The Pedant dropped by tonight. I had commissioned a friend of his to make some clothes for me and he saw her before I did so he took ’em. So he was coming by to give me the clothes, finally.
In accordance with our weird recent pattern of having an ongoing argument/discussion via email while acting totes normal everywhere else, he came in and made small talk with me and didn’t say anything at all about any of the argument.
I tried on the clothes and we talked about how they look and blah blah blah. And then suddenly The Pedant took an appraising look around my living room and started on a whole huge spiel about all the things he was gonna do for me sometime in the near future. “Y’know what? We need to get your printer set up. And it looks like the iPod dock I got you would fit really well on that shelf right there…and I’m gonna set up a charging station for your phones on the other little shelf like I was talking about before…and I’ll reformat your iPhone so you can use it with the dock as a stereo, and I’ll help you get all your stuff transferred from your old laptop to your new one, and and and…”
So that’s interesting. He was clearly trying to ingratiate himself to me, and/or apologize for upsetting me. But of course he would never actually talk about the issue at hand and apologize for it or anything. Like if he actually does all these helpful things for me it’ll be great, but I have a feeling he hopes to do them instead of addressing his punctuality problem. And that’s not really gonna work for me.
Oh here’s another funny thing: he kept talking about a cell phone that’s hugely on sale, but only online, that he wants. And how he doesn’t have a credit card so he’ll have to get someone to buy it for him (he mentioned this last time I saw him, too. I said aren’t there disposable credit cards you can buy? He didn’t want to use one, I forget why). He’s definitely bringing it up because he wants me to use my card for this. But he hates seeming vulnerable, so he won’t ever say the words “would you put this on my card?” – and I told him I hate when he says “I’m gonna need you to -” like I’m an underling, so he won’t say that anymore – so all he can do is just talk and talk and talk about how it’s such a great sale and it’ll be over so soon. And I just nod and smile and pretend I don’t have any idea what he’s getting at. I don’t especially want to put hundreds of dollars on my credit card right now, anyway. He would give me the cash upfront, I’m sure, but I don’t think I can pay off my card using cash so I’d have to shuffle things around and it would be a whole thing.
This whole time, we hadn’t really touched beyond me maybe putting a hand on his shoulder to usher him into the building. When he said he had to get going, I wanted two things before he left: to be physically close to him, and to talk at least a little bit about the elephant in the room.
I caved to the former urge first, stepping into his personal space and putting my arms around him. He was very much not in sexytimes mode – probably because he wasn’t sure how mad I was at him, but also he has a case of jock itch at the moment so sex is off the table – so he didn’t catch his breath and melt as soon as I got near him, but he hugged me back. I relaxed into it and then he started massaging the places next to my spine that get ouchy and tense and then he turned me around so he could massage me some more.
As he continued kneading my back, I said “So…I have to ask. I tell you that your chronic lateness upsets me and you immediately respond back that you have contempt for people who dislike lateness. So, do you have feelings of contempt for me, then?”
The Pedant’s fingers froze for just a second, like a computer glitch, and then resumed massaging. “No,” he said. “I was talking about other people I’ve known.”
I knew he’d say that. I knew he’d deny making a veiled threat. And I don’t even get the vibe that he’s lying to me; I think he’s just that obtuse about his own motivations.
“Okay,” I said, “Well, if you have something to say to me then say it. And if you’re talking about someone else then why do I give a shit?”
Again his hands glitched for a second. “…I was just sharing my thought process with you.”
“Well, if I do a thing and you basically say ‘the last person who did that thing earned my contempt’ that’s preeeeetty much gonna come off as a threat.”
“Noted,” he said, a little stiffly. But he kept on massaging me for a bit longer.
I said something about how ridiculous his deflections were in his emails and he said he didn’t realize anything was coming off as deflection and I was like “I told you that a thing you do upsets me and asked if you would work on not doing it anymore. And instead of answering this simple yes or no question with, y’know, yes or no, you wrote me a dissertation on how you don’t see not doing the thing as a ‘virtue’, and you feel contempt for people who don’t like the thing, and you don’t mind when other people do the thing so what’s the big deal, blah blah blah. So yeah, it’s deflection.” I deliberately didn’t put him on the spot to give me a yes or no at that moment. I’d rather he had time to think about things and gave me a solid answer than say something out of panic that turns out not to be accurate. But I definitely noticed that he didn’t volunteer anything, or even talk about why he hasn’t concretely said yes or no.
And then he stepped back and said again that he should get going. I said okay and stepped in to kiss him goodbye. He must have still been feeling tentative and not knowing how angry I was with him because, again, he remained somewhat stoic as I approached. My kiss was soft and fairly chaste, but slow. And as I began to pull back, that’s when I finally got that little gasp. And so I hovered for a moment with my mouth a millimetre from his and suddenly he was just…crackling with sexual energy. And I played with that for a while, kissing him and teasing him with almost-kisses until he was entranced and swaying on his feet. For a long time he passively received my attentions with his arms at his sides, but then he abruptly started kissing me back and put his arms around me. And then he started massaging my clit through the pajama pants I was wearing. I took that as my cue to drag him into the bedroom.
I knew he was both self-conscious about his fungal infection and terrified of passing it on, and so he would not want to disrobe. He hadn’t even taken off his leather trenchcoat or his boots. I think he was still wearing his knapsack, even. I didn’t care. The thought of using him for totally selfish sex suited me just fine. I had him get me off twice and then he really did have to leave. As he usually does when he knows I’m in some distress over him, he said “We’ll talk soon, okay?” in that sweet, warm, reassuring voice that melts my knees.
I don’t know what will happen with us in the future. But I feel somewhat comforted for now. It was hard, having all those complicated talks via email. I really needed to see him and feel that he cares about me. The defensive, deflecting tone of his emails did not convey this. His arms around me (and his huge flood of promises about all the things he’ll do for me in the near future) did.