It came out in a text
I fell in love. Again.
See, my wife passed away. About a year and a half later I sort of stumbled into a relationship. It was hot and passionate. We were both so skin starved that I’m not sure if there really needed to be any actual love between us. But I was pretty good at thinking I was in love. And I expressed it, regularly, via text, on greeting cards, in bed.
After a couple of years I moved in with her. And things started their inevitable downhill slide. I started drinking more than usual. And I got fat and unhealthy. One summer morning she said “we need to talk”.
A couple weeks later I was sitting in a bar with my favorite cousin and my son. I got a FaceBook message from a quasi-friend/acquaintance. She was sitting in a bar in Troy, NY. Drinking a bourbon barrel ale and listening to live music. She invited me down. I was already several beers in and about 120 miles away. Couldn’t do it.
It was just a couple of days later she sent me another message. Again inviting me down for beers. It was a Tuesday night in late July. I don’t get a lot of offers from women (or anyone else) to have drinks. I accepted and drove down to meet her. I had no expectation of where this could go. The last I knew she was living with a woman but I was certainly up to having a shoulder to cry on.
If I recall correctly we spent the next four hours or so in rapt conversation. She was easy to talk to. A real empathic soul. I poured out my story. And it took a huge weight off my shoulders. As we were getting ready to leave, she held out her arms for a hug.
And I kissed her.
Thus began the most passionate two and a half year roller coaster ride of my life. It was a long distance relationship. Held mostly over text message.
She liked to show her friends the long flowery messages I would write to her. I was in love. And I was really good at showing it, over text message. And she needed to have this validation of love, regularly. More regularly than I could summon. That kind of creativity isn’t something I can just call up on demand.
I broke up with her three times. She’s an extremely ambitious person. Relentlessly pursuing her current passion. And I’m just NOT. She also gets depressed. And when she’s not in a place of passion, she’s in a “what’s the point” kind of place. Our approach to life just clashed in a way that I couldn’t reconcile. She wanted me to have that same kind of drive towards my dreams. But I’ve never really had those kinds of dreams. At least I couldn’t seem to figure out what they were.
Turns out my passion was right there all along. In those text messages.
I like to write. I didn’t know I liked to write. But I got a little juice every time she would tell me about the responses her friends had to my texts. I came to realize, just like the actor on stage, that the applause was what gave my creative spirit the freedom to fly.
So, in her honor I wrote this little piece this morning.
She finally gave up on the relationship, and me, sometime before Christmas.
I don’t think she’ll ever forgive me for breaking her heart. I truly am sorry. And I will always love her. The gift she gave me was the one thing I couldn’t seem to find without her. And for some reason I couldn’t figure out how to cultivate while we were together.
So maybe you should look at the things you do from a little different perspective. Your passion lies somewhere in those things. You just need to squint a little to discover them.
Thanks for reading.