I am not well versed in FOMO (the fear of missing out). When I feel it, which is very rare and always very specific, it’s incredibly uncomfortable and hard to deal with. This is the third (fourth?) year that I have shared in the excitement of my fellow sex bloggers as they prepare for their pilgrimage to Eroticon and every year I try really hard to be excited for everyone, to feel and share “convention compersion”, to take interest in what they are preparing to present, to cheerlead everyone through their nerves. And every year it catches up to me. And every year I’m sad. I don’t travel well, I panic in crowds, I’m not good at “joining in”, and the thought of a convention full of almost-strangers makes me incredibly anxious. But 2019 was going to be the year I pushed through all of that. There were plans. And then there weren’t. There was a lover. And now there’s not.
Forgive me, there must be something in my eye …
Today is the Thursday before Eroticon. The day I would have landed in London, the day I would have stepped off my flight jet lagged, but happy, because I would have been stepping into The Writer’s arms and I wouldn’t have left them for the better part of a week. Instead, I’ve blocked out the sunny afternoon here, still on the nearside of the pond, and I’m wallowing. I don’t mean having a little cry, I mean snot and tears on my shirt, eyes swollen from sobbing, wallowing. It’s been months and months, and the break up is old news, yet today, that wound is fresh and the tears don’t stop the bleeding.
Every lover, and every love, is unique and in that sense there’s no sense in thinking about what has been lost, when we can think of what was gained. That’s the healthy rational perspective. However, the nature of our relationship was such that I am quite sure I will never know a love like his again, and my heart just keeps shattering for what was, or could have been. There would have been cold pizza waiting in our hotel, he’d have been locked and bubbling over with his sweet submissiveness, his collar shiny and dark under his shirt collar, undetectable to muggles but there, as ever. But it’s not that way now. His head is never going to be in my lap. I’m never going to touch the freckles on his shoulders. Never.
We’ve been texting. I shared my sadness because I can’t ever contain anything I feel. He’s an excellent friend so he was, of course, understanding and available, but today isn’t breaking him like it’s breaking me. I’m glad of that. I wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone I loved. I know there’s a stack of letters tucked into his personal copy of Anna Karenina that he refused to let me send back. I know I could read them and re-live so much, but for what? I don’t seem to be struggling to feel, perhaps I don’t need the reminders.
I muted #Eroticon on Twitter and I’m taking a break for the weekend. I’m genuinely happy for all of you that have made it there, for all the connections you’ll make and experiences you’ll have. Truly I am. But for now, that’s over shadowed by a mess of feelings: sadness, envy, impostor syndrome, grief, and a heavy, heavy heart. I know it will pass, all things do but until it does, I feel stuck and sad and very far away, literally and figuratively, from so many things and people that I love.
Someday. Or never. Only time will tell.
“Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand.”
from Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy