Friday, July 9, 2010

For Anyone Who Was Wondering...

We were married on New year's Eve. Life is beautiful...and so is she.

...all the best.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ever After?

She didn't go for it. Long story short.

I decided to try and move on...for real. Met a wonderful, amazing girl that I don't have to trick myself into liking. I think I'm in love. I'm pretty damn sure of it, in fact...

Life is wonderful. We have a beautiful house & a dog. We read comic books & watch horror movies together.

Found Kara on the Facebook. A mutual friend added her to his list. We spoke once online. She asked how I'd been. I told her. She never wrote back. I cared a lot less than I thought I would.

Writing all this down over the years helped me more than I ever could have imagined. Hope it's helped somebody else out there, somewhere.

Gonna go try & live life. Wish me luck. Thanks for everything...sincerely.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No time for losers...

So what am I gonna do? Well, as always, things are not as simple as they seem...

When I heard the news that Shawna dropped on me, of course I thought right away that this was indeed my big chance...and I guess I just figured that, if this rumor was really true, then all the work might just be done for me...I'd just have to swoop in there at the end & finally get this thing over with once & for all. In any case, I knew that the only thing I could really do was wait a while, anyway.

What I figured would happen was: Roxanne & Shawna would talk before too long, and Shawna would tell her what she'd seen. Roxanne would be skeptical at first, if only because she so hates change & is so terrified of upsetting the balance of her life that she just wouldn't want to hear it, but that after hearing confirmation from Doug & confronting Laura with it, that the truth - if indeed it was true (which it all but certainly was/is), she'd eventually have to deal with it. Now, how she would deal with it is anyones guess, but I think I could influence things there given the opportunity.

I didn't know how soon any of this could happen, though...after all, Roxanne's show ran for the next six weeks straight. That means she'd have about 2 hours total of free time per day, and no matter what was going on, I sure didn't want to see her world turned upside down at such an important time in her life., and nobody else did, either.

Of course, that also meant that Laura was going to have plenty of time over the next month or so to dig her grave even deeper, if that's indeed what she was doing. In fact, it seemed to me that she almost wanted to get caught. After all, why would she have brought Shawna & Doug to her personal hangout where she supposedly conducts her illicit liaisons? I mean, I don't think she's all that bright in the first place, but it just seemed a little funny.

What seemed even stranger was what happened a couple of days after her show opened. 2 nights after I was there for the sneak preview, her whole family, Laura included, had planned to all attend together. Well, apparently at the last minute, Laura decided that she wasn't going to be able to make it because she was going comping instead...and guess who she was going with?

Now, I heard this from Shawna, who heard it from their friend Natasha...and I have no idea if Laura & this girl were the only 2 people going, or if Roxanne knew who was going, or anything. According to her brother, if she was upset about it, she didn't let on at the show (not that she would have, anyway).

But still, I heard nothing.

Next thing I heard was a week or so later...labor day weekend. Jerry had stopped by Roxanne's place to have lunch & came by my house afterward. I still had not told Jerry any of the things that I had learned (I knew that, if something was really going on and, if & when word got to Roxanne, that in no way, shape, or form could I let the news have come from me), so I asked him how the happy lesbians seemed to be doing. He told me that they seemed to be fine, but that Roxanne mentioned that she had a bone to pick with Shawna...because she was allegedly spreading false rumors about Laura having an affair, and Roxanne wanted to set her straight, or something.

I played dumb (something I hated to do with my best friend, but I did anyway), and asked him what was all this about an affair. He told me that Roxanne said it was nothing & he just assumed it was Shawna creating drama again for no reason. But, he found it odd that Shawna would make up some malicious rumor about the SO of her surrogate sister, and odd that Roxanne would even think that Shawna would do that in the first place.

I posited a theory: maybe Roxanne just wanted to talk to Shawna to get the real story, but there in front of Laura, she had to make a show of acting like it was all bogus. Who knows, he said...but if anyone ever cheated on his sister, he was gonna be plenty pissed, and he made that clear. I ached to tell him what had happened in the bar, but I kept my mouth shut I have to this day. I figured it would all come out in the wash.

Finally, the next week, Roxanne called Shawna & asked her if she would meet her for lunch. Shawna said of course, but something was strange...she insisted on meeting at the bar where Laura works. So much for the theory of her wanting to probe Shawna for info.

