Living Out Loud
so... i'm studying for finals
yes. i'm studying for finals. or, at least, i'm supposed
to be. anyway, this isn't so much an interest in recording
my life as it is a place where i can write out what i'm
thinking. i really love hard copy journals but it takes so
long to write everything out -- i'm much faster at typing
than i am at writing -- that i just find it easier to have
an online one sometimes.
since the part of my life that is most confusing right now
is guys, that's where i will begin...
Zack -- the perpetual man in my life. Also married. a long
story, trust me, but hey, if you've got time to read, i've
got time to procrastinate...
i love Zack. with everything in me. more than i have ever
loved another soul. i may look back and regret this later
(i hope not -- but i think that regrets are necessary. if
you live with no regrets, you haven't pushed yourself out
of your comfort zone, and therefore you are not living.
that or you just don't conceptualize regret the way i do.
of course you're going to make mistakes if you're living
out loud -- living and loving boldly and dangerously --
that's the whole point of living that way. it's impossible
to live dangerously and make all the right decisions. in
other words, you cannot live perfectly and dangerously at
the same time. they are mutually exclusive. but i
but i know that he is the man that i was meant to love.
which poses a problem for me. well, several actually...
1) We don't ever see each other.
-- He lives in Fairbanks, AK, in the Army. I
oscillate between South Bend, IN (college) and Petoskey,
2) I have no real experience with him. Let me qualify...
-- The summer of my senior year in high school
(that would be 2001), we spent a little less than a month
together while my boyfriend at the time was at boot camp
and before he went to boot camp himself. It was glorious
and amazing, and I still look back on that time as the
perfect unspoiled love of my childhood, if that makes
sense. But the thing is, nothing happened between us -- I
was perfectly loyal to my boyfriend. Zack and I were
friends -- we didn't kiss, we didn't hold hands, though I
know that he wanted to and there was a part of me that
wanted to too. But then he went to boot camp...
-- Then, he came home for Christmas (2001). My
boyfriend and I were on the outs, and he was still the
same great guy that I had known that summer. So, we spent
a lot of time together and talked a lot. And then it
happened. We kissed. In the parking lot behind an
elementary school three days before Christmas in his Jeep.
I was wearing my little Santa hat all cocked to one side,
that I though looked sexy as hell and he just thought
looked cute. I still remember that, so vividly. Then he
told me I made his heart stop and I knew that there was
something incredible between us that I didn't want to
lose. He was due to leave for his assignment in Alaska the
day after Christmas, so I spent as much time with him as I
could. Christmas Day even, I went to his house to help him
pack and we got "snowed in" by a huge snowstorm. And I
spent the night with him. We laughed, we talked, and we
never slept together, but it was amazing, nonetheless. I'd
never been so comfortable in my own skin than when he was
with me. But then he had to leave and we kissed our
goodbyes at my front door and I watched him drive off down
the snow covered street.
-- Then I went to college. And he settled in
Alaska and found a girlfriend. A very serious girlfriend.
And this scared me. It scared me a lot. I started thinking
about how much he meant to me, and how I had always
expected us to get together at some point. And I couldn't
stand the thought of losing whatever it was that we had
without giving it a full shot. So I did it. I bit the
bullet and called. Not just to talk, not just to tell him
about my day, but to tell him that I realized how much I
loved him and I didn't want to lose him. Sitting on my
desk in my college dorm, I was so scared. I didn't know
what was going to happen, but I knew he had to know. But
from this conversation, we grew more towards each other. I
had a voucher for airfare from something or other, and so
I decided to take a vacation after school got out and fly
up to see him. It was one of the best decisions I've ever
made. He soon after broke up with his girlfriend, and I
had broken up with my boyfriend of the time as well.
The trip itself was nervewracking. I was so
nervous and on the verge of tears the entire flight. I
ended up switching around and getting on an earlier
flight, so I was off the plane in Fairbanks before he got
there. I remember running to the bathroom, hoping he
wasn't there and wouldn't see me. I had to splash water on
my face and calm down. But really, how would you feel if
you knew that you were about to see the love of your life?
To confirm it, one way or another, that THIS was the one
you wanted? And I was only 18 years old. And so I splashed
my face with water and stood over the sink, staring in
the mirror and shaking. "How do I do this?" I
thought. "How do I survive this meeting without falling
apart?" and I steeled myself and walked out. I didn't see
him, so I started walking around the terminal (which
wasn't very big) and didn't see him anywhere. So I took
the escalator to the second floor. And there he was, with
his back to me, as I rose up on the escalator. I will
always laugh about this, but I recognized him first by his
ass, second by his stance, and lastly by his hat. If he
were to wear a baseball hat, that would be what it would
look like. I took him in for a moment, until I reached the
top of the escalator. Then in taking a step off, my heel
clicked against the metal and he heard me. He turned
around and looked in my eyes and the only thing I can
remember after that is his kiss. It's romantic, yes, but I
think I could have lived all my days in that kiss.
The rest of the trip was passed barely a moment
apart, and I realized during this time that HE was who I
wanted, him and no other. And this was hard. Very hard.
The hardest thing I've had to do in my life was get on
that plane and leave. Had he only said, "Stay. Please
stay." I would have given up all that I had left in
Michigan to stay by his side and love him. But, as I am, I
felt my responsibilities to the larger world pulling me
back. My family, my friends, my job. I almost stayed. I
was so close. And I think if I had the choice again,
knowing what I know now, I would have. A love like that
comes along once a life, and is worth most any sacrifice.
But I got back on the plane and cried my way home.
