told her all of this. All of my feelings and emotions. I think she misunderstood my shyness and emotional overload for not being interested. But I think we wrote about it later and for once I could set things straight. Eventually she went for a shower too, but our date still wasn’t over.

I walked around my home town today and decided to specifically visit some places I had spent time with her. Places that had memories attached. Many of these now hurtful memories. I tried to go there just to find out how it would make me feel. But also to reclaim my town. Maybe she broke my heart. But she’s not going to make me hate my home town.
I was quite going there, that it would open all those wounds all over again and I almost didn’t take the trip. But now I am glad that I did. Some places hurt more than others. Some felt fine. Some I couldn’t find again. The most important thing is that I confronted my fears, may they be as ridiculous as they might sound to you. If I can survive this, I might survive whatever comes next.

My second weed experience. And other disappointments.

I had a busy week and yet I’ve still been thinking. I didn’t really feel like writing late in the evening even though I would have had the time. It would have only made me depressed.
I started retelling this story as a way to find a new perspective. To answer some questions I’ve been asking myself for so long already. But recently I’ve been second guessing this idea. Why should I continue to linger on old and hurtful memories? Can’t I just finally try to forget? Why should I continue torture myself?
I guess my answer to that is simple. I don’t think I ever will forget. … Sure. Memories will start to fade. I already struggle to put our seven dates in the correct order sometimes. A year from now I will have forgot what might have been said on those days. In five years it will have all blurred into one unified experience. But the emotion is too strong to leave me forever. This has been a way too integral part of my emotional life. This will stay.
So I might as well try to backup this correctly to my long term emotional brain storage. I will not run away from my complex problems and difficult feelings. I will try to process them. I will try to be a grown up. Try to save myself therapy five years from now. xD As if that’s how it works:)

Date five.

This one was mediocre. And yet, it started with the second weed experience I ever had. She’s a more or less regular smoker and we had often talked about how I had only tried it once and it never really showed a significant effect. So she had promised to bring some next time we see each other so I could try again.
So, its a warm summer day, we meet in a big local park in my home town, sit down in a wide field, lots of people all around us, yet nobody seems to care or notice as she lights the first joint.
The nicotine shock hit me like a brick wall. I started coughing, my eyes immediately started to tear up and snout was running down my face. I must have looked sexy as fuck. Still, I continued to inhale properly, she joined in and I think we ended up smoking at least two joints in total. We watched all the other people in the park, giggled about random nudist stripping down naked in front of us and just talked. I didn’t really feel any different. It was basically like the first time I had tried. A sore throat, the disgusting taste of tobacco in my mouth and that’s about it. Nothing seemed much funnier and I din’t feel unusually relaxed.
We planned to see Yesterday later that day, you know, the movie about the alternative universe guy who suddenly starts hearing Beatles songs and becomes famous by playing them? So we went to the cinema. But the moment we had arrived, we saw this really nice burger place right next to it and Yesterday was no more. We had awesome burgers, she kept giggling a lot, while worrying that people might notice that she had smoked. Which as I now know, is SUCH a weed thing! I wasn’t worried at all, just glad my eyes had stopped to tear. We continued to talk, we had fun, but somehow less fun that usual. I don’t know what happened, but after the food her mood got a bit less positive and she started to get a bit silent and depressed for some reason. In retrospect I should have just asked her what’s up. One of the many things I learned this year.

Just. Fucking. Ask.

Maybe it was this weird moment we had, when our hands touched for a second while walking next to each other. I wasn’t sure if she wanted to hold hand or not. I remember grabbing her for a second, she pulled away, so I let go again, then her had came back and because I found the whole thing confusing I just started ironically patting her hand. God that was awkward. Again. I should have just fucking asked her if she wanted to hold hands. In retrospect she might have interpreted my silence as a rejection. And in my defence, I had up to that point never held anybody’s hand in any romantic way ever. It just made me very nervous.
I started walking her back to the train station, we stopped at a McDonalds for a coffee, she got scared shitless my some random dick who suddenly started screaming into his smartphone. Five minutes later she was apologising about suddenly being so nervous, her mind immediately went to “terrorist attack” and her heart was still racing. I tried to comfort her. I wanted to hug her. Tell her that I would never let anything happen to her. But I felt like I would have overstepped some red line by holding her and the “I am a man and will protect you.” -act is kinds cheesy isn’t it?

