I loved talking with her. I still do. She came up to pick up our youngest son after spending his February break with me. We went out to lunch, all the while she is saying that she needs to leave by a certain time to get back to her home, our previous home, and now her home with her new man. Lunch went just fine, the anxious feeling I developed over the course of the week about her being here dissipated as I showered and cleaned prior to her arrival. It is still hard to see her. It is still hard to be around her. I find her just as beautiful as I did prior and I find her new life interesting. But, and this is a big but for me, it is time.
We walked together side by side to a local eatery to get some tacos for lunch. The wind was pushing and shoving us along as we stepped our way along the sidewalks. The brick sidewalks that were warped and twisted from winters and rainy seasons as we looked down, neither one of us wanting to give the other any reason to pick at each other for tripping. We spoke of mundane things as we walked the 15 minutes to our welcomed meals. I pointed out places I liked along the way; places that I had seen live music, places that I had eaten while providing a quick review of my experience. I pointed out bookstores and antique shops, as I know that there was interest on her part. I pointed out art museums and comic book shops that are filled with toys from our youth. It was busy talk. There was not much point to it but to avoid the awkwardness of the moments she was around me.
When we arrived at our taco lunch we sat, I in the corner purposely across from my son and she across to the right from me. We had polite conversation, spoke about the boys and our varying circumstances, until the subject of her horse came up. She was selling the horse we had bought for her. This wasn’t just a horse but a life long desire of hers to have a horse of her own and we were able to get that for her just a month or so prior to her falling in love. It didn’t mean the same to her anymore. She didn’t have time she said. She couldn’t afford it either and it was just time. These were hard words to hear for me and the look upon my face was not lost on my son who stared for what seemed like forever but was probably just a few seconds. I was so proud to finally be able to be in a place where we could afford her a childhood dream, where we could maintain an expense such as this for her…..and for me. It was a point of pride. I was able to provide her the last thing from her childhood that always felt out of reach to her, and it was ending with just a few words. There were no tears like there were when she would previously speak of this subject, where I would offer additional financial support and she would then find a way to keep things going. There was no emotion this time; there was no want or desire to keep the last accomplishment that we had, had together. She was moving on from everything.
We completed our meal and left. The wind still attempting to drive us away from our destination, my apartment, and back towards the ocean that rumbled just feet from where we ate. The “Bomb Cyclone” hit Friday flooding some streets, fortunately leaving my residence untouched. The winds that shook the house where my third floor apartment resides bullied the trees, throwing their branches throughout the streets; we stepped carefully over the debris on our way back. Bomb Cyclone seemed the appropriate weather pattern for this weekend, it was full of revelations that I wanted to avoid but Mother Nature had another way of forcing them upon me. While there was awkwardness to our conversation there wasn’t much difficulty in our speech. We spoke openly on many subjects while still treading carefully through the mazes that had erected throughout this two plus year process. It was good conversation, productive conversation, and yet again, tears were shed.
She spoke of her growth, of the things that she had come to learn about herself while recognizing that I had been encouraging her in this direction based upon how I viewed her and what I knew she was inside. What she had shown me but was too self-conscious to show others. She needed to learn this on her own, why I didn’t figure this out prior was stupid on my part, as I KNOW that about her. She is much better taught when it is her teaching herself, when it is her guiding her way, while I tried to get her to see the things that she was capable of, if someone else was trying to tell her something she had a hard time seeing it, now though, she was seeing it. It was nice for her to recognize that my encouragement was actually a good path for her, which she was not only capable, but would excel in her journey. She is, and has always been strong, she is and has always been highly intelligent, she is and always will be a beautiful person and not just in the physical sense but in a way that makes people want to be around her, however much she may not want them around. She also acknowledged how frustrating it must be for me to hear this coming out of her mouth when I encouraged her in the same ways when we were together, and while it is, I am glad she has found her way.
She needed to leave by 1 pm to make it back, avoiding driving in the darkness as she never cared for that, but our conversation took us well past. At the apartment we spoke more, a little about our relationship and how it is now and how it was then, without anyone getting upset for the most part. There were a few tears but never induced by one another but by our own selves as we recognized areas we could have done better. Productive. When we looked over at the clock it read almost 3pm, it was always easy for us to get lost in conversation with each other, that apparently has not changed. I walked her and my son down to the car helping them carry the minimal amount of cargo he brought with him for the week, walked her through directions to her route home then said goodbye to both of them turned and walked back to the apartment. I watched from the window as they both drove off to start their four-hour trek back to Vermont and instantly started to feel down. I needed to start my steps which I had ignored the week prior and not let myself get into a dark place. So I played my guitar for a bit.
This was a different type of down than prior, this was a sadness but not a depressive sadness, it was like when you finish a really good book and want more, or you finish a series that amazed you on Netflix and you know there won’t be another season. It was the realization that it was time. In an odd turn of events the bedroom set that I had posted to sell, the one I purchased for her years ago while she studied in France, had garnered some interest. Someone wanted to look at it, while I was reluctant to sell it before, as it was “Our” bed, it was time. It sold today. The last item of “ours” that I hung onto was loaded into a truck and is gone. There is some sadness about that, I know there will not be another season, there are no additional chapters to read, there are no hidden tracks like on your favorite record, it is over the needle has lifted and has slowly glided its way back to the safety of the plastic stand to the left. It was a great record and I was moved by each song, the sitcom was one I could not stop watching, and that book I never wanted to put down.
I love her, I always will. She will always hold so many places in my heart, head, and will have her space on my body (minds out of the gutter, her name is on my forearm), and she is happy and I am for her. There will be a hangover effect after this I can feel it. It will linger for a little while but in the long run to be aware, to be knowledgeable about my situation instead of hoping for a different one is progress that was and is needed. Maybe this is the beginning of the friendship we spoke about while we were separating, maybe this is the last time we will ever speak I don’t know and will not think anymore of it. Today is today, this hour is this hour, and each minutes deserves its own time and that is how I will proceed. I wanted to end this writing with a quote from some great writer, something so amazingly intelligent that will alter a mind or two but I couldn’t find one that really stood out to me so I will end it with this……………