Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tis the Season

December is nothing that a good chunk of chocolate and a bottle of Chardonnay can’t fix. While others are wrapping and caroling and sipping eggnog by the fire, I am planted face first in a steady diet of holiday carbs. I don my The Customer is Always Right smile, honed through years of working retail Christmas Eve, and pretend that all is, indeed, godammit, merry and bright.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Four years ago this December is the month I learned that I am not the baby Jesus. I am not even, go figure, the grown up Jesus. Four years ago this December is the month I discovered that I am nothing more than ego walking earth. I have needs and wants and desires that are no different than anyone else’s needs and wants and desires. I am not above any of it as much as I might like. I am not the saintly picture I would have you believing that I am. Four years ago this month is when a friend that I had accidentally fallen in love with left my life.

I say accidentally because I did not mean to do it. Of course I didn’t mean to do it. I was married. He was married. We were friends. That was it. It was an easy friendship, a nice friendship. We shared and inspired and kept each other in check. We made each other laugh. We made each other cry. I never had a brother, but if I had, I would have chosen one like him. A brother. A friend. This is how I deceived myself. This is how I lied.

And, then.

I began to look forward to his words. Cue, now, the fairytale music with bluebirds twisting ribbons in my updo. I began to turn to him to bring me up. If I had good news, it was with him I wanted to share. If I had bad, I wanted to do the same. We spoke nearly every day. And many times throughout. I told him things I would never tell my guy friends. I told him things I would never tell a soul. I’m pretty sure he did the same. We didn’t know each other in our real lives. We had met only recently, online and through a friend. We developed a connection over two short years. At that point, then, he left.

And I commenced to lose my shit.

I was a mess. For three years I was a mess. I was very much not myself. This girl, here, does not obsess. She does not hang on or chase or stalk. She does not beg or do any of those other things that I will neither confirm nor deny I may or may not have done. I became that woman in those creepy shows where the baby’s nanny turns into a psycho killer who goes after the hot husband when the wife is out of town. Not that I did that. Exactly. But still.

I was a little slow, but then it hit me. I had fallen in love. Worse, I had fallen in love with a man who was not my husband. For the love of God, who does that?

And why do I feel compelled to share? Have I no filter, no sense of shame?

I share because I need to, because it is how I come at my world. We haven’t spoken, he and I, in four long years. And while I no longer drown my sorrows in a glass of Pinot Gris or send him messages that go unread, I do think about him every day. And many times throughout. The rest of this, then, is for him. You can read it if you like.

Thank you for what you did for me. I was coasting through my life before you came. I was tolerating, tolerating routine and predictability and a world that was good but just okay. You lit a fire that I had no idea was even out. You made me laugh. Bonus points for that. And then you made me cry. Turns out, I needed both. Thank you for coming into my life. And thank you, too, for leaving.

I was beginning to feel things. I was beginning to feel things I could not explain, things about which I felt uncomfortable, at odds. I was beginning, let’s just say, to feel. Your leaving was an exclamation mark to what was there. A note from the universe saying, “Hey, look at this.” It was a cleansing of my soul, a dumping of all emotion, good and bad. Hey! I had emotion. Who knew? I valued the friendship. Just know that. I valued it very much.

If you should come back into my life, I am ready. I am here. If you should never come back, that is fine, too. I thank you for what you brought and hope you’re doing well.

Just a word, though, before I shut up. When it comes to you, I will never have my shit together. I will only look as if I do.