I looked at the photos, I looked at the profile, and then I looked at the photos again. This man with scruffy bad boy good looks seemed to be a nice guy. I hit the “save” button, not knowing that doing so would make him a “favorite,” a status to which he would be made aware.
He faved me back and sent a message. I replied. He sent me another. His name was Derek, and he was a sixty-year-old widower. While his paying job was in a high tech industry, he had also written a book about his and his late wife’s experience fighting cancer, and he had done original artwork for the book. Impressive. He had even created a small foundation in her name to raise money for cancer research. I figured that a man who had loved one woman that much could love another.
All of this mattered, but I was already falling for him. In fact, I had probably been free-falling from the moment I saw his photo and had a visceral reaction I recognized as awareness that I probably knew him from some other place and time, some other life. I wasn’t naïve about running into people I’d known in other lives, and I knew that the people I’d made agreements with to meet again in this life were often the most challenging people to know and be in relationship with. My late husband had been one; Antonio, the shaman to which I had been apprenticed, another. Several friends had been among them too. But Derek was like the force of gravity, and I knew he might be a very dangerous man for me.
Knowledge of potential danger is not a deterrent when the force of attraction is working like gravity on you.
Derek admitted to being into list-making, and he gave me a list of activities he was into. It included such things as kayaking, riding his Harley, and hiking with his dog. His hiking most often took place on a trail he had carved out himself. In one of my messages to him, I had referred to logging in many hours with an ax to eradicate tree roots. He responded that we had hours logged with an ax in common, saying that he had cut a trail from his home down five hundred feet to as close to the creek below as he could get. It took him five years. Among the tools he employed were an ax, a pick, a shovel, and a chainsaw. The trail was considerably more than five hundred feet because the grade made it necessary to switchback, and he had done his best to avoid taking out trees.
He considered the ongoing maintenance work on the trail Zen relaxation.
How could I not want to meet this man?
After telling him that I wasn’t into lists as much as him, I gave the matter some thought and realized that while I didn’t necessarily call them lists, I had quite a few of my own. When I told him I had reconsidered whether or not I was a list person and gave him some examples of my own lists, he reported back that he liked the fact that I was a thinker. Having scared off more than one man in my life because of my mind, I saw this as a promising sign.
A manly man who blazed trails and liked women who think? I was sinking deeper by the minute.
His next e-mail to me included a list he’d made outlining why he would make a great boyfriend for a woman. He had considered putting it on the dating site but changed his mind because he saw it as hokey and decided it was really meant to be shared with someone he saw as a kindred spirit. He wanted ten items on his so-called hokey list, but he had only completed seven items. He invited me to add the rest. The list included things like promising to stay in good shape for the woman in his life, being a good listener, laughing frequently, and having opinions on serious things that his woman would value. But it also included things like promising there would never be a paucity of touch, including a healthy dose of snuggling, appreciating a woman’s inherent toughness within the ladylike persona, and putting the potential kindred spirit on notice that she would catch him looking at her when she thought he wasn’t looking.
It was as if I had been hooked and was being reeled in. The last man who had done that was my late husband.
Pretty much off the top of my head, I gave him three more: I will be open to learning from you and not just expect you to learn from me; I will value and honor all parts of your fourfold nature (body, mind, spirit, and emotions); You will never doubt my integrity and will be able to count on my trustworthiness.
He professed to like my additions.
I wondered if he had left the last three blank just to see what was important to a woman. And I wondered if the first seven had actually come from his understanding of himself (as they seemed to) or had come from his understanding of what a woman wanted to hear.
I really needed to meet this man face to face. He had definitely gotten my attention.
Note: The name Derek is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.
Copyright 2016 by Melanie Mulhall