An anxious person tries to calm down

In the end, what bored me was obsessing over my neighbor, trying to go out to dinner with someone who thinks that making reservations is “limiting” and seeing my friends stop paying attention to me every time I complained, for the umpteenth time, that I was I would have canceled an appointment.

I stopped keeping the light on all night, began to sleep well, found a therapist, and opened up to the possibility of meeting someone else.

That other person was Henry, a friend of a friend I met at a movie screening. He had freckles all over his face and a big unapologetic smile. He was British, like me, but the similarities ended there. He was obsessed with being outdoors, loved to cook, and was a moderate drinker.

On the contrary, I considered an excursion to Central Park to be hiking, bought my meals (sushi, muffins, pre-cut fruit) in a gourmet store and was not moderate in anything.

I liked him instantly, but I didn’t fantasize about marrying him.

On one of our first dates, Henry made reservations at three restaurants and let me choose which one to go to. In another, we watched a documentary about the ills of salmon farming. In the following months, we meet once or twice a week to eat, go to the theater or see an exhibition. I didn’t have to wait for him until late, nor did I have to wonder if he would stand me up or not.

I was used to soaking up a person like I drank a whole glass in one gulp, but with Henry, I sipped it. He surprised me with his juggling skills (he had been taught that as a child to help him with his dyslexia) and told me about his role as a peacemaker between his older brother and younger sister. Later, he told me about his friend who was run over during his freshman year of college, about the shock and pain it caused him.

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Every new thing I learned about seemed precious to me.

However, I did not feel safe. Where was the electricity? The emotion? I thought falling in love with someone must be like having an orgasm and a heart attack at the same time.

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