Or as I like to call you: Mark. However, a lot of people will know you by your handle (Instagram name). Not that I’ve called you Mark to your face in weeks, I just call you, you.
It’s been 7 weeks, I guess. (I only know because we met on a Saturday, the 26th, inside the Grootkerk in Graaff-Reinet. I still laugh at this.) The only other reason I know this, is because you’re the only man that has given me this much attention in my life.
I lie you’re the second man, no wait, the third man. My dad has given me attention in all my life, but any romantic inkling – you are the second. The other man, well he’s off limits and I will never break up a marriage, but he’s not in the picture. You are.
In these few weeks you’ve made me lose my appetite, you made me eat everything I could get my hands on – I suspect that’s why I’m craving pickles and Oreos at the same time, also I’m always stressed – and be so nervous I ate half a breakfast meal that I only wanted one bite of.
Do you know how stressed I was the first time you did not say anything? Not a word passed your lips, your messages, nothing. I actually started shaking, by the next week when you did that I was into my normal routine of: “okay, he’s not into me, slowly distance yourself.” That’s my default setting. Now you live 15 minutes away and I have yet to see you. For a quite blunt man you are quite quiet. For someone that Skyped me every evening, I rarely see you now. Sure, we still phone each other, or rather you phone me, because my schedule is “so busy”. If I tried that with you, I would be told to phone back later, just to answer your thing of “Why didn’t you phone me.” Trust me I’ve tried.
You know, I still don’t know how to love myself. I don’t. I don’t know how to fall in love with someone else. Sure, you might say things like “I like your legs”. That’s what’s part of me. They are a feature of me. They will eventually go, I suspect, when I turn 80. If, I turn 80. What about my brain? You do know I won’t hate you if you don’t know stuff. (I pretended to know something and it backfired hilariously.) I’m not known for my wit or quick thinking. I’m sometimes know for stringing words together so that they somehow make sense. I don’t want to fall into shallowness. I’m not comfortable with it. I will be one of those statistics, the one where people most likely drown in shallow ends of a swimming pool, if I do.
I know how to fight. I fought a lot as a teenager, I did a lot of things as a teenager. I don’t like fighting now. I might even suck at it. Not that I want to, because there’s nothing to fight about and I might just fall apart, because that’s where I am in life.
Also, dear Instagram-guy. I know I’m going to get a label inside your head. One day, when my depression is low and I feel suicidal, I will get a label. Because in your mind, depression only exists for other people. I wish it did, I wish it never taints your skin like it has mine. I sometimes want so scrub off all my skin, because it makes me feel dirty. Let’s not talk about the anxiety, the stress, the nightmares. The craving of your hands and the regret when I feel them on my skin. I am flawed. I have no-self esteem.
You know, I thought I was going to write a lighthearted thing. To be honest, we still don’t know where we stand. And every day that goes by, it gets harder for me. I’m sure you have other women lined up, you have that type of personality.
I wanted to write that there’s actual video evidence, the first time you made me freak out, the time we stood together to talk and when I gave you my number. I wanted to. I just couldn’t.
I still have this faint feeling that I will go through life without a first kiss. I’m okay with that. Do you know how hard it is to be okay with that? People tell you that it’s okay to be alone. Maybe. Maybe I’m just tired of it. No, guy, you’re not going to be superman and I’m not a damsel in distress. Stop telling me how I should feel about loneliness, longings and lusts. Don’t say things if you have never been there, stood alone and pretended everything is okay. I may never have dreamed of my own wedding, but going to weddings on your own isn’t as fun as they say it is.
So, dear Mark, if you ever read this (which is unlikely, seeing as you dislike reading) that’s where I stand.