My dear h and I have long been just slantwise of each other.
I always wanted a man to love me beyond any contribution I could make to his life, beyond my willingness to be possessed by him and him alone, beyond the trappings of what I was or appeared to be at any given time.
One of my worst fights with the one who got away occurred after the episode of Nip/Tuck in which the son’s girlfriend reveals herself to be transgender. “What if I turned out to be transgender?” I asked him. “And you had never even realized it?”
“I would throw you out,” he said, with passion and sincerity. “I would throw you out on the street right now.”
“But…I’d still be exactly the person you met and loved. Exactly the same person.”
“But you would have lied to me all this time. Our entire relationship would be built on a lie.”
Whenever I review our relationship, I think back on that particular moment as the tiny crack that, over time, allowed our love to split apart. The knowledge that, had I lied to him out of fear, every single bit of love for me would be negated in his eyes. I had seen the limits of his love. The extent of his empathy, even for me. I saw then that he did not love me more than himself, or at least not more than his own fears, or at least not more than my own theoretical fears.
Fear: the enemy of love.
So I was always on the lookout for a love that could survive anything. And h had demonstrated his love to be just that. Over and over again. And yet I couldn’t…quite…settle into a relationship with him. And every time we tried, we immediately began to trigger again all of the bad characteristics that had driven us apart before: mainly his neediness and my fear that I couldn’t give him what he needed. The minute we would try to be together, we would drive one another away with our expectations. We had a bad pattern of highlighting our failures of connection.
Two nights ago I moved back in with him, not under the most ideal circumstances, i.e. because I don’t have anywhere else to go at the moment. We were preparing to go on an acid trip together, and it occurred to me to put a prayer out into the universe. I prayed for the trip to help me see him, really see him, such that I could love him the way I want to.
My prayer was answered. And how.
He and I spent several hours circling and circling around each other, all of the reasons we can’t be the person the other one needs, all of our miscommunications and struggles and fears and selfishnesses, our desires and limitations, trying to find a way to make this living-together-thing make sense despite not actually being together.
We were in different rooms, still talking at one another, still talking about why we’re not meant to be together, and then all of a sudden at the same exact time, we had this incredible clicking-into-place. I was in the bathroom looking in the mirror, and he came in and joined me, and we stared at one another and just knew.
Everything in my head just came together, all of the slight disconnects, all of the problems, and all of the reasons why they’re not actually problems….just…slid into place. He saw it happen in me, and I saw it happen to him too, somehow, like we were reading one another’s minds. I SAW it. And he SAW it happen to me.
And we both just looked at one another wide-eyed, like “You’re the One. Holy fuck. You’re the one I’ve been preparing for my whole life.”
My mother tells me how when I was a little girl, I would chase a cat until it turned around to see what I wanted and then I would freak out and cry because I didn’t know what to do when that happened.
I started crying, but not just from fear this time: from fear, and joy, and awe. And we were both very awkward and shy around each other for a couple of hours. I suggested we get really, really drunk because I was scared to talk to him, I wanted to be perfect for him, and he didn’t want to get drunk, so we braved the next several hours of being in awe of one another and making the most painfully anxious conversation I’ve ever experienced, both knowing we could never live up to one another’s ideal of us (while knowing at the same time that it was accurate). We had witnessed one other’s divinity, and in the process got a sense of our own as well, and I learned how to love and forgive awkwardness (my lifelong enemy) because of what it means. Because others deserve our awe, and we deserve their patience.
We didn’t even really have to talk about it. When we did, it was clear that we’d both had the exact same experience, just as we thought. That we were both now taking for granted (and at once treating it as the most precious thing in the world) that we’re going to be there for each other, that’s it, that’s all. It was undeniably holy and I wish this gift upon everybody.
Oh, and we’re also still polyamorous. “I love the way you love. Why would I want to try and cage that?” he asked.
Miracles happen. This world. This world. Holy holy holy…