Today is a day I feel some ability to further process the relationship that I have found myself in. It's.... intense. Just right. It's hard and there are tears from understandings and misunderstandings alike. Struggles to remain in the realm of reality and to look at things logistically and realistically so as to mitigate the surprises and completely new world that will be our eventual becoming as one flesh, as they say. So here we go.
I find it so interesting that every time he looks at me it's as though he is seeing me for the first time and is falling in love. Every opportunity he has to look at me, he makes creates a near carbon copy of the me he saw last time. He loves every tiny change that he finds. Makes a mental note on that copy and when he feels content, he starts another copy. I watch the cycle of his eyes looking, widening, smiling, softening and finally his brow wrinkles slightly as he smiles though some small degree of pain. I asked him one day where did the pain come from and he described it as heartache because he loves so intensely, yet 'forever' isn't here quite yet. To that, I am speechless. I tell him I love him and that time will come soon.
Every time he says 'I love you' he says it like it's his last. Every time. Hanging up to call back is 'I love you.' Going to sleep is 'I love you.' Waking up is both 'I love you' and 'I missed you.' If there was any hint of him saying it out of habit or simply by rote, I would be soured by the repetition over time. In his case, each time is a fresh, new pressing need to let me know his love has somehow grown even more. I've mentioned this being a honeymoon phase and eventually he will settle in, and I was informed through word and deed that I greatly underestimate his capacity to love. His whole life he has been waiting to love another that could love him back without feeling burdened. If I am nothing else, I am indeed that. Yesterday I told him that I think the reason none of my attempted relationships from last April up until him have succeeded is because my heart had actually belonged to him ever since we first met. We knew we loved each other then, we just didn't know that the other was an option. We were both off the market by our own volition prior to meeting but took roughly 7 minutes for a spark to form which we both recognized and immediately buried for... several months. Before falling asleep I thanked him for fighting me to not give up on love, not close myself off. As my friend he worked hard encouraging me not to walk away from a failing relationship before exhausting all options. He actively encouraged me to another man my time. Give him my love. Give him space to come back around to accept that love and begin to reciprocate it. Give another chance, then another. He encouraged me until I told him point blank to stop, that I was done. I was done with everything, all of it, relationships, the absurdity of it all. That hurt his heart enough for him to actually tell me so. He made it a point to not even insinuate the possibility of he and I being a thing. He did a good job too, I was certain that not only did he want me to be happy with someone else, but he did NOT want me to consider him as a potential source of my happiness. He felt bad, responsible in part for my breakup, which frankly, he wasn't. That's a story for another day. What started our journey was his fighting for me to not end mine. My man himself had all but closed his heart to others, but to see me doing the same became too much. For this reason, we talked. A lot.
We started talking one afternoon and have talked every day ever since. In the beginning it was light abrading of the less tender areas. Uncovering the scars wrapped in so many layers of sarcasm and deflection but not probing the depths. Saying there was more but not in a way that welcomed any inquiry. every time we said goodbye we gingerly covered our sensitive areas but never fully wrapped them again. We let them breathe even though it hurt sometimes. Each talk we went a little deeper, abraded a little more and it was uncontrollable. At a point I would hesitate to even say hello because I know that a hello would inevitably lead to more wound debriedment and while neither of us wanted that, we craved it at the same time. going over conversations in our minds and coming back later seemingly with a list of follow up questions from the last discussion. He always said I had a way with words. I always told him he was incredibly strong. We both winced from the praise, but still our soul grating conversations would continue until one (or both) of us tapped out or had to say goodbye for a time. In time we found some healthy skin beneath and both felt... empty. Out of words. No follow up questions. No more rehashed old thoughts. Now there were new ones. When would we get to spend time together again? Actual time without a crowd of our mutual friends, or a schedule of planned activities or anything other than just each other? Can we see the fruits of our mutual labor? This labor of friendship and love? Is this even a good idea? Nope, it's not. It's extra risky. Scary. Therefore we must. Let's take a weekend road trip with another friend! Lets drive nearly halfway across the country for roughly half of a day, look at the beach for a while, see friends for dinner, nap, get back in the car and drive back home.
A brief word on wounds. Warmth increases circulation in living tissue, even if some of the cells are in the process of dying. Wounds are wounds and therapy is therapy. Plain and simple. Wound healing is wound healing and all wounds heal from the bottom up and from the inside out. I feel he kept allowing himself to remain open and vulnerable to me not just because it was therapeutic to me, but because it was therapeutic to him as well. Nourishing me back to health through innocent, unassuming, selfless love. Giving me his last embers to keep my heart warm enough to heal. What he may not have known at the time is that I give as much as I receive. Imagine taking turns holding a warm mug of cider to keep hands warm on a cold, chilly monochromatic day. There we were, our backs to the wind, sharing the warmth of this one comforting element. Eventually coming to the understanding that the cup wasn't cooling, it was getting warmer and staying warm with each exchange. We traded warmth. We aided each other's circulation. We began to heal ourselves alone and together. Looking back, it was risky on his part, on both our parts. Risky and beautiful. I feel that even if it was not successful, the attempted heart to heart connection is such a rarity these days that the tragedy of it not coming to fruition would have still been beautiful. Still the poetry of life.
The poetry of life is precisely what we experienced. The warmth from our shared cup became the warmth of a shared embrace. The first hello in a long time. Our therapy took a turn from words mostly written to words retained in print to mostly spoken words retained in mind and heart. Words spoken became communication through sharing quiet space. We found a beach on a cool, windy monochromatic day. I found oysters, he found a moment of pure joy and captured it in picture form without my knowing. We found a pier. wooden, weathered, the color of the grain melding with the color of the sky, sand, and calm whispers of the seas casual conversation with the pillars supporting us in this moment. The color of my jeans, the color of my hoodie, all melding together. monochromatic. Thinking now, there were splashes of color. The yellow shrimping boat in the distance contrasted against the sea. my soulmates shirt contrasted against the wood bench at the end of the pier. The growing glow of friendship becoming love... A color I still cannot describe. I love him in colors. I can use words all day, but I visualize our love in colors and shapes. I haven't fully grasped that yet. I know he would love to see our love the way that I do. Maybe one day I figure that out. For now I will continue to enjoy our experience. One that will always be #BetterThanFiction .