Shawna agreed to go, of course, but she didn't know what to make of it (and neither did I). She asked me if I thought that maybe Roxanne wanted to ambush her there with Laura around to back her up...or vice/versa. I told her that, yes, it was weird, but that was almost certainly not the case. First of all, that would be manipulative, which Roxanna simply is not. Secondly, I'm sure that, affair or not, the last thing Laura would want is a confrontation where Shawna could spill the beans on her late-night bar disappearance.

I told her that, as far as I can figure it, mostly likely one of two things happened: either Roxanne is so overwhelmed with everything going on in her life right now & so worn out from running herself ragged, that she just wants to make sure that she doesn't have to confront anything right now...she wants to see her friend, but she knows with Laura there, that nothing will come up to rock her boat, and she won't have to deal with it yet.

The second possibility is that, somehow Laura has managed to convince Roxanne that nothing at all shady was going on; that she wasn't having an affair, that Shawna simply misinterpreted what she saw, and that Roxanne has already filed it away & doesn't want to deal with it right now. I hoped it was the former; I worried that it may be the latter...and I still thought that the whole thing was weird, in any case.

And, after they had seen each other, I still don't know, and neither does Shawna...because nothing at all was ever mentioned about it. Roxanne was obviously not upset with Shawna in any way, and they talked like sisters just they way they always do...just not about any of the current events.

So, still not knowing what was going on, I waited. I figured I would give it until her show was over & see what happened. It closed last week. And a couple of days later, so did my window. Maybe...

Roxanne & Jerry went to lunch a day or 2 later, and he - still not knowing what I know - asked Roxanne just what all this affair business was about, anyway.

Well, according to her, it was no big deal. She said that Laura is just a very needy person, and that, with her show going on & everything, Roxanne just didn't have a lot of time to spend with her, so Laura just latched on to this girl for a while...nothing sexual or romantic anything, you understand...she just needs to feel needed & needs her friends close to her. Or some kind of bullshit like that...Jerry didn't really buy it either. So, he pressed her further, and asked her if anything like this has ever happened before.

"Well...", Roxanne said, "there was one thing that happened...about 3 years ago."

Apparently, Laura had what Roxanne described as an "emotional affair" with another girl a few years back. Oh, nothing sexual, you understand...just emotional. It was difficult (and I'm sure that many of our exchanges went on during this time, whenever it was), and they almost didn't make it through it, but eventually she forgave Laura, and they were ok.

Jerry didn't know what to say. He knew that his sister was perhaps the most loving, forgiving person in the world, but he honestly didn't think she would let herself be walked all over like that, and he told her so.

She cut him off quickly, telling him that he couldn't compare this latest incident to the past one, and that everything between them was really going great, and that they were re-doing the living room, and buying a new flat-screen, and yadda yadda yadda....but he didn't really buy it.

And I sure as hell don't...but then again, I can't really trust my instincts when it comes to that, anyway.

So, that's where things stand, as we speak. I don't really know a goddamn thing for sure...other than I'm starting to feel that, no matter what is going on with their life, something, somewhere has got to give.

This thing can't go on much longer. I can't go on like this much longer.

I don't have another 20 years to waste on this. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the waiting & the wondering. I'm tired of the dancing back & forth, and the empty talk that gets us nowhere. I'm tired of trying to move on, and knowing that no other girl I'll meet in my life will ever get a fair shake until this is resolved, one way or another.

I've tried to bury it, I've tried to move past it, I've tried everything but one man up, take a stand, and actually try and do something about it.

And that's what I have to do...I have to just lay it all on the line for her & see once & for all if this is what's really supposed to happen. I have to present my case, and I have to ask her to choose. I've got to shit or get off the pot.

I don't know if it's the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life, or the bravest. I'm pretty sure leaving her in the first place was the dumbest thing, so at least I know it's not that. But I still don't know what's going to happen.

I mean, I'm pretty sure she still loves me...and I'm pretty sure that, if it just came right down to what she wants, I'm pretty sure that she'd go for it...but again, things aren't that simple.

Roxanne is a lot of things, and first and foremost, she's loyal. Loyal too a fault. She has a life that she's built with this girl, and she's heavily dependent upon her, financially. Not that she'd have to worry about that with me, but it'd still be a factor. And i know that she loves her. I don't know that she loves her the same way that she loves me (I could always be wrong), but I don't know that she would ever be able to bring herself to hurt Laura like that, even if it's what she really wanted.

