Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Remember.

At this point in my life
I'd like to live as if only love mattered
As if redemption was in sight
As if the search to live honestly
Is all that anyone needs
No matter if you find it

Last night at our meeting, there was a moment when I was suddenly overcome with a memory. It was one of those gut-wrenching, visceral memories, and I could feel it all over myself.

I hadn't seen my husband in months. He wasn't my husband yet. He wasn't my boyfriend, either. He was nobody, and yet he'd been so much to me for so long.

He'd called me earlier in the week. He had been in jail, and I knew he'd gotten out. When he called, it was as if I'd always known he'd call. I answered the phone call. He told me he loved me. I told him I loved him, too. I started making plans to see him.

I was married to another man, so I started telling lies to him to excuse myself for a weekend. I said I was going to visit a friend, and I packed my things and went to see my lover.

To that point, I'd been so painfully loyal to my first husband. It had felt like an exercise, being committed to him. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. I'm not sure if it was ever what I wanted to do. The relationship was over, and had been for a long time. He was cheating on me, and he was drinking too much, and I was passionately in love with another man who'd only just gotten out of jail. Everything felt so important, so tremulous and real and rare. I felt like I was blooming. I decided to let go.

I drove 3 hours to reach him. I felt no guilt. There was a bird-like thing inside of me, the kind of thing that pulls birds South. I wasn't sure of where I was going, but I didn't have to be. I knew he'd be there when I got where I was going, and that's all that mattered.

He met me in the driveway, put his arms around me. He'd looked so awful the last time I saw him. He'd looked strung out, and a few months in jail had done him good. He'd always been the most beautiful person I'd ever seen. I always felt like I could drown in looking at him.

He lead me inside. He closed the bedroom door, and he kissed me. That's what ran over me last night, in the meeting--that kiss.

We were talking about making amends, and I was talking about how I felt after writing a ninth step letter to the first husband, and telling the story made me remember that first kiss. I married him in that moment. It was a while before we were actually married, before I was actually divorced even...but it didn't matter. It was all technicality after that kiss.

I think back on myself at that time, and I recognize that I was being carried by a tide much bigger than me. I often want to judge that incarnation of me and the bad decisions I was making, but I was doing the best I could at the time. I was so in love, and I was so afraid, and I was so hurt from the first marriage, from life.

I was so in love.

Sometimes, I forget that the man who drives me so nuts now is that man who had such a hold on my heart. And sometimes, I remember that feeling, and I don't think I'll ever be able to let it go.

Now playing: Tracy Chapman - At This Point In My Life
via FoxyTunes