I go from happy as can be to hopelessly depressed. I love him I am done with him. I know exactly what I am doing to what am I doing? All in one weekend. I don’t hear from him at all until the end of the weekend. We had talked about seeing a movie on Sunday because he had plans on Saturday night. It must be something because he usually tells me what he is doing and he didn’t. So I’m thinking whoever it is I hope she has rotten teeth and bad breath. I try not to think about it. I work on my novel. I’m done with him by Sunday afternoon. I convince myself he forgot about our plans. His date was a success and he hasn’t thought of anyone but her since.
Then I get a very positive email from my favorite crit club friend about my novel just when I am wondering why I am even writing. I start to make mushroom soup convinced it will be amazing and I won’t bring any in on Monday for him.
Then he texts me. He just got in from yard work. We could still make the movie but it might be too late. My pen pal writes me an email while I am texting him so now I have two men thinking of me at once. My boss says he reread the book the movie was made from over the weekend. So he must not have been too busy with his “Saturday night commitment” and he sure didn’t forget about our plans if he spent the weekend getting ready for it. And we are going to see the movie this week. After work or on a snow day if we get one.
Back to being happy again. I tell him I am bringing in soup. I email my penpal and my quill friend. My daughter txts me and my mom calls. I’m doing fine.
I would be perfectly happy if I knew he felt the same about me. I spiral down because I don’t know that at all. I’m sure he struggles with it but that means he would welcome another option. He too would have to get to know someone for years before he would make a commitment. But he would try if someone came along that interested him. That’s what scares me. Would I do the same? I have my penpal in my back pocket. The difference is I am keeping him there. I don’t think my boss would do that. He would keep it from me and go forward with someone if he found a possibility. My only real hope is that he realizes we are uniquely compatible and we won’t find someone else that we can get along with and enjoy like this. We are going on our 4th year in this reverse marriage and we choose to stay late and talk and have lunch and see movies and do dishes together. Even so, he might completely blow it looking for someone else because we don’t know how long we will be working together. If we ever do get to be more, it will be wow. The wait seems agonizing but I don’t think I will go through one day when I won’t appreciate being with him, if we ever do get it together.
I am having a nice Saturday morning. I am writing and have music playing. I stop to appreciate the morning then wonder what is he doing? Is he thinking of me? There is a movie we both want to see. He mentioned it a few weeks ago and I didn’t recieve an invite, I never do. So it’s Friday at 5:00 and I am leaving. He stops what he is doing to say thank you. He asks about something, says there was something else but he couldn’t think what. I mention the movie. He says its playing near him I say I can metro he says he has something he has to do Saturday night but maybe Sunday.
So. He has plans Saturday night should I be jealous? Or glad he would actually consider seeing a movie with me on a Saturday night? That would have been off limits a few months ago. I say just let me know and he says okay. He gives me that last look and I meet his eyes then pull away quickly. I am so afraid I will get stuck there and he will see into my heart. But I think he has already done that.
It’s hard to believe this is still going on. I just returned from the same annual meeting which kicked off this whole rom com 2 years ago in Alaska. This year it was in Rhode Island. We ended up having dinner alone the first night. I told him a family story. We chatted about his mom. At one point I looked up and he was just looking at me. I looked back and waited for him to saysomething and he didn’t. He was lost in some thought. So I said what? And he snapped out of it and said “nothing”. I organized a unofficial Bike trip and 8 of us, including him, rode 20 miles to a lighthouse and back. I could tell he was loving it, flying around on his bike like a kid. When I changed into my bike clothes he said “awwwwww” in his teasing but adorable way. We hung out together in a professional way during the meeting. At one point a speaker refered to him with “let’s say it was your fault” to illustrate a point. I looked at him and we both shook our heads and said nope it’s never his fault and the guy behind me who works with is patteded me on the back. the entire audience burst out laughing. They all got the joke. Many times when we were apart he would interject himself in a personal, I know her better, kind of way. For example, I was discussing an old issue and letting go of anger with this guy and he says across the bar to me how we’ve been talking about that for years. These are all ways of marking his territory and I am okay with that. I want to be his territory as long as he is mine. The last night someone offered to take our picture together and he said no in an embarrassing way. Then a close colleague said later that someone asked if we were a couple. His response was thats why he said no to the picture. He doth protest too much methinks. After the meeting I took a week off to go to Maine. He honestly wanted to go with me but we couldn’t find a way around how it would look. Even so he seriously considered it but in the end we both agreed there was no way to do it. So at the airport I walked him to the check in counter and we talked for a while. A long slow lingering goodbye, His soft gaze killing me. I said I was sorry he couldn’t join me And off I went alone. We texted and emailed all week. I bought him some used books. he asked how it was going, how I was feeling because I had a cold. I’m back now and going on a bike ride tomorrow and he might join me. How is it that we can spend so much time together all week every week for years and yet it is not enough? He must know by now it’s me. It’s just a matter of figuring out when and how.
While he was sailing across the Atlantic In a hurricane, he let me park my car at his house and he wanted me to water his plants whenever I went out there. I left my car there when I visited my daughter. Once I was back I needed to get my car so I decided to ride my bike to his house. It is 14 miles so no big deal. NOT! So many hills! And it was so hot out I was drenched and felt sick from heat when I finally got there.
I went inside and helped myself to a coke in his fridge. I wanted to fix his bed for him. He is still sleeping on a blow up bed and it popped the night he left. So I blew up the flat bed, then watered his plants while guzzling a second coke. I went back up stairs and tried to find the leak. I felt around the perimeter. No leak. I felt over the top and still no leak. I decided to listen for it. I layed down with my ear to the mattress and fell asleep. Maybe a 1/2 hour or more I woke up, freaked out at what I was doing there but had two cokes in me and had to pee. He has a yellow guest bathroom that I like so I went to use it but the door was closed. So into his bathroom I went. I peed and then the toilet paper holder fell apart onto the floor. And then the toilet wouldn’t flush. OMG I am freaking out by now and ran out of there before I broke something else.
So I tell him this story, not sure what reaction I would get. he laughed out loud and called me goldilocks. He refers to how I slept in his bed regularly now.
Today is Friday and we spent the day together like we normally do now. We went to the gym. When I left he stopped and we said the usual have a good weekend. He paused and looked me in the eyes like he used to do and I swear it went straight into my heart. I couldn’t stay there or he would see my pain. So I looked away and left. Oh how I love papa bear.
He’s back. It’s been 6 weeks since I have seen him. I have my daughter with me and he is with his son. We text. He’s coming to the city to see the fireworks and invites us to join him. An actual invitation. That is a new thing. I decline because my parents will be arriving but say we will try to connect earlier. It’s raining. My daughter and I walk down to the festival. I text and call when we arrive and get no response. It is pouring rain and the festival is cancelled. I am sitting in a tent in the rain with my daughter. I fear I will miss him completely and then I’m gone on vacation and won’t see him for 10 more days. Then He calls. His phone was silenced and he didn’t know it and missed my call. He’s across the mall. We walk towards him and I see his tall familiar shape coming my way on the rain. We meet in the middle of the mall in the middle of the rain. He’s alone so my daughter says, “your missing someone” meaning his son. Pointing at me he says, “I’m missing your Mom”. OMG I almost died right there. I walk up and say I feel like I’m seeing a ghost. He says he’s not a ghost and I go in for a hug (Hug#4 and yes I am counting). We stand in the rain, his son and my daughter meeting for the first time, chatting and laughing and catching up. What an adventure they had what a thrill to be together again. Sadly We depart. I look back for one last glance and he is just looking away froM doing the same thing. Later that day he invites me to join them for a movie. I can’t because my parents are now here. I haven’t seen him since. We have texted a bit but that’s it. Now I’ve been away for 10 days. I will see him tomorrow at work. What will reunion #2 be like?
He arrives tomorrow. He wants to get caught up before I leave on Tuesday for a week. Maybe I will see him before I go but most likely it’s just a phone call. I try not to get my hopes up but the truth is I have missed him desperately and am at his mercy. How do I bring this to a close? I either need to move on alone or we need to move on together. I can’t continue this way for much longer. Maybe tomorrow will bring the answer. One way or the other, bring it on. Did he have time to think about us? Will his return bring him back to me or will it be more of the same? Most likely the latter. Meanwhile I have been pounding it out of me by training for a triathlon. Off to the gym I go for the last night of this long journey.
I haven’t posted in a while because it has all been too exhausting. The roller coaster ride gets steeper and steeper. Once we were back from panama the usual routine kicked in with the exception that He was focused on his departure. He had been planning for two years to sail across the Atlantic with a friend. They have been working on the boat every weekend and now that time had come. He gets irritated before traveling and this was extreme travel. He would be gone for 6 weeks. My vacation starts a few days after he gets back. At work my leave begins on the day he returns. So total time apart 2 months. But he’s busy getting ready so I stear clear. Even so he’s ends up in my office when I’m staying out of his. This preparation for departure is the builds up for the emotional ride I shall share with you.
Up – Departure day, he’s constantly connecting with me in every way he can. He offers me his parking pass even though I live a 10 minute bike ride away. He wants me to water his plants so he hides a key outside his house. We walk to his car together. I am barely holding on, trying not to come unglued all day and now it is time to say goodbye. We get to his car then he walks me to the elevators and we talk some more. We run out of things to say so he waves goodbye. It’s a wave like you would see a boy give from the summer camp bus to the neighborhood girl he is leaving behind. The trip sounded great years ago but now he is dreading it. I turn and leave and make it home somehow before I start to cry. How am I going to make it through the next two Months without him?
Down – my birthday, it was a few days after he left. He was at his sons graduation on the west coast first, then flew to Bermuda to catch up with the boat. So he didn’t set sail for about 5 days after I last saw him. No text on my birthday and no text when he departed. Nothing. He forgot my birthday and didn’t say a final goodbye. I’m done with him now.
Up – the huricanne, there is a tracking system and I could watch a little red dot move across the Atlantic Ocean. There was also a blog that the captain was posting to every few days. About two weeks into the trip he posted about a horrible night. 5 meter swells and crack the whip all night long. Then I notice the little red dot stopped moving. Day 2 no post and not moving. Day 3 still not moving and no post from the captain. I am now think in the worst. I find a wind map and it looks like there is a hurricane. He’s dead. The ship sunk. I’m terrified. I’ve never had someone I care about in such danger and I’m am unable to sleep. Day 4 I post to the blog for someone to please explain. Turns out it’s a technical glitch and they are battling the weather but doing fine.
Down – 4 weeks into the trip they make land in the Azores. I see he’s online because he sends a work email. And it’s bad one. He demeans what I’ve done and says to wait until he returns so we get it right. And to make it worse he sent it to the entire board. Ugh. I’m sure he’s exhausted and didn’t mean to say it that way but I’m steaming mad. And still nothing from him to me only.
Up – before they leave Azores he texts me a hello. It’s late there so I don’t hear back from my reply so I text again in the morning and we txt back and forth and he sends me a few pictures of her volcanoes he is sailing past. Awesomeness!
Down – I hear from him again when he is in Portugal but only because he needs me. He lost his phone then found it again. So he’s now on land travelling with his son and I don’t hear anymore from him and am not sure when he is returning.
Up – I’m at my desk missing him. It actual makes my heart physically hurt and I am noticing the very real pain when I get a text from him asking when my departure is. How is that possible. Is that quantum entanglement? Does he feel my heart ache? He tells me when he is arriving and wants to catch up before I depart. This will mean over the weekend and my family is in town but I am fine with catching up with him anytime.
Panama was wonderful until it wasn’t. The course went well. The facilities were great. The diving was fine. The students mostly did okay. We laughed. He flirted. He grabbed my fins. We joked. Etc…
The last night we were there we were back in the city and it was just the two of us. I was feeling great. We were done and everything went well. It was the first time we had held the course there so a lot could have gone wrong, but it didn’t. I felt like celebrating. I texted him about dinner he said yes and now. I met him in the lobby and he wanted to just eat in the lobby restaurant. It’s a TGIFridays. We are in panama. We are at our old haunts where we first got to know each other and went out to dinner every night and shared desserts and he wants to eat at TGIFridays? I suggest we go to an area and find dinner instead and he agrees. We find a place he remembers and sit down. I’m in a black sundress and he’s an ice cube. I try to get the conversation going and he lightens up only to shut down again. We toast to our success. We walk around a bit. I ask if everything is okay. He says he supposes so. My response sucks. We catch a cab and go back to the hotel. I walk to his room to pick up some fins and am in his doorway. He hands me the fins and says thanks for your help. Good job. I say good night. Ice cube. Popsicle. Idiot.
I had the entire next day to myself. I went on a few runs, walked around alone, and cried a lot.
Two and a half years later, we are going back to panama tomorrow. Panama. Where I first got to know him. Where we shared desserts every night. Where we first worked side by side. Where he first turned my head. That panama. Where do we stand? I don’t still know! All I know is this.
I still love him
he still enjoys my company and I his
we still have long talks
he has “a girl he talks to”
he compares her to me
he says she is “a mess”
he has no idea if I am dating
We laugh together a lot
we act like a couple when we are together
i miss him when we are apart
Recent moments include:
teaching a class together where he demonstrates a skill by holding me from behind and his body touches mine and feels like magic
doing dishes together side by side me washing, him rinsing – so domestic
him introducing us as a team and calling us the yin and the yang
Sprinkle in between these moments my usual rage resulting in breaking up with a man I have no commitment with. How long can this go on? What will happen in panama? A lot of work, that is for sure, but I am staying an extra day to relax and recover, will he stay too? I will let you know in my next post
Its Friday at 5:ish and I end up in his office. He wants to ask me something and is clearly not sure how to start. He has a friend who is very religious and married a man who is into porn. By what he said I know who he is talking about and don’t think he is interrested in dating her, but she is an old friend so he cares. He can’t reconcile She knowingly married a man like that and still seems okay with it. She is still married and has no intention of leaving. He is asking me because my husband had the same problem. I didn’t realize he had such a problem when I married him and when I finally came to the conclusion things would never change, I left. I explained many things to him that night about what I went through and why it took me so long to leave. We talked about sex and what it means to us and what we want in our next relationship. I’ve never seen him sit and listen to me quite like that before. It turned into an explanation of why I put up with it so long and what my values are. I referenced a relevant book of his that he had shared with me. He said that he sent it to her. So that means this was not some recent conversation with his friend. Why was he asking me about it now? Why was this conversation about my expectations for love and relationships and marriage and sex? Is that what he wanted to know? Was he judging me and wanting to understand why I put up with it so long? Again, like so many things with him, I don’t know. I do know it was a beautiful conversation. Face to face, looking into each other’s eyes, for hours, sharing what we think is important about relationships. OMG, what next with this guy?