Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh, what a feeling

My social calendar is actually more full right now than it has been at any time in my entire life.

I'm feeling a whole lot of emotion at this realization. Mostly happiness, of course...actually a kind of acute happiness that borders on pain and is probably very hard for you social butterflies to understand. Last entry I wrote about two dear friends I saw last week (and I missed them both as soon as they were out of sight) I get to see three other friends in the next week. Two are co-workers and the third was a co-worker twenty years ago. All three are women I care quite a lot about (and so is Kate, of course), and so it behooves me to thank and extol my wife Eva, the woman of a thousand virtues.

The one I'd like to single out here is her trust in me. Never mind that my 'girl friends' are simply friends who are girls; no matter that two of them are married, one is partnered and I know very well how all four of them do and more pertinently don't feel about me, Many, if not most wives would not allow their husbands unfettered and unchaperoned access to other women. It would put me in a bind if Eva was many or most wives, because for some strange reason I've always gotten along better with women than with men.

To be sure, I've earned that trust. Since marrying my wife, I have rarely felt more than a fleeting sexual attraction to anyone else. Rarely; for all my protestation, I'm human and male and there have been a couple of intense attractions over the last fifteen years. But cheating? I left that behind long, long ago. Such a purely selfish act, that is, and it almost never works out in real life like you think it will in your fantasies. Take it from somebody who's been there. The person you cheat with is usually a pale imitation of the person you're cheating on (and if that isn't the case, you don't belong with the person you're cheating on anyway and you should leave her before you betray her.)  Having experienced the bitter, bitter aftermath of an affair not once but twice, I was stunned I didn't see it coming (especially the second time--really, Ken, how stupid can you be?) But really, to anybody thinking of a fling--think past the orgasm, okay?

Even though I've never given Eva any reason to distrust me,  I still appreciate her trust. More than she probably knows.

Anyway, I feel all this happiness, and a touch of incredulity I'll probably never lose, a rotten revenant of my years without self-esteem. A very small (and even now, sometimes, not so small) voice inside me whispers that I'm not worth such wonderful friends, or any friends at all. A part of me is--well, "scared" is probably an overstatement, call it a touch of anxiety at just how different this is for me. Wonderfully different...but different. I haven't been friendless since fifth grade, but usually my friends either live far enough away that seeing them is rare...or in the case of friends who live close by, they've often been 'school friends' or 'work friends' and they certainly wouldn't, say, come to my house, nor would I go to theirs. That's been the pattern, with very few exceptions, for my entire much so that being invited to someone's place used to provoke a tear or two. I know how strange that sounds. I'm not crying for joy now, to be sure--for God's sake, I'm past forty--but again, that little boy inside is quivering a little. I work nights, straight nights, and the day people I miss actually seem to miss me too. Wow.

Oh, what a feeling.

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