And then there's the issue of me, and my track record. By all accounts, she should never have even spoken to me again...much less give me another chance...a third chance. Yes, I know she finally said that maybe we should try it again one day if we found ourselves single...but she's not single. And again, I don't have another 20 years to wait around for that to happen.

So, here I stand, a man with a mission that I've been preparing myself for for years...and I have no idea how to pull it off. Hell, I don't even know if I'm doing the right thing...I just know that I have to do it, for me if nothing else. Because this is it this time. After Annette & everything else, I know that I have to deal with all this somehow...I either have to finally make it part of my life, or I have to find a life apart from it. Somehow.

Now I just need a plan. Any suggestions would be most welcome....'cus as of right now, I don't have a fuckin' clue...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Brilliant Disguise

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that I need to give a fake name to the boy/girlfriend, however hesitant I am to do so, if only for the fact that it's a bitch to type, and it'll appear frequently from now on. So, henceforth, Roxanne's partner will be known as "Laura".

So anyway, after Shawna told me that, I was speechless...for a moment. Then came the details.

Apparently, Shawna & her husband had gotten VIP tickets to see a concert that had come thru town a few weeks back. They had special box seats, or something, and it turned out that Laura (the boy/girlfriend...remember?) was also going to the show; not with Roxanne, but with her longtime best friend Natasha. Anyway, the two of them apparently got trashed, met up with Shawna & Doug (husband's fake name) and basically crashed their VIP section & made huge asses of themselves.

After the show, Shawna & Doug had had their fill of Laura & Natasha's drunkenness for the night & tried to go their own way, but Laura managed to play on Shawna's inability to disappoint people to drag them across town to her favorite watering hole - a really shitty, redneck dive bar that my little brother used to hang out before he decided it was too redneck even for HIM, which is saying something, trust me.

So they all sit down for drinks at the bar and, after a while, Laura (who was sloshed before they got there) gets all melancholy & starts pouring her heart out to Shawna's husband Doug (a guy who hates getting involved in other people's drama). She begins to tell him that she's worried because Roxanne never seems to want to kiss her anymore. Apparently, they haven't been, 'intimate' lately, and even when Laura comes home from work or from whatever bar she's been hanging out in that night, Roxanne doesn't even like to kiss her goodnight because her breath tastes like beer (if you'll remember, or even if you don't, Roxanne is a recovering alcoholic).

Apparently the correlation there is lost on Laura, though, because she seemed surprised when Shawna said "Well, Laura, if you were a smoker who had quit, would you want your partner to come home every night & try to kiss you with 2 packs of Marlboro's on their breath?" She still didn't get it...hell, she's jus' a good ol' gal who likes to have a couple' drinks & party a lil' bit; ain't nothin' wrong with that, right?

Sometime around then, some girl named Mandy walks in. According to Shawna, this girl runs over to Laura, who squeals with delight, grabs her & they spin around, embracing & giggling like schoolgirls. Laura is a friendly person, so this doesn't raise any eyes at first, but after introducing this girl to Shawn & Doug, something started to seem funny. Laura said something like "Mandy, this is Shawna & Doug; they're good friends of mine AND good friends with Roxanne!". Hmmm...

Anyway, the talk about Roxanne stopped the minute that this Mandy girl entered the bar, and she & Laura were soon lost in their own little conversation, leaving Shawna & Dave completely out of their element, until Natasha came back over & sat next to them. Natasha was three sheets to the wind herself (she's apparently an even worse alcoholic than Laura, which is no mean feat), and made some snide remark under her breath about Mandy being there. Shawna didn't really catch it, but just about then, Laura's phone beeped. It was a text message from Roxanne, asking when she would be home.

Laura texted her back, letting her know where she was. Shawna said that Laura started saying how she had forgotten to let Roxanne know they were going out afterwards, and in her drunken stupor, she was feeling bad about it & started typing out a long message to Roxanne about how much she loved her & how she'd be home soon. Now...upon seeing Laura sending her love to Roxanne via cell phone, apparently this Mandy girl suddenly got all huffy & puffy...out of the blue & for no apparent reason. She made a little scene of some sort, basically acting like a jealous girlfriend, and then abruptly got up, declared that she was 'not sticking around for this shit' & stormed out of the bar, startling the whole table. Laura stood up & started calling after Mandy. Shawna & Doug looked at each other, puzzled, and started to say something. Laura, however, cut them off by saying "Hold on, I have to catch her! I cigarettes are in her car!" before running out the door to follow her.