Every step was a decision -- "I could turn back now," "I
could call him from the airport in Anchorage, he would
come get me," "I'll call my parents and explain, they'll
understand." But I didn't. And when I got home, I realized
my home had moved. My home wasn't in Petoskey anymore, or
South Bend. My home was in the arms of the man I loved.
-- Since then, it has been more than a year. I have
continued to love him, though challenges have come my way.
But in total, I have spent maybe 2 months WITH him. And I
would spend the rest of it in a heartbeat. If I could
insert the rest of my life into those two months, I would
happy live out my days there.
2) We will not see each other for a while, and our lives
may well take separate paths. He is due to leave the Army,
but not until August 2006. I graduate that May, and will
be attending (hopefully) graduate school by August. I
don't know where he is planning on going after he is
discharged, but his interests differ from mine, and he may
be planning on an entirely different region of the
3) The biggest current problem -- he is married. I went to
Italy at the beginning on 2004 for a semester abroad. We
talked sporadically during this time, but not often. In
mid-April, he emailed me to tell me he had found a
girlfriend. Though disappointing, this wasn't unusual. We
had both agreed that because of distance, and the fact
that we were both young and experimenting with life, we
didn't want to work out any sort of committment, and we
were both free to find companions and lovers. When I
returned to South Bend in early May, he was the first
person I called to talk to. This phone call nearly broke
me. I asked him about his girlfriend -- what was her name,
what was she like, etc... and he told me that he loved her
and that they were getting married.
I still remember the feeling of the blood draining from my
face and desperately groping for something to say.
something congratulatory. something that would make it be
false. something that could stop me from dying right
there. something. anything. i didn't cry. i managed to say
something, and we talked for a little while, but i don't
remember what was said.
finally, my roommate came back and i couldn't hold it in
any longer. i squeaked out some excuse about having to go
and started sobbing before i even hung up the phone. i
didn't quite know what to do. i cried some, then went out
that night with some girls, who tried to help me drink
some of the pain away. but it only made it worse. they
tried to help me find a guy to hook up with, to take my
mind off of it, but in every guy, there he was. his blond
hair, or his blue eyes, or the way he stood, or the way he
walked, or something. so i went home early and wrote him a
drunken email. thankfully, much of the drunkenness was
edited out before i sent it, and i mostly told him about
how i wanted to keep him in my life, that i was hurt and
it would take me time to heal.
And so for the most of this summer I didn't talk to
him. We called once a month, twice at most, and tried to
talk, but it was hard. I couldn't find anything to say.
but slowly i began to heal, and i think he did too. we
started talking more often and he grew more of a best
friend. he kept telling me that he loved me, and i know he
did, and i still loved him, but it took a long while to
say it back again. i didn't know how his wife (Kim) would
feel. but i guess he told her about how he felt about me
and that that wasn't going to change. i don't know. it
seems odd to get into a marriage knowing that your soon to
be husband loves somebody else, but perhaps i am
overestimating his feelings for me. he also was always in
a hurry to get married. he was just that kind of guy. but
anyway, we became very close again.
Well, about halfway through this semester, my world
turned upside down again. He called to talk, as normal,
and told me that he "made a mistake." That I was never
second best and that he still loved me. This was hard for
me to hear. I was just getting used to trying to turn my
true love into a friendship type of love. But it didn't
take long. I fell again, head over heels. No turning back.
Through subsequent conversations, we talked about his
marriage, how she wasn't who he thought he had married,
how this wasn't what he wanted, and how he didn't think
his marriage would last another year. again, this puts me
in a weird position. i do not want to be "the other woman"
but i would give my life for him to be happy. that is all
i want. i decided i would be there for him. i will be the
should he needs to lean on. i'll be there to listen and to
try to understand, but that's all i can offer. he knows
that i love him and i know that he loves me, but that's
all it's going to be, at least for now. so that's that, in
Mike -- sort of a booty call guy. i was friends with him
this summer. my best friend Kristal's ex (Tiny) is his
best friend, Kristal and Tiny are still very good friends,
and so it was sort of a matter of convenience -- my
hooking up with Mike. more appropriately, I was drunk
after a party at his house and had nowhere to sleep, so I
crashed in his bed. so we ended up working out a
relationship in which there was no committment, but an
understanding that whenever i came home from break, we
were sort of back together. well, that sort of got busted
up (and i think Mike is a little bitter) with the entrance
Bob -- the boyfriend. I met him in band (he's a drummer,
sort of, and I'm a tuba girl). and he's very sweet and
innocent, and I've been sort of lonely, so as terrible as
this sounds, I took him on as a boyfriend out of, well,
boredom. When I broke the news to Mike, he seems kinda mad
(it's only been about a week), and now we still talk, but
all he talks about is this one girl he likes -- it's so
obvious. I haven't told Zack yet, I don't exactly know
how. I mean, it's silly to be nervous about it -- he is
MARRIED -- but I don't want him to think I don't love him.
Anyway, Bob. He's 21 years old, and I'm his first
girlfriend (and I'm pretty sure his first kiss as well).
Simply because he hasn't been spoiled, he's ridiculously
sweet and so polite. the whole relationship reminds me of
when i first started dating, with the anxiousness of it
all, and i miss that, so i'm enjoying it. and no, i
haven't told him about Mike or Zack. I think he'd freak
out if he knew exactly where I stand with guys. I'm pretty
liberal when it comes to relationships, as evidenced by my
love for a married man, and multiple non-committal
relationships at once. He's pretty new, and pretty
conservative, so for his sake, i'm cooling things off. I
think he'd freak out if he found out i wasn't Catholic or
Surprisingly, that's all the boys for now. I usually
collect them, but like I've said, I'm trying to cool
things off a bit, if only for Bob's sake.