I was just reading Danzarin's blog...she's just had her one year anniversary in blogdom! Congrats!
Anyway, I was re-reading her "Tagged" post wherein she talked about being an acapella singer. (I told her that I hope that she still sings as much as she can...) In that instant that I was reading this, a memory bubbled up in the primordial ooze of my brain. A primal-psycho-electro-chemical-reading-induced-physical-manifestation-something-or-other. Thoughts are "physical" right? They "exist", right? Just be reading some lines on a page - a virtual page at that - caused some neural peptide to be released (rent the documentary "What the Bleep?") - in my neural cortex or wherever those thingamajiggers originate.
And the thought/memory was this: I remembered a dear friend - a lady friend. We had a torrid six month relationship very soon after my last divorce. Too soon. Too soon for me after having very recently exited twenty-five years of married life. But I explained this to her - up front. I was blatant, almost brutal in my honesty that I wasn't looking for anything serious/long term/monagamous. I explained that I was only interested in women "friends" - that I could do "stuff" with. Dinner, a movie, bike rides, snow skiing - you know, "stuff".
At the time, I was operating under what I called "my thousand mile rule". I didn't "see" (date) anyone who lived closer than one thousand miles. Austin, L.A., Santa Fe (500 miles), NYC. She happened to live in a town very near Aspen as the crow flies - 25 miles. In the winter, it was, however, a five hour drive - the long way around. In the summer it was perhaps 3-4 hours. Not "one thousand miles", but far enough away to keep things on an even keel - or so I thought.
We met on Match.com. We first had an email exchange wherein I asked her for another photo. She only had one posted and it was blurry. In the photo, she appeared to be older than her stated age. I wanted some confirmation. She wrote me off as being too interested in the "physical". I never heard from her again.
I know this because I contacted her again a few months later to ask why. "Why did I never hear from you again?" I asked in an email. I explained that I was simply curious - trying to do a little research - trying to understand this whole concept of "dating". After all, it was brand new to me. I met my first ex-wife at the ripe old age of 18. I turned 20 two months after we were married. We were both way too young. It should be against the law to get married prior to the age of 28.
When I explained myself to her - that her photo was blurry and I was simply looking for a visual age confirmation (because of then recent experience with women fudging on their age) - she said that she understood. Then we were off on the obligatory two to three week emailing "getting to know each other" period. Then another week of so of chit-chat on the phone.
I was at a friend's ranch for Thanksgiving that year up in McCoy, Colorado. Okay, a friend of friend's ranch. Okay, four women and me. And some horses. And a couple of doggies. Okay. Horseback riding in the sagebrush. Dancing two step by the woodstove. Drinking too much wine. Taking a drunk walk down the gravel road after Thanksgiving dinner. Gazing at the Milky Way galaxy with four women to keep me warm. In reality, I only have two arms - so one under each. Sidenote: Some of you may know this. You can actually see the Milky Way galaxy in the mountains. It's a bright stripe of an increased density of stars - a bright stripe of stars and worlds and perhaps some of my past thoughts floating around up there - streaking across the night sky.
Don't get any ideas about the four women thing. I am such a fucking "gentleman". Friends are friends after all. I slept all by my lonesome in a fucking twin bed - or was it a fucking cot? But it is nice to be woken up in the morning by four warm, soft, good smelling women - woken up to come fix them my famous buttermilk pancakes with thick-cut applewood smoked bacon.
The day after Thanksgiving, I drove the six hours in the other direction - over hills and mountain passes, up the creeks and down the creeks, and finally up the river and through the valley to her house. After we hugged in her foyer - I fussed at her and said to never do that again - to just let a stranger into her house - after all, I could have been some wierdo from Match.com.
We sat on the sofa - actually sofa and loveseat - a little distance at first. We drank wine and chatted. I take that back - I drank the wine - a bottle that I brought. When I arrived it was dark - maybe six or seven in the evening. We talked for hours - probably until one in the morning. I re-iterated to her - face-to-face - about my goals/desires in this - this "nothing serious" scenario. We talked about the stuff you talk about with a new friend - born/raised/family/past - all that "getting to know" each other stuff.
With regard to the "lady friend stuff" - one thing I pointed out is that even though I was looking for something platonic(ish?) - I remained open to the possibility of things turning physical. Uh-oh! I'm not sure if I was till sitting on the love seat - or if I had moved next to her on the sofa - but suffice it to say, we were by this point tangled up and making out. Just like high school. She was a really good kisser. Really good. We meshed orally.
On the way to her room she showed me around her house. She had nice stuff, nice taste. Nice art on the walls. Nice pieces of furniture. Stuff like this is important to me - design, style sense, good taste, class - you get the picture.
Her king size bed was nice, too - a big, honkin', pine log bed - soft, high thread count sheets, piled high with down comforters. It's cold in this particular valley. Very cold. It can be 40 degrees colder than Aspen in the winter. That means from 20 degrees (F) to minus 20 degrees (F). In short order we were nekkid under the covers. (Just writing this now is bringing back such sweet memories...) Let's just say that men in her little town - non-drunk, non-ski bum, non-violent, non-asshole, men in her little town were few and far between. Slim pickin's. I suppose this fact made me highly desirable. It had been a while for both of us. Months for me, I think a year or longer for her. Pent-up sexual frustration.
So there we were nekkid under the thick, piled high, down comforters. Doing what nekkid people do under thick, piled high down comforters. Doing it again and again. Taking naps to get our strength back. My feet sticking out from the covers at the foot of the bed, then her feet sticking out at the foot of the bed. Getting up to fix a snack in the kitchen - nekkid. Getting dressed to go rent movies and have dinner in town. Watching movies - nekkid. Snuggling and making love and talking. For three days. Goodness gracious did that woman have some skill in bed...! I left for the drive home to Aspen on Monday afternoon - just after lunch.
In between sexual fantasies and memories and latent scents of lovemaking, I had time to think on the way home. What an idiot! Mr. "thousand mile rule" man. Mr. "nothing serious" man. Mr. "platonic, but open to the physical" man. Mr. Man. Mr. Man from Aspen Man. Mr. Idiot Man. I knew it but I didn't know it - that she had just fallen in love with me. I had fallen in love with her. Asshole. Dickweed. Dumbshit.
I saw her once a month or so after that. I went to her. She came to me. We'd meet on the roadside and consolidate into one car for the drive to Denver for a weekend. We got snowed in once at the Ritz Carlton at Beaver Creek for three days. It was there that she confessed her love to me, during early morning pillow talk. She told me that it was love at first sight for her. That when she saw me through the glass - standing outside her door that first night - that she fell in love with me in that moment.
I had to look her in the eye - eye to eye sharing a pillow - having just had three days of incredible snowed-in sex - having just made love in the hour before - and tell her that I did not love her. Even though I probably did - and probably still do - in a way. I loved her but I did not want to live out my days with her. I knew that. It would have been so easy for me to tell her that I loved her - so easy for me to default back into twenty-five years of what I knew. Twenty-five years of what I was most comfortable with. Twenty-five years of what I was really good at. There were reasons we weren't right for each other - I won't delve into them - lots of reasons. Or perhaps we were right for each - but timing wasn't right.
I told her that I didn't love her, wiped away her tears, and held her close to me.
She was a singer. In the months that followed, I continued to encourage her to sing again. I'm not sure if she ever did.