The Loss of the Middle

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Bixby at Sondermann today

I think a lot lately about one of Richard Bach’s books. I can’t remember if it was Bridge Across Forever or not. But the female protagonist talks about how the male always wants to stay in the “beginning” of the relationship. That many are like that; they move from person to person to keep finding the spark and excitement of a beginning. And like a symphony, they never reach the beautiful middle of the symphony.

I am a middle person. I think Adam was, too. Those early days/months, maybe even years of “beginning passion” that you live in for awhile, are not what I hold dear about our life together. They are fun, sure, but they are distant memories when it comes to Adam because it was the least important time in our lives. It’s like the quote I mentioned in a previous blog—how true love is not gazing into each other’s eyes, but looking in the same direction. It’s the partnership that I miss. People talk about “keeping the romance” in the relationship. Whatever. The romance is in the everyday things; it’s wherever you want to look.

I remember our first Super Bowl together. We got a ton of junk food and spent it at his apartment in the attic on Wood Avenue. I ate too much and got that sick feeling and had to use the bathroom…and I was in there for a while. I was mortified as this was only three months into our relationship and of course I didn’t poop! Adam came to check on me. Even more mortified.

That’s not romance to me, pretending you don’t poop. You know what is? Leaving the bathroom and telling Adam, “You should have seen the size of the poop I just took.” Then there’s laughter and Adam saying “I love you so much.” Love was laughing at farts … because if you don’t think farts are funny, who are you? Love was laughing at bathroom mishaps (oh like you have never had one as an adult!). I’m probably shocking someone right now. Love was one of us going to sleep in the other room because the other was snoring and not being offended.

The kisses we shared in the 17th year of our relationship didn’t have the same fire they did in the first year. But they were better. The one millionth time he said he loved me was better than the first time.

Romance was the fact that we had no jealously between us. We weren’t worried about always reassuring each other. He would often go out with friends downtown without me. That was fine with me. I would go to events for nine days with figure skating and we’d talk maybe three times. We didn’t need to always speak. I had a favorite work-husband … you know who you are, Greg … and there wasn’t any need to worry that I went to lunch every day with him. Adam and I were confident in our love.

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The lonely road ahead, with a dog on the side

I wasn’t perfect in our relationship. Adam didn’t do well with sarcasm, I failed to realize that, and I hurt him a lot with what I thought was humor. I had a tendency to shut down when I was angry. But I also wasn’t afraid to talk about anything.

The reason I know Adam had a disease was because he lived life fearlessly … except when it came to alcohol. We didn’t lie to each other, except he couldn’t tell me the truth about alcohol. He was honest to his core, but this disease destroyed him.

I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I took the dog to Sondermann Park, picked up lunch, and then realized I hadn’t looked in the mirror all day. I have no idea what I must look like.

I made it until 3 p.m. before my first cry today. The emptiness is so real. Walking Bix was hard; it always is because Adam and I would have some of our best discussions on walks. Sondermann had become our “go-to” dog walk. It wasn’t really a hike, just beautiful and uncrowded so we could let Bix run off leash. Adam loved Sondermann; I’ve found so many pics he took of Bix at the park on his phone. In fact, his phone is filled with dozens of photos of Bix and Chance over the last year. I didn’t realize how much he loved taking photos of the animals.

The dishes have piled up. The paperwork is scattered. I haven’t unpacked since last weekend. There is no motivation, excitement or anything. I did get a new audio book; another post-apocalyptic nightmare book where people just survive. Usually they try to survive for revenge. I don’t even have revenge to look forward to. I want to get drunk but the thought of alcohol makes me ill.

Fuck. This really is hell.

 

 

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