I won’t forget when she told me she couldn’t be with me any more. It was the stereotypical kick to the gut and as painful as the lightning strike that brought us together was pleasurable.
Wasn’t the first time I had my heart broken but it was the worst.
Won’t get into all of the ins and outs about why or give you a rundown on every horrible thing I felt because you will either understand it or you won’t.
If you don’t get it then it won’t matter if I list how I sat on the floor in the dark and closed my eyes because I felt like I could feel her there with me. You’ll think it is cheesy and goofy if I tell you that when we were together I sometimes didn’t wash the pillowcase because I liked being able to smell her.
It made me smile and though it was never as good as having her in bed with me it was better than not smelling her.
If you don’t get it you’ll just call me weak and wonder what is wrong with me. Some of you will tell me to act like a man and shake your heads.
Truth is that I don’t care what you think. I can stand up against the world. It is not hyperbole. Been there, done that.
Except now I don’t need to prove it and I don’t want to waste time or energy.
And if you do understand what it is like to have your heart ripped out you don’t need me to tell you about what I lost when that happened. You get it.
But that is all behind us now because in the crazy twists and turns of life we found our way back. Some of it is because I refused to just let things lie, refused to accept the lines she kept feeding me.
I took a big chance in ignoring those because I knew that she might truly be serious. Even though my gut told me she was being mean because she felt like she had to and not because she wanted to I knew that sometimes your gut is wrong.
For years I swore that if I could get her alone for a while I could make her admit that she remembered. I promised myself that I would find a way to take my shot.
Swore that I would get her in a room alone and kiss her hard on the mouth. I thought about ways to do it. Planned it out and laughed at myself because it all seemed so goofy and ridiculous.
Played around with pinning her against the wall to kiss her and tried to balance it against just pulling her into my arms.
Wondered if she would kiss me back or if in turn I would find her angry and or scared. She might fight me, scream for help. The pinning thing works in the movies but not always in real life.
Did all I could behind the scenes to arrange for a meeting, to find a way where an opportunity would come up. And then life moved in my favor and things were arranged where we could potentially have our moment.
And when lightning struck again and we ended up in the same place I tried to be calm, cool and collected. Tried to be suave and debonair.
Wasn’t easy when my entire stomach was in turmoil and the gurgling coming from it sounded like thunder. Hard to be cool when you are hoping you won’t have to run for the closest bathroom.
And then I watched and waited.
Shocked her by asking her if she still loved me and when she said she did tried to kiss her only to be rebuffed.
“I can’t. The timing is not right. I am sorry.”
For a moment I was crushed again, wondered how I could come so very close and yet not be able to make it happen.
“Well, that is probably a good thing. I seem to be having a problem down below and I am worried that I can’t take care of you the way you need to be taken care of.
In retrospect it was kind of a silly thing to say, a ridiculous comment. I can’t tell you why I said it or what I hoped to achieve. You might think it was me trying to be manipulative, that I was trying to push her to find out for real if things really were working or not.
And had I not been feeling so damn lost maybe that is what it would have been, a sort of last ditch effort. But it wasn’t, at least not consciously.
Just saying this out loud makes it seem more ridiculous.
“I know you won’t kiss me, but I am worried about having to take Viagra so I am hoping you might give me a hand to figure out if there is really a problem or not.”
Yeah, that is as smooth as saying you owe me a night in the sack for no other reason than just because. While it may be true that stranger things have happened, it doesn’t mean that they could or would again.
A few weeks later we went out to eat and I spent half the meal entranced by how good she still looked to me and how much I still loved her.
It felt like this huge wave of emotion and I wondered if I was going to be smashed underneath it or if somehow I would find a way to swim with it.
So when we walked to our cars I took a chance.
I grabbed her, pulled her for a hug and waited to see if her body was going to be stiff against mine. I didn’t feel any tension in her back so I kissed her.
Kissed her and smiled because she kissed me back immediately.
“I can’t do this. The timing is bad.”
“Yes you can and you will.”
I think that is what we said, but who remembers the words in between kisses. She’ll tell you I was pushy and that I forced some issues and I’ll laugh.
Laugh because when she said stop I did and then she asked me why I wasn’t kissing her. I laughed, called her crazy and she laughed too.
“Shut up, I am not crazy.”
“Yes you are, you are nuts. You are a crazy broad but I don’t just love you, I fucking love you. I love almost everything about you.”
I almost choked when I said almost because I knew she would want to know what that meant, but I knew she was feeling what I was feeling. Knew that somehow whatever wall had been built between us had been knocked down.
And I told her that.
Told her that we had done something crazy. Told her that we had blurred the lines, crossed the streams and cemented something crazy, amazing and special between us.
“You know that we are family and that there will never be a time when we won’t be a part of each other.”
She asked me if that meant she was stuck with me and I said no, it meant I was stuck with her.
Time passed and all that was good between us got better and even the bad moved along too. There were moments where we fought and times when she wondered what the hell she had gotten herself into but when she closed her eyes she saw me waiting there just as I always see her too.
And when I told her that sex during middle age is a thousand times better than when you are younger she sort of rolled her eyes at me.
“Baby, the major difference between then and now is that you can’t hold the same position with the same ease as before but we are so much closer than we were then and so much more comfortable.
I am not trying to make up for lost time. You just turn me on that much. I’ll want you just as much at 100 as I do now.”
She smiled at me, told me I didn’t have to use a line on her to get what I wanted and I smiled back.
“You know I am not. We don’t have to talk to know what the other is thinking. But I know you and I know you like hearing how sexy I find you. You are more beautiful now than ever and most of all I am happy you are my girl.”
She smiled and squeezed my hand.
And then I closed my eyes and smiled too.
What we learned here is that when we stop saying “I” and start using “we” everything works.