I just ended a two and a half hour conversation with the great love of my life; my Boobie. I don’t know how it is that after fourteen years, betrayal and heartbreak, that we still have that intimacy, that ability to turn each other out with just words.
My heart is aching, because in our hearts, the connection we forged fourteen years ago is still so strong, but still, he is still a man. He’s still a man. I want to bitter and say he is weak, but I cannot criticise. I am weak too. My weakness is different, but I know I am weak too. I am not afraid to risk everything for him, but he is afraid to do it for me.
He is trying to be strong. Strong for his family, and I respect him for that. I think after all these years, I understand his life is different, my life is different. We both have questions about whether if we were to actually stopped running from each other and tried to give each other enough time to work out whatever it is between us to some kind of conclusion.
Our conversations always end with “I love you,” and tonight was no different. Over the wo and half hours, talking about everything that mattered and nothing that really did, we reminisced, we argued–but never with heat, you know– we challenged each other, we threw out possibilities at each other, we shocked the shit out of each other, we teased unmercifully and as always that undercurrent of unconditional acceptance of each other, as we were warts and all, remained as it always was. A heartbeat between us.
Yes I, whatever it was, whatever it is, it’s just under the surface of our skin. So long to love someone that way, and not have a chance to fulfil it. To live with so much potential for joy, struggle, pain, growth and love, unadulterated love in one person, and never get to see it play itself out. To live, and always be on pause like that.
Fucking hell! How many times have I laid in my bed crying in an agony of loneliness, thinking that my loss of him has coloured the way I see the world. Not just thinking it, oui, living that shit. Knowing it to the marrow of my bones. I try to talk myself out of thinking the reason why I haven’t been able to make a relationship with any man work, is because they’re not him… they’re not my Boobie. Yet, that’s where all my thoughts end up and I have filled more than just this journal to capacity with entries regarding my relationship with TMG. We have written long letters…. pages and pages of words and confessions of love.
After fourteen years, fourteen years…. we could talk for two hours and be right there again, tremulous… on the brink. Always on the brink and never there. Never to actually play out, dammit. Circling each other… circling and avoiding the frightening chemistry between he and I.
I have battled both my anger and frustration with him, but in the end I accept him as he is, and tonight, as it always has been with him, I got it all back from him. So whether he and I get a chance to play the endgame in our relationship…. the point is, we have refused to close off to each other. Whatever access to each other that has been possible, we have never, ever said this is it, fuck off, begone with you.
He tells me his feelings for me have never changed, will never change, and that he lives with questions about us, he dreams about me, he wants me and loves me as much today as he did that day we met almost a decade and a half ago. I haunt him, he haunts me… he is the ghost of my love.
Yet, again… I am in limbo… in every possible way in my life. Is this the way it will always be… creeping steps forward only to be stalled in a purgatorial state, fretful… heartbroken, waiting for the next current?
Tell me how it is possible to love someone so completely, that nothing they did, you did could change it… and yet still remain unrequited? How could the time have slipped along so quickly? That so large a number of years could have crept up on us, and so much pass. Are we fools? Am I fool? Being foolish?
As strong as Papi is being for his family, he’s failing himself too. I have never been able to give up that he will actually step up to the plate. I have always hoped that he was one that could find his way back to me; because in all my life, he’s the one who mattered the most to me, and well, to shuck and jive, couch myself in bitterness would be as much a cop out as saying “I love you, but…”. There’s no “I love you, but…” in my relationship with TMG. It just is what it is, whatever it is. Because in all these years, that’s the only one that seemed to me that matched me; our minds met in a a rare place, as did everything else about who we were, and everytime we talk it’s the same. Except now, there’s a knowing maturity in both our voices, and you know, when I pointed it out to him, he understood.
I guess I challenged him, as much as he challenges me. I have never understood what lay at the heart of the thing between he and I. I’ve overanalysed, both on my own and in paid therapy, oui? I’ve done all that strong ass woman shit, that “I can shake this shit off”. I’ve pulled on my armour and occasionally been conqured by some slick motherfuckers, believe me… I’ve also tried to settle for less. I’ve tried to work out relationships with other men, but no man has made me feel what he made me feel. Maybe I am a fool, but if I could, I would. I would like to be free of it and him. Except we’re tangled up and twined into each other’s emotional fabric, that you know, what would I do if he didn’t call me. This time it was two years between phone calls, but it’s been as long as four years.
