Angel in My Life: Returning

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

May 1st, 2009 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

This post is a continuation of “Angel in My Life: Learning

Matters of the heart. Heart = spirit = energy = transcendent realty. The realm of divinity. Other-worldly. No rules, no measuring sticks. Pure sensation. Call and response. Where in this reality is the ability to cut through all pretense and façade. Where in this reality is the ability to manipulate and shroud truth.

I was about to head north again to take care of my mom. I felt I had another step to take in my spiritual growth regarding relationships: I needed to keep my heart open to Allen, continue trusting that what happened between us was real, recognize that something in his life made him pull back, understand that he may not have the tools for communicating with me, honor whatever place he was in for whatever reason, and meet him on that front.

I reflected on my own inability to communicate when I was 18 (ahem — about the time Allen’s parents were busy making him). Back then, I was very into Joey, a guy I’d been hanging out with. One night, around midnight, when Robyn (my roommate), Nina (my friend), and I had just turned out the lights and were about to go to sleep, the phone rang, and the answering machine picked up.

“Loolwa Khazzoom,” Joey said into the machine (how I miss those days when we could screen our calls), “you are the sexiest thing on this planet. I hope you feel the same. If you do, you know where to call.” “Oh! My! Gawd!” Nina squeeled. (I scored major girl points for that one.)

I was thrilled and delighted, of course. As a young orthodox Jewish woman who hadn’t been allowed to date until that year, and who therefore hadn’t yet kissed a boy, I was also completely fucking terrified. So I ignored Joey’s call.

Only when my sister (the lesbian who taught me everything I knew about men — and we wonder why I’ve had relationship issues) spelled out to me that it was OK to explain to Joey that I was scared, did I pick up the phone and call him. By then he had spontaneously left New York to spend the rest of the year in Israel, where alas, he met his future fiancée.

This all goes to say I have a reference point for the whole I-really-like-this-person-but-am-scared-shitless thing.

But I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue my connection with Allen or just let it go. It had, after all, been 21 years since the Joey exchange, and by now, I expect basic communication skills from those in my life (including my own damn self, thank you very much). Then again, we can’t help the year we’re born; I pursue soul connections where I find them; and what am I going to do if I feel connected to a freakin’ 20 year old who needs a year-long seminar in Communication 101?

I asked a meditation teacher what she thought about the whole “to pursue or not to pursue” thing. “It depends on what you want,” she replied. What do I want, I mused. I knew what would happen if I were to let Allen go. I didn’t know what would happen if I explored meeting him exactly where he was – no demands or expectations. I decided that the latter was the more interesting option of the two and the path less taken – thus providing more opportunity for my growth.

Days before the flight, however, I found myself vacillating. After the receptionist who’d given my card to Allen (or at least to whom I’d given the card to give to Allen) was unfriendly to me while taking my reservation, I flipped out and called around to hotels other than the one where I’d been staying. I even considered staying at the same hotel chain (which I love for chronic-pain-management reasons), 10 miles out of the way – the next closest to my mom’s nursing facility.  

I actually may have stayed at that far-flung hotel or any of the other options, but my fears of driving and sleeping on a back-unfriendly bed proved greater than my fear of facing Allen again. Plus the more I thought about it, the more I grew annoyed with the whole run-away scenario. Now who’s afraid of stepping to the plate? I laughed at myself.

The story continues with “Angel in My Life: Responding

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