I remain convinced I was right to walk out as I did. I think it saved us. We were tearing each other up like a couple of ally-cats. Things had been broken. Heirlooms, even. It wasn’t the first time.
We had grown numb to our surroundings- our house, our land on the lake, the beauty and comfort that surrounded us. We were successful. We had everything we had dreamed of and talked about in the early years. We did it! Yet, we were miserable and treated each other like **** almost all of the time, snipe and retort, back and forth. Perhaps we had grown bored, and fought merely for the excitement. The stimulation. The drama. We had lost site of the true drama, the ultimate story. Everything beautiful will end one day. Nothing we can do about that. But for a tragic few wasted years, we seemed intent that it already had. I wish I could take those years back, and all of my petty criticisms and mean words. I hurt you. You hurt me.
That night, it was worse than it had ever been. As a sense of foreboding and anxiety charged my nerves, I couldn’t stop myself from cutting you down, And did you ever cut back! You always knew how to touch me most intimately, a feature that captivated my body, mind and soul early on. But when that capacity was used to cause pain it was unbearable. You made me hate you. I hated you for pushing those buttons, and I hated myself more for my lack of control. For the things in my head. For the words that dumped out of my mouth. For driving you away.
We had been going at it since sundown. We sat in our yard on separate lawn chairs, not appreciating the play of pale orange evening light on the calm lake waters. We had a few beers and no conversation. You rebuffed my awkward advances, where I behaved as though you were my property to just **** any time I had a hard-on, with no thought of anything but a quick fulfillment of primal urges. Groping for a breast, yet again, when you wanted to be kissed. I wanted, but you wanted something else, or more. So you reacted, then I reacted, and off we went. Yes, I think our relationship had largely been reduced to primal urges and instinctual reactions. So we argued again, about the most sacred, precious and delicate of topics- we both stomped all over it like lumberjacks, as though we wanted to kill it. I felt it dying, but couldn’t stop myself. I was an emotional freight train headed for a train wreck. We both were, and it was going to be a collision.
Something snapped. Something inside of me collapsed. My anger left me as surely and completely as the last breath of life, in mid-insult, mid-throw. I dropped the candy dish from her mom that I knew she cherished. Not to break it, but to have it land on a couch pillow. It didn’t break. You looked at me oddly. You didn’t shout at me or say anything. We looked at each other for a few moments. I think now that those 3 or 4 seconds were the turning point.
I walked out the back door into the yard. The lake was perfectly still. I found myself standing on the dock. The sun had not yet risen, but the sky was growing bright. The last few straggling voices of nocturnal frogs and crickets blended with the first bold voices of the day- birds, dogs, an early commuter blowing their car horn in the distance. A semi-truck downshifting on the highway. A duck squawked a few feet from the dock, joined by another. Sorry, no bread. I smiled, and plopped right down cross-legged on the wooden planks. The dock swayed a little and there was the sound of water lapping against the timbers. I inhaled deeply and lay back, stretching out my legs. It wasn’t really comfortable, but a certain stillness and sense of gratitude and warmth had washed over me. I saw you in my mind’s eye, lustfully, but the lust steeped in knowing. In knowing you. Who you really were. The person I had nearly very successfully buried alive. And there I was, the thinker of the thoughts, the feeler of the feelings, a real man, a real human being again. I closed my eyes, and imagined. I must have been smiling. I must have looked like the person you met all of those years ago, the person you had watched and learned to love. The man you fell in love with.
I sensed you standing over me as a shadow on my lids only a moment before I could tell that you had kneeled and placed your warm, gently opened mouth against my temple, then my cheek, until our tongues were finding each other- again. At last. You tasted perfect, better than you ever had. I opened my eyes and there you were, your eyes moist and twinkling, before we dove into each others’ mouths again. I never wanted to swallow someone whole before. Not even you, my love. I had never wanted someone to slurp my very being into their belly before. But now I was in a state of total desire and total surrender. I was spread wide, all of my insides exposed and quivering delightedly in the mutual brightness and warmth of our shared passion. In a few minutes we were making love right there on the planks, slivers and all, as the sun first broke upon the lake. Our lake. Our lives. Good lives. It was the best love-making either of us had ever known. And the next time was even better.
The drama is always there. We don't have to make it. We don't have to make things more difficult. One thing in life is absolutely certain- these moments will pass, and we will miss them. Everything beautiful will end soon enough. Far sooner than we want. What is more dramatic than that? Let's love as deeply and as long as we can find a way to do. Let us cherish our great fortune, our circumstances, and the unlikely reality that we have found each other and kept it alive against all of the odds. We found the moments, those precious moments. Moments together, like a string of pearls, every one of them shining more brightly than the first ray of spring sunlight on a lazy morning in May.