The impossible happened.
Groups are all about context. We are who we are to each other relative to the norms we observe and adhere to. Intimacy can build in one controlled, sober and staid context, and then be gone in a room with fewer constraints. Or it can go the other way – a sense of connection building inexorably, creating pressure, tension, a inhibited yearning, which can, once transplanted to an environment with different norms, suddenly expand.
After too long the second happened.
I’ll explain the group and the context later. For now what matters is one particular example of sudden intimacy, of connection, of the opening of possibility, of joy, and adventure, and life.
Somehow, having been frustratingly disconnected for so long, I crashed the distance. Drink had been taken. It was late. I said I would get to know her, whether she liked it or not. The “wall” between us would have to come down. I meant it playfully, and in my remembrance I meant it platonically. We would, I though, be friends. I was issuing a challenge to her: let yourself be known.
In retrospect, this may have come across as aggressive, confrontational, “brazen”, and – crucially – it may have seemed like a clumsy come-on. That was, I later learned, how it was taken. Clumsy, but as it turns out, not entirely unwelcome.
For my part, I maintain that it was relatively innocent. Flirtatious perhaps, but safely so given my basic assumption that anything beyond friendship was so absurd as to not need to be guarded against. I was drunk, if that counts as any defence.
Was I “negging”? Accidentally? Unconsciously?
If so, was it effective?
” You can crash at mine, if you like…”
We went home, in opposite directions. Me, happy, excited, connected to the Artist, to The Cool Blonde, to Gentle C, and even, briefly to her: G. She, apparently, went home less content.
Sometime before 5am, only a few hours after we all went home, she texted me.
“Let’s meet up sometime.”
And we did.