I embrace my desire to
feel the rhythm, to feel connected
enough to step aside and weep like a widow
to feel inspired, to fathom the power,
to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain,
to swing on the spiral
of our divinity and still be a human.
With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in,
I feel it move across my skin.
I’m reaching up and reaching out,
I’m reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one’s been.
We’ll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one’s been.
Sometime after my lunch date, I finally admitted to myself my true feelings for Eddie. Thus began an obsession that has grown and faded repeatedly in the months since. As we drove to Bonnaroo, I fantasized hundreds of variations of seeing him again after all these years. Telling him how I have felt, expecting nothing, but always aware of a quite hope, beneath it all, that he would feel the same. I never indulged that hope to any great degree, but I did indulge myself in the knowledge that he and I did, still, have a sexual connection. My fantasy did not tend to go that way – the most I ever imagined was a kiss – more than that seemed both self indulgent and even this felt like a betrayal of my relationship. Yet I understood that betraying him was the one thing I could not allow myself to even consider. Because that act would break both of us, perhaps irrevocably.
I had big hopes for the festival: hopes that just spending time together, away from home, would allow us to reconnect and find our way again. But I was not being terribly honest with myself. I was far too closed off from him at that point, and in some ways, too closed to myself. I wasn’t ready to really face myself in this process, I was still waiting for the pieces to become clear.
As such, in many ways the weekend was a disaster. We had some fun, and we had some good sex – more than we had done in quite some time – but we also were both aware of this looming, ill-defined crisis pending. He told me that he had hoped we could talk over the weekend. That he had been quite aware of my distraction and general unhappiness and intended to try and address it – again away from our regular daily pattern. He really wanted to find some Ecstasy for us over the weekend, now I understand that he hoped it would open us up and allow us to talk more freely. Unfortunately, that is exactly why I resisted. I have always been a little uncomfortable with drugs in public, and in this case, I knew I was far to obsessive about Eddie to allow myself to be put into a place where expressing that would be easy. The thought terrified me – on a number of levels. Not least that if I upset him there and it pushed him away, I would be alone at Bonnaroo with no way to try and make it better – until and unless he decided to let me.
The night we returned from the festival, he made his first attempt to break through my shell. At the time, I did not really recognize it as intentional. I tried to express to him that my distraction and closedness was a result of this process I was undergoing. That I could not really explain it well to him (although I did try) because I did not know how it worked or what the results wold be. But that I felt it was vitally important for me. We got into the issues far enough that he saw, and I refused to deny, that the process might have long term consequences for our relationship. At the time, I was rather relieved that this was in the open. At the time, I could not imagine any way for us to find a path into the future together. He had mollified me and then continued his own way too many times before.
Later that week, I found myself indulging in far too much alcohol once more – this was a chronic issue that month – and obsessing about Eddie once more. It finally became too much for me and I wrote him an email expressing my feelings for him. Told him that I still loved him – or rather, was still in love with him. At the same time, I told him that I didn’t expect anything from him – that I was tired of leaving important things unsaid and undone in my life, and his re-emergence in my life allowed me to correct at least this one.
That weekend, Grandma died. 27 days after Grandpa.
Not only that, but the previous Friday I had been scheduled to go see her. But plans kept collapsing leading up to it, finally to be topped off by an open work issue that I was not able to clear away until late in the day. So instead I stayed home drinking and sent the aforementioned email to Eddie. Saturday, I should have gone, but I was hung over and tired, so I planned to go Sunday. But she passed before dawn.
I don’t do guilt very well, and this one hit me pretty hard. In the grand scheme of things, it merely served to make certain that I had no emotional reserves left. Everything was out in the open at that point.
Monday, perhaps a saving grace for my emotional state, I got an email back from Eddie. He told me I was silly for thinking my declaration could possibly upset him. That he loves me, always will. That he has always been able to say absolutely anything to me and that was the greatest gift I could give him. He said he could not stop grinning after reading my email. I felt good – but I also recognized that he did not express the same sentiments that I had. Nor had he answered my questions as to whether he had always known my feelings. But I still felt good about it over all. I had purged my soul to him and it did not hurt me. It was a release that perhaps I very much needed.
That evening, my honey decided he was going to accompany me to Grandma’s funeral. At first I was a bit resistant, I had thought about visiting with friends while I was up north, and I knew that I would be saying goodbye to that community forever on this trip. I also had been looking forward to losing myself in my thoughts as I drove. But when he pressed, I decided not to fight him on it.
Thank gods I didn’t. The funeral nearly broke my already bleeding heart. The new fundamentalist preacher that has invaded town decided to turn her life and death into an opportunity to proselytize and seek converts. I was appalled, I was furious, I was probably close to hitting the son of a bitch. If my honey had not been there, I do not know how I would have handled it. At least, I expect I would have made a scene. As it was, he comforted me in the church – instinctively recognizing my reaction; he gave me the opportunity to vent as we drove to the cemetery; and he drove the first part of the way home so that I could get myself together.
As we approached home, he finally broached the subject that had been weighing on him (I suspect) at least all day, if not for days or weeks. He wanted to talk about sex. On some level, he perceived that the core of the problem in our relationship was sex. Perhaps as a direct result of his own technical failings. He introduced the subject as a philosophical approach to alternate sexuality. How he feels about various sexual practices, how he viscerally reacts to the same, as opposed to what he intellectually believes. And importantly, how he thinks he may be able to overcome or modify those visceral reactions. He explored the subject in great detail; three-somes,in various configurations; four-somes; homosexuality, for me and for himself. Finally, after talking for some time, he asked me to do the same.
My reaction was pretty simple; I’m okay with everything you mentioned, I have no negative visceral reaction to any of it, and if I were to pursue any particular activity it would be fully dependent in the individuals involved. The end.
This did not go over well. Nor did I respond well when it did not go over well. What did he want? For me to make up problems just so that we could explore those problems? And if there are no problems, then what is there to talk about?
This led into many more discussions, including our issues with aggression– my attraction to aggressive sexual behavior and his inability to provide it; our failure to understand each other due to different expectations – especially ‘signals’ that we use sexually (and romantically); and Eddie’s character. By the end of the evening we got into a discussion of sharing and privacy leading to him realizing that he could not truly share himself with me because he could not trust me to keep his confidence. Both of us were reduced to tears as he decided that we had no future. Yet we did not end there. I tried to explain to him that I would never knowingly betray his confidence, but that he may need to be quite clear with me as to what he sees as private. That the problem is that we fundamentally have different expectations and assumptions about privacy, so perhaps he can not simply expect me to ‘get it’ without his guidance.
In the end, we made love and fell asleep shortly before dawn.