For the better part of nearly 15 years, I loved a man in both a very public and very secret part of my life. I loved him, before, during and after my husband, shamelessly. You know on that Jill Scott song “’Cross My Mind” where she says ‘Wonderin if you wear the same cologne. Smelled good on you. Had the next boyfriend of mine try that same kind, but it stunk on him though.” Replace the word boyfriend with husband and, well you get the idea. Though we’ve known each other biblically, nothing long term has ever transpired between us other than this great arching love that has us forever bound together. When I tried to explain it to outsiders it doesn’t make sense. The words sound foolish stumbling off of my tongue. For more than a decade, I have written countless pieces to, around and about him. I’ve made feeble attempts to force the square peg that we are into the round peg that would be a “normal” relationship. Normal is boring. What we have, though the tears I’ve shed would say otherwise, works for us. Though we’re not together, we have mad love for each other and I know there is little to nothing he wouldn’t do for me or me for him.
When we reconnected after my separation, I don’t know if it was the emotions he awoke in me, or if it was the joie de vivre I always feel when he’s near me, but words poured out of me and I can’t make them stop. Between the dancing, the booze, the moans and the swoons, I feel alive when I am with him. Having not written ANYTHING the whole time I was married, this renaissance of my craft made me love him in a way my novice heart of our earlier years was incapable of. Not all that I cobble in his name is complimentary, yet he reads it all be it published, posted or sent directly and he responds. He recognizes the flattery that is someone caring enough about someone else to immortalize them in writing. Good or bad, savory or sour, what I’ve written about him will live on long after neither of us is here any longer. How many people can or would give the person they love a gift that can last an eternity?
Though there are fireworks between us, it isn’t even about the sex anymore. I’ve learned that great versus average sex is teachable. How can you instruct someone to make you feel inspired? Can that be taught? If so, can I buy the Groupon for it in the event I run into someone else that curses me with years of writer’s block? I’d much prefer not having to school someone on how to let me be me. Someone who understands that some days, I just need to be still and lazy and think and dream so that I can sit at this keyboard and bear my soul for your edutainment. With my muse, there have literally been days when the two of us laid in bed for the entire day and deep into dusk. He worked and I worked next to him crafting elaborately veiled stories with roots in what I felt for him, in what I thought about when I thought about him, taking breaks for food and lovemaking and wine and more love making.
I often trace his face, his hands with my words, each time discovering something new about him to record for posterity. In person, we do not talk much. Initially, I worried that it was because he was uncomfortable, unhappy, displeased with my presence. I realized that too often, people cover discomfort with idle chatter, fill space with useless words and trite conversation. We didn’t need to fill the space we shared with words of little import. Being around him has always been easy, until wisps of jealousy cause me to challenge his eternal bachelor lifestyle. I grew to appreciate the silence that he allows me and the comfort that it represents. He is a man of few words, but those he uses with me, he chooses wisely. We communicate the way two magnets do, idle when apart, inseparable when together. Living and loving a man who has never been mine, but has always been mine has shown me that what we have doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else as long as it makes sense to us.
Jill Scott singing “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”