Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Memory Remains

I generally don't talk about how I feel in here. All I hear from people is about how all bloggers are whiny bitches just looking for an outlet and an audience. So, to counteract this, I try to remain as positive as I can and post things that will either make you laugh or get you horny.

Today is different. When I left New York City back in August, I left behind a woman who shattered my expectations for what a human was capable of. She had eyes I could stare at all day (and often would, though it would annoy her). She could genuinely surprise me every time I was with her. I left behind someone who would sit on a hard seat on a subway train for two hours, alone, at 3am from Queens down to south Brooklyn just to see me if I so much as hinted at it. And I would have done the same for her.

So today I started thinking about how to define what love is. There are all kinds, sure, but there must be some defining quality present in all its forms. And now I know what it is. When you think about someone, do you smile in your mind and think, "There's nothing I wouldn't do for that person," and, "In a pinch, I want to be the first person they call"? If you do, to me, that's love. The very prospect of seeing them, if only for an hour, lights a fire under you. It motivates you. It gets you out of bed, and out of a bad mood. So imagine having someone like this you could see every day for the rest of your life, to wake up next to every morning and kiss goodnight at the end of every day. And I had to walk away because I was broke. She didn't care about me being rich or poor, and was determined to get me to stay, even if I couldn't pay any of my bills. She was endlessly optimistic, even in the face of obvious facts to the contrary. THAT was love.

So we tried to stick it out over the distance, as friends or otherwise. I guess I'm not the typical guy when I feel blessed just having a woman like that around as a friend. I have a few other friends (many female, some not) that I think just as highly of, but we keep it right where it is. Anyway, I called her with good news. I said, "I'm moving from Ohio up to near Boston, so I'll be able to visit you a lot more often [4-hr drive instead of 8-hr]). She seemed happy.

So in early September, I moved up to a little town outside of Boston, found a job within a couple days, and everything looked good. What's more, I was headed to NYC for the weekend of 9/11/05 to see friends, and this particular lady.

I parked in front of her house in Queens and got out of the car, walked up to the door and rang, then knocked when I didn't hear anything. She does this sometimes, just sort of wanders out of the house when she knows I'm coming over. So I rang her up on her cell; she told me to turn around. Across the street she stood, smiling at me from behind sunglasses and hair that had a sexy way of hanging in her face. She hung up and took her time wading thru the traffic. It had been a month and I wasn't sure what the appropriate greeting was. She answered the question before I could ask it. Her arms wrapped around my neck, and mine found her waist, like they were just MADE to go there. I don't know how long that hug lasted, but it felt like forever and yet could never be long enough.

We went inside, she got me some water, we started catching up. Her kids would be coming back from their vacation in another week. She loved my farmer's tan from landscaping in the hot Ohio August sun. Neither one of us could say enough times how great it was to see the other. So I stayed the night.

I know at some point that weekend I went to see my old roommates down in Brooklyn, but it's a blur. What stands out to me is all the time she and I spent together. The next morning we took an on-foot tour through several of the parks around her neighborhood. We started to talk about the future, about me coming to see her more often. I felt good. Better than I had in some time. And from the look in her eye, in her smile, she felt the same.

That's why I struggled a bit the next week when, after returning to Massachusetts, I got an email from her saying that the distance, combined with how her boys would deal with a strange guy coming around, and how she needed to make a few other changes in her life, suddenly factored me out of the equation. I couldn't argue with her; the points were valid, and she was a smart lass. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't still think about her every day. She might not even be there anymore. She had been talking about going home to Ecuador for some time, despite having lived in NYC for 15 years and having some roots and family there.

I know that in matters of the heart, only the fool tries to be practical, but here goes my best "fool" impersonation. There was a slight language barrier, tho she did try often (with moderate success, I would say) to teach me more Spanish (two years of it in high school helped), and I also was worried about being rejected by her kids. On the other hand, I'm not sure I even want to have kids, so the fact that she's already got her own allows me to skip the parts I like least: the early years.

I don't even know why I'm putting this here. It can't be solved neatly. I like visiting New York City, but living there didn't agree with me too well before. Why would it be any better a second time around? And she can't/won't leave at least as long as her kids are in school (another 5 years, at least).

The day I got that breakup letter, I rationalized it and said, "Ok, this makes sense. It's over and I understand why." Still, the memory remains. And I don't know what to do about it.


mrshellonheels said...

That is such a sad story, I hope somehow you find a happy ending.

elvira black said...

In the back of my mind, I always had the impression that guys are more "practical" than women about whether to continue a relationship past a certain point. Generalization? Certainly.
I'll admit as much.

But in this case, there's a hell of a lot of mitigating factors, and perhaps you'd even have regretted continuing the relationship somewhere down the road. All I can add is that I fervently believe that many "bad" things turn out for the best, though one may not realize it at the time. In any case, the "good into bad" thing has happened to me countless times. Very moving post.

Lord Boinkingham said...

This is another place where I think I'm an exception, because even though I miss her every day, I don't feel bad about it. We had a GREAT time together, and they really are memories I'll cling to forever. She raised the bar in terms of what I expect from whom I'll date in the future.

I have an ex from about 5 years ago that was the best and worst thing that had happened to me up to that point. I still have pictures of us together around, and people think that means I want her back. God no. I keep them around the same reason I keep pictures of my 4th birthday: not because I want to BE 4 again, but because it was a memory that puts a smile on my face.

Even the worst events in our lives have positives. Losing a house or car in a natural disaster can be seen as an end of something, or a new beginning. Funerals have a way of bringing friends and family closer together and help them put aside their differences.

And this is all very odd since if you asked anyone around me, I'm a cynic most of the time. Call it a dichotomous personality, I guess.