It’s 5 AM, but I’ve been up since 3. There is a quirky little light shop off Pearl street that sells Chandeliers and Candelabras. We went there on our first date. The little man that runs the shop reminded me of Liberace — and was obsessed with Italy.
My heart hurts, but I smile at the memory.
It was raining and cold that night. We walked hand-in-hand down Pearl, the lights of downtown reflecting — no sparkling — off of a thousand wet surfaces like sunshine on the ocean.
Things between us felt so innocent then. Fresh, new, and filled with possibilities. But everything went too fast for me…so I pulled away. I knew from our very first kiss, half-protected under a shop awning, you had the power to hurt me.
And you did.
But you saved me too.
You love to play the role of rescuer. I sometimes think it’s coded into your DNA. I didn’t deserve to be saved. You couldn’t resist riding in atop your white steed — likely dressed in a slim fit seersucker suit with a matching bowtie.
Know I appreciate it all. I appreciate you. I understand all your quirks and crazy. I meant it when I said I’d never be angry with you again.
Tonight…I’m angry with myself.
Do you remember the moment when Perdu found the unopened letter from Manon in the kitchen table? How when he finally read it you felt…hope? Love would surely win.
Hope is bittersweet. Hope can keep us hanging on to a person, place, idea — long after any reasonable person would have let go. I despise hope.
I don’t remember the moment when we crossed over from lovers to friends. The moment when I finally let you in. When I knew we’d likely be a part of each others lives in some way forever.
I do know that was also the moment I let myself love you. Not the infatuation from the start. This was different. Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than your happiness. I felt tender and sweet towards you. I stopped wondering how you were spending your time — who you were spending your time with. Any jealousy I’d felt in the past now felt petty and unnecessary. Love is freedom, not control.
“We cannot compel anyone to love us…”
I loved you because I saw how you encouraged and brought out the best in me. In everyone really. I’d like to think I am special, but I’ve spent enough time in your world now to know I am not. I’m one of many — MANY — you’ve given this gift to. I’m in good company.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
What I do know is that I have work to do. Work that I must do alone. Work you’ve already done. The hard work of loving myself.
“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It’s called the hurting time. It’s a bog; it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.”
I am so grateful for our friendship. For the adventures I know we’ll be having in the near future on some tropical beach somewhere.
You asked me if we should go as friends, or as a couple? I hesitated and found fault with the word couple…and tried to figure out what answer you wanted from me…instead of answering from my own heart. Friends. Friendship lasts forever. Friendship is the best foundation for any relationship — romantic or otherwise.
It has taken me a LONG time to consider you my friend.
I know you’ll consider all of this silly and unnecessary. I’m writing it for me…so maybe I’ll be able to get back to sleep.