I met my current partner 15 years ago. We have been in a relationship for 5 years. That leaves 10 years of situations that did not include any sexual relations at all.
It was 15 years ago we worked together on global print and broadcast advertising accounts, in the same agency. We travelled together, socialized in professional functions a great deal, and mostly worked as a team, side by side, many hours a day.
My first impression of him stemmed from his introverted personality.
He wore all black, always, with no exceptions. Sported long hair that was always tightly pulled back in a ponytail. He was extremely private, and as a result, very quiet.
Now me, being an extreme extrovert, and one who constantly was playing around, made us polar opposites. They do say opposites attract. While there was no doubt attractions existed from both sides, I was in the midst of planning a very big wedding.
Here’s the thing. And the reason I am sharing this with you. He was cool in every way except one.
He would stare. Constantly. More so at me but I noticed at others as well.
A stillness would accompany his frequent stare and made me quite uneasy.
You would think it was creepy, but it felt unpersuasive. Not intimidating nor arrogant. Never sexual or any feeling of judgement. Not mean or angry. Actually you could read no emotion into it at all. Nor reason or motive. Completely mysterious.
But he would just stare.
I didn’t know if it was a habit he had formed or maybe wasn’t even aware of it at all. If he was I couldn’t imagine why and more so what was going through his head. What was he thinking about? Did he remember what he would see? Did he know other people knew he stared and did he care? How much did he know or maybe want people to be uncomfortable?
I, personally became very uncomfortable in his silent stare. But was much to afraid to say anything. Almost like it was my own imagination. Too awkward of a subject to approach him with and yet I felt awkward when he did.
The situation grew as he began to stare more and I would catch him out of the corner of my eye or when I looked up at him.
During that year it did get creepy for me. I focused more to myself and less as a team. Did he know he was pushing people away, or is this what he wanted to do after all?
Despite his habit, I cared for him deeply, but his stare kept me at a distance.
Basically, he stared me into silence.
The Missing Years
And so I married and worked as hard as ever, until an illness took me from my profession. This illness is called drug addiction, and I was going to the US, to Malibu, for Rehab. Minimum one year.
I kept in touch with no one, and focused on my recovery. Got divorced following rehab, and lost custody of my daughter, in the cruelest of ways.
Was unable to work due to mental illness, and found myself quite alone. I never did contact my partner and given I had moved three times, he had no way of contacting me. I didn’t want anyone to regardless. To tell them what? I had lost everything, my life was completely in ruins, and was incapable of building a new one?
However, I often thought of my partners ocean blue eyes and did miss his stare.
Now with time going by and memories fading, for some reason I held onto his stare, and missed it. Mostly the attention it had brought me, and the fantasy that stare created. Choosing to believe he had been infatuated with me.
I had no self esteem to contact anyone, let alone him. In my despair I held onto the notion, of maybe one day, working again. I knew now, and had to accept it would never be an executives career again.
In the meantime, during visits to the psych wards, months at a time, I found a passion. That passion was writing. I wrote everyday, all day, sometimes. Accumulated dozens of journals and wrote about everything and everyone. I wrote about fantasy’s and fairy tales. Trials and tribulations. That writing saved my life.
As I would think and pause from writing I found myself not just thinking but also staring. With nothing in my head, no thoughts or details. Just staring.
And would think of those ocean blue eyes. And often.
Maybe that’s why he would stare all those times. For no reason at all. I began to understand the possibility of his habit.
Myself, I continued to stare, unaware of what I was staring at.
A Reunion, My Miracle
That was it. A decade had flown by.
For me, I was still unable to work, and continuing therapy. I had not once contacted or ran into anyone from the past. I still had no self esteem to do so anyway.
Still in recovery trying to stay clean from drugs, I hit an AA meeting with my regular Saturday night group. I was late as usual and the meeting had started. I sat at the back and took my coat off.
As I looked up after there he was. No more than 6 feet in front of me. Not one thing had changed about him. He turned to notice me and smiled, then faced back towards the front. I was trembling and shocked that I was so nervous. He never turned around again. I couldn’t believe the reality that he was a recovering alcoholic, and I never knew.
Through the entire meeting I stared at the back of him.
The standard reunion greetings were exchanged and I chuckled as he did still stare and was still very quiet. I felt very nervous and we had so much to catch up on. Eager to do so,we went back to his loft, to talk.
Which we did no talking, more than, how are you.
Passionately we instantly started making love and continued to do so for 2 days. And yes his stare was continuous. It was different however. More relaxed with confidence.
Now I am a shy person, especially when it comes to nudity. To be stared at naked made me extremely self conscious.
Then slowly he wasn’t staring at me anymore, but watching me. And he has ever since.
Somethings never change
See, I love it now when I catch him silently staring at me. I am touched knowing it’s because he’s watching me.
It no longer bothers me, nor intimidates me. I get it.
His stare is just that. A stare.
A look of interest, a look of thought, a look of observation, a look of distance, a look of curiosity and a look of approval.
Had he not stared at me, he would not be interested.
So baby, never stop staring and watching me.