On Letting Go, Part II

On Letting Go, Part II

(Love)

When they first acknowledged their mutual attraction, he had described his feelings for her in a poem entitled “Pandora’s Box”. Although he already feared they were crossing a point of no return, neither of them ever intended to upset the delicate balance of forces that were necessary for both of their families to remain intact.

They knew it would be difficult to maintain sufficient discretion to avoid being swept away by emotion and passion. They loved their spouses and children too much, despite the longings they felt that had been ignored at home for too long.

They each had told their respective spouses of their friendship, and initially neither of them had gotten particularly alarmed, partly because both couples had been swingers long before the romance had fizzled, but Elvis had definitely left the building a long time ago.

He had once told her, shortly before she volunteered, that he supposed he needed to find a woman as committed to her family as he was to his. He did not wish to replace his wife any more than she wanted to replace her husband.

Neither she nor her husband were completely on board with polyamory, and at that point, neither was his wife. It was acceptable to screw other people (especially if they were together when it happened), but to express feelings of affection, let alone love was most definitely not, although it was she who first spoke the words.

They believed that the tender affection that was developing between them would allow them to trust the mutual respect and deference that would be required of them to nurture each other in a way that they could take back to their families, so as to inspire and energize the romances that had been so significant in their absence at home for too long.

Seeing himself as reflected in her eyes was spell-binding. Her admiration and love for him transformed how he now saw himself, and he suspected it was doing the same for her.

They knew it would not be easy but they had the highest and best intentions for everyone in their lives…including each other, and they believed in each other in a way that had taught them to believe in themselves again. They also believed that, no matter what or where it all might end, that they would remain close friends forever.

It didn’t matter that it would be difficult. The Pearl of Great Price is believed to be daunting to acquire, but they trusted in their hearts that they could accomplish anything together, although in the process they had unwittingly stumbled into The Kingdom of Heaven.

And when it was over, he only wished to be able to let go of her without letting go of the love he felt, or the feelings he had experienced…welcome to Hell.

Forget Pandora’s Box…it now seemed as if it would have been easier to put the smoke back in the cigarette.

It had been a year since he had seen her last. She worked in an eye clinic that was in the same building as his doctor’s office. It was also the location of his son’s eye doctor. He knew she was there, but had avoided contact with her. It had been much too painful for both of them when they were forced to stop seeing each other, and they really never had the chance to even say goodbye.

Although they never had any issues with each other, their spouses had plenty, and it had been because of them that they were forced to end it. It had started as a workplace romance, and she had been terminated suddenly and without warning, partly due to her alcoholism, of which he had only the faintest inklings.

Six weeks later, despondent, drunk, and unemployed, she tried to take her own life, and went into rehab.

They had been the most unlikely-looking couple one could imagine. He was short-statured, muscular, but a bit overweight, as well as twenty-five years her senior. He had been a charming rascal in his youth, but those days were far behind him and he felt dead inside. The greatest love of his life had become estranged to him, after two decades of marriage.

The year they got married, she was fourteen years old.

By the time they met, he had come to believe that he doubted he could even be attracted to anyone who would want to fuck him.

Not that his wife wasn’t quite beautiful herself (and also much younger than he), but it had been over four years since she had expressed any desire to make love to him. She had even told their eldest son that “…It’s just over…there’s nothing left….”

He had first noticed this woman destined to become his work-spouse when they were moved into adjacent cubbies, but she was six feet tall, blonde, thin, much too young and beautiful and had a sweet personality that matched her perfect figure. Although they quickly began to engage in playful banter, he did not even dare to hope that it would become something so intimate so much more quickly than he could have ever thought possible.

She said her incongruous Hispanic surname came from her black Puerto-Rican father to whom she bore absolutely no resemblance. It also turned out that she had in fact not married the father of her two children, although they had lived as man and wife for over thirteen years.

Their mutual senses of humor were uncanny. Despite the fact that he was often self-absorbed, complicated and irreverently intellectual while she was completely straightforward and unselfconsciously goofy, they fed off of each other like George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Even he could not explain how well she seemed to get him, despite his frequently obscure references and viewpoint. Their antics and repartee buoyed the spirits of everyone around them in an environment that was both stressful and oppressive.

Surprisingly, despite her beauty she had become somewhat introverted and a bit of a wallflower before receiving his admiring provocations. Her husband seemed to play upon her insecurities with cruel criticism and too little acknowledgement or validation, perhaps because he feared her beauty.

A friend of his had once confided to him that he had always regarded her as plain, introverted and shy before either their romance, or the blooming of her blossom. Everyone in the building noticed the change in her countenance, and attributed it to some heretofore unrealized qualities and talents that he must have possessed, which completely changed how everyone regarded him and caused no small speculation about where his talents had lain (or laid depending on how you speculated or conjugated), which helped explain why their romance was so graciously accepted by their peers.

They had worked together in somewhat close proximity for over a year before even he had noticed her at all before, but he seemed to bring out the clown and the extrovert in her, and she loved him for it.

Without her around he could be more than a little aggressive, critical, intimidating, confrontational, negative, and depressed. He did not do much to filter anything that came into his mind or out of his mouth. He shocked many of his fellow employees and offended almost everyone at one time or another.

A friend once described him as an “acquired taste…like Scotch Whiskey, Cuban Cigars or anal sex” but somehow when they were together his “big balls” and her good-natured sweetness seemed to make everyone smile…despite the fact that their scandalous mutual admiration and affection could not be ignored.

