Once upon a time, a woman in the full, blowsy flower of her life decided to leave the surroundings that had become so comfortable and familiar to her that there was nothing much new to explore. She wanted to feel the fullness in her heart and quickening of her soul that came when she stepped into the unknown, and so, with an open heart, she set out on an adventure, traveling with an open heart to places as yet unknown to her.
She chose to be present to all of the things that crossed her path because she knew that if she ventured into her memories of what had come before this moment or speculated on what might come around the next twist in the road, she would soon be back at the door she had so recently left, feeling comfortable with the familiar, but missing the opportunity for the taste of glistening nectar that accompanies now . . . and now . . . and now. And she did not want to sacrifice one instant of savoring a thimbleful of that incomparable elixir for the predicatability of whole mouthfuls of last year’s wine.
That was my position, and I was sticking to it.
It did not seem to be Ned’s approach.
Ned seemed confused, troubled, and even a little depressed when he called the next day. Our first face-to-face meeting had thrown him off-balance, and he apparently didn’t like the feeling. While I was feeling wonderful and only just a little off-balance myself, he reported feeling less than happy.
A part of it, to be sure, had come from the fact that he had scarce left my house before being stopped by the local police. It had been midnight and it was but twenty-four hours from July 4. The Grateful Dead-descendent band had played at CU, Boulder, that night. The local police were, no doubt, on the lookout for drunk or stoned drivers. Ned was neither. He’d drank little wine over the course of the five hours he’d been at my house. They gave him a questionable ticket anyway, probably because he had been completely uncooperative.
But more of his angst seemed to be coming from the fact that he had found himself pulled into my gravity field unexpectedly and without having thought through what it might mean at some uncertain future point in time. He lived in the foothills and disliked coming down to the metro area where I lived, but he also felt it would be unfair to manage his distaste of the city by always expecting me to come to him. He pointed out that I had stated no desire to marry again and was unsure about even living with a man again, while he liked cohabiting. He was completely drawn to me, but could not fathom how it could work.
To say that he was getting ahead of himself would have been like saying that I could not come to see him in his mountain aerie in July because the road to it might be impassible in January. It was true that we lived some distance from one another. I did not like commuting much more than he did, though I lacked his particular disdain for it. It was also true that I could not see myself marrying again and could not even imagine living with someone again. But then, I hadn’t planned to marry again before I met my late husband. Life has a way of sorting itself out and shaking us out of our opinions about what is likely, desirable, or even possible. I had made sharp left-hand turns in my life before and knew I might again. But none of that had been in the forefront of my mind the night before. I had simply allowed myself the delight of being surprised by the succulence of our connection.
He wanted to think it through and have it all figured out without even knowing much about who I was or how that succulent connection might unfold when we next met, let alone months down the road. So again, we talked it out. It was the second time in twenty-four hours that I was processing something with the man. Was there a pattern here? He had been keen to meet me before he found my blog and jumped to some conclusions. I could not really blame him for that. But within the same twenty-four-hour period, he had jumped to the potential pitfalls of long-term relationship with me after one face-to-face encounter that had completely entranced him. He seemed on the lookout for problems and seeds that might not sprout instead of allowing himself a moment of awe about what had actually been his experience the previous night.
It took more than two hours to talk this one out. It made me wonder if he was more drama king than mountain man, but I was willing to allow it all to reveal itself organically. He might have been second-guessing our encounter, but I didn’t want to follow him down that path.
Note: The name Ned is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.
Copyright 2016 by Melanie Mulhall