If you know me, please read all of this.
If you notice that I am staying distant lately, it's not because I'm angry or trying to be rude. I was, but now I'm not. I know that my words and deeds of the last few days may have made me seem bitter or perhaps a wimp, but you need to know why. The simple fact is this: I'm afraid. I know it's not considered "manly" to be afraid and it is even worse to admit it, but there it is. I'm so damn afraid. Because of my very nature I cannot stop being nice to you if I'm around you. I need to give, but I also need to receive. Since I don't get back what I give out, it makes me even more afraid because it says there is something wrong with me.
Some have told me I am handsome. Others have told me I'm ugly. A few don't give a damn in either way. I'm not a stud, but I'm not a weakling either. I push my limits, but I never forget my limits. I have what some call a physical disability. I call it a slight inconvenience. My disability is not genetic. If I have children, they won't have my disability. Simply said, something messed up in the womb so that it wasn't big enough and that caused my leg tendons not to develop fully. I walk with a noticeably different gait, but I walk. I also run, jump, and climb. Walking 20 miles a day is not out of my realm. I can't kneel, but why should I? Some admire my physical stamina, yet others still see me as a cripple, so still, I am afraid.
I'm afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. My friends tell me I am a great guy that I will find someone, and they indeed may believe that (or not), but that does not change the fact that I am still afraid of being alone. This is not pessimism, it's supported by cold hard logical statistical facts. When you have what people see as a disability, they assume you are asexual. I know this to be true because far too many people have been surprised by the fact that I've had girlfriends. Just a few girlfriends, but still. They assume that I do not desire or that I am incapable of sexual intimacy. Oh man, they have no idea how mistaken they are. My condition only slightly affects my legs, but everything else works to spec performance. Unfortunately, their loss is also my loss. That leaves me afraid.
What am I looking for?
I'm looking for a woman who is as comfortable being away from me as she is being near me, meaning one who needs and wants to be loved, but also has an active life. One who blushes and laughs. A woman who loves the outdoors. Someone who loves to hike and and dreams of sleeping on the ground while looking at the night's stars. I'm looking for a woman who thinks that making love is an adventure, not a destination. One willing to scare the squirrels by making love in a tent.
One who delights in me exploring her body. One who delights in me exploring her mind.
I'm looking for a woman who loves to hold hands while walking, and wants to be cuddled while talking. One who melts when I kiss the back of her bare neck. One who can relax and fall asleep naked in my arms because she knows I would never hurt her or allow her to be hurt.
I want a women who thinks science is cool and that nature is cooler. One who wants to know how something works. Someone who asks "why?" One who liked Animal Planet more than HBO. One who reads what I read, yet also reads what I don't and can tell me about it in a way that makes me want to read it too. One who can blast her favorite music all day, but who lets me blast mine too.
One who knows that yes, there are assholes among us, but they're all over there, not right here where I am standing. Not in my shoes. My shoes are 100% asshole free. I wear Genuine Acme Asshole Prevention socks. I can show you the label.
I am afraid because I have known so many women who want this exact same thing. I am afraid because they say "Daniel, why can't I find someone exactly like you?" I am afraid because I'm still right here. Still. I'm standing right in front of them. They look me in the eyes, yet look right past. That makes me afraid.
I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I don't need to be pitied. All I need is for someone to see that I have a lot to offer the intelligent woman who gives me a chance. To love and to be loved. I don't want people to say "You're a great guy", I want them to say "I need you, Daniel. You're the one."
I'm right here.
I'm no knight in shining armor,
I'm no prince charming obviously.
But what I lack in might and valor,
I'll make up in honesty.
- Sweet Comfort Band -