Sorting Things Out with Ben

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Text conversation with Ben after, three weeks after Brad and I left on our RV adventure, a few days after returning to Asheville.

Sara (2 pm): Is your pool still open?

Sara (6pm): You’re not speaking to me now?

Ben: If I wasn’t you probably wouldn’t be getting a response. But I’m probably not responding because I’m a narcissist…

The pool is open. I was at the gym when I got your message… You know, getting in one of “the only two things I have going for me.”

Sara: <3

Ben, my definition of “narcissist” is someone who refuses to put himself in a vulnerable position.

That’s what I meant.

And I think it’s true of you.

I’m sorry if we hurt you by leaving. It wasn’t personal… We just wanted easier more fun lives.

I really want to live communally. I’m hoping you will be part of that community one day.

Ben: No. I was not hurt by you guys moving out. I was a bit flabbergasted by your conversation with Gabriel in the blog.

Sara: Which part? The part about you being good for only two things?

That wasn’t entirely true, and maybe I said it somewhat out of spite, but I felt like you rarely opened up emotionally with us.

Ben: Yeah, you two were open to listening when I did… not.

You just never wanted to hear me.

I think you are just mad about being rejected — it’s not a power grab for me. It’s about not having shame.

Sara: Power grab?? Shame??

To this day, I’m unclear on what your feelings are. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t a good enough active listener, but I think you have to take some responsibility for not being an active speaker.

Ben: I don’t know what I could have said to communicate more clearly. But I also don’t feel like hashing this out.

Sara: Which is why I gave up on you.

Ben: You’re so dramatic.

I don’t know what you mean when you say things like that.

And “we may have run away with each other”? WTF?

Sara: It’s a figure of speech Ben. I wasn’t ever really considering running away with you. I was trying to make a point to my friend Gabriel about important long orgasms are.

Ben: Right, but you paint a picture that, to me, never was.

Sara: I was saying that long orgasms have a chemical effect on your brain that is addictive — that can make you want to do crazy things like that.

Thank god we didn’t (not saying you would’ve been on board) because we probably would’ve killed each other in two weeks.

Amazing orgasms don’t usually equate to compatible life partners.

Ben: Or compatible partners at all.

Sara: But I at least hoped we could remain friends.

Ben: Half the things you say are crazy.

Sara: That is rude.

You are like family to us.

Ben: Kylie had roughly the same experience with me [sexually] I presume, and she never said any of those kinds of things.

Sara: Any of what things? That she was in love with you?

I am in love with you Ben… at times. I’m in love with quite a few people… at times.

[Bickering about roommate stuff… who cleaned more, who made more of a mess, who should get their deposit back, etc.]

Sara: Nora [my daughter] misses you. Let’s video call.

Ben: I’m getting off the phone to eat. I’ll video call her later, or tomorrow.

[Ben declines Nora’s (my) video call]

Sara: You just rejected her! That hurts her feelings!

She thinks of you like an uncle! She said she wishes you were here and she loves you.

Why do you hate me?

Ben: I miss Nora too.

I didn’t say I hated you. I explained why I was upset.

Sara: Brad was upset because he thought the blog post meant I was in love with you, and you’re upset because you think I was saying I didn’t care about you… I can’t win.

Ben: I’m mad because of the way I was portrayed, not because I didn’t think you “liked” me enough.

Sara: As a narcissist? I explained what I meant by that.

Ben: I’m “a narcissist who resents you for stealing my sexual energy, who had to work hard to last in bed… I wore out… my first girlfriend probably left me for it… I withhold sex for power… that’s why you chose Brad (as if you had another option)…”


I’m sorry.

I’m in love with you.

It’s just I feel like I’ve put myself in pretty vulnerable positions for you. I was mad that you seemed to refuse to put yourself into one for me.

I’m mad because you always say you have no romantic feelings for me when I know you do.

Ben: That’s just it. Why didn’t Kylie say that [that I must have feelings for her because we had sex]?

I think you are just so upset that I won’t have sex with you, you’re making up some off-the-wall rationale for it.

Sara: I’m not saying you consciously resent me for stealing your sexual energy, but I think you subconsciously do like the book [Secrets of Sexual Ecstasy] says.

Ben: All that stuff you said makes me sound like a fuck-boy and is grossly untrue.

Sara: What’s your definition of fuck-boy?

Ben: Fuck boy. Narcissist. One-dimensional. Only cares about sex.

Sara: I didn’t say you only care about sex.

Ben: You did too! I only have two things going for me?!

You were talking out of spite.

Sara: I meant those were the two things that made me addicted to you.

Ben: Whatever

Sara: You obviously have a lot more than that going for you.

I’m sorry. Now that I think of it that sounds horrible.

I don’t know why I talk like that about you.

It makes you sound like a walking penis. And you’re not.

I’m obviously attracted to you as a whole — your look, your smell, your touch, your personality (opposites attract), your kindness, your generosity, your goofiness, your explosive temper, your practicality, your stupid jokes, your handyman skills, your willingness to rescue us whenever we were in trouble, your values, how you are with kids and how much they love you…

It’s just the sex is what I was addicted to.

I’m sure it was just the oxytocin, seratonin and dopamine speaking, but it didn’t matter.

Brad can produce those chemicals in me too, but we have a totally different sexual chemistry than you and I.

His and mine is more of a best friend chemistry — one that can last a lifetime without much conflict.

Whereas my chemistry with you is explosive and short-lived, between fights.

I think both kinds of relationships are necessary in life.

I know my sexual chemistry with you complicates things between Brad and I, and between you and Brad, so I’m willing to repress that part of myself around you (even though I don’t want to), because I don’t want you not to be part of our family/tribe.

Done. You can respond when you’re ready.

Ben: It’s time for bed. Bonan noktan.

Sara: Jesus Christ, Ben! Bonan noktan.



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