Generally, I am one of the first folks around to connect the dots between sometimes disparate experiences. I have a knack for drawing the lines between various points and pointing out how sometimes seemingly incongruous moments are actually directly connected.
In fact, I believe that unless you are able to pull certain points together, you can't really understand what is going on in the present. This is no less true about the political than it is for the personal.
This morning, I was listening to the song Origin of Love from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And I had a moment of realization that hit me so hard that I gasped on the subway platform. The gay next to me looked up in alarm, and I pretended to cough and scrubbed angrily at my face at the tears that seem to have taken great liberties lately with coming and going as they please and often in very conspicuous places.
I repeat....Minnesotans do not do public displays of vulnerability...I have been gone from the cold, heartless homeland of my people for far too long.
This week has been good and hard and rough and difficult and a whole host of other adjectives. There have been some dramatic highs and some fucking terrible lows...but it has all been about growing (and loving) myself and someone else in the best absolute possible way, while holding on to my truth and his truth and a whole lot of not so easy but oh so good honesty. Oh yes Daddy....loving someone the right way can tear you up and put you back together and leave you breathless all at the same time. This one and I have done that to each other and for each other this week.
But there has been a fear sitting inside of me that goes way beyond what is actually happening right now. Right now, my insides tell me that he and I are in a good place with each other and at some point will be in a good place together. Not yet. Not now. But it is what I absolutely believe will be true. Or, as my coworker Jay said today, "From the first time you two saw each other, there was an instant attraction and affection. We all saw it when you two didn't. I believe in my heart that you two will be together."
Guess what? Me too. It's not possible quite yet. But I have faith..and faith is stronger than belief. It doesn't require proof. And I have plenty of proof. BAM!
So, if I am so sure about something that is still unsure, then where the Hell is this fear coming from. I finally figured it out. Let me tell you about the dots that I connected.
In 2006 was the last time I fell for someone anywhere nearly as intensely as this. I have loved people since. Read this blog to know that to be true. But this reminds me of that previous love. The kind that makes you cry for no damn reason when you see a toothbrush or when some stupid as song comes on. Or makes you wait for the first communication of the day like you are in high school or when you are far apart it makes you want to rush back home. That person's name was Chris Johnson, and I love him because he was just that damn amazing.
I need to own that this blog was fairly easy to write until I named Chris. And now a fear just settled on me has put a weakness into my hands.
Chris was amazing from the beginning. I met him in rehab. He had already completed inpatient and was in the transitional program. He was a Southern boy from Virginia. He was my SoCo, Southern Comfort. We dated for a short while and even though there was intense and powerful love present, Chris decided that he couldn't be in a relationship at that moment. And to justify it, he declared that he didn't love me as anything more than a friend.
I knew that motherfucker was lying from the gate. At least the man that I am in love with has owned his love for me, and though he cant really say it, he allows his eyes and body to do so. When he hugs me. When he looks at me. It's there. And, it has been acknowledged as best as he as able right now.
Chris' dumbass looked at me the same damn way and then tried to tell a story that his body gave the lie to.
When I decided to leave Minneapolis, Chris collapsed crying. He decided he was going to drive with me to Albuquerque. He actually drove me all the way to Albuquerque. I confronted him before we left and told him that I knew he was in love with me. He got angry. He denied it. So I let it go. And I did what I had to do to move on. I did the work to survive the longing. I did the work to survive the desire. I did the work to amputate the bleeding from a wound that was created when he walked away and that was slashed wide open when he denied that he loved me all the while acting like a partner would act minus the sex.
A year later, I moved back to Minneapolis. He had just gotten out of a relationship with an asshole. And, finally, he admitted that he had lied. That he loved me. That he still loved me.
Holy shit was I an angry human being in that moment. I resisted slapping the shit out of him. Instead, I simply told him that I knew that. But it was too late. I still loved Chris, but I was too afraid to open back up that ridiculous floodgate of desire and passion again. He hadn't been brave enough to at LEAST admit his love for me, so I couldn't trust him a second time. It just wasn't something I could risk. The first time had almost done me in. And I am survivor if nothing else. Once bitten....
Chris became one of my best friends. And all the love that had always been sat between us. It was there and continued to grow. And it was there the last time I talked to him. I was the last person he talked to the night before he shot himself. Not his boyfriend. Not his Mom and Dad. Me. And the last thing he said to me was that it was too painful to hear me voice, that he loved me, and then he hung up the phone. At least I got to tell him that I loved him before he had to leave. I still tell him that I love him, because I believe in Heaven, and I believe that good people go there. Chris was more than good. He was great.
The person that I have in my life now, is someone that I care about as much as I did Chris. If possible, more. More because the way it started had nothing to do with sex. It had everything to do with respect, politics, support, energy, and friendship. That is still the basis of it. We aren't together. But the similarities are enough that I finally realized today that I was sitting with an irrational fear related to Chris. I have learned that the people you love the most and best who are afraid to name their love...are the ones that leave...and leave a hole the size of an exit wound in your life.
This isn't the same as that. And just writing this blog has my spirit telling me that this is so very different. I listen to my spirit...and the fire that is now glowing inside of me. The work is different...there is still work to do...but damn if it doesn't feel like work that is about love and bravery.
Hey Chris. I still love you. Sleep well. Now, I can let you go.