Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breaking Up and Coming Together, Part IV

 Read Part I by clicking HERE; click HERE for Part II; and HERE for Part III. part of the reason that I was hesitant to be anything other than Kadin's friend was our mutual friend, who I'd dated before moving from L.A. to New York. We only dated for about two weeks before I moved and became close friends afterwards. Once I was in L.A., we talked on the phone, visited regularly and developed a completely platonic relationship for about five years before Kadin came into the picture. But still, I didn't want to start anything romantic with Kadin because I didn't want to ruin a friendship or cause any awkwardness between two or three of us should things not work out. And because this mutual friend had told me that Kadin was a player, I was sure things would, in fact, not work out.

But on a sunny Saturday morning, after a bunch of times of unromantically and romantically hanging out with Kadin and learning he was not player-like at all, I hopped in a car with my former love interest and my current love interest for a seven-hour drive up the California coast.

I drove and the two of them took turns sitting in the front seat. We listened to music, talked and stopped for snacks and gas until we got to Big Sur, where we got out and stood on the beach looking at sea lions, the beach and the epic landscape. It was as beautiful as ever and I remember feeling free and happy, but slightly worried about the wind and how insane my hair looked.

We took a ton of pictures and dipped our toes in the water (it was March, and just before Kadin's birthday) and hopped back in the car to try and find a place to stay before darkness came. I had wanted to stay in a yurt on a bluff just above the ocean but decided against it in the end since it was March and they only had two beds. I needed three beds, one for each of us. We found a camping ground amidst giant redwoods and a babbling creek that I'd seen online and had one-room wood cabins with multiple beds. We checked in and then headed out to find a restaurant so we could eat an actual meal vs. Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper. We finally found a bar/restaurant filled with locals and really delicious seafood. We parked it at the bar, which means that I was sitting in between Kadin and our friend. I remember that Kadin and I unconsciously ate off of each other's plates and I was horrified--once I realized--to be doing so in front of our friend.

After dinner, we ducked into a local bar that the bartender from the last place had told us about. It was filled with hippies dancing to Jimmy Buffet-style music and reminded me of one of my college hangouts in Santa Barbara called the Beach Shack. I was either too embarrassed or thought I was too cool to dance but Kadin and our friend busted out and started shaking their butts immediately. They kinda took over the dance floor and it was hilarious. Once they were sufficiently tired and sweaty, we hopped back into the car to try and find some wine we could take back to our cabin.

We sat outside in front around our own little fire pit, talking and drinking cheap red wine for hours. But pretty soon, the night sky was too cold so we went inside, where the only place to sit was a set of bunk beds and one queen size bed. I strategically placed myself on the queen bed, where Kadin was sitting. Our friend kind of had no choice but to rest on the lower bunk bed. And while I didn't want to actually get all humpy and horizontal with Kadin yet, I was dying to know what it would be like to makeout with him.

Our friend fell fast asleep on his bunk while Kadin and I talked and talked. I kept waiting for him to make a move. I mean, I was laying right beside him in a bed for chrissakes. More hours went by and I tried to concentrate on what he was saying, but really, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that if I had balls, they would be blue by now. At some point, I was responding to something Kadin said when I all of a sudden heard him snoring beside me. No way, I thought. Are you kidding me? All of this talking and listening and no makeout? I was pissed, but eventually I fell asleep, too. Then sometime when late night starts to become early morning, I felt a heavy hand rubbing my lower back, dangerously close to my butt. I was entirely freaked out by this. He wouldn't makeout with me but felt comfortable enough to give me a rub down near my buttocks? My ass is not that fantastic, but I've got great lips. I lay there a little frozen, not knowing what to do. Finally, I sat up and said something about needing to brush my teeth.

Now, this is the first physical contact Kadin and I had other than one lingering hug. I'm utterly confused about where we are taking things--some place or no place and which one do I prefer at this point?

Pretty soon, we pack up our things and head for our next stop: San Francisco. But we need a little gas first. I pull up to the pump while our friend heads inside to pay and Kadin gets out to put the gas in. I get out, too, and Kadin and I are standing there alone for the first time since his confusing back/butt rub minus the makeout. And he says to me, "What, no morning kiss?" I laugh uncomfortably and walk away thinking, morning kiss? As punctuation to what? Some random rub and nothing else? What is he talking about?

The three of us jumped back into the car and began driving again. I remember stopping at a beach and skipping rocks and climbing driftwood. I also remember texting back and forth with Kadin little jokes and flirtations and wonderings that were fun and sweet and exciting because our friend had no idea. It was a way of being alone without being alone. I was participating in all of this but still confused about the previous night.

...okay, don't be mad, but I have to continue this because Sabine just woke up and this is way too long already and people, sadly, rarely read long posts, articles or stories anymore. I promise that Part V will be the juicy final chapter...stay tuned!


Leslie said...

I read every word...:)

Miss A said...

You and him in that picture... Breathtaking!

Laura Mauk said...

@MissA, really?! thank you so's the only one i have of that time and i always question it cause of my hair!

Laura Mauk said... happy to hear it.

Miss A said...

Yeah really. I'm guessing your mutual friend took that picture. I hope he's still in your life because he obviously cares for both of you (because you can tell how someone really feels about you when they photograph you). What a wonderful picture. Your hair looks great (but I'm a fan of the larger hair). It could have been taken in the late 50s.

Anonymous said...

Love it...My best memory of my love Nico is when we first met and he said 'je t'aime!' and I thought nothing of it and that he meant that he liked me...That's all! Not so...Et alors...C'est bien!!

Laura Mauk said...

@Anon, I LOVE this anecdote! People's stories of how they came together are so funny, idiosyncratic and interesting. I think it's especially fun to remember/read because finding the right person isn't easy and because your relationship evolves so much past those first kind of purist moments/meetings.


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