Anyways. Finally at the train station we ended up having to wait for a while, she had the idea to sit down (on the ground, of course;) and watch vine compilations on youtube. It was great fun, we laughed, we cried, we cringed. We also ended up being pretty physically close to each other, awkwardly not really hugging each other, but clearly touching a lot. As always. I only do weird. You should know this my now. Still. It was nice.
Finally the train came, we hugged each other goodbye and that was that. I think she was glad to finally be on her way home that day. Although she did mention later that she hadn’t had as much fun in many many weeks as she did watching vines with me. That made me happy.

I took my own train back home, practically fell into my bed and couldn’t for the love of god fall asleep that night. I was just completely unable to lie still for more that ten seconds in my bed. I was constantly rolling around. from left to right, on my stomach, on my back and everything in between. It was excruciating. My body felt like I was running a marathon while my mind just desperately wanted to finally go to sleep. Only later I would learm that that must have been my only significant effect of the weed. It just sent my heart rate racing like crazy. So much about the supposed relaxing aspects of that weird herb.

I’m still considering writing her. I’ve already outlined like three and a half different letters to her. I’m considering handwriting her a physical old-school kind of letter-letter. Because it’s the best way to make sure she actually receives it, it requires a certain lever of work which shows that I give a shit and it’s kind of romantic … I guess. But is that a good idea? To be romantic? The thing is. Even if she started talking to me again. I don’t know if I even could or how I would proceed from there. I still have a lot to think about I guess.
I recently “stalked” her instagram and her user doesn’t exist anymore. She would always do this for some reason when she had a panic attack or was at a particularly bad place mentally. She never deleted but often deactivate/suspend all her social media accounts. So. Maybe. She’s not feeling much better that I do without her these days. Or maybe that is exactly the kind of thinking that got me into this whole emotional mess in the first place. Did I ever only feel drawn to her because I felt like she needed somebody? Idk. That was definitely part of it. … I just want her to be happy. … And I fucking miss her. But I want to be happy too. I also deserve to be! See? Now I sounds like I maybe shouldn’t write her, don’t I?

The forth date.

Ólafur Arnalds - nyepi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quum8qoG7v0

If I had so summarise this date in one word it would be: Awkward.
I’m not even sure if I should call it a date. At the time I didn’t think it was. I thought I was visiting a friend. Afterwards I did feel different about it, about her. So I’m including it. It is in may way a turning point in our relationship. She allowed me to step into her life that day. It was humbling and exciting. And I also didn’t know how to react to many new things, which mad it very awkward.

Her hospital wasn’t exactly in my home town. I had to take quite a long train ride to visit her, I failed to change to another train, had to wait for an extra hour on some lonely train station in the middle of some nowhere countryside. God. I am such a city kid. I could never live in a place like that. It makes me anxious just to think about it.
It wasn’t really a problem though. We just met an hour later. We had actually decided to go to the old part of the village she was staying at and just meet on the bus that drives there. So, of course the bus is absolutely packed. I have one of the few remaining seats, she gets on the bus with a giant baby carriage that just barely fits between the other two, there are people between us, it’s loud, we can’t really say hi, we can’t really hug, we’re both obviously kind of frustrated by the entire situation and on top of that I decide to awkwardly wave to her. Finally she sits down next to me for a second, but obviously can’t just ignore her child in the back of the bus, so she’s constantly checking on it, eventually stands up again to be next to the carriage, but I can’t join her because there’s just no room. I distinctly remember how weird it all felt. I wanted to say hi to her kid, I wanted to stand next to her, I wanted to hug her and say that I’ve missed her. And I couldn’t do any of these things. And once we finally got off the bus it was obviously too late for my brain to make up for it. Because it would have probably made things even more awkward.
So we went for some ice cream. I continued to be socially awkward. I guess I pretty much just ignored her kid, because I don’t know how to deal with children anyways. I never have. I feel silly talking to them, I don’t know what to say and what not to say. It all comes down to the fact that I don’t have any children in my closer family or circle of friends, no tiny humans to practice being social with. So I just avoid them whenever I can.
She used the opportunity to go shopping, the kid almost suffocated on a piece of pretzel, we walked through a few small stores, spent some time in a book shop. It was actually quite a nice little town. Nothing I would ever want to live in, but nice. I slowly started to warm up to her again. We talked a lot about movie - the only topic I really can talk about endlessly. She had bought a few new shades of nail polish and wanted to test them on me. So I let her paint my nails. I think it had her happy. To be honest she didn’t do a very good job. The paint was very frayed at the edges of my nails. But I liked it, I liked the human contact and I hadn’t worn any nail polish in probably over a decade, so why the hell not? I even kept it on throughout the next week, until I finally remembered to buy nail polish remover.
Eventually she had to get back to the hospital, this time the bus ride was significantly less awkward. We both stayed at the baby carriage, she was hesitant to hold onto me in a steep corner - which amazed me. I still don’t fully understand why she was so incredibly careful with me. I wish she would have just kissed me that night on our second date.

I decided to stay with her at the hospital for a few more hours until I had to catch the last train back home. Only family members were allowed inside. So. Again. There would have been a bunch of park benches, but she chose to sit down on the concrete stairs in front of the entrance instead. She was doing most of the talking. Telling me about all the books she had read and all kinds of gossip about other patients in her ward. I remember suddenly noticing how silent I had been the entire day, but I seemed unable to really do anything about it. I wanted to ask her questions, but all I could come up with were dumb and impersonal ones. Such as, who many patients were currently at her hospital ward. It felt weird. It feels even weirder in retrospect. Maybe this is why so little people are interested in me. I should really learn to talk more.
I did however finally have some interaction with her kid. It was fascinated by my colourful nails and I can proudly proclaim that I successfully stopped it from eating random plants countless times. True life saver I am. I also almost let it fall down a stair-step. Just ignore that.
I think we gave each other a short hug when I left. I walked back to the bus station, the bus brought me to the train station where I joined the three other passengers. It was at that moment that I decided to make a selfie. I still have that picture today. Me sitting next to the train window. My face illuminated by the bright orange sunset, my resting bitch face just slightly broken by the tiniest smile. Like a fire had been ignited inside me. Like I had maybe allowed myself to fall in love just the tiniest bit. And maybe it was going to be ok, no matter the odds. I was happy back then, happy that I took the trip, happy of what’s to come. Hopeful of a bright future.
So what did I do? I wrote her she should forget about the things I once wrote about not being interested in her romantically. I told her I liked her a lot and I wanted to keep spending more time with her. that I was sorry about the confusion, that it’s all a bit much, the hospital, the mental breakdowns, the kid. But I wanted to try again.

Now I sometimes wish I had never visited her that day. I think I should rewatch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Just because I think it might help me answer a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Would I rather experience this? (Remembering the good and the bad experiences I had with her.) Or would I rather forget all of it? Or in other words. Has all of this pain and drama been worth it?

It’s obviously still affecting me a lot. Otherwise I wouldn’t feel the need to write about it. I’m spending the next few weeks in my home town again. Away from my friends. Closer to her. And I’m afraid it’s going to throw me into a huge depression. Should I write her again? Should I apologise? Even though I’m not entirely sure what I would even be apologising for. No. There is a certain level of pride that is stopping me from writing her this time. And we’ll get to why that is in a few dates. But, I am wondering if that pride is keeping me from becoming happier again or saving me from even more pain.

Building a Friendship

Still between the third and the fourth date.

I guess she did give a shit. First we write on Instagram, then she gets a new phone and we switch to WhatsApp. And we write a lot. At the time I didn’t really have anything else to do, so there were days where I basically did nothing else but write with her. We talk about everything. Art, movies, books, politics, music, so much music, we talked about sex, she’s incredibly open about that topic. I never had a friend like that before, so I enjoy it, it feels exciting and freeing. Sometimes she starts flirting. She might have even given me a compliment once. (Which she might have done no more than another three times ever.) And she sends me partial nudes. The first and only nudes anybody has ever sent me. It was really fucking hot. I feel very flattered by all of it.

She got accepted at the hospital. It’s a special hospital where she can have a room with her kid. She tells me a lot about life as a patient. It’s fascinating, often absolutely hilarious, sometimes it almost reminds me of that Netflix show “Orange is the new black”. How seemingly unimportant things suddenly become very important when you’re “inside”. How there are rumors of girls sneaking out at night to meet with male patients from the forensic ward. She also told me about the different kinds of medicine she has to try. How it often takes weeks to find out if they work or not and how the side effects are often pretty fucking crazy and unexpected. Like the fact that they often affect you libido. Have you ever masturbated 30 times a day?

