Rain

Its pouring outside. I always think of him when it rains. I think of Alaska. I think of him at the foot of my bed, leaning on my bed, talking for hours while the rain poured.  Its been 4 years since I fell in love with this man. It has been difficult, painful, and beautiful. I feel this stage of our friendship is coming to a close. I don’t know if the new stage will be the end or a new beginning, but change is coming.

Recent ups and downs consist of him saying it will suck if I leave, to me telling him I don’t want to leave him, to him telling me of a joke he would like to play on his son for his birthday, a voice dub on him playing his ukulele and singing happy birthday he did for someone and changing the name to his sons. That’s what he does for his ‘not girlfriends’ and he sends me a text. Ouch. I am hurt by this and I think he sees it in my face. He texts me at night about his sons successful job interview. We talk for hours at work. He says one afternoon, ‘well here we are’ as I look out the window. I have no idea where he is going with this so I say ‘and time is flying past us so fast’ and he agrees. I am on my way to the bathroom and end up sitting in his office. I finally say, ‘how did I end up in your chair, I was on my way to the bathroom?’ he says, ‘because you always do’.

Tomorrow is the last day I will see him for a month. He leaves for the antarctic. The  day he comes back I will be flying to my moms for Thanksgiving. I have been helping him get ready for this trip. He is worried about doing the dives and has told me his fears. I appreciate his comfort level in telling me so. One memorable moment in Alpena we were riding the boat back from some dives. We had spent most of the time chatting with others but towards the end I was sitting on the cooler on the back of the boat, watching were we had been. He sat next to me. There we sat, side by side, sharing a cooler, talking about things. He said then he was not looking forward to the dives in the Antarctic, my response was a sympathetic, ‘I know’.  We do dishes side by side at the office, same sort of talk. Him speaking about his concerns, me listening and being sympathetic and understanding.  Tomorrow I have to say goodbye for a month. Its not exactly like he is sailing across the Atlantic. It is not for six weeks. But I am going to miss him just as much so it will feel like exactly that.

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Meeting Four

I am back from the meeting.  He is still there because he had an opportunity to log more cold water dives. At the meeting we stayed in a hotel on the far side of town. He had a car rental so we drove back and forth together. We would see people and go our separate social ways then reconnect as needed. It was all very natural. But the dives…

Dive one, he had a free flow at 80 feet and 43 degrees. I was instantly by his side and gave him my regulator. I was on my alternate air and we were both breathing off my tank. I had my gauge in between us so we could both see how much air we had on the ascent. Our bodies were close. He was dependent on me and I was there for him. I know he realizes how significant that was.  I gave him my air without a moments thought.  I was there when he needed me.

Dive two we went alone, just the two of us, on a wreck. I have fixed his regulator but we stayed close in case he had more trouble. Everything went fine.

The next day we were on a boat. There were five of us and the lead was paring people into dive teams. He said the two of us should buddy “because it just seems natural.”  This is someone who doesn’t know us at all!  The dives weren’t bump free but we did fine.

During the week we had a free night and just the two of us had dinner at a small little Italian restaurant. It would have been very romantic if it could have been. Okay, it was a little romantic. The last night of the symposium everyone was going out for drinks after the dinner. We got in the car and I expected us to go to the bar but he drove us back to the hotel. His ankle was hurting so I assume that was why we didn’t join the others, but we never talked about it. It was just the natural thing to do.

The next day we had free so we went on an adventure. We had one other person with us who  totally gets us so it was relaxed and fun. Over dinner the waiter brought one check for all three of us. We asked for separate checks so he brought one check for the other guy and one check for me and my boss. We were like, no we need separate checks too and the waiter apologized for making assumptions.  That happens all the time.

The symposium was fun. He was in my room 3 times during the week, but who’s counting?

1. I can’t remember why? His room was across the hall and it was dark but he didn’t change it, mostly I think because he wouldn’t be so close to me.

2. To help me with my presentation. He sat in my room for hours going over my talk. Me on my bed and him in a chair.

3. To look over the rocks we collected at the quarry that day.  It was the last night. We were in my bathroom together, side by side, arms touching on occasion, as we looked over the fossils. He has one fossil he found that he insists is a clam but it totally is just a rock. LOL! I don’t want to burst his bubble so I let him believe it. We finally say goodnight. Its 10:00 on Sunday night and I won’t see him until Friday. He counts out the days to when we will see each other…Tuesday you are doing this…Thursday I fly back…Ii will see you Friday, etc… He is tall, handsome, and looking into my eyes as he stands in the dark doorway of my room. I am melting. I say ‘be safe’ as I lean against the door frame of the bathroom and we say goodbye. It was almost as if he wanted another ‘Alaska’ but I am not going there. No means No and if he wants something different, he will have to be able to talk about it. The next day there was a change in plans and he gives me a ride to the airport, even though I didn’t need one. I had a shuttle.