Shawna looked over at Natasha, bewildered.

"What was that about?", she asked her.

Natasha tried to dodge the question with some lame answer like "Who knows, they're drunk.", but Something was definitely fishy here...Ray Charles could see that. It became even clearer when, after another 15 minutes, Laura still hadn't returned. Finally, Shawna turned to Natasha & asked her point blank just what the fuck was going on.

Who knows if it was good or bad that Natasha was as drunk as she was at that moment, but in any case, she hesitated for a moment & then said to Shawna "Well...Laura's cheating on Roxanne. With that girl."

Shawna & Dave were shocked. They asked how long it had been going on. Natasha said that she wasn't sure, but she didn't think it had been very long or had gotten very serious. She said they had been spotted making out behind the bar several times, but Laura hadn't told her any details & that was all she really knew...or could think of, in her current state. She said that she hated to rat on her best friend, but that Roxanne was such a sweet person & she felt so bad about it that she just couldn't hold it in any longer.

So, they talked about it some more & waited a while for Laura to come back. She never did. She totally ditched Shawna & Doug after dragging them across town with her. They left & went home. Shawna said she debating calling me & telling me what had happened right then, but that Doug talked her out of it, knowing they should have all the facts first, which he was right about.

So, the next day, Shawna is pissed. She contemplates calling Roxanne (whom she refers to as her surrogate sister), but after debating it for a while, she decides to call Laura first, to give her a chance to explain herself. So, she calls her up & Laura immediately launches into a vehement apology for the night before & denies everything even before Shawna has a chance to accuse her of anything. She said that Mandy was upset about something else & she just went to try and comfort her & lost track of time. She tells her that it's not true that she's having an affair, it's just some horrible rumor that people have been spreading for...well, for no real reason apparently. She begs & begs Shawna not to tell Roxanne; that it's nothing that she needs to worry about & it would just upset her to hear such ugly, horrible lies.

Shawna, however, ain't gonna budge. Rumor or not, she saw some shady shit go down that Laura has no good explanation for. She loves Roxanne, and tells Laura point blank that she will, at the very least, have to tell Roxanne what she saw. So Laura breaks down & begs Shawna to at least let HER be the one to tell Roxanne about it...that way, she can explain to her that it's just a rumor and that she has nothing to worry about, yadda yadda. Shawna isn't buying it, but she tells her she'll think about it for a day or so (she told me this was because she wanted to have a chance to talk to Natasha about it when she was sober, so she could find out the whole truth). With Laura still pleading with her, she hangs up the phone.

So, next she tries to call Natasha, who doesn't answer her phone. Figuring that she's still passed out from the night before, she leaves her a message asking her to call when she wakes up.

After a while, she still hasn't heard from Natasha, so she calls her back. This time, she picks up the phone, but tells Shawna that she'll have to call her back in a minute...that she just woke up & that she's on the other line - with Laura. Finally, after another half-hour or so, Natasha calls back & Shawna asks her again to explain what's really going on. Then the backpedaling began...

Natasha told Shawna that nothing was really going on between Laura & Mandy; that she had been drinking & taking a lot of pills the night before & had made the whole thing up. She said she was sorry for having said such awful things about her best friend, and that none of them were true; she can't even remember what all she said or anything that happened the whole night. Conveniently.

"So, you just made it all up?", Shawna asked.

"Yeah...I must have", Natasha answered.

"Why would you make up something like that about your best friend?"

"I don't know...I was just fucked up, I guess". Mmm-hmm.

She had her story & she was stickin' to it. So, Shawna finally got off the phone. Five minutes later, the phone rang again. It was Laura. Shawna answered the phone & Laura started in again right away, pleading with her not to tell Roxanne & promising that she was going to tell herself when she got home from work. She was crying hysterically, and Shawna asked her why she was so upset it it was all just a rumor. in fact, if that's the case, why was she worried about it at all?

Laura said that she was so upset because she can't believe that someone would spread such a horrible lie about her...she couldn't imagine who would do such a thing, or why. She was mostly worried, though, about Roxanne hearing about it first and being hurt by it...especially right now with her big show about to start in a week or so. This was her first starring role in a big show in several years, and she was very nervous & totally consumed by it, working herself over 90 hours per week between both jobs. Laura didn't want her to have anything like this on her plate to deal with.

