A writer who doesn’t write should be a crime. However, I have a valid, very horrific excuse for why I’d gone missing. Before I get to that, I just want to say that the past three months have been harrowing…a series of cries in the dark to an abyss that holds nothing but hurt. It was an unavoidable truth that Peter–the man who helped break me away from the flightless bird, Carlos–was dead. Now that I’m comfortable enough to say it…out loud…let me backtrack.
In March 2012, I met the man of my dreams. That is to say, I reacquainted myself with the man of my dreams. I’d already known, Peter; he was a classmate back in high school. It was a relationship twenty years in the making.
To know Peter one has to go back to those high school days. He was always happy, smiling and up for anything. So much so, that I had completely overlooked him. The extent of my understanding of Peter was that he had nice hair and a golden smile. That’s pretty much it. He seemed a little “too goofy” for my taste because Lord knows, I had to hang with the older “mature” (using the term VERY loosely) senior class. So it only took me twenty years to realize that Peter hadn’t changed–not one iota. His personality and sense of humor was exactly as I had remembered it, but now there was an edge, a depth to him that only experience can bestow.
We had reconnected through of all things, Facebook. It was that social network of “Friends” and “Pokes” and “Likes”. The same forum that allowed me to briefly chat with Pete in 2008 to encourage him to go to our impromptu unofficial high school reunion. Yeah, the one I never attended. Pete was searching for someone on Facebook and in a case of mistaken identity, communicated accidentally with my sister. She was annoyed by his messages and approached me to get Pete to stop messaging her, which led to my first re-introduction. This chance encounter would prove to be a significant turning point in my life.
Through The Looking Glass:
Peter and I began messaging one another through Facebook. I’d immediately checked out his profile to refresh my memory and also to see what Pete had been up to since high school. All I found was Pete’s depressed profile staring back at me. I knew that face. I knew it so well because I’d been wearing that face for years with Carlos. I stared at it as if it were a character study. I asked him to post a happier photo of the person that I remembered. Eventually, he did but not after a few phone calls, and a walk through the park where I hurriedly snapped a photo of him in his car before calling it a night.
I mesmerized that photo in my room, comparing it to the mirror-image of myself in the same depressive state. Yet when I was with Pete, all of the negative aspects of my life fell away and everything felt natural, easy. He was lively, bright, and charming. He was a Greek god of a man…literally and figuratively.
The bird that lost its wing had also lost a lot of important things like, oh A WILL TO LIVE. I had convinced myself that this had to be the way to live. I was still (years later) doing pretty much what I had been doing when we first met. I had no identity, no sense of self. My life was slowly becoming a series of tasks and laundry lists that I could no longer handle by myself. Oh sure, there was help–a lot of it in fact–but the person that I knew Carlos could be wasn’t growing. He had gotten increasingly evasive and secretive about his treatments until he stopped communicating with me altogether. He’d call me on the phone–from the next room–to get me. I was crying more than I was laughing or sharing or experiencing or loving. Then along came The White (Peter) Rabbit (Lagos or “rabbit” in Greek).
But Why Is The Door So Small?
In the end, Carlos let me go. His truer, crueler self reared up first and made it my own private hell. The torture was unbearable because it was relentless and especially sadistic. At one point he left me a message that he had transferred a disease to me which I had to go to a physician to test. There were the horrible neverending phone calls at work (the only place I couldn’t block his number from reaching). I had to visit my HR Dept and our building security to inform them of what had taken place. It was exhausting.
When the dust settled, I was loading up Peter’s truck at an ungodly hour (5:30am) with whatever belongings I could grasp. I knew that I couldn’t take much since it was going to temporarily be stored at both my mother’s and my sister’s places, respectively. I just remember thinking that out of all that I had accumulated over the years, I really didn’t care one way or the other whether or not I’d leave it behind. It was so Zen to leave it be and let it go. I had shrunk it all and was passing it through that little doorway thinking, I’m leaving it all behind, all of the memories, all of the worries, all of the problems, all of it. And I’m okay with that. The crux of my relationship had been reduced to a pile of rubbish that I really didn’t need and could live without.
The worst was over? Uh, Yeah. No.
Carlos continued to threaten my life and leave horrific messages on people’s phone lines, threatening theirs. He held my stuff hostage and finally managed to literally dump a few remnants of my belongings on my sister’s stoop. All of that was strangely manageable.
I had located a place to stay within two months and was getting used to my regular outings with Pete: billiards, movies, dance club, beach…
Then, Peter fucking died on me.
I’ll just leave you to this post for now…
Linger on this…
Chew on it for a little bit…
It turns out that I’m not as comfortable as I thought…saying it…out loud.
At least not tonight.