Although he was by nature more discrete, she unselfconsciously wore her emotions on her sleeve. They had the same lunch and break schedules, and everywhere they went she hung onto him as if she never wanted to let go. She towered over him and it was impossible to ignore their mutual idolatry.

It was odd to see them walk together, like watching a giraffe being escorted by a gorilla. Although they made the most unlikely looking couple, once you got used to seeing them, it made perfect sense.

He was quite the gourmet chef, while she on the other hand, could screw up hamburger helper. Once, when she had neglected to bring something to eat from home, he offered to share his meal. She had only tried once to make something for both of them….

After that, by mutual agreement, every day, he prepared his elaborate meals for both of them which they ate together on the patio.

One day a passing co-worker saw the pasta Florentine they were eating and said “How sweet…just like the Lady and the Tramp” whereupon she jokingly replied in a stage whisper to her paramour (as well as anyone within earshot) “Did he just call me a tramp?”

“…not unless he also just called me a lady” he replied.Their humor never seemed to miss a beat.

To look at him, he was in fact the picture of The Little Tramp, and he even had a tendency to walk like Chaplin’s most famous character. He had long ago abandoned the concept of “dress for success” for a telemarketer’s job where the public never saw him.

He jokingly referred to his wardrobe as “a walking clothesline” alluding to the first stanza of the Rolling Stones’ song Jigsaw Puzzle.

Cargo shorts, some kind of rock and roll tour t-shirt, sneakers, and either a Dickies work-shirt or a Florida (not Hawaiian) collared shirt worn open and not tucked in over the t-shirt like a sport coat and either a baseball cap or a Viet Nam-era “boonie hat” were his standard apparel yet it still was not ample warning for his sometimes outrageously unconventional personality.

It was originally only supposed to be short-term employment until something better came along…it never did.

In “previous lifetimes” he had been a chemist, a teacher, a film-maker and videographer, an audio engineer, a professional guitarist and recording-studio entrepreneur, a television repairman and cable-TV installer, armed body-guard, firearms instructor and general “gun-bum” before becoming a critical-care certified paramedic until Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder made even that impossible.

He never stayed in any field of employment for more than six years until he became a medic, and his romances and previous marriages were equally short-lived before he met his “Goddess” who had given him three children, two of which were his own.

Oddly, shortly after he had become infatuated with this Lolita (who herself was thirty-something) his sales figures went back through the roof despite a severely depressed economy.

As sweet and good-natured as she was, she was also a bit of a simpleton and all she desired was to be Eliza to his Henry Higgins.

Her name was Virginia but to everyone else (including her mother and husband) she was Ginger, although she confided to him that she thought it sounded too much like a stripper’s name. Of course, he called her Virginia, but much later, whether he crossed Virginia Avenue to go to work, or used ginger in some dish he prepared, or even when he drank gin, he could not seem to get her out of his mind.

Despite the fact that he and his wife had reconciled and renewed their own romance, there were only two times when he did not think of her at least once a day…when his mother had died and later, when his brother died. He neither tried to remember nor to forget her…but he had come to believe that it was inevitable that he would be forced to confront his attachment to their now-forbidden romance.

There would be other times, other places, other lovers for both of them, but their time was over. Like cut flowers that would either die unappreciated or be harvested and brought indoors to be admired, we are all here for just a moment, blossom and die.

Everything in between is a choice.

The last time he saw her it was impossible not to hear the catch in his voice as he watched her try to discretely brush a tear from her eye. They both realized they would never forget each other, nor would they ever be the same and that they would probably quietly carry each other in their hearts until the day they died.

As he stood there, he felt a distinct tearing sensation . It was like something was being ripped from his chest.

As he walked away, it was as if he felt the breath being sucked from his lungs, but instead of panicking, he just leaned into the sweet pain of his realization that it was finally possible to let go of his attachment for her without forgetting what their love had given them.

Somehow in the scheme of things, that was enough, and much more than he could have hoped for when they had crashed into each other so long ago.

On the long drive home, he tried to think of how to tell his wife about his revelations regarding their encounter without re-opening old wounds.

Nothing came to him until days later when he decided to write this story.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent 05/08/2015

4 Responses to “On Letting Go, Part II”

  1. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words Says:

    I have so many thoughts…but no words for I haven’t made peace with my loss, I think because I wasn’t included in the decision
    I was just asked to be pleased and happy for him because he found someone to give him a place to live…
    I’m not bitter…..just left wondering….
    I’m glad you have found your ending with being honest with yourself,that she mattered and don’t deny the collision meant something more
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • There are no maps, but I believe that if we temper our actions, words and decisions with Love and Honesty, each new stage or step will lead us to where we are supposed to be. It takes great patience…and great faith, but most of all courage to be honest with those we love the most, as well as ourselves.
      Allow yourself to acknowledge that you matter too, if you just stop ignoring the obvious.
      I enjoy hearing from you.
      Merry Met
      Chazz

  2. I see this as such beautiful writing and also a loving way to tell a hard truth. Thank you for sharing this.

    • It takes some time to accept truth. Sometimes accepting the consequences of telling the truth are harder than either the telling or the acceptance.
      It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life…the letting go of the attachments without discarding the feelings or the experience…guiltlessly.
      At least once in our lives we each deserve to know what it is like to be adored, to be cherished, to feel charming and brilliant by someone we were never consciously seeking from out of nowhere…to see ourselves reflected in the eyes of someone who loves us and in the process we learn to love ourselves again.
      I wish that for everyone. The free-fall of letting go.
      XO,
      Chazz

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