Eleven Seventeen

1:00 pm

          You're home now. I am absolutely thrilled that you are home so soon. Now, if we can get the best results for you, I will be ecstatic. You do make the most of your hospital stay, I can tell you that. I only wish I could have been there. 

          I still have some work to do, and some homework, but it's lunchtime and I have been thinking about you. I also have a consult with the ortho guy/girl who I may have remove all my wisom teeth. That is today, the consult, not the removal. I know you are both freaking out for me, and at the same time thinking you want to be the one to drive me home so you can fuck with my post drugged out brain on video. I wish. 

          I can't believe you spilled the beans to G about me. I wonder if you told her about all the time I have seen you in the last couple months. Or if you told her how I hold you so close that you have to keep turning your head so your aren't tempted? 

          There's so much going on today. I miss seeing you. This is really new to me, the missing you so often thing. I mean, sure, I have missed you for years, but now I have grown accustomed to hanging around with you. I feel like my supply was cut off and now I'm Jones-ing for you. But, in a way that is not like, I don't even know what the hell I am saying. 

          Ok, so I better get my ass moving if I am going to make it to my appointment. Call it a long lunch. :^)  Oh, I wanted to show you something super nerdy, too. 

            About a year ago, I became determined to put my book out there. I grew frustrated at the lack of interest by agents and publishers. I was sure they were saturated anyway.  So, I had to visualize what I wanted and manifest it into being. I bound my book as it was then, in metallic green leather, homemade, sewn by hand and printed by me. It made things more tangible. And I guess it worked. 

          What do you think? 

 

         

     

Eleven Thirteen

November 13, 2020

 

Today Sucks

12:30pm

          So last night, I was working furiously on my school project. I worked through until after midnight. You know how things went down after that. We chatted.

          I have always enjoyed hearing you read to me, especially reading your own writing. You have such a way of expressing yourself, that I always got a tinge of envy when I heard you read. I have to admit, that was nearly 30 years ago, right? On top of that, you were, we were often in various stages of undress. Those are pleasant memories for me. We've always lived in that dream, the comfortable space between our words. You said it best. It was and still is a fantasy. No commitments, no boundaries, no work, no bills, no responsibilities... just us. That was back then, decades ago. And now, it's pretty close to the same, except we aren't physical with one another. It almost sounds like an emotional affair, but it isn't. I'm sure of it. It is love. Real. Simple Love with a capital L. I don't see shame in that. I'm not trying to steal you away, not even for a weekend. I mean, don't get me wrong, you are every bit as sexy as you always were. I think maybe I have been so used to not being your one and only, that I have grown roots around what we had and I am able to keep that precious, savory magic in its own place, deep in my heart. It literally feels fuller these days. 

        Thank you for telling me when you're having your 'procedure.'  I prayed last night. And just so you know, I didn't pray to Jesus. I rarely do that anymore. I believe in the Goddess. Can you think of any other deity that I would worship and believe in? We can talk more about all that when you've recovered and have a drink in your hand and a blunt in your pocket. But, believe me when I say that the Goddess fills my life with the courage to be more than I could without her. I asked her for help in healing you. I told her how joyous the world is with you smiling and laughing in it. I told her that you are much too young to get sick right now. I told her that I love you. I told her that I would do anything to heal you. 

 

She said we need to have sex.  (Just kidding!)

Got you. 

          I will continue sending my love to you, via the space in my heart. I'll write more soon. But for now, back to work with me. 

Love, 

       Danny

p.s.  I am here. I'm not going anywhere. 

9:37 am

          Today is the day you go into surgery. Sure, it is only a biopsy, but this is on your lungs, girl! I know you said you were anxious. I am anxious too, but they aren’t my lungs getting beat up.

          Listen, you are going to go in there and the doctors are going to care for you. Besides, once they see your perfect breasts, they will do everything in their power to make sure you can continue to share them with the world. That’s how the world works. I didn’t say it was fair, but we should all use whatever edge we can, right?