So this is a time where things get a bit blurry. Lots of things got written. Some I might regret later, a lot I just don’t remember anymore. These are the times I don’t have a chat backup from, so I can’t really check either. I think we didn’t really have any fights. She had a few more breakdowns and she definitely had a lot more that I knew nothing about. A lot of fear of loosing the custody of her kid, etc. I tried to be supportive, I tried to be there and I think I was there a lot. Whenever she needed me. I also told her a lot about my life, about how I was doing, what I felt und thought like. I feel like this is the time she got to know me a lot better too.

This was the time we really became friends. And I wish we still were. I just don’t know if it would make me happier.
So she invited me to visit them in the clinic, so next time I was in my home town, that’s exactly what I did.

My Side

Red flags are everywhere and I was just blind to them because I just was in love with the person.
https://vimeo.com/365303320

Between the third and the fourth date.

So. At this point I had to make a decision. Should I tell her that this is too much? Is telling a potential partner about your mental illnesses only after they have shown themselves in the most extreme way a red flag? If I had known I would have been more prepared. To be honest I don't know if I would have reacted any better or worse. Mental illness is such a vast and complicated topic! And I tried to get into it, I tried to develop an understanding, I even read a few comics about it! And half a year later I still feel so lost!
But it would have helped me that night, to know that ultimately this is just an extreme episode that will pass in a day or three. That night had quite the effect on me. At the time I was writing with a lot of people on dating apps and suddenly I started asking them about prior mental problems. And the result was fascinating. The vast majority had a history of, not just a mild depression, but a serious clinical diagnosis. All of a sudden I felt surrounded by “craaaazy people”, I took this way too serious and started to ask myself why I might be attracting women with mental disorders, when in truth mental disorders are just much more common than most people think. It’s just a huge stigma, so we don’t hear about it nearly as often as it happens. Also. My brain likes to be dramatic about things and I was looking for some simple explanation on why I was single and alone.

What is a red flag anyway?
Regular panic attacks?
An unwanted child at around 20?
Boasting about the amount of drug experience one had?
Trying to study philosophy?
Watching the Kardashians?

Failing to be understanding to all or just one of the above?
Failing to properly talk about important feelings, emotions and expectations?

I guess it depends. And in this case it depended on me.
I talked to a lot of my friends about it, hell, I even talked to other dates about it. Some told me to completely cut ties. Ruuuun while I still can! She’s obviously a broken person and she will continue to make me feel incredibly depressed! She might pretend like she needs me but she probably also tells that to the twently other guys. Others told me that if I wanted to be there for her I should try. And I really felt like she did need me. She told me multiple times that she didn’t really have a lot of friends. And I guess that’s a thing I like a lot. Helping people.
The oldest person I have ever met on Tinder once told me that she felt like I was the kind of person who likes to take care of a partner. I don’t know how the fuck she managed to come to that conclusion within the maybe 20 messages we had exchanged. But fuck me she was right. I love being there for people. I love it when somebody thanks me, even though I always pretend to be very modest. I love the feeling of power you have over somebody when you suggest something in their interest and they actually do it. (I know that sounds creepy btw. but I don’t really know how else to put it. There just always is a power aspect to helping people.) Since I’ve heard about it for the first time I wanted to go on one of those boats in the mediterranean sea that helps refugee rubber dinghies. My secret plan in case the movie thing fails has always been to work as an emergency physician. Those are mostly fantasies. But you get the point.

To put it in very simple terms: She wasn’t making me happy anymore.
So I chose to write her goodbye. I told her she’s awesome, I wished her and her kid all the best, I thanked her for her time and all the great things she showed me.
But it didn’t feel right to just loose her completely. I wanted us to stay friends. I wanted to be a grown up about this! She's incredibly interesting and even just from a storytellers perspective - I wanted to know how her story continues!
But I also didn’t feel like she ever really cared about me. And that's not how friendships work. So I gave her an option. A way out. Some way to write in case she actually gave a shit.

[…]
You‘re welcome to continue writing me on Instagram etc.
I‘d actually like that, because I really like you.
But I don‘t have the emotional experience for anything more than that atm.

