I'm not crying.
Not right now. I have, and likely will again, but I'm not crying right now and I'm kind of proud of myself for that, to be honest.
Kathy and I have mutually decided to downshift.
COVID-19 is going to change a lot of relationship statuses, I think. I had high hopes if anyone would make it through, we would -- we have been through so much else, after all, and we are of course used to a lot/entirely too much of our relationship already being conducted online. (Depends who you ask: guess who held the "entirely too much" view, and the first seven guesses don't count.) But virus or no virus, the obstacles to continued growing closer have piled up to the point that I don't think we have a viable future. As partners, anyway.
They're mostly external, those obstacles. But let me first cover off the one that isn't...truth be told, the one that isn't an obstacle at all. Kathy is getting used to being alone, and even finding she enjoys it.
This is a huge development for someone who, without getting too personal, has a history of being cruelly abandoned. I'm immensely and intensely proud that she has reached this point...even as it means I have to adjust my hopes and dreams.
I did have them. From an impossibly early date, I did have them. And I'd hoped to help make them come true, wherever that ended up taking me. Eva would have continued to play (WILL continue to play) a very important role in my life, but ideas had been floated that would have seen me with Kathy, in one place or another, in the not-impossibly-distant future. I've come to realize very few people understand that and I've given up trying to explain it. You'll have to believe me. Or not, I don't really care at this point.
Wait, that's a lie.
I do care what others think. Still. Especially when it's wrong. What I've come to understand in the last four years is that no amount of caring OR explanation constitutes a suitable defence of my unspeakable audacity to fall in love with a loveable woman, not when other loveable women already exist in my world. No amount of reassurance that I would stick with Kathy as long as she'd have me made up for the undeniable fact I am married to someone else. I sometimes wonder if the reaction would have been better if I'd actually cheated. Probably not. They can't see a difference.
And of course all of this is my fault. None of it hers, or theirs.
It's my fault because once again, I let my ideals get in the way of my reals. When will I ever learn to just accept what is, and ignorer what can never be? I feel like I have been steadfastly refusing to learn this lesson my whole life long. The hell is wrong with me, anyway?
What we are is friends. We always were. Very close friends; the depth of our connection suggested some other things we could be, and we tried those things to our mutual satisfaction -- well, they were satisfying things for both of us, but only one of us was really satisfied with them. I wanted more. God help me, I wanted so much more.
You can't always get what you want. That's a jagger of a pill to swallow, sometimes, but pills are medicine. They're supposed to make you better.
I love her. Always have, always will. There are others whom I also have always loved and always will. Maybe I should never have let my love life become so complicated, but you know what? No regrets. Not when it comes to any of those soul-deep connections, anyway. In chronological order, Darlene, Eva and Kathy. I love all three beyond deeply, in vastly different ways, and here I am insisting this as if it must be insisted upon. As if it matters to anyone but myself and the ones I love.
But of course it does: we don't live in a vacuum.
Running through five loads of laundry, and cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom while she was at work. Road trips, over a dozen of them. Grocery shopping. She introduced me to the best pizza place in the known universe, and a wealth of other phenomenal eateries as well. Movies, both in the theater and on her IPTV. A sense of peace -- I kid you not -- I have yet to feel anywhere else.
We have been good to and for each other, and I think we will continue to be. I still have no idea what my future holds. I only know what, or who it doesn't, at least not in the form I had dreamed. And while that obviously hurts -- a lot -- that hurt is leavened by the knowledge she is growing. I'd like to think she needed me to understand she could do that and get a grasp on how. I always told her she should live for herself, not for me or any other man.
I wasn't going to write any of this. I wasn't going to say a word. But that stuck in my craw, and yes, I realize it's part and parcel of the whole "visible = viable" issue I, and I alone, have had. I NEED to say SOMETHING. Otherwise four and a half years are simply erased, and that I can't bear.
Butterflies are part of a shared mythology between her and I. There have been various points I felt she was escaping the cocoon. Now is when she's actually doing it. Fly, Kathy, fly. You have an admirer back here on the ground.
I love you, hon. Thank you for granting me the privilege to call you by the pet name your grandpa had for you. Thank you for allowing me to see you, and love you, as you are. That's not going to go away, you know. It can't.
Thank you for giving me energy, passion, and unconditional love. May the rest of your life have all of that and more -- and may you first learn to give it to yourself.
I love you, hon.