          I keep dwelling on the why we are so connected to each other. Believe it or not, I told Deirdre a little more about you last night. I told her we had been such close friends. (At that point I grinned and made a sexy gesture.) I sold you like I was a televangelist on daytime television. She listened. I told her I am worried and that if I seem a mess last night and over the next few days, it is because I am thinking of you and wishing you will be safe, healthy, recovered. She listened. She joked a little and was like, “Oh, so that’s what it is, you two were clooooose, huh?”

          I told her yeah, we were, but it was just like, we were always missing each other with you seeing someone, and then I was seeing someone, etc… But the whole time we just ‘got’ each other, always just happy to be friends and something more at the time.

          That’s when she said, but that was a long time ago, and you haven’t seen her. (You can see the look on my face when she said that, right?) She’s a smart cookie. You know she would know what my face betrayed. So, I put on my big boy pants and told her, “That doesn’t matter. It’s Kathy. She’s a bright and wonderful person. She has a family. She’s only 47!”

          That’s when Kyra came into the living room with us. That was the end of our talk. BTW, I also told Kyra I was freaking out over my dear friend having to go through all that Cancer crap, and now this nodule thing and your biopsy. Yes, I know I sound like a whiny little b… and I can’t shut my mouth (to a point).

          When you picture me in my office, think of me like this, wishing I was there, holding your hand, telling you everything will be all right, telling you how amazing you make the lives of everyone lucky enough to know you. Think of me hugging you tightly, inhaling each other like a terribly addictive drug because what I am feeling is that strong.

          I don’t feel like I have any ‘’claim” on you, any right to be feeling the way I do. I have no intention to take you away from your family or your loving husband. I simply want to continue to feel what I am feeling when I am with you. Only my wife has had that type of influence and impact on me. And she is seemingly often disappointed in me, so you have a miraculous effect on me; you make me try harder to, “get my shit together,” for her. I mean, I honestly do my best, but I am always so tired. My body is 50 years old and counting. My warranty expired in 2005 and in 2006, I got an extension, but Dood, I don’t know how much more I can do in a day. Do you know what I mean?

 

I’m going to go, and I’ll Come back as soon as I finish checking on my labs here at work. I know you got this. You are going to be okay, and I love you, my friend. I love you so much, it feels illegal.

 

I am still so fucked.

Adieu 

P.S. More to follow. Yes, today. 

 

Eleven Eleven

November 11, 2020

          I told you I would do this. I bet you didn't think I would. 

            It's difficult to say where this began. I mean, sure, we've always been friends, but friends who stood at a distance while we watched each other get married, raise families, and work in our careers. I know we have both been very happy with our lives. They're both wonderful, with wonderful people in them. I have no interest in running away with her, you, but... 

          Something is there. something is here, between us. You joke that we never broke up, and you are right. We did not.  My head is spinning just trying to grapple with how I feel about all of this, about you. To start, I will paste some thoughts I had written down in October below. After that, I will try to keep up. You got it? Good. Remember, the following is more or less journal entries. 

Oct 2, 2020 

 

          The waiting is a breath of air I cannot reach. There is so much anxiety in the process of it. I never knew how much she thought of us, of the past, of our connection at the heart. I love whom she has become. She is exactly who I thought she was all along. Out of love and respect for her and her family and her husband, and of course, my dear sweet wife, I spent years just looking in from the sidelines. I searched Google, white pages, and finally Facebook. I came away from web-searches with answers, always intrigued, always so incredibly happy to see her succeed in life. It brought me great joy to know that she was happy and doing well for herself. And now after all this time, I finally get to see her again, spend time with her again, and she has just had Cancer removed from her body. Fucking Cancer. 

 

          Was it a coincidence that she went to my hospital on the same day I was there with my daughter? I don’t think it was an accident that fate put us back in the same room. When we embraced for the first time in more than a decade, I could feel her heart pounding against mine. Her smile hid behind her mask, but her eyes kept telling me how happy she was to see me, and I could not have been happier to see her. 

 

          I am certain it was no accident. My life has been full of coincidence. This meeting with her at this time, as she stood before me, thin as the days decades ago when we spent hours, days together, doing all the things great friends do and all the things the most intimate lovers do. Her beautiful face remained hidden behind a mask that read, “Nothing compares to me.” She was right. Nothing compares to her. But why did it have to be Cancer that brought us back into each other’s lives? Fucking Cancer.  

