Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
--Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go
--Imagine Dragons, "Demons"
When will I ever learn?
Obligatory disclaimer: there are probably still folks out there who will misinterpret and minimize everything in this post. People who don't understand polyamory, people who believe the presence of one love detracts from another, people who think any form of nonmonogamy is unethical.
Trust me: poly people have ethics. In some ways our ethics are perhaps even more finely honed: more people to balance, more hearts not to break. And I love Eva more than I even know how to express...which doesn't lessen my love for the others I love, and it sure didn't lessen this, any more than this lessened that.
I've been hit hard by crushes in my time. Loving the way I do, they come on in waves, fairly frequently. I'm used to revelling in them for a little while, and then letting them go. They're rarely mutual, after all, and even when they are there have been lines, clear lines I have toed playfully on occasion but never crossed.
This wasn't a crush. I fell in love. Head over heels, heart over head, full-throttle balls-to-the-wall love.
The bare fact of that didn't surprise me: it is, after all, the object of the game when you're polyamorous. No, the fact I fell in love didn't shock me.
The fact I fell so hard for a woman I talked to once, never really met, and who was already in a committed relationship...all of that surprised, shocked, and dismayed me. That's not supposed to happen. None of it. Online is dangerous that way--I've said it more than once myself. Intimacy can feel magnified, you can say things to a screen you might not say to a face, and blah blah, blabbledy blah. And the committed relationship? BIG red flag. I don't interfere in committed relationships. I've been tempted once, and pretty easily slapped myself out of the temptation.
This wasn't a temptation. This felt like a fucking compulsion.
That scared me. Exhilarated me, but scared the hell out of me. I couldn't even explain it. I could list off all the things I loved about her and lusted after, and I meant every one of them...but the depth of feeling, after so short a time...
As if time had meaning. I've chatted with her for five hours at a stretch that felt like maybe twenty minutes. I knew her for next to no time that felt like forever.
There was a devil on my shoulder. It wasn't whispering like it normally did...it was shouting.
We clicked. Instantly and strongly. It was mutual, which added a layer of intoxication. You know the drill: you can talk about anything, nothing's off limits, and the more you know the more you want to know. She hit every single one of my buttons: empathic, stronger than she thinks she is, smart, killer sense of humour that tended towards the naughty. Hurt, and working to overcome that hurt. Desiring and desirous both. Beautiful inside and out.
A dream. A fantasy. But real. She was real. A real dream?
Can dreams be made real?
I pondered this question over several weeks; it rarely fully left my mind. There had to be some way to spend even one night. The boyfriend: still new himself. Not fully certain. I could steer this, exploit it. If I could get them to take a break while she sorted out her feelings for me, that way it wouldn't technically be cheating, would it? Technically, the best kind of correct? How could I best make this happen?
A part of me was horrified. This wasn't me thinking these thoughts. They were selfish, terrible, almost jealous thoughts. Almost jealous: extremely envious. I wanted what he had. I didn't...quite...want to take it away from him to get it. I just wanted to share. Was that too much to ask? To share?
Of course it was: of course it is. People don't share other people, Ken, you silly rabbit: polyamory is for dreamers and silly-ass weirdos like you. And by the way, whatever happened to your stated intention to date within your species?
She happened, that's what happened.
You'll note this is in the past tense.
We've agreed to take a break ourselves. Two months with no direct contact...which quite frankly I don't know if I can do, given that we have been practically inseparable since the day we 'met'. Good mornings and tuck ins and commiserating over shitty jobs and...and all the rest. A day has not gone by without at least two quick conversations, and usually those conversations go for hours. What the hell was I thinking? I even doubled it myself from one month to two. I was clearly insane. But then, this whole thing was insane.
The deal is after two months, if we're still feeling this way, we do something about it; if it's faded for either of us (and I feel reasonably certain it will, at least for her) then it's settled forever.
It took about ten hours to get to that. Ten hours of I think I know where this is going to end up and parting is such sweet sweet sorrow.
My life is not empty without her, I don't want to give you that impression. Far, far from it. I have the love of a damn fine wife, I have friends who care and support me no matter what.
I'm still grieving this, though. I can't help it. I always wanted what's best for her...I just wanted what was best for her to be me, even if for a short time. I'm going to cry some tears...
...and try to move on. But as crazy as this sounds, I'm going to carry a part of her with me forever.