"There is no person who is above the need for unconditional love." The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

He asked me this once. 2 am on the sidewalk. "What do you want?"

So hard to answer that question.

What I want shifts from moment to moment, day to day. Depending on the melting of the polar ice caps. The time of year. My hormones. The New York Times Bestseller List. Wildebeest migration patterns.

I want to believe that at least a majority of my decisions have been the right ones. I don't want to be the biggest enemy to my own happiness. I want to feel genuinely happy when my friends tell me they are moving in with their boyfriends instead of thinking "Where the fuck did I go wrong in my life?" instead of thinking of all the sacrifices I've made for men over the years that have come to nothing. I want my job to pay for my health insurance. I want to look foward to going home at night instead of dreading an empty apartment. I want a clean apartment. I want to be able to go into class and not have it be as bad as I imagine or worse. I want to stop feeling like I've been left behind, like I'm too old for all of this. I want to be able to have the discipline to finally finish all these writing projects and send things out to get published. I want to be able to afford a nice apartment or maybe even a house. I want to have some hidden reserve of strength to help me get through all of this. I want every episode of MST3K on DVD. I want someone to smile when they hear my voice on the phone. I want all of my friends to remain healthy. I want to be loved enough that if I should suddenly die it won't take a week before anybody notices. I want to learn how to crochet a granny square. I want to be honored at an awards ceremony. I want to go back to Paris, but not alone. I want to think that something I've done has actually made a difference for the better. I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to be remembered. And missed. And loved. And useful. I want to believe that I can still change for the better. I want a straight guy to ask me to a formal event and ask me to dance to "All of Me." I want the universe to prove to me that it can still surprise me. I want to wriggle my toes. I want things to end differently than the way I predicted they would in high school. I want to have a man I'm involved with actually take me away for a weekend. I want to go to sleep and wake up rested and feeling safe and needed and wanted and loved. And if none of this possible, I want to forget.

But in that moment, all I wanted was to get home quickly. I kissed him and hailed a cab.

And said nothing.

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