Shawna was getting more irritated by the second & finally told Laura that she was still deciding what she was going to do & that she needed time to think about it. She all but hung up on her again, with Doug looking on in disbelief.

Doug was convinced that they should call Roxanne right then & there, but Shawna was upset, overwhelmed, and wanted to calm down before they did anything. Besides, it was a beautiful day & they both had things they needed to do & their own lives to lead, so they left the house for a while to go run some errands & such.

They came back about 3 hours later...and found almost a dozen messages from Laura on their machine. All of them saying the same thing, begging Shawna not to call Roxanne, and assuring her that she was going to tell her herself. Protesting too much. When the phone rang a minute or two later, Shawna had had enough; she told Laura that she was not going to get dragged any further into whatever Laura had gotten herself into, and that she would let her tell Roxanne whatever she wanted first, but that she was going to make sure that Roxanne also knew what had happened that night...whatever it was.

This finally calmed Laura down & she thanked Shawna & got off the phone. Shawna was still torn as to what to do, though. She agreed with one thing Laura had said; that Roxanne didn't need anything like this to deal with at the moment with everything on her plate, but she needed to know...right? She asked Doug's advice, and being the sensible guy that he is, he laid it out rationally.

In his opinion, something was definitely rotten in Denmark. The way Laura & Mandy had acted at the bar, the storming out, the chasing after, the disappearing....all that was fishy enough. Then there's what Natasha said. Sure, Natasha is an alcoholic, and was (at the very least) drunk at the time, but she is also Laura's best friend. They've been close for years, they have no animosity between them, so why would she just make up a story like that about her best friend? Drunk or not, that just doesn't seem right.

Then, there's the way Laura reacted to Shawna. If someone accused you of an indiscretion that you were innocent of, would you break down in tears & panic about it, or would you - knowing you did nothing wrong - be dismissive of it & rest assured that the truth would come out? If she hadn't done anything wrong, why was she burning up Shawna's phone like about it, denying everything like Nixon. Like I said before, me thinkest she doth protest too much...

But, on the flipside...they hadn't actually seen anything happen between the two of least nothing that would hold up in court. And the accusation did come from a conversation with an inebriated alcoholic under the influence of who knows what. And while it's pretty clear that something was going on, Doug didn't feel that they really had enough to go to Roxanne least not right then, with everything she had going on. Shawna agreed with him...the opening of her show was next week & they would see her then, so they decided to just worry about their own problems for a while...

...and so that was the story up to that night, when we were standing outside on the patio of the theater after the show, talking. Shawna & Roxanne hadn't talked except for a text message confirming that they were coming to the show. So there we were, waiting for Roxanne to come out of her dressing room, and my brain is in maximum overdrive, complete with AC/DC soundtrack. And then the side door of the building opened & she walked out and swayed over to where were all stood.

I'll skip the usual paragraph where I'm in awe at seeing her & make up some lame metaphor, 'cus I hate to be predictable. Anyway, she looked beautiful, she had done an amazing job, and we were all incredibly proud of her. We hugged, we all talked for a minute or two, then she had to go back in to go over notes. Then, something crazy happened.

A short, bleached blond girl of about 24 in a striped green shirt walks past Shawna, notices her & says "Oh, hi!". Shawna waves back, speaks an almost inaudible 'hi', and turns to me, wide-eyed.

"That was her!", she says.

"Who was who?", I ask her.

"Mandy! THAT'S the girl Laura's supposedly doin' it with!"

"What? What the hell is she doing here?", I asked. (remember, Laura was not there that night)

"Well, she's apparently friends with Roxanne, too...she hangs out at their house a lot".

"I bet she does..."

So, I saw what she looks like. Suffice it to say, she's no Roxanne.

With me still in a daze, I said my goodbyes to Shawna & Doug & hopped in the car with Elaine to head home. My mind was racing so fast trying to process all this information that I didn't speak for several minutes until Elaine snapped me out of it.

" it is.", she said.

"Here's what?", I asked her.

"Here's your big chance. Watcha gonna do about it?. Hmm?

Good question...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Suspicious Minds

So, longish story short, somewhere around a year ago, Roxanne wrote me one day with some scary news. Apparently her brother Jerry (who is also like a brother to me), was in a bad way. He had just gotