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October 3, 2012

Wasn’t it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 11:02 pm

Just one more story.

“Wow.” A couple of high school kids on our second date — me, on my second date with him; he, on his second date ever. And he’s looking at me with that look so deep it’s as if he’s casting a spell and he says, “People spend their whole lives looking for this and we found it on the first try.”

“Hey, hold on,” I said [or something like it], “I’m 15. Let’s just see what happens.”

Five years later and we’re standing on the steps of a London hotel. “Can you believe it?” I’m saying. “By our fifteenth anniversary, we’ll have been together for more than half my life!”

“Okay, slow down,” he says [or something like it], “Let’s just see what happens.”

There were never any rings. Not that kind, you know. Not the kind that come with strings. No vows. No kids. No joint accounts. No sealing our commitment by co-signing on a condo. No rules that stuck around for very long. Just a couple of rose quartz rocks we picked up together in the woods one day; they matched but weren’t the same. For those privileged enough to have the option, health-insurance-by-marriage is a heady temptation. But we resisted together, to the best of our ability, every opportunity to institutionalize our love — as if enlisting outside support would dilute the purity of our devotion to one another.

“You two have the most cerebral romance of anyone I’ve met.” — Joshua Danger

We did. For almost fifteen years. Against all the odds, insecurities, fatigue, and attempts at sabotage. Across thousands of miles and multiple continents, through other lovers and tumultuous heartbreaks, graduations and funerals, sicknesses and sadnesses, betrayals and reconciliations and total identity reformulations, love letters and trauma and butterfly wings. We loved each other through some of the hardest times in both our lives without ever giving the power to enforce that love away to anyone or anything. And we did it in the face of dozens, hundreds, thousands of messages that what we were doing was impossible. So impossible that, not only would we fail, but we were deluding ourselves to think we’d ever been doing it at all.

“Thus it is said:
[…] The path into the light seems dark,
[…] True power seems weak,
[…] True steadfastness seems changeable,
[…] The greatest love seems indifferent.”
– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching ch. 41

Look, if there was no contract to dissolve then what does “breaking up” even mean?

Growth means change.
Change means loss.
Loss means grief.

Breaking up means a tectonic shift in the ground of who I am.

If it doesn’t really end,
We can never really grieve.

I can’t live like that.

“There are a lot of thing I love about our relationship, yes. But the number one thing I value most about having you in my life is your integrity. It inspires my own. So, if continuing to tell a particular story about our relationship would mean you compromising your integrity, then my asking you to do that would be shooting myself in the foot.”

In a system that strives to make the cost of authentic intimacy too expensive for anyone to afford, we fought tooth and nail and side by side to love each other for free. We took damage. We’ve both got scars. Still, for 14 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 5 days, we won.

. . .

“But I wanted it to last forever,” I told her between sobs, “no matter what. I wanted it to be magic.”

And she said, “Wasn’t it?”


1 Comment »

  1. Hey there.

    Can I tell you a story? I can’t relate to 15+ years…but I had a relationship that I thought was going to last the rest of my life. And it was cerebral. And it was she and I against the world. We were two lost, broken people who needed and loved and sustained each other. We met after my life had irrevocably changed. She was the first person I had ever met who didn’t judge certain things at all. At all. She helped me finish school. She introduced me to organizing/activism. She introduced me to, really, fighting back. And I live without her, for all that I will always love her. And I really love Alyssa, but this woman…will really always be first in my heart.

    Four years.

    Comment by sixtoedkitties — October 18, 2012 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

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