When I was still recovering from the loss of # 3, I began to stop eating, drank a lot of coffee, smoked cigarettes, worked on a psych unit in a hospital, lived in three or four different places for about a year, didn’t really notice anything or anyone because I was lost. I remember sitting at lunch one day and a colleague came up to me and asked me how I was doing. I said I’m alright. He told me I was kind of taking on a bit of a mountain man look in my appearance. I laughed.
I went home to my apartment that night, looked in the mirror for the first time in about a half a year, and my friend was right, but it wasn’t as much a mountain man, as I looked emaciated and homeless. It was on that day I decided I needed to move on.
There was a woman who I’d noticed around the hospital, she kept to herself, but I was drawn to her. She was the kind of woman you needed to have your act together if you were going to speak to her, otherwise she might have you for lunch. Intellectually I felt like, well I wondered what she thought of me if she even noticed me. I found out she was a psychologist on another ward, so I figured I didn’t stand a chance.
Funny thing though, we kept running into each other in different places away from work, and so I was intrigued because she wasn’t typical – didn’t go home to her psych books after work, actually hung out in same venues. I one time went to the movie ‘Wings of Desire’ on a date, and she was walking out of the earlier screening with her own date. We both kind of laughed about it months later that the conversation with one another about the movie would have been better with each other. That movie is my favorite movie of all time, for her, it was just alright, but that was ok by me. I still thought she was hot.
Somehow some weeks went by and my best friend and I went to see a Wallets concert at the Union bar on our bicycles. That friend and I just saw each other a couple of days ago, so he’d appreciate this memory. We found a table in the crowded space right at the edge of the stage, it was sort of like God had opened up the gates. I turned around and there she was with her girlfriend. I looked at my buddy and said let’s go play pool, and while we were there decided who was going to go for who. We came back to our table and I turned to her and asked her ‘How Irish are you?’ – and her response left me a little let down, she said she didn’t think she was any. At that time, I’d been planning to move to Ireland in about six months, but as it turns out, she and I would begin dating after that night, and Ireland didn’t happen.
As the night went on we started dancing, and we actually ended up stealing the stage – we sort of parted the room because our dancing in rhythm with one another seemed to be a sudden showcase for everyone else. After the bar closed, they met us at a local cafe, we rode our bikes, and they drove. I asked her out about a week later.
We went bicycling, and she kicked my ass, which was interesting because I lived on my bike, and she was into a routine of 60 miles a day around the lakes after work. She was in remarkable shape, and it was all I could do to keep up with her. The sex in those early days was rather incredible, but there was always something in the back of my mind, holding me back. There was that refusal to not give completely of myself.
That winter, she asked me to go up to her family’s cabin. We did, we had to snowshoe our way in, build a fire, and survive the elements. That night it snowed 14 inches so we were snowed in and no plows went by. I’ll never forget waking up to the forest in a blanket of fresh snow, having coffee with her on the deck, thinking I might be falling in love. I was careful though – I didn’t want to be hurt. I didn’t trust what I felt.
We ended up skiing seven miles to a telephone to get our road plowed. We were snowed in for three days. We were 29 years old, we figured out a way to get through the time together … but still, there was this anxiety. We married a year later in September. We wanted the same things, security, children. She liked the artist in me, I could write a sweet poem and naturally then they were always about her. I liked her knowledge of psych, and we had political views that seemed to match. Though she was quite a feminist, I wouldn’t realize how strict her views were until years later. I was a liberal hippy, so she was ok with that.
Those were all the early moments of our relationship that would make for a great love story. The hidden reality is our wedding night was a chore in consummation. I really didn’t want to sleep with her because I was feeling used. I was already feeling like this was one sided, and my emotions didn’t come into play. I think a lot of it was fear because I kept waiting for when she would tell me she was leaving but she never did, and I felt like she might need to because I was feeling overwhelmed.
We had our first child and it was the most incredible moment of my life. I suddenly knew what a miracle meant in the birth of my daughter. I was so in love with her, I couldn’t wait for when she would lay on my chest and we would nap the afternoon away. A few years later we had our boy, and it was the same thing, this remarkable beauty of a child that I could call my own.
In the meantime, our relationship began to worsen. The one thing I realized when we married was that within a year, this woman that I thought was tough as nails, was suddenly so insecure and dependent on me that I couldn’t leave her alone. I could no longer hang out with long and dear friends because of her jealousy, and I couldn’t get her to make arrangements with girlfriends, so I began to feel trapped. We had a tough time with this, and I discovered I had a defined now, addictive personality so it impacted our relationship.
Suddenly a few years into our marriage I was seeing a woman I no longer knew, she had gained far too much weight for her petite size and I became a generalizing, stereotypical husband with a drinking problem … that was the basis of the first ten years of our marriage. Since that time we have had our ups and downs, and now we are friends, but the lovers of the years before we married and the early months afterward never returned. I felt a different kind of love, but sadly I knew she wasn’t my soul-mate. I no longer believed that to be the case, and it had a tremendous impact on our lives.
It was then I began to manifest the framework of my next and final love story …