Now he’s on his own and before we parted I said I hope all goes well. He commented on how he won’t have his buddy with him, aka me. 🙂  He’s only been on his own for one day now and we have already talked twice, sigh.

I can’t believe this has been going on for this long. This was the fourth one of these annual meetings we have attended together.  Next year is Lake Tahoe. Gulp.

 

Our Friday

We have ‘the annual meeting’ coming up in one week. The one that started this whole story in Alaska. This meeting will involve drysuit dives again. We went to the pool together yesterday, just the two of us, to test our drysuits and refresh our skills. We are getting our gear together, it is hot. I change to my swimsuit and he is in his swim shorts. We gear up together, side by side, and then step outside to cool off before we zip up and seal ourselves inside our drysuits. I don’t need help but he zips me in anyways and I do the same for him. We don our dive gear and enter the pool. Its much cooler now as we descend together. Underwater we test our buoyancy skills, he shows me a few things, I do the same for him. He jokes around and makes me laugh. 30 minutes later we ascend together. We laugh about a few things and comment on others. He finds a shell from Alaska in his pocket. Sigh…we are a team. The dive is seamless. I brought swim goggles so we can do laps afterwards. The two of us pound out 30 minutes of laps in lanes next to each other.

When we are done he gets out of the water and I see him standing there, dripping wet, shirtless, and smiling. He looks like a giant boy who just received the birthday gift he always wanted. Oh to have a man who will do laps with me.  This is what I love.

He is hungry and we get lunch at my favorite place. We sit at the window and make up a scenario about the people at the table outside. We laugh a lot. On our way back we talk about many things. He comments on something he said and how his dad would have said the same thing. I ask about his dad’s sense of humor. I say how nice it is to be around his laughter.

We get to the office and talk between work. Somehow we end up talking about learning from our past. I tell him about my therapist’s take on marital baggage. I say I have so much and its a good thing to recognize it for what it is. To understand my hypersensitivity to things is to acknowledge these things matter to me. He said its also important to understand, because I am so sensitive to these things, they might not be what I think they are.  I agreed and tried to continue my point and he restated, things might not be what you think they are. Was he just talking or was he making a point?  I have no idea.

I am trying to normalize our relationship in my head but its not working.  Its Friday so I say goodbye without much ado and then leave when we are finally done for the day at 6:30.  He texts me later that night saying there is a show on TV I might want to watch. We text back and forth a bit into the night.  This type of interaction is why its all so difficult.

Just the day before I find out he has been to two summer concerts, one I would have love to have seen. He didn’t ask me to join him or even tell me about them when he went. Who is he going with? Why does he hide it or not tell me? It hurts because I don’t know. It could be innocent or he could be going with someone he doesn’t want me to know about. I have no idea. Its Saturday night. What is he doing and who is he with right now?

Should I give up on the one man I love? He is my boss so the answer is yes. But what about when he is no longer my boss? It will be too late. He will have blown my trust by then. Or are things not what I think they are?  The only thing I do know is he is making me crazy and that has to stop.

A Twist in the RomCom – Hawaii?

I am applying for a job in Hawaii and I have a shot at getting an offer. We were sitting outside on a bench having lunch. I was not sure how to approach the subject so I just told him. His immediate reaction was to try to talk me out of applying. After lunch he went right to his computer and read the job announcement. Within 10 minutes he’s saying I should consider it, if its something I would want. The next day he is talking me out of it again.  I have very mixed feelings too. I tell him I could leave my job, the institution, and not feel bad about it, but leaving him would about kill me. He blushed and said he was a pain in the ass. I agreed.

He has been super sweet ever since. He said he would be a professional reference for my application. I am doing dishes and realize his cups are not in the sick. We practically run into each other as I walk out and he walks into the kitchen. He goes to dry his hands on the dish rag hanging below the sink I am standing next to and asks if he can use my skirt. I laugh and say no!

As far as work goes, it would be a huge change, a demotion really. But less administration and more of the fun work. It would also be a pay cut, but housing costs are less in Hilo.

The offer might not come and I might not have to decide. If it did, it would be a financial choice based on the salary they are willing to pay. Personally, it would allow us to finally have a romance, 5000 miles away, but that  would  be more of a romance than  we can have now.  He loves Hawaii and I know he would consider retiring there. I think he realizes he could work for one or two more years and then join me. Alternately, he could be not thinking that at all. I have no idea. But the way he looks at me when we part ways says otherwise.

Sucked back in

We argued multiple times today over work related issues. When we were done with the disagreement, we are done.  No lingering hard feelings or anger. No consequences. Its work, he has an opinion and so do I. We express it and we are done.  This happened at least twice today. Each time we were back to our old selves when the discussion was over. Sitting outside enjoying a quick lunch together or laughing about something. At the end of the  day we do the dishes, together side by side, sometimes too close. We walk out together. I almost forget to go my separate way.  When I get home I text him what food to bring in tomorrow so I can make something for lunch. He texts back what he has and asks if its okay. I am in a reverse marriage. Yes I realize this post totally contrasts with the previous post. Welcome to my life.

Doubt is seeping in

I am starting to wonder at my obsession. He does not answer texts like he should. He does not respond to emails like he should. I don’t think its just me, he is not real responsive to others.  But then again, he sure was responsive to her for a while. Do I want to live his life? That is what I think it would be like. I can’t see him retiring in Maine. He would want to move to Washington and live near his best friend. Is that what I want? To live the way he wants to or the way I want? Is there a middle ground and if there is, would he be willing to go there? I’m not so sure. I do love him but honestly, he is difficult. I would be good for him, but would he be good for me?

Does he worry I am pulling away since he said no? Because I am. I have tried to keep a safe physical distance from him ever since. That look he gave me in Panama haunts me. It was a sad ‘I wish things were different’ kind of look. I looked away. I can’t handle it. I don’t want him to see how I feel. He got in the infinity pool with me until we were both freezing. That is not something he should do if he really meant “no”. But no means no and that is all I have from him so that is what I have to plan for. Moving on alone at some point. Perhaps the sooner the better.

 

 

Back to Panama

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.

  1. I still love him
  2. he still enjoys my company and I his
  3. we still have long talks
  4. he has “a girl he talks to”
  5. he compares her to me
  6. he says she is “a mess”
  7. he has no idea if I am dating
  8. We laugh together a lot
  9. we act like a couple when we are together
  10. 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

 

 

Deep Talk

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?

Next Stop Vegas

One month after Alaska and they found themselves in Las Vegas on business. Everything was normal, whatever that is. He would call or txt after hours from his room about whatever was happening.  She txted or talked back from her room (sometimes in the nude).  They stayed an extra day, at his suggestion.  People would see them together and as usual, assume they were a couple.  They had a good time together, they always do.  Nothing was mentioned between them about the “event” in Alaska. They don’t talk about it. At All.  She decided they should be able to talk about it. She wanted them to be able to laugh about it. Hiding in an elevator is funny. Everything is okay.  She decided she would share what her therapist said about that night with him. He would benefit from learning about why it happened and they would be able to laugh about it.

They had dinner together on the last night in Las Vegas. She took that opportunity to try to talk about what happened on the last night of their previous trip. She shared what her therapist said. It took guts, he wasn’t in a communicative mood. It was awkward.  But she told him anyways and he just stared, like a deer caught in headlights. “Nothing?” she said. He laughed and said, “I don’t know what to say?”  He’s not used to this level of communication and neither is she, but she was determined to push past the surface with him. He is definitely deep, as he has shown, and she is not going to stay in the surface now that she has seen what’s beneath. They talk about it a little bit more then move on to work subjects.  As she walked back to her room she wondered of he’s really if he would think about it or if he’s really just a total ass.  She wasn’t sure at this point. 

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Finding a Norm

Therapist explains why…

She asked her therapist why. If she is trying to get out of a relationship, why does she find herself wanting to get into one? Of all men, why her boss? Her husband is an over sexual Pepe-le-peu, the last thing she wants is another man groping her, so why?  He explained it her in a way that made sense.  She has a need, one that was not fulfilled by her husband.  A need to be loved and feel safe in a man’s arms.  Sex does not equal love. Her marriage had the sex but not the closeness of love.  Her husband would say that sex makes us close, that is what we have that is different from anyone else. She realized it was the reverse. If you have something different from everyone else, that level of closeness, then you have sex. She found she could be close to her boss without the pressure of it leading to sex, and that was part of the attraction.  The fact that he WAS her boss was part of the attraction. Because he was such a huge risk, they couldn’t go there. He was so unsafe, he was safe. Part of her wanted him badly and part of her wanted the safety of being close to someone without the pressure of it turning into sex. It was an inner conflict that she struggled with then, and still does.

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Next Stop Vegas