“Look For Me, Somewhere Down That Crazy River”

And, so we danced. We danced all Saturday night, and into the early morning. Then we slept in my bed. Well, not only slept.

I awoke, did my morning routine, made tea, gave some plants some water, and he slept. Mumbling strange, incoherent things, as I snuggled up with him again. And he slept some more.

I woke him up again, made toast, he had some tea, after he slept more.

Woke up at one point, had his pants on, and told him he didn’t have to go. So we kissed, snuggled up, and he slept, more.

Woke him around noon, told him to get naked again, and we had sex. Afterwards, he slept.

Struggled in my head for what more to feed him, as me cupboards were almost bare. Decided on this simple soup base kit I had, easy, took 30 minutes. Woke him up, and he got dressed, around 5, and ate a giant bowl of the soup.

We talked, about different stuff. His life, my life. Pandemic conspiracies came up, almost came to blows, as he was anti-vaxx/mask, and all that jazz. Swerved clear of that, and went on to other things. He got his kids back, in that they now spoke to him, he had a different place, collected plants.

And that was that.

He left. Going out the door, he mumbled something about doing this again.

It all felt surreal. It felt like I was in this fog throughout, and it took till Monday morning to sort out why. Sunday night I just felt heavy, and tired, confused about what had just transpired.

Why I couldn’t remember why I was so angry at him? What had he done, this blue.eyed party boy, or so I thought he was. Thought that was all he was. But that’s not all he was.

So many things didn’t make sense. Why, he said, he was surprised I let him in? And, why his friends knew about my writing, my poems, my anger, I didn’t recall, at all.

When he showed up at my door the Thursday just before, the blue.eyed.man. After 6 years!!!

I let him in. Exchanged numbers, again. We made plans. We went dancing, like we used to do all those years before.

Monday morning, 3 AM woke me, mind racing started to burr and hum, couldn’t get back to sleep, thinking, and thinking.

And… thought maybe I had told him about my blog? Maybe he’d been looking at it, and my poems? But no, no stats suggested that at all.

So I dug deeper. Back into the long ago, back 6 years, and 7 years, and 8 years ago.

Holy crap. I forgot it all.

I hadn’t forgiven him, I had forgotten him.

Like I cast some magic spell and forgot all the parts that hurt, buried it, buried him, and remembered only ‘just a party boy’. That was all.

I would not have let him in. If I’d known.

Well, lesson number one, perhaps deleting someone from your heart isn’t a good idea. If they show up again, well, you’re vulnerable to their wiles again.

And, just so you know, as we talked Saturday night, I realized that as much as everything had changed for him, nothing had really changed for him. He was still all wounded, unhappy, messed up blue.eyed.man he was before, just older. Maybe for different reasons, I don’t really know, but just the same.

He knew I had a weakness for him, and after all these years, why now? He said he’d been celibate 3 of the last 6 years. Well, as had I, and then some. The feelings that we have… we had… the intimacy, the sex… is… was… real.

But, toxic. He was toxic. I read through post after post. He had toggled me like a light switch. Drawing me in, texting me day after day, bringing me wildflowers, sharing our pain, our stories. Him in his apartment with no food in the cupboards, no pictures on the wall. Nothing. For four months, we grew closer.

And when it started to become something, when we both felt it… he pushed it away.

Next time, later that year, he had food in the cupboard, pictures on the wall, electricity. Progress, I saw. Progress.

I pushed him away. He pushed me away.

Rinse, repeat. For 2 years.

Long spaces of complete silence. Nothing. Not a peep. Then he’d draw me back, and quickly turn cold again. Months go by, nothing, and finally in 2016, I fell for it again, for a while. But by then I knew. He was toxic.

I guess, in a fit of rage and holy hell, I read this poem about love to him. How this sense of heartbreak at his 35-year marriage that was all ashes, was not the only love he could find, if he’d been brave enough to reach for it. There is life after love, after all.

Oh, and don’t you know, there was a part of me that wanted to believe he may have grown, and could deal with his pain. But I knew he was too scared of it, and I had no inclination to be his counselor-booty-call, again. He had been wrapped up in it for so long, felt comfort in it. That even though he was lonely, and even if he wanted more, he had no more. He still didn’t seem to be able to just be happy in any normal, sober way.

And I knew I could not handle that rush of poison passion, followed by the hangover. Can’t afford that emotional rollercoaster of the blue.eyed.man.

I found my own joy, my own happiness, over the years. I nurtured me. I comforted me. I am content with me. I want more, but I was in no desperate need of more.

My life is a delicate balance, of ebb and flow, holding tight, restraint, simplicity, solitude savoured like dark chocolate.

I mean, in some ways I’ve thrived. I feel blessed. Even as money is tight, and things are a bit scary, and I’m not sure what the future holds.

I mean, sure the last couple of months I’ve felt that stirring of wanting something more. To stick my nose out again and break the celibate seal. And I’d tried. Met a couple guys. But i turned them away, just felt nothing.

Which, had been the theme for the last number of years. Uninspired to seek that sort of intimate companionship. Turned it away, brushed it away. My juices were dried up, and for a time I was ok with that.

I actually, for a time, cherished how good it felt to savour solitude.

For a time.

Forced as it was in those pandemic times. Yet, I didn’t really mind.

But, guess I put that bat signal out, and dang if ol’blue.eyes didn’t answer the call. Strange. After all these years?

Emotional numbing, I’ve learned, is the word for what I’ve felt. For how long, I’m not sure. Becoming isolated and withdrawn. Eventually giving up pursuits I once enjoyed. And, the pandemic and my bad teeth just helped that isolation along.

Monday, all Tuesday, I wrestled with all this. Forgot him? Forgot all the important emotional bits? The beginning, the middle, and the end?

Anxious, anxiety weighing me down, in my chest, my stomach in knots, I had to force myself to eat. I mean, I was as much scared of him showing up as I was of him not showing up. Could I really do this again? This intimate bond, and then nothing for days, even months? On and on?

Wednesday morning, I went through all my posts of him again, putting more of the pieces back together again.

He said, I guess, at one point back then that I scared him.

Well. Em. So I packed up Pika, and headed off to a friend who lives on the other side of the city. The walk takes me down by the river, across the city, as it winds its way north, I walked forth. Resting, thinking, feet pounding on the sidewalk. This weight slowed my pace, it hung on me, over me, I felt heavy.

So, I knew what I had to do. Tell him I forgot him, that I cast a spell and made him go away. Told him the truth, that he scared me, now. Asked him… “what do you want”?

Having a pretty good idea what he’d say. After all this time. After one last fling, a dance, a spin. What could he possibly want?

So, this is what he said… “I’m not looking for anything right now, Paula. Thought I told you that I was a little fucked up, I’m trying to figure shit out for myself”.

I said thank you, good luck, that’s all I needed to know. Go your way, blue.eyed.man.

Goodbye.

Unsaid was… please don’t darken my blawdy door ever again… but with a bit more grace and kindness than I had before, 6 years before.

With his reply, I felt this weight lift, and for the first time in days I felt light.

And so, on the way home from my friends, along that old river, I walked home. Happy.

Because I made me that way.

The city lights blinking off the river as it flowed by, a beautiful night, I released my blue.eyed.man.

And it felt like a graduation.

Release to receive
a love that can share my joys,
happiness, to spare.

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