 

          I’m sure she has a lot happening in her mind. Maybe she is looking to me for reassurance that she is still beautiful after her surgery, after losing all her hair. Is she looking for something new and exciting after more than 20 years of marriage? Is she, like other women I dated before I was married, looking for a bad boy to find some adventure through this rough patch of her life?

          I feel that she needs me again. I can feel that when she puts her arms around me. I can feel her warmth draw me into her fingertips. I can smell her sweet scent when I am holding her so close that I can almost imagine making love to her again, not in some distant possible future, but right there, in the parking lot, on the lawn, or standing by the fountain. Why does she feel so damned natural in my arms?  

 

          I am becoming a space cadet now. Not top-shelf, but not the garden variety either. My brain is somewhere between the beach stoner, and an absent-minded professor, always losing his keys. She is always on my mind. It makes days difficult to focus on what I need to be doing. So, yeah, here I am, writing out a confession so when they find me zoned out with my car under a trailer or something, or pull my car from the sea, they’ll know what the fuck I was thinking.  

 

          This could have so easily been one of those sitcom-inspired affairs where the main character meets an old girlfriend after so many decades and they hook up in a broom closet or a park restroom. But, no, of course, we are adults now, and I know she loves her life, her family, her husband. All of that makes me so happy for her. We talk like adults. We keep our distance in a respectful manner, mostly. No kisses, no flashes, no promises. But we both acknowledge the tension between us. The chemistry once had as young adults is still there. It’s palpable. My body betrays me when I am near her. I mean, really, it is terrible. But she seems to be suffering in the same way. I like that. I don’t have intentions to take advantage of her vulnerability, but it is refreshing to feel like someone to be desired. My god, that woman is beautiful. She is intoxicating. Even as I write this, in the middle of the night, I can feel my pulse climbing. I am so fucked.  

  

Oct. 10, 2020 

          Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t breathe? Not like, drowning, or choking, but like you weren't sure if you could take another breath without choking on the reality that you are an asshole and way over your head in it?  

 

          Me neither. But if I was honest, I would have to say that I am walking that thin fucking highwire over Niagra Falls, and my socks are slipping off. I saw her again yesterday. She had to go in to do labs and see her doctors and then get some more poison. She wore this amazing short blue dress and it was all I could do to not steal her away to some hidden place. We are friends, and no, this is not some friends with benefits clause written into the fine print. All the years ago when we could not keep our hands to ourselves, we did so behind the rest of the world. We never were a committed couple. We didn’t vow to be true to each other. We were just friends who really fell in love with each other. Why can’t I process this easier when I know we aren’t having an actual affair? The comfort level around her is life-saving. I can tell her anything, I can say whatever is on my mind and she gets it. I can ask her the most intimate sexual questions about her life and she answers as if we were intimate still. I love her. It’s simple right? Fucking Cancer.  

 

          I have missed her so much over the years. I can’t even tell you how hard that fact is hitting me. I think the real irony here is that we never really got together, and she told me once, almost thirty years ago, that she could, “never be with me,” because she’d never be sure she could trust me to be faithful to her. Ironic, and crushing words, I remember. But, as she so deftly pointed out, we never broke up. The implications of that...  

 

          I hope we get over this, whatever it is because I don’t think I can do another pile of time without her in my life. Don’t get me wrong, Deirdre is the love of my life, and I would be crushed if I hurt her. But, Kathy makes me feel like a real human being again. She does that by just being herself, being real, and having the bone-crushing morals, no pun intended, to not ask for more than what we should be doing. She is my friend. I love her. I loved making love to her all those years ago. I know I would love to be inside her again. I would love to kiss her again. I would love reading to her again. But I will not. Not now.  

 

          I woke up the other night with a thought in my head and something told me to text it to her, even though I deleted it right after. I said, “Words are not enough.” Because they really aren’t. But these words here, now, will have to suffice. “Funny that she said just yesterday, she kept hearing the word in her head all day, “Enough.” That connection is definitely back. I am so fucked.  

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