Nadya says goodbye
Unfortunately, my presence ultimately had no great effect on him. I suppose it was naive of me to want to “fix” him in a short time, or at least help him reconnect with himself. It didn’t work. Sex actually became secondary to what I felt was going to be a more meaningful friendship. I tried nurturing him and taking care of him. I cooked great food for him, made his tea whenever he wanted it, talked him through anything that was on his mind, encouraged him to go out for day trips to get him out of his blasted office, stayed out of his hair when he was working. I suppose, ultimately, that Joe has been so accustomed to surface-level relationships and women who mainly hover in the background, because none of it seemed to impact him.
...in fact, he ceased communicating with me during my last two days, treating me like a ghost in his own home. It was torturous. I crept into the guest room and stayed there, in disbelief that this was how he chose to play out my remaining time. Days of adventuring and driving to see the Amish and weekending in NYC and going to his hair-transplant appointment and checking out museums downtown and working on his books amounted to absolutely fuck-all: he pushed me away and disposed of me entirely. I hated, hated to think that this was connected to sex, but unfortunately, it may have been. I will never know. I have written since returning to Berlin and he has not replied.
It actually breaks my heart. Pisses me off something ferocious, but breaks my heart.
The one time I tried approaching him to talk, he walked out of the room--something he had done before when things got slightly closer to the proverbial bone. His friend and contractor, John, whom I had developed a wonderful rapport with, didn’t seem fazed by this when I went downstairs to complain, and simply said, “He’s a sick man. You know it’s not you.”
Ryan drove me back to the airport, just as he had picked me up, except this time--instead of listening to Joe and I happily converse--he was getting an earful of hurt complaining. “That’s how he is,” was his own calm response. “In fact, he’s gotten better.”
Let’s hope that statement doesn’t apply to Joe’s sexual conduct.