From the moment I saw my husband I KNEW that whatever broke or fell away from this earth, it wouldn't matter. As long as WE worked, I'd be okay. Selfish.
It was like I didn’t work, UNTIL I found him. It was just written that way. The universe opened around him the first time I saw him. My gosh all the possibilities.
All the wonderful things I can be, we can be, he already is. Just look at his eyes. Look at how he looks down at his shoes and smiles when I look into his eyes. He was this wondrous thing that just wandered into my life.
It was like a movie and birds were singing and I was seeing shit that wasn’t there. It was love. I kept trying to swat it away, telling myself I wasn’t sane. When you live in a world of insanity – sane just doesn’t look the same.
At 28, finding my love was like writing my novel. Both equally desired and NEEDED. When he walked through the door, it was like one of those much-needed to-do things on my list (only two things on that list so I best make them happen), was ANSWERED. In seconds.
He looked me in the eyes as he was talking to someone else, and it was like I could feel his voice in me and my heart was pounding, my chest was heaving, and I’d heard that voice before, how I waited for it all these years.
I get to hear his voice again? I was covering my ears.
I was crying and laughing. I was confused and staring. I was in fetal position and daring. He found me again. True love ends in worlds, enters others and begins, never ends.
I couldn’t speak and he was still there, staring at me. I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t move. My life was just beginning.
Shit, I’m just staring at him. Walk away. Pretend to be fixing the shelf. Yes, okay, I’m fixing the shelf. No, wait. I am not fixing the shelf. I am still staring. But he’s staring too.
We were that literal. That in love. We both couldn’t move. We just stood there staring at each other, openly, with people around us, mouths ajar. People probably staring at us. We didn't play it cool.
Gaping. Smiling. Motionless. Caught. Cushions. Soft. Love. He’s so soft. Where am I?
I feel so lost, and HAPPY. Why do I feel so happy?
Walk away, break his gaze. Walk away.
Once, while I was working he walked in. He had this old-school, country-like shirt on that snapped with the pearl-like buttons on them. Jim Croce and blue. I am fairly certain he was going for Pearl Jam.
I can see him undoing his pocket and pulling out a piece of paper. Until he finally handed me a note. A note! So innocent and smiling.
I was a baby. I was a school kid. I was a nobody. It didn’t matter.
He was in front of me. He wanted to pass notes. I was screaming.
I need a pen. Someone give me a pen. My true love just walked in…again.
I needed to stop sweating.
Be cool. I just wanted to be by him. I wanted to run beside him. Fourteen miles. I wanted to meet him at the race and trek 7 miles up hill in the most horrendous conditions. My sweat was frozen to me. They served chowder. He told me a story that was so NOT what a guy would share about himself , not with a woman he wanted.
He’d share something cool, yes? He must not want me.
Tony never got laughs at someone else’s expense. He shared the single most ridiculous stories about his own “firsts” and “lasts” and what he and his friends did when he was little. I would laugh so hard. He was never laughing at other people. He was disparaging himself in a light way. Not self-deprecating. He was just funny in the most PERFECT way.
I don’t laugh. But with him, I couldn’t stop laughing. I am, still.
BUT I knew I needed to stop lending him tips on running. I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t meet his gaze. I tried for days. I tried to stay where I was, in love with the person I was loving. Jason and I had this understanding between us. We loved each other fiercely.
We were young and we did some stupid things, but the foundation of everything we had was love.
He once told me, “Jamie, if we ever break up, it will be YOU. It will be because YOU left. I promise you, I won’t leave”.
He was so beautiful. And he really meant to be true, but we both knew we started too young. He was distracted and looking. BUT, he kept his promise. He stayed. In a literal, geographical way, he always stayed. We were both so freaking lonely.
Hence, I couldn’t leave. I had just graduated. I wanted a family. He wanted weed and to play video games. He just wasn’t THERE mentally. I didn’t care because HE STAYED. I would be honored to carry his name. The smell of him was my home. I lived wherever he laid. The smell of him.
The truth is, I loved him madly. But something underneath, deep inside me, always knew he was never mine. I think he knew too, but we were so stubborn and stuck to this promise.
That’s the problem with promises. We start to get stuck on the letters and we lose the spirit of it. If the spirit is gone, well the promise goes with it. You are not honoring what was initially meant to be kept sacred.
After a while, promises become stale and then objects. They are like really heavy ash trays we can throw at each other, just for the sake of hurting the other person. Lay them flat on their backs so they can't leave? Some old truth about who said what and who did what to who? We can break each other with our stupid promises.
Someone had to break it. You just can’t fake it with destiny. The most painful truth was knowing we couldn’t be.
This was something I would have to understand while receiving this great love from Tony. I would walk into his arms, crying for weeks. He was man enough, to take it.
Promises. Broken. Fragile. No spirit.
I loved Jason too much to break him. But I also knew, I was too small. He was bigger than life. He'd walk away from it all in search of his destiny and he'd smile doing it. He was so much more than a heavy ashtray. His spirit couldn't be broken. But I was scared. He was my heart and my road map and my memories and my home. The only "one" I had ever really known.
When we were young, and he had to go home to Boston while I stayed here and worked in our house, we’d meet halfway down and up 95. We'd both drive close to three hours one way, just to hold each other. We’d park in a park-and-ride near the train station. Exit 63?
