…in an old book, my attic, my house.
To have something wonderful by creating nothing
To put your spirit into your life, to your now
To concentration on the important things
To pay attention to yourself
To be beautiful. Ugly. Haunted. Innocent.
I do love you. Fucked up.
“I was so frustrated to miss you on Thursday. I know you said it was no problem, but to me it was a big deal, since there isn’t an old friend or hang out I’d rather have seen than to spend time with you. In consolation, I spent 3 hours swimming in the Gulf. I’d forgotten how warm and salty it is, how organic it smells, how it’s constantly in motion. How buoyant and safe you feel in the waves. So much more nurturing than the water I swim in now.
I get really attached to bodies of water in a way I never seem to attach to the places I live, and I kind of have an intense personal relationship with the Gulf in that it has absorbed a countless number of my most intense emotions over the years. I’ve poured so many thoughts, ideas, hope, pain and plans into it. It’s like we have an intimate relationship now. And swimming in it makes me feel so safe and at peace.
…which is also how I felt with you Tuesday. I said “natural” and you said “at peace” and to those I’d add “safe” because that’s really what it was. Not that swimming in the Gulf is a perfect substitute for being with you, but if I had to miss you on Thursday, it was a good place to be. And anyway, the water is a good thinking place for me.
You were fantastic about communicating everything you were thinking and feeling while I was there. And I think I was so overwhelmed at times that I couldn’t immediately tell you what it meant to me. Sometimes I need to walk away and think before things sort themselves out in my heart.
I need to know if you are happy in your life.
Is this what you wanted? You said so often that I wouldn’t like the person you’ve become. Do you like that person? Is it what you want for yourself? I’m stronger inside than I look. I think about love, and it’s easiest for me to relate things to Sarah – there is not an avenue she could choose, or a person she could “turn into” that I would not accept and love. Since I want her to be happy, some personas and choices would be harder to understand and accept, and I would always encourage her in directions that make her feel good about herself, and her life, abut accept them and love her I would.
Likewise, though I don’t know the details of your life, I do know that had I been given a chance, I would have felt the same for you.
I told you, you and Sarah are all I know of that kind of love. I’ve never gotten to develop it with you, but I do know what I’m capable of, and it’s a lot more than I expected of myself back then. If I’ve gotten to know you on a different level than ‘everyday’, then I’m proud of that, and if the kinder and gentler side makes you happy, then this is what I hope you cultivate. If you’re happy in the rest of your life, then I can’t think how I’d not want that for you.
And what about the person I’ve become? you’re also seeing a much different side of me. I don’t use the word “love” in my relationships, I’m not especially warm, I take independence to a new level and I’m constantly told I’m “missing something” inside – which of course I am.
I’m amazed and touched at how closely you’ve followed my life. I wish I could do the same – and I’d love to – but you seem so uncomfortable with me seeing your real life, and nevermind that it’s not as easy to trace as my life is. Also, there’s nothing you’d see about me that could hurt you.
It’s amazing how similar our experiences were when we parted all those years ago. I knew you cared, I knew you must have hurt too, but I thought that the excitement and newness of your marriage would have made up for any regrets you felt over me. I never imagined you felt as much sadness and yearning as I did. I contacted you again a few years ago because it had been so many years, and yet I was still having dreams about you that were vivid, and sad.
I tried to put it behind me. That note on the Chinese food bag I saved all those years went into a winter solstice bonfire in 1999. I kept wondering when I could move on. Not that I constantly thought about you – after a while I really didn’t – but you were certainly the monster under the bed in all of my relationships.
I told you that I never really talked about you to my friends – and I didn’t – but just recently on a cruise a good friend was really hurt by a woman he loved who left him to marry someone else. I could practically feel the exact emotion he was feeling. And I did tell him a bt about us, how I felt with you, how I felt when you left. I told him that I could still feel the love in such a way that I could practically trace its shape and location in my body. And I could also still feel the size and shape of the pain, too. And that if it’s real, it just becomes a part of you and that’s as close to the other person as you will get again.
Well, this was a year ago – not knowing ----“