The only time in my life, that a man kissed me and the blood rushed through my body like the world receded and my world shrunk to me and him under the moonlight. It wasn’t once, it was always like that with him. Just talking to him makes me feel that. Last night, when he called, I was fast asleep and when I realised it was him, for a minute I thought I was still sleeping…. it took like five minutes and for him to hang up and call me on the land line and call me back to realise I was awake.
The whole conversation was warm, warmed me down to my toes, and I don’t understand how it still could. Unless it was real. After so much time, couldn’t the fact that he could make me warm and heavy, redolent with feeling for him, mean it was real. That it wasn’t just a childhood thing. I’ve harboured this love for him for half of my lifetime, and there is a frightening thought. If it’s stupid and a waste of time, don’t you think I could have let go of it by now?
It has haunted me for so long, I can’t really you know fathom a world where he is not in it, even if he wasn’t with me, if he isn’t with me, I wanted him to to at least be in the world and loving me still. And he does, he does, I know he does.
I could never tell you all we talked about, but I am not teary… I am however, shaken to the core of myself. I am shaken.
My heart doesn’t care about anything, it is telling me that I will take him any way I could get him. If he told me that he wanted me to get on a plane and come to Houston, to walk away from everything and come, I would do it. And last night, I felt something give in him. Something gave in him, I’m not sure what it was precisely, but I felt it happen. However, both my heart and head tell me not to get my hopes up. For the first time in ten years he asked me if I was willing to come.
I don’t know if I am proud to admit it. This man hurt me, wounded me fundamentally, in ways only a person who has survived a broken heart can tell you. Crushed me in a way no other man has… and I love him still. Tonight I told him I was ready when he was ready. I meant it.
I want him so badly; as I always have… whenever relationships with other men don’t work out, it is always him I return to… it’s always the part of me that is his always that looks at me and says, “He’s The One.” That the reason it could never work with anyone else, is because he’s still too much inside of me.
I hate him sometimes. For making me so weak, so supple to be willing to bend just to have a chance to work it out with him, just to have a chance to be with him. But I cannot change the way I feel, it’s been the same for half of my life now.
You know, I know there’s a very good chance it wouldn’t work out even if he did find the strength to change his life. There’s a good chance we would kill each other, and that we’d end up ruining whatever rosy idealistic ideas we have about each other; burn through the myths we’ve created around each other; perfections of spirit real and imagined. At least then, we’d know. We’d have tried it out for real, spent more than just fleeting moments caught up, sprung and then the bulk of that awesome fourteen years apart, divided, separated… pick another word for asunder.
I have wanted so much to find someone else… to move on, to find someone else damnit. I also have to admit that has never happened. Trust me, I ask myself why, I am tortured by why. Because how is it that I can’t move on, that in the deepest part of me I know that no one has given me back even a a quarter of what he has given me back? (Never mind all the sordid details regarding why he and I are just not together.) I just wish he was as brave as I was. I wish he was. Because if he’d only wake up, and try… at least then he and I would both know.
He wouldn’t have to dream about me so much, he wouldn’t have to look around his life and wonder why it is so empty. I wouldn’t have to feel like I am missing a part of me any more. We would have finished what we started. Because believe you me, as I have tried to let go, my prayers have always for him to be happy. To be happy, because I loved him enough to see him happy even if it wasn’t with me.
To know, to hear him tell me over and over that he isn’t happy, not once, but over the course of the time we’ve been out of regular contact, you know that is what really burns the most. It bothers me that he sees a hollowness in his life and I am torn between hating him for staying, and loving him because I understand why he does it.
I am not waiting for him, I mean, if another man that could even give me half, a third of the kind of what loving TMG has made me see about myself, and know about life.. if someone came along that blew whatever concept of love I have because I have loved TMG for so long, then I would not look back. I am NOT waiting for him, I have done my best to open my life and heart to someone else, but that someone else has not come, and he–my Boobie–keeps popping up every so often to declare his love is undying. He still tells me that I still have his heart.
I want more than his heart, I want his body. I want him in my life. I’ve always wanted that…. I’ve tried to find it with other men, the ease with which we laugh, the lack of animosity between us, the intellectual and spiritual depth to which we communicate. I can’t say I’ve given up on finding it with someone else, but I haven’t to date, and not because I have not been open to it.
I mean, maybe it means something that we haven’t been able to realise our relationship. That the solidity of living space, sleeping and waking for months on end, the real nitty gritty of relationships has just eluded us.
