Well, I've been having so much fun this weekend with my college friends that I forgot to write last night! Had a great dinner last night. Jeanne cuts her own rib-eyes and she BBQ'ed a few last night - nice and rare. Mmmm... Beth brought a carrot cake and Linda, Jeanne's wife, brought home some dark chocolate covered marshmallows from Trader Joe's. See how I'm focusing on the desert? Double mmmmm...
Once again, we were up until after midnight talking and laughing, showing pictures and swapping stories. Yesterday's stories weren't of where we'd been together 25 years ago, but rather where we'd been separately over the last 25 years. I've noticed that I don't have a lot of detail recall from all those years ago. Maybe because I was doing a lot of self-medicating all those years ago. However, I remember and have fallen right into my relationship with each of these women.
Tracy and I lived together for almost three years in college, two of them in the duplex where we met Jeanne and Beth. I was floating around without mooring when I was a young adult. I had run through the IUD's of divorce for years and years, and put up with an abusive step-father and a revolving door of step-mothers.
When I met Tracy, et al., I was still a girl. A feral girl. There's that corny line about angels appearing when they're needed. Well, they did, and I dove inside their wings and loved them each in my own, furtive manner. At the time, I didn't yet push away the hands that pushed my hair out of my eyes, or brought me coffee in bed. I didn't waver in my belief that no matter how wild I might get, those three women I loved would love me back.
Today, my heart is a bit worse for the wear. These past 25-years have shocked it into a state of wonder at the uncertainty of human nature. 17 years of litigation calcified, for want of a better term, my aura. And, then there's our "society." The state of nature is becoming more and more transparent for me. Maybe for all of us. I don't know.
Whatever the cause, I've realized in the last few weeks - - not that it started with my RDP, but my realization has come into relief given the extremity of the situation with her -- that at some point, I started to believe I had to earn my portion of love; measuring out what I had to do for a spoonful of love. Here and there. Including enduring relationships with the unworthy (except my ex-fiancee Aaron) and jobs requiring 70-hour work weeks and unreasonable bosses (understatement).
It an obvious maxim, for any of you who relate to this sort of existence -- and even to those of your who don't -- that this isn't the type of existence that leads to happiness. Another angel appeared. This time, it was actually me. I had the foresight to follow up on a suggestion to attend a yoga/meditation class at a local meditation center. This was about 1999. What a great dead-end to my little thicket of suffering.
At that time, I was almost catatonic with fear and anger and blind need. These practices saved my life. Just as literally as my friend Jennifer saved my life when she Heimlich'ed a piece of steak out of my throat in our cottage kitchen so many years later.
(Of course, I was also suffering from a chronic physiological illness that contributed to all that chaos and suffering, but again. I'm not ready to come out of that particular closet. So, I'm leaving breadcrumbs...creating some literary conflict to resolve later...)
Where was I? Such a habit, digression. Oh! I'm right here!
So, yesterday morning, I was sitting in Jeanne's plush leopard print chair talking to Tracy who was sitting in the plush purple chair across from me, and Jeanne came up behind me and started to stroke my head. Like a mother would. Like someone who cared would. And, I forgot to tense. I forgot to jerk away. And, Tracy said, "Don't you just love her hair." (Do you hear the Arkansas cadence?) And, Jeanne said something nice. And, I started to giggle. And it was like we were back in our duplex living room where I would be curled up in the round papason chair, people playing cards, music playing. Drinks being drunk.
Moreover, Tracy had been listening to me. And, I'd been listening to her. And, she wanted to hear me. And, I wanted to hear her. There were about 20 minutes of complete, undivided attention. No google'ing, no texting, no interruptions. Just sharing. I'd forgotton how much I appreciate Tracy for her ability to meet my ability for focused attention. It's affirming. I hope it is for her.
She told me the story of her husband, Shayne. Apparently, he'd been too nice to date, and she'd broken up with him. At some point afterward, Tracy's lupus flaired, "big-time," and she became so sick that she was forced to quit her job. She was miserable and scared, and so when Shayne called to check in. To see if she was ready to try another date, she broke down crying and allowed him to care for her. Her defenses were down, physically of course, but emotionally as well. She says she was able to see him. See what a good man he was. Soo how sweet and caring. How accepting of her. In a way that was, from what I heard her say, about as opposite of her first husband as possible.
Makes me think of a person in my life right now. Someone who is patient, yet persistent. Kind, yet not co-dependent (yet, anyway!). Welcoming, but not making some some preturnatural absorption-like Alien demon fetus implantation. Which is, whether exaggerated or not, what I feel like I am still pulling out of my gut.