Written by EurydiceRising

31 Mar 2018

"We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

Charles Bukowski

I used to be haunted by dreams of him, and I wondered how I could experience love in my dreams when I never experienced such emotion in my life? I knew I must have the capacity to love and be loved, but I only felt it when I dreamt of him. He has an almost gravitational pull on me, and I am simultaneously powerless against him, and I make sure to stay out of reach for fear of being pulled so far in I won’t be able to escape.

He is not a figment of my subconscious imagination. He is real. We met about 25 years ago, at a precarious time in our lives. I was 24 and had just left my first husband after only 2 months of marriage, and the woman he had wanted to marry had left him to go to medical school in Chicago.

Our mutual heartache, bewilderment and disillusionment spurred many raw, deep discussions that we both felt infinitely safe having with each other because we were both numb and shell shocked and unable to engage in anything other than dredging through the ruins of our previous relationships.

We came to rely on each other for perspective and brutal honesty as we made fledgling attempts to move in our own directions. I was dating mostly women because I thought if I couldn’t be married to my ex-husband there was no other man in the world I could ever have a relationship with and the idea of non-monogamy had not occurred to me yet.

The fun started when I would point out stunning women to him. We had similar tastes – we both love long legs and there is no shortage of statuesque beauties in Southern California. At some point, it dawned on me that I was completely falling for this guy.

He’s like a Norse god – a blonde, muscular, sun drenched, surfer. He has beautiful sea green eyes with flecks of gold, and when he looks at me, I always feel completely naked – not entirely in a lustful way, but in a way that makes me feel like I can’t hide anything from him. His patience with me and absolute protection of me means I never have to protect myself from him. He knows I’m not as strong as I think I am, but he never makes me feel inferior because of my failings and weaknesses. No man has ever made me feel more wonderfully feminine than he.

The night I confessed my crush to him was one of the best nights of my life. I honestly thought he would have figured it out long before I said anything, but he was dumbfounded and moved in a way he hadn’t expected. When he took me home, he held my hand while we drove down the 405, as Venus rose in the dusty haze just after the sun had set, and he blushed and said he felt like he was seventeen again.

That first glorious kiss awakened a bliss I still can’t contain. His soft, full lips skimmed over mine as he breathed me in before delving into a deep, ravishing I can still feel all through me. Those first moments that felt like plunging down the steep drop of a roller coaster gave way to flutterings of the most delicate delight in every nerve that made me hum at a newly discovered pitch.

I had never been devoured – in every sense of the word – by a man before that night. We utterly consumed each other for 8 glorious hours. My sinews ached, and I discovered muscles I never even knew I had. He awakened an ancient, primal hunger in the marrow of my bones. I had never been taken the way a woman can be taken by a man until that night.

The next time I saw him was sobering. He invited me to a party two nights later, and I’d never felt more out of place anywhere before in my life. I had nothing in common with his friends. I was a nerdy, shy girl who read books. I wasn’t a beach bunny, beautiful or vapid. It was one of the loneliest nights I’d ever endured. When he introduced me to his friends as ‘a friend from work,’ it was clear he knew his friends wouldn’t understand and that he didn’t know how to negotiate my incongruity in his world. A few weeks later, we ended our sexual relationship and drifted apart. A month after we stopped sleeping together, I had a miscarriage and never told him.

I met the man who would become my second husband a couple of months later, and He and I went back to being friends. When I met my second husband, I wasn’t looking for a relationship and since I had nothing to lose, I decided to be as honest and divergent as possible. I made it clear that I was bi-sexual and I was not going to be monogamous where women were concerned. My second husband had no issues with my demands.

Not long after my wedding, which ‘my work friend’ attended, we rekindled our sexual relationship on much better footing. Since I was not a potential mate, his anxiety about how I fit into life dissipated, and he and my husband got on very well. There was even a night when we almost played together, but I accidently handcuffed my lover to our bed with the handcuffs my husband had lost the keys to. It ended up being a very comical night trying to find a sex shop that was open at 1am so that we could buy a master key.

