I will hold fast to all the best of you.
August 1, 2019 Email to Jeff
Hi Jeff. Well it’s been interesting being back. Mom has her heart surgery on the 16th and then there will be at least an eight week recovery period.
Everything from my apartment is on a truck somewhere between Louisville and here. I’m not sure when it will be delivered.
My friend sent me pictures of my empty apartment and I cried for a long time. The last time I saw that empty studio was when I moved in. It was a sort of fresh start. More like one of those major life shifts. I went from having to not having.
It wasn’t easy. Some of the hardest times I’ve ever spent in my life were in that apartment. But some of the best times will always live there. In Louisville. Which I grew to love. Which became my home. Mostly because of you. Motherfucker Number One.
Sometimes, I think about the affair and I wish it just would’ve gone on and on and on forever. But that never happens. And then sometimes I think about the affair, and how much bullshit you dished, and I want to slap you up the side of the head with a large piece of kindling.
Again and again I’ve asked myself if I had it to do over again if I would have. For the longest time I told myself I didn’t know the answer to that question. But, truly, I have always known the answer. Yes. I would’ve done exactly what I did.
I never loved the way I loved you. And the only way I could’ve loved you like that was to know we would never be together. That freed me up to make you anything I wanted in my mind and give you everything I could possibly give you. Because I had the complete protection of knowing you belong to someone else. So even sometimes I wonder if that qualifies as love. Or if it just qualifies as unfettered pure joy coupled with the freedom of complete emotional abandon.
I do know that the notion of you I held in my mind is largely accurate. You can be, and are, one of the biggest assholes I’ve ever known. But you are also one of the kindest, most thoughtful, loyal, and even faithful men I’ve ever met. In the end, you have chosen to be the man I know you to be. You do right. You do good.
Every day that goes by puts me farther and farther away from you. Sometimes, midafternoon hits, like today, and I realize you haven’t crossed my mind once. And I never know whether to be happy or sad. There’s something deep inside that is desperately afraid of losing the memory of you. There’s something deep inside that makes me feel I’m betraying you if you’re not front and center in my consciousness like you have been for years now.
Of course there is a very practical resolution to this confusion. And that is to let time slowly put more and more space between us so when I do think of you, there is nothing but a fleeting smile, and a moment’s joyful memory. That gut wrenching part, that painful part, will just have burnt itself out. And whether or not that is what I want to happen, that is what will happen. Because time does heal all wounds.
No matter what kind of love, I loved you then, I love you now, and I will always love you. Love endures all things. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love never ends. I will hold fast to all the best of you.
And there is one thing I know beyond a shadow. And that is you made me better. And that is the real answer to why I would do it over again, just the same. Because for me, the good that came out of it far surpasses all else.
You saved me. I don’t know if you realize. I would not be here if not for having known you.
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash