I had a dream- crazy dream
Anything I wanted to know
Any place I needed to go
Hear my song- sing along
Any little song that you know
Everything that’s small has to grow.
California sunlight, sweet Calcutta rain
Honolulu starbright- the song remains the same.
Led Zeppelin, The Song Remains the Same
So we left off yesterday with Eddie gone from my life, moved to another state, married to another woman. Meanwhile, my honey and I were building our own life. It was a good life, even though we have since questioned some of the choices we made, I do believe that those choices are integral parts of the people we have become. No regrets.
But over those years, Eddie was never completely gone from my mind. I’d think of him at odd times, or a mutual friend would pass on a bit of gossip or ask if I had heard anything. Almost invariably my answer was no. I still was not admitting to myself the truth of my feelings for him: in my mind he was still my dear friend with whom I occasionally loved to roll around in the hay. At one point, he came up between my honey and I – before he moved away – and after a long day of arguing and misunderstanding and failed communication, I finally promised him that I would make no effort to see Eddie again. That was not to say that I wouldn’t see him, but simply that I would not go out of my way to make it happen. In the end, it did not matter, as he was gone.
Until last spring. Last spring, thanks to the glories of the world wide web, I received a Classmates.com message from him. I’m not a paying member, neither is he, but I did send him a message, finally, with my email address in the subject line (to actually read a message, you have to be a paying member). And then, eventually, he read it and sent me an email.
Two days later, once I had responded, he called me on the phone. Unfortunately, I had not gotten around to telling my honey that he had reached out – I had planned to do so that very evening. Instead, we had a bit of a blow up because I had not only not told him in advance, but I lied to him about who I was talking to at the time. I was afraid that if I told him, the blow up would occur while I was on the phone. We worked through it.
But this was the start of my descent into self doubt (Eddie always had this effect on me). What did I really want from my life, who was I really, and who did I want to be. Was I being true to myself and my beliefs about the world and my place in it. Over the next month, I completely deconstructed myself, trying to find the bits and pieces that belonged and separating out and discarding the pieces that did not. My honey could not fail to notice, so in short order, my process became our process: but that was even harder, because my honey knew, at least instinctively, that part of what I was unsure of was our relationship.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, I finally admitted to myself all the feelings I have carried for Eddie all these years. And then, because my honey and I were working so pro-actively on being honest and open with one another, I decided I had to be honest with Eddie as well. I sent him an email telling him that not only did I still love him – which he knew – but in fact, I was still in love with him, as well. Told him that I assumed he had known how I always felt, assumed that how ever much I lied to myself about it, that I was sure everyone else saw it. Told him that if this made him uncomfortable, to just set it aside because I told him, not to invoke some action on his part, but because I was tired of leaving important things unsaid and undone.
After a long, tense weekend, he read my email Monday morning and replied. Told me that he was grinning like a schoolboy, and how silly of me to think he would be upset by me saying such wonderful things to him. That he loves me and always will. But no mention of in love, or any indication whether he always knew.
A couple days later he called me and we talked for an hour or better. By then end of the conversation, I think it was quite clear to both of us that, regardless of any feelings we might have, that we were both on different paths: we both have lives and relationships and future plans that really don’t fit neatly together, but there was nothing wrong with that and we would always be close, even when we are far away. I felt really good about it all, and it seemed like between releasing that secret and the conversations that I was having with my honey, that everything was going to work out for the best.
Fast forward a few months. My honey and I were finally getting into a good place, we had a comfortable honesty between us, we knew that we had not solved all of our problems and we knew that this was the way it will always be, and that this is not a problem, merely a reflection of our ever changing lives.
Then Eddie calls me again and everything changes. After all this time, he started thinking about our past and our recent contact and he realizes that of all the people he has ever known, that I am the only one that truly understands his insanity, supports him, has faith in him… that after all of these years, he realizes how prophetic his words were years ago. That he truly is in love with me, but never saw it, acknowledged it, accepted it…
We talked quite a bit after that. He referring to himself as a “stupid egotistical child” that could not or would not see what was in my heart. It was a pretty intense week, or so, with lots of emails and phone calls, trying to figure out, for each of us, what to make of this development.
These conversations, in a nutshell, are what has driven me and my honey toward polyamory… because I could feel it, without exploring it, until now. And he could agree with me, without challenging himself… until now. But all that changed when I was confronted with the one inescapable fact of my life: that I was desperately in love with two different men, two men that don’t really know each other, and don’t think much of what they do know. That because of my world view I have no desire to choose between, and even less desire to hurt either one. And because the one phrase that has raced around my head for the last several months is “…too blaive…” but I cannot dismiss it so easily.
Yet we are cautious. My honey and his ‘Laura’ are an exciting and interesting development for me: moreso because it was not forced, or designed, but simply appeared at a moment when he was receptive. We question, all the time, whether either of us is pushing too much, trying too hard, rationalizing that which we should be rational about. So far, I think we’ve done pretty well, but we have a long way to go and no idea where we will end up.
Both of my boys made me incredibly proud a few weeks ago. I sent Eddie an email telling him explicitly and directly what I (we) have been talking about as far as polyamory goes, as far as he might be involved and so forth. In his response, he told me not to do this thing, that it would destroy my honey and, parenthetically, that he could not believe he was giving me advice to help [my honey], but there it is. A few minutes later, I told my honey that Eddie had rejected this first, initial overture. He crumpled his brow a bit in thought, then suddenly started. Looked up at me and said “I can’t believe I’m standing here trying to figure out how you can explain to him that it is all okay.”
So in those fifteen minutes, they both set aside their own feelings for just a moment and empathized with one other. I was smiling all day.
(Originally Posted January 4, 2007)