Our relationship has been instead, voices… voices whispering in the night… pages and pages of words written; dreams, tears, longing and unfulfilled longing at that and the memories of the handful of visits. Is that enough to risk everything for.
I would do it, but you know he just never seems ready to. After all this time I have accepted that. How could I not. I mean, I’m the one who has little to lose, right. Nothing keeping me anywhere… no man, no job, no child, right? But I am here, in the world, looking for a job, hoping for a man to love and be loved by, children to raise and a life that’s mine. So, you know, I don’t have a perfect life. I don’t know if I want that, I just want to find peace.
I’ve been running. Running on the same spot for a long time. I am getting to a ripe age… 31 is nothing to sneeze at anymore. I know enough about myself now to kind of accept certain things about myself.
I can’t hate him because he is married to someone else now. I want him anyway. I think even if I met someone else, and I fell in love with someone else, I know I would still have my feelings about TMG. I don’t care what he does now, I don’t care what happens to me next. I have had to come to terms with living without him. I mean… say what?I haven’t ever really lived with him.
Yet, I know if the Universe opened a way, and he was ready, I just would not think twice. I would close my eyes and leap right into it… come hard, come soft, I will at least have done it. Instead, like he said, I live with question marks. So many what ifs, enough to choke on along with tears that surprise me still.
— EDIT —
I lied. The tears did come. Came this morning when I woke up and I was alone in my bed. I’m just really shook by his phone call. He sounded so much different. So different. All of today I’ve been trying to stop thinking about just how different he sounded. I just don’t know if I have the heart to hope any more, acceptance is easier.
I think we’ve carried the torch for each other long enough now to deserve a chance, but you know I am as afraid as he is; just not so scared I don’t want to try. Thing is, for the Universe to open a way, we would both need to take a chance, and you know I am a daredevil and he is far more cautious.
July 21st will be officially 14 years that he and I first fell in love with each other. It’s the date we traditionally celebrate having known each other. During the first two years, when we were really together, we would call each other on the 21st of every month, and he and I burned down the telephone lines for most of those two years. Long distance relationships don’t work, ours certainly didn’t but love, real love is forever they say, and I believe them.
He’s going to call me on the 21st, and next week is his birthday.
I don’t know. I don’t know if he and I will ever get a chance–our chance–but I haven’t learnt how to stop hoping that one day it will come. If not in this lifetime, but in another.
I just know that tonight I miss him… wish it were different.
Anyway, wishing don’t make it so. What is weird is that I dreamt about him twice this week…
Boobie and I, age 17 and 18.
One of my favourite poems ever….
Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
There will the river whispering run
Warm’d by thy eyes, more than the sun;
And there th’enamour’d fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.
When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.
If thou, to be so seen, be’st loth,
By sun or moon, thou darken’st both,
And if myself have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.
Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowy net.
Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest;
Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes’ wand’ring eyes.
For thee, thou need’st no such deceit,
For thou thyself art thine own bait:
That fish, that is not catch’d thereby,
Alas, is wiser far than I.
— John Donne
there’s a letter on the desktop that i dug out of a drawer the last truce we ever came to from our adolescent war and i start to feel a fever from the warm air through the screen you come regular like seasons shadowing my dreams and the mississippi’s mighty but it starts in Minnesota at a place where you could walk across with five steps down and i guess that’s how you started like a pinprick to my heart but at this point you rush right through me and i start to drown and there’s not enough room in this world for my pain signals cross and love gets lost and time passed makes it plain of all my demon spirits i need you the most i’m in love with your ghost i’m in love with your ghost dark and dangerous like a secret that gets whispered in a hush (don’t tell a soul) when i wake the things i dreamt about you last night make me blush (don’t tell a soul) when you kiss me like a lover then you sting me like a viper i go follow to the river play your memory like the piper and i feel it like a sickness how this love is killing me but i’d walk into the fingers of your fire willingly and dance the edge of sanity i’ve never been this close in love with your ghost ooooh… unknowing captor you’ll never know how much you pierce my spirit but i can’t touch you can you hear it a cry to be free or i’m forever under lock and key as you pass through me now i see your face before me i would launch a thousand ships to bring your heart back to my island as the sand beneath me slips as i burn up in your presence and i know now how it feels to be weakened like Achilles with you always at my heels and my bitter pill to swallow is the silence that i keep that poisons me i can’t swim free the river is too deep though i’m baptized by your touch i am no worse at most in love with your ghost