I am well past the point where I think I need a man around.  Most of the time I can’t remember ever being the kind of person who does.  Other times, I have a vague memory that I might just be making up.

But I am still the kind of person who likes to think about a man.  I like to pick one in particular and feast on thoughts of him for weeks or months.  I don’t like to divide my fantasy time among a flotilla of interchangeable faces.

I like to think about conversations I might have with the Chosen One.  I like the way we can discuss serious topics through the lenses of our fantastic senses of humor (I’m not going to shortchange either of us – it’s my fantasy).  This man is a person I could like.


If I am feeling particularly reckless, I think about him with my senses.  I imagine the low timbre of his voice, or how I like the way he smells of soap and that musky manliness.


When I am overcome with abandonment, I think about how it feels to touch him – his hand on my arm, his stomach sliding across mine over a gloss of sweat.


And then the real trouble starts.  I start to think I’m the kind of person who could have a steady man around for all those senses to feed on daily.  In the real world.


But in the real world he wouldn’t always be so witty.  And his hand wouldn’t fit into the small of my back the way I want it to fit.  He would smell more of pepperoni pizza than soap or pine.  I can’t make him do what I want in the real world.


Does it matter if I’m just the kind of person who needs to have a fantasy man around?


If I am satisfied by a pretend man who ignites my mind in just the way I need him to, whenever I want him to, does it matter what I do in the real world?


In my head, when I think this way, I can hear people telling me that’s no way to live – that it isn’t healthy to live in a fantasy when the real world is waiting.


Happiness doesn’t seem that concrete to me anymore.  I don’t think it’s limited to what your senses can feel, when they can imagine so much more.  I am not always concerned that I am missing out.


For completely different reasons, my need for the fantasy both reassures and worries me.  Clearly, I like to feel connected to other human beings.  I don’t think I’ll end up living off the grid in some rickety old lean-to with no one to talk to but the squirrels.  On the other hand, my need for that connection proves, yet again, that I am not as self-reliant as I would like to be.  I have learned the hard way that connections you’re unaware of can hurt just as much as those you recognize.  I want to know what I want before I venture out again, even if I only sketch out my demands in very general terms.  More importantly, I want a better awareness of who I’m letting in, who I’m keeping out, and why I’m differentiating.


Maybe the world is waiting.  I need it to to wait just a little bit longer.  I’m working on me, and I’ve needed some time.  I haven’t been able to take on the pressure of trying to meet somebody, and forcing myself to look for him wasn’t going to help.  I’ve been trying to figure out what I want and what I need and what I can’t be without.  My curiosity will get the better of me soon.


Maybe someday I’ll be the kind of person who isn’t overwhelmed by the thought of having a man around.  I may never be the kind of person who needs one, but maybe someday I will think a man’s frequent presence is nice.  I can breathe in his scent while I watch him do some of the little things I’m so used to doing for myself.


Until then, I’m going to look cautiously while I let my fantasies make me happy.  Even if I am never ready for more, I won’t have wasted my time.