Sunday, January 19, 2003

I'm scared. And I'm scared to tell you what I'm scared of because it there are people out there in the real world I ought to talk to about it first. But how can I talk about it when I don't even know what I think yet. (Vague enough for ya?)

It all started with Rumi. Specifically, with a Rumi calendar that had the audacity to say, all December, "Gamble everything for love, if you are a human being."

Or maybe it started last Saturday morning, with a dream about Carrie, and the emotional contrast of dream and waking, the difference between love and friendship.

Or Saturday night, when I finally came to bed after talking late with friends and trying to write my way through my thoughts, and she snuggled up to my warmth in the dark, was silent for a little while, then gently whispered, "I wish I could make her love you again. I wish I could make you happy." And it occurred to me that I could take that as one wish or two, and either way it made me sad.

Or maybe it started nine years, 348 days ago, when I kissed Carrie for the first time and thought that no one's lips had ever tasted sweeter to me than hers.

I'm still very much in love with Carrie. Carrie knows it; Christie knows it; everyone who reads this blog knows it. That was never an issue when Christie and I were just casual, but we're sort of starting to take each other seriously now. We've both known all along that if Carrie was willing to try again that I'd be gone in a heartbeat, but that was okay because we kept each other at arm's length and our hearts in reserve. That's not the way it is anymore. We've gotten used to one another; we've gotten attached to one another.

It's comfortable, but it's not love, and I know that if Carrie said yes I'd go without hesitation, because being with her is real to me. It's work and it's play. It's comfort and joy, pleasure and pain; it's all the flavors and colors of life bumped up a notch higher than I ever thought the scale could go (these go to eleven). It's love, and even if I knew with absolute certainty that it would only last a week and I'd end up with my heart in pieces again, I'd still go to her just to have another seven days of memories together.

While it's true that I would gladly dash my ship against her rocks, it's also true that she's always been smooth water to me, a stormproof harbor. Even when our marriage was ending, she acted with integrity, kindness and compassion. She couldn't have stayed with me while staying true to herself, so she left, but she did everything that kindness permitted to help me through it. The only thing she could have done but didn't would be if she'd been kind enough to do something truly horrible so I could hate her. But I can forgive that.

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