The Dark Side of the Wave
Photo: J. Robert Williams
After a tsunami hits, the most damage is done by the dark side of the wave quickly receding back into the ocean depths, taking everything in its path with it. Past experiences have taught me that the same concept is true for floods of emotions.
I once allowed my emotions to be released with full force, and went a bit crazy when I had to reign them back in. This is the story of my own emotional Tsunami:
We were interning at Curve magazine when we met. I vividly remember my reaction to her walking in late to our first day’s orientation. She looked like someone I knew, someone I’d always known, and I immediately thought to myself that I was in serious trouble.
We spent months sending hilarious and flirtatious emails to each other across the table and got in trouble more than once for giggling uncontrollably at what was supposed to be fact checking assignments.
Don’t tell my editor, but the best part of my day was spending extra long lunches with her, chatting over bento boxes at a Japanese restaurant in the strip-mall across the street.
Our first kiss was electric and one of the best I’ve ever had. I had just gotten out of a relationship where I held my emotions back too much and I found myself over-compensating with her. Holding nothing back, I allowed myself to tumble and fall head over heels for Tsunami that very first night.
A week later we were working a Curve promo party when we got caught making out in an elevator by Ilene Chaiken, producer of The L Word. We rode the elevator up in silence and got off in the ice room on the 22nd floor.
That was the last night we ever had sex.
Childishly and drunkenly, we confessed our love on a window sill at the end of the 22nd floor hall overlooking downtown San Francisco. Holding hands and singing Janis Joplin, we went back to my house and slept tightly in each other’s arms, afraid to let go.
Waking up the next morning, it was apparent that the light of emotions from the previous night should have stayed in the dark. The intensity was unsustainable, and anything less felt like rejection and failure. I wanted us to be together, and I wanted it now.
Problem was, her very recent ex wanted the same thing. I fell apart the day I had to accept a dozen cliché roses and a teddy bear holding an “I Love You” heart from the delivery man at Curve. I knew who they were for and who they were from before the office insisted I read the card out loud.
Within a month of our first kiss we were no longer talking. She went back to her ex, and I slowly, yet happily, moved on to The Wind.
I recently looked her up on Facebook and last week we communicated for the first time in four years. She’s in med school and I’m a law student–both changed from our youthful intern emotionally ideological selves.
I grew up a lot that year, my first out of college, and learning emotional patience was an important step in my process of becoming an adult. I know now that I personally need to move slowly and with a purpose: avoiding devastation.
Queerie Bradshaw loves shoes, social justice and sex. Born a farmer's daughter, she believes everyone deserves a good roll in the hay, and feels empowered by her feminine sexuality. She frequently travels both domestically and abroad, exploring women and wine from all regions. Now a law student who dances burlesque on the side, she fights for international rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of good porn. You can follow her on Twitter (twitter.com/QueerieBradshaw) and become a fan of hers on Facebook.