I think at the time this was less of a conscious decision, but she would later get really mad about my intentions here. Calling me words such as “toxic” and “manipulative”. For? Well. I guess for making her write me again after a week? For trying to find out if she cares about me as a human being? And not just a chat bot with the sole intention to make her feel better about her shitty life?
Maybe it was a bit manipulative. Or maybe she's just extremely good at making one feel bad. Idk. What do you think? I’d actually really like to know. (Do the guestbook thing!) At that time I honestly couldn’t imagine ever being together with her. I also think I have a small phobia of loosing friends. But we’ll maybe get to that in a few days.

Did you see that last fucking sentence btw? The one about the emotional experience. Right now I am literally none the wiser, than I was half a year ago! One week later we started to write on WhatsApp again and everything continued as if nothing ever happened.

Darkening of the light.

Your life may feel out of control or under a dark spell for a time. This too shall pass. A veil of untruth makes things dark, but all hope is not lost. Yield to the darkness for a time, but be cautious of it. As the light dims your inner light grows more visible. You are light. Light is love. The Sun still shines behind its veil of clouds. It is the light inside that is ultimately important. With this knowledge you can survive any darkness outside.

The third date.

So. This is where things escalated.
One thing you have to understand is that the first two dates happened within less then a week. At that time I used to work in my home town and study in a different town two weeks at a time and another two weeks had just ended. But at this point I was absolutely enchanted by her. So I promised to come back the following weekend. We would in theory have three days to spend together. So, I'm back in my home town, I tell her I'm here, I ask her when she wants to meet and I don't really get a promising answer. She seems to avoid my question, she says she's not feeling well, she's busy, she has nobody to look after her kid and she keeps getting weirder. I came back on Friday noon. She didn't feel like meeting then, she actually canceled our date on Saturday so late that I had already been waiting for her in town for two hours.
All this time I was starting to wonder what was going on. All I felt was confusion and disappointment. And I try to be understanding. Those things happen, she's a young mother, she doesn't get a lot of sleep, how could I even be so selfish to expect her to see me?
Still. On Sunday I started to get a bit frustrated. So I write her that I'm going to be leaving town today. If she wants to see me, this is the last chance. Again. She says she's trying. But again, I never get a concrete answer. I have nothing better to do so I start buying bus tickets for all kinds of scenarios. Just to have one reserved

  • in case we don't see each other,
  • in case she does show up and can only stay a few hours
  • and one in case we meet, it gets really late and leaves on her last train home.

I basically just spent one half of three days watching movies in my bed waiting for her to write me when to meet, only to then spend another three halves waiting for her to cancel our date.
It's getting late, it's cold outside, I'm already in town because I have nothing better to do, I start wandering through streets, just waiting, waiting for something to happen. I write her that I’m going to leave now. And suddenly something happens. She finally responds. Which is unusual because she’d been very taciturn for the last few days. And what she writes takes my fucking breath away.

My parents are kicking me out
My dad told me to just kill myself
My brother said that he hates me
I don't know what to do any more
[…]
My brother beat me up
I'm just
I don't know where to go
[…]

In case I need to remind you. She’s just a bit older than 20, has no job, no german citizenship and a one year old.
I remember exactly where I was when she wrote this. It actually was quite a lovely old inner courtyard. I should maybe go there next time I’m back in my home town. Confront trauma and all …
By the way. When I say this took my breath away I mean it. I still remember the physical reaction I had reading all of this. I remember how cold it was. I remember how my hands started shaking, how I told myself it was just the cold temperature, how I had trouble breathing, how I had to sit down on a park bench for ten minutes just to calm myself down.

So. What was I supposed to do?
First of all. I was freezing. I had to get warm. I had to move. So I started to wander through my home town. Aimlessly. Not even looking where I was going, just focused on the OkCupid chat. I tried to find out if she was actually fucking serious. I tried to calm her down. I tried to be nice and understanding. I tried to be there. I started asking questions. Trying to find out where she was. If she and her child were in immediate danger. If they needed a place to stay for the night. If I should call the police. If I should come get them. Slowly trying to find out what was going on. Maybe I could help somehow. It took her forever to answer just a single question and she never answered half of them. She said she had phone phobia and calling was not an option. It was infuriating.

Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, I was about to cry, it was cold, for the first time in an hour I looked up and realised I had to idea where I was. I had no idea what the fuck to do. So I called my best friend and told her everything. And fuck me I’m glad I did that. She saved me that day. She was there and I am so grateful that she was. We spoke on the phone for almost an hour. Meanwhile I kept texting, really still just trying to get a hold on the situation. My best friend suggested calling the hotline of a local women's shelter. So I did. They were very nice and understanding, but couldn’t help a lot. Obviously I didn’t give them any personal information about her. She would have to approach them herself anyway. I mean, tbh. I didn’t even knew her last name at the time. One thing the lady on the hotline said stayed with me to this day. “If I have any knowledge about a crime that has been committed, you have to tell the police.” Fuck that scared me. I didn't know what to do and what not to do. They gave me a few addresses and phone numbers I forwarded to my date. It made her extremely furious.

Fuck you
[…]
I asked you to
Not get involved
Can't you just do one fucking thing I ask of you?!
[…]
Please just leave me alone

This day was the single most dramatic day. Well. A least of this entire year. And this year was packed with so much drama:) I will never forget it and it will haunt me forever. She apologised a few hours later. We kept writing throughout the next few days and she gave me a lot more context on the whole situation. The short and highly censored version is: She has cPTSD from childhood trauma. It makes her panic a lot. That night she had an extreme panic attack. I wish I would have know that such a thing might happen ahead of time. The fact that she didn’t tell me is. Well. It should have been telling, in a way. She really wasn’t looking for anything serious, anything long term.

I never met her family. Maybe they really are a bunch of dicks, maybe they just can’t really deal with the mental illness of their daughter very well. Maybe she’s just not the family type. But I don’t think she was ever in any real danger that night. Even if her brain told her otherwise. Not that that would matter in the moment. Either way. She still lives with them to this day and as far as I can tell she’s now doing much better. But it took months for her to get there. Next time I would meet her would be in a mental hospital.

The second date.

We went for a really good sushi place. One of the best ones in town. It was so good, she actually still keeps going there to this day. Just, not with me.

This time she was early. We had an awkward reception, because she was sitting on the entry steps of some apartment building in an alleyway next to the sushi place. It was already dark and I wasn’t sure if it was actually her until I approached her. I sat down with her. Somehow that felt weird to me. I don’t really know why, thb. I guess I would usually rather stand and waiting, than sit down on the dirty floor of some street. Maybe this is just my arrogant privileged mind speaking. I would later notice that she did that a lot. She would rather sit on the floor than, say, on a public bench. Even if it was right next to her.
We went inside, she was surprised I had reserved a table. We drank an entire bottle of wine and started to get kinda drunk. Everything was perfect. We laughed at each other failing to eat with chopsticks. It just felt like we had already been friends for years. It felt right. I felt safe with her. This was again, different to every other date I ever had up to that point. We finished the sushi quite quickly, but stayed a lot, drinking, talking. I don’t really remember a lot of what we talked about, I just remember it as a great date.
After the sushi we went to look for a bar. She wanted me to try a White Russian, so we just started wandering though the town looking for a nice looking bar. It took us ages to find one that wasn’t completely packed. We ordered two Black Russians - that’s all they had and she started talking again. A lot. This time she opened up a lot more about her personal life, about her one year old child, how it wasn’t exactly planned, how the father had run away, about how traumatic the entire pregnancy and birth was. It seemed like for the first time she had found somebody to tell all of this too without receiving judgement. Actually, all she received from me was awe and respect. The more she talked, the more I was impressed by her endurance and ability to just keep going.
I don’t want to give away too many details. I don’t want her to be easily identifiable. Though, anybody how already knows her in person must have already recognised her at this point. This feels morally complicated btw. I don’t know how she would feel if she would know I’m writing this. There are many things she had told me over the course of the time we spent dating. Things I would never tell anybody. And I have told her personal things too, mine just tend to be. Less. Extreme. I’ll have to pay close attention about what to leave out in future blog posts.

Anyways. Human child birth in and of itself is already fucking crazy. But the shit that she had been through was completely insane. And still, she seemed so. Fine. I was so fascinated by her. God she was interesting! I remember walking her back to the train station, running with her tocatch the last train. I remember being drunk. I remember her being drunk. Both just the right amount. I remember being just happy. Just in the moment. She gave me a very long hug to say goodbye. It felt amazing. On my way home she texted me she wouldn’t have minded a kiss. I agreed.

To this day. Even after eight months of dating. We never kissed.