The Balcony-Loving Stranger


You went back to your family’s house while they were away since it was closer to the bar you were at. You were drunk. It’s a random night (Monday) after a friend’s concert and a mismanaged man situation (classic).

You would not allow yourself to fail since current popular culture values performance over well-being. When you were dismissed, refused and ignored, you became vulnerable to your core and you had shivers of unworthiness and self-disgust running through your spine. Sometimes, this anxiety turned into infernal insomnia, which slowly killed your rest time and your usual cheerfulness.

The morning after, you woke up and decided to take care of yourself, which was the sensible thing to do and the only way forward. You were clearly conscious that the wild years of oblivious drinking were over and that your friends were busy individuals working weekdays. You stayed home alone and drank green tea and coconut water in the hopes of getting some sort of glow.

When there was a happening, you dressed up and you hung out with your buddies in large groups. You possessed a deep dissatisfaction about your current situation, which translated into the dangerous moments where you sashayed through the mostly familiar crowd, looking for a handsome stranger for love at first glance.

It happened quickly. Your common sense was now useless: your ideas about taking it slow since you wanted a long-term relationship were frozen like your flirtatious smile. Your worries about whether or not the novelty boy would turn out to be an asshole fell out of the window. The midnight magic and cocktail-filled evening took an unexpected toll.

You saw him casually sitting there looking sharp and regal in a crisp denim shirt. He said, ‘’Hi, I’m Paul’’ and you went on chatting about your individually exciting lives.

You took a liking to him instantly. He possessed the perfect balance of warmth (he talked about going for an aquatic date), charm, looks (tattooed to the bone, hair slicked back, dapper shirt) and intelligence. Within an hour, you both started to feel exhausted by your talking and your working hard during days. You suddenly remembered the night, Thursday, which meant that you had to work early the next day.

You told him that you wanted to leave with him so that you could smoke a spliff on his balcony before heading home. Of course, you knew that this offer was a terrible white lie and a very old-school party trick. You knew full well that “one thing leads to another”. You got to know each other intellectually a little deeper on the balcony and then literally deeper physically as you climbed into his bed. You took off your strapless evening dress and slid under the sheets. You smiled as he entered you, and you were feeling euphoric after the act, when his body was slowly recovering. You were happy, you were excited, it had been a while since you experienced a satisfying sexual flow.

You left quickly the next day. You went home to shower and you rubbed yourself clean. You felt him under your skin after washing and you knew right then and there that you were hooked.

You wrote him an online message two days later asking him out. You were walking the fine line between hope and despair but you decided to try your luck on the former.You subsequently saw him twice on his balcony where you talked your heart out. Your thoughts were slowly sliding into the ‘’falling in love’’ category. He was career-driven like you and you loved his reckless ambition. He seemed ready to conquer the world and you hoped that he would be ready to conquer you too.

You did not fancy spending much of your precious time worrying, but you did it anyway since you were dealing with a raw human need for contact as well as an emotion overload. Your story became an itch you could not seem to scratch off and you asked yourself needy questions as to why he did not get back to you yet. You checked his Facebook status, blinking, as if it would have changed since a couple of days ago, when he wrote that his phone was broken. You peeled your eyes, making sure that his relationship status was still intact and his authenticity for real. The truth that you didn’t want to hear was simple: he was not into you because he could not make time for you in his workaholic lifestyle. You were barely a distraction interfering with his goals.

‘’Women walk around thinking ‘we.’ And their vision of ‘we’ is me… and my dick!,” you remembered Samantha Jones saying with verve and anger in Sex and the City. You agreed, you thought too much about both of you together as some dreamy ideal. You cared so much, but all he seemed to care about was chatting, cumming and sleeping when he was in your presence.

You were such a people-pleaser. You were trying too hard to be eloquent, charming, sexually satisfying, and you knew full well that you worried too much about what people think, although you always denied it.

You gradually reached your limit. You could not be using so much headspace on a man who did not care. You knew that you needed to let go, even if holding on seemed much more convincing.

You were learning to be happy again. You decided to accept the harsh reality: you knew that he could not commit. Your heart was wounded again, but you knew how to get back on track. You told yourself that you would keep living and chill the fuck out (badass advice to your insecure self).

At last, you were filled with an inner peace that you forgot about a little while ago, when you became obsessed with finding a cure for loneliness: you mistook self-love with a balcony-loving stranger.

* Sex in the City, Season II, Episode 12. Written by Candace Bushnell, created by Darren Star, produced by HBO.

Photo: Christy Turlington by Steven Meisel. Vogue Italia, 1991.

Lili Monette is a born-and-raised Montrealer and an artist by DNA and by choice. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre and Development from Concordia University and can be found around the world entertaining people and gathering stories.

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