“The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays” EB White
My feelings for you had been there for some time; yet somehow I failed to recognize them. Or maybe, I intentionally ignored them. Finding it easier to act as if our affair was purely physical, devoid of all emotion. I hoped, for the sake of my sanity, we were a fling.
Desperately, I grasped for the final threads of normalcy which loosely held together what remained of my prior life. But as each day passed, my desperate attempts devolved into half-hearted sentiment.
Until one day, I woke up in a blitzing blur, with only you providing clarity. A clarity I clung to, dragging you deep into the dream world we had woven.
You and I were lost in delusion, lost in the moment but mostly, lost in each other. Our collective vision became so clouded, we decided to begin to alter our routines. Routines which had been working, keeping our affair a secret.
Secrecy, which started as the point, became the problem.
We ditched our standard discreet suburban motel, opting for a workout and an evening at a heavily public Gold Coast Hotel.
Risky, even reckless, we could have been revealed to anyone walking the streets as we made our way into a yoga class. We embraced the risk, it connected us, bridging the short gap between our mats.
After class, we briskly walked back to our room. Not for fear of being spotted, but for the excitement of privacy, the chance to remove any remaining gaps between our sweaty bodies.
The door couldn’t close quickly enough and our clothes found the floor, remaining there until hours later when the real world would beckon us from our blur.
A blur which left me feeling an inexplicable constant high, I began to believe it was love. What else could such an intense, all-consuming feeling be?
But, love had never felt like this. Had I ever been in love? I began to question everything. Question my core values and my beliefs. I felt fundamentally changed by you. Our relationship, while blinding my judgment, had opened my eyes. And with my eyes open, a vulnerability poured out of me. A vulnerability I showed to only you.
A vulnerability which tore you between true love and total fear.
One early spring afternoon, back in the safety and relative sanity of our discreet suburban haunt, your fear would win out.
“This is too much, it’s taking over my life.” You said
“ I know it is a lot. But” I said
“ No, I don’t think you get it, you are all I think about, I love you.” You interrupted, in the process saying out loud for the first time what we had both come to know.
“ You know I love you too.” I said
“ How did it get here?” You asked, I doubted you expected an answer
“ We just work, we click, it feels crazy, like we were meant to be.” I said
“ Do you believe in that?” You said
“ I don’t know what I believe anymore, all I know is you have changed me.” I said
“ I can’t do this, it is too intense. After the summer, I need to stop, this just needs to have an end or it never will end.” You Said
“ What if it never needed to end.” I said
“ We are both married, we have 6 kids combined, trust me this can’t keep on going forever.” You said
Hearing you tell me you loved me for the first time cast an inexplicable calm over me. A calm which masked the chaos around us. My entire existence felt as though it was in that cheap hotel room, the likes of which had come to feel like our home.
But it wasn’t the room providing me a sense of home, it was you.
You were right. The intensity was overwhelming, the emotion all-consuming. The relationship took over every aspect of our lives. In the process, hiding us time and again from our realities.
Realities, that when no longer hidden, I opted to not accept. Instead, I believed through sheer will I could change the outcome. The rules, simply, didn’t apply to me.
Afternoon turned to evening as I drove home from the hotel. I tried to steady my hands, find a way to calm my nerves as they clenched the wheel for the few short miles separating my past life from my present. Frantically thinking of how I could craft the future of my dreams.
My worlds had become separated by that twelve-minute drive, and usually I was thankful for its brevity. Not on that day; I needed more time. I needed to process what I had just heard.
My mind raced, could I find a way to change your mind, to make you not want to live without me. All I knew, my only clarity, was I didn’t want a life without you.
I would write a new ending for us.