About a month later, I was accepted to grad school on the other side of the country, so I was relieved when He started dating a woman who I knew he was falling in love with. I didn’t want to be like the first girl who had moved away to go to medical school. And so we parted on good terms as friends, but we did not stay in touch.

The dreams began about a year after I moved away. I rarely remember the stories of the dreams, but I always remember the feeling. They are dreams of intense love and unbelievable loss. In one of the dreams, it's as if bliss falls from the sky like rain. In other dreams, he is coming to visit me wherever I am, but I can’t find him anywhere – and I know he won’t be able to stay long so I go searching for him. In one of the dreams, I make it to the airport just as his plane takes off after I’ve searched for him forever. The devastation of those dreams is almost unbearable. The panic of knowing he will be gone then breaks into the despair of missing him causing me to wake up weeping.

My second husband and I continued to have an open marriage that lasted 10 years. We played together and apart with women, and I had the occasional male lover here and there. I introduced my husband to the woman who would become his second wife, and we divorced as good friends. We are all still in touch and I see them both whenever I go back to California.

But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I reconnected with Him. He was divorced and had two children, but he was living in Texas. Then last year, on this very day (as Facebook has reminded me), he reached out to me. We exchanged emails for a few months and decided to meet when I came to California last August.

I went to visit him on the day of the eclipse. I met his kids and we spent the day together as friends. He had taken up painting and wanted to pursue it further. We talked about the strangeness of life and how we had arrived in this moment, how odd it was that 18 years had gone by, and yet we were talking as though we never lost touch. It was clear we were still friends but there didn’t seem to be more to it.

It was very late in the evening when we decided to sleep, and I had to get up very early to drive up the coast to start the three-week workshop I was teaching on the Central California Coast. I wasn’t planning on spending the night with him, but just as I was about to go to the guest room, he kissed me – like the first time only more intensely because it had been 18 years in the making. It had taken us 18 years to find that kiss, and the tick of every second of those six thousand five hundred seventy days was worth the rapture of that unexpected moment. Paradise reclaimed.

I’d never considered that sex could be as healing as it is pleasurable, but the moment that he reached for me, I knew I could transform all his disappointment from his failed marriage and a few others after – and that I could forgive his inability to fit me into his life 20 years before. To be devoured by him again after all that time was like going back to the beginning with all the experience that I had gained since. And I felt the ecstasy from my dreams of him fully awake and fully alive. We touched the divine together, and all the pain and sorrow we had endured apart evaporated.

And the divine also existed in my leaving him where he needed to be, to raise his children, and to pursue his dreams. The eternity we awakened isn’t going anywhere, at least not in this lifetime. And it isn’t diminished by time or distance or other lovers and loves that weave their way through the great tapestry of our story. If anything, the colours of those threads enhance the vibrancy of us.

I got an email from him yesterday. His son just got his driver’s license, and he wanted to share his pride. He also wanted to tell me about the woman he’s seeing. He wanted to know if he should keep some distance between them so he can see me when I come back this August. My response was, ‘no,’ he should not keep his distance. He should let her in and he should step in if she offers him the same.

With all the pain and horror in this world that is born out of hate and anger, it should be a crime to negate an offer of love or acceptance if both people feel it. Refusing the gift isn’t playing safe, it’s the negation of potential. We have no idea where it will lead, but it can’t go anywhere if the answer is ‘no.’

I was contacted by 2 of my other great loves this week – there must be something in the stars – and it made me wonder if we’ve misconstrued the nature of love. Maybe love shouldn’t just exist in relation to specific partners. Maybe love is meant to be a constant force within us that should be allowed to dance freely in whatever circumstances evokes its true nature, no matter which other souls are there to dance with us. Then love can’t be held hostage, and its transient nature can create abundance rather than scarcity. Then love could never break us because it could never be diminished or depreciated it could only expand and deepen exponentially.