2023-02-14: pity and teach

when i was 19 and coming off a long, protracted breakup, one of my female friends told me i was the sort of guy that women want when they're 30, not 20.

this haunted me at the time. the overwhelming feeling at the time, of insufficiency. because of things i was told, or what i heard secondhand: that i'm bad at sex; i went out with you out of pity; i can't wait to be with someone i don't have to teach.

in the years since, i've changed my thinking on this: i provide steadiness, not heat; i'm long-term, not short. earth, not fire. i sometimes think back, not on what could have been, but the best of what people were to me. and i sometimes wonder if anyone ever thinks the same about me.