We’d open the doors in his blue station wagon and just lay on top of one another in the backseat. Blasting music, rhythmic heat. I can feel the sun on the car and the beat. We used to be so in sync. Melting. Young and happy. Yet, there was always an element of something heavy. Raining with fear. We were heading toward pain. We knew it even when visibility was totally clear.
Our forecast was always rain. We knew we would weep. It's like we knew what destiny would bring. The truth.
Once we were driving to Boston and got caught in this horrendous storm. I told him to pull over, we couldn't see. It was dangerous. So he did. I felt lost, I was losing him. I could see a far away look in his eyes. And we made love on the side of the road like it was for the last time.
We were dangerous and young.
We knew the pain of our pasts. I knew every scar on his body. Every bone. Every ghost. And my God I tried to heal him. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t love him hard enough. I couldn’t love him to wellness. There was a great chasm of sadness in him. A hole that I would always try to hold because I knew.
I knew every thing he’d done for me. I knew I could never do enough. We’d carry the weight of our pasts between us. We'd share the weight. We had a pact. We called it love. We were more like runaways. Running from something we couldn't name.
I knew that in the dark of our youth-it was each other that we’d seek. Lifting our arms, extension and reach. My God his touch. Seek. I had never ever known a love like his. My God I knew. I still know. But I had to go. I had to go.
Close to twenty years later I’d speak to him and he’d whisper through a computer, “I know. It is okay, I know.”
So I had promises kept and perhaps broken. I lived with this promise, Jay. I tried to deny Tony’s love, that kind of love-it was simply something I couldn’t do. I couldn't leave. So on some shallow level, I thought I’d break it, but maybe I knew. Back then it seemed fool-proof? But this would break nothing. Except another heart, for which there was no room.
This was the wrong place. She was in another state.
But I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t. I wasn’t strong enough.
So I figured, surely Tony was too perfect to sleep with. We’d be inadequate in that way?
If I had sex with him, I’d never want to be near him again. There's no way he'd want me. He was too normal to take me the way I needed to be taken. He smiled too much. He probably never had sex.
Wait he told me his “first time” story.
Okay, so he’s probably had it once and has no idea what to do with a woman now. I will sleep with him. I thought sleeping with him would be this shove back into the position of my old life. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I was falling. Falling. Sinking. And I was trying to keep what was left.
So I rang his bell, determined to get over it. I drove there with food from an Italian restaurant where I ate with my parents since I was a child. I buzzed the bell. I could see the moon over the golf course. I stood and marveled at it and barely noticed when T was there. Holding the door. He had come down to let me in.
I walked up, unafraid. I noted that I wasn’t scared. It was effortless. I walked into his studio and put the food down. I barely remembered stairs. He smiled and kept thanking me for thinking of him, for bringing him food.
He was very stringent about his diet and working out. He was being polite. He would not eat the food that night. I didn’t care.
There was one light on in his studio apartment and David Grey was singing …
Sail away with me honey…sail away with me now…
So I did.
I looked T in the eyes and I felt found. I knew what I was about to do wasn’t going to dissuade me from my past. It would simply seal me to my future.
I couldn’t look him in the eye anymore. I was so tired of wanting him and questioning and “what for"s. I was tired. So, so tired. And there were hearts that were gonna break. And I fucking hated myself for loving this stranger. Exhausted, I turned the light off.
The only form of a couch in his studio, was a bed. I took him to it. I laid with him. Not beside him. There was nothing innocent about it. I undressed myself, and laid on top of him. I kissed him. I was ivory and on him. Skin on skin on love on love…in. And we were … we.
Maybe I was me for the first time. Ever. Clear. Clarity. Unraveling. Beauty. We.
We just unraveled in the dark with this song playing, and then the next and then the next and the next. Repeat. We fit.
We fit so well. I never knew I could fit someone like that. He was so normal. He didn’t get sad like me. I was always walking around, crying for everybody. He was always smiling. But we were … we.
We could deny it. Fight it. We could resist it like Jay and I did with OUR truth. We could rename it. File it down. Disguise it as weird and redrape it and hide it. We could do anything we wanted and it wouldn’t have mattered one fucking bit because we weren’t “complete” until that moment.
And that moment had happened and we could go forward incomplete and incapable of achieving what we could achieve TOGETHER, or we could go forward being who we were meant to be. We were a WE whether we wanted to admit it or not.
And I was a promise-breaker on top of that.
So I stayed. I never left.
Thirteen years later, no matter where we are, how far apart, how different our dreams are, how hard we are working to reach them, how sick I am…I am always in that bed. In his bed.
If I am not, I am fighting to get back. I am never home until he is beside me. We are still…we.
Some beds you will never leave. Some beds you will lie naked, tucked into someone and it is only there that you will dream. You remain there, long after you leave. Buttoned up jeans. But you return. And he returns. It is your only chance to rest, to renew, to sleep.
All my life I had been looking for “the one”. I could stop when I met him. But I kept running. I couldn’t stop? And then he walked in and our eyes met and destiny was delivered. It doesn’t mean it was always easy. But I knew, I could finally rest, with him.
Long after one of us is gone, I will know, he will know-he is the only other person who was capable of offering me sleep, and dreams and rest. It wasn’t because no one else tried. It was because we were written in the stars, under missile scilo doors, carved into trees. We were eternal, we were always meant to be.
We’ve just always been…a “we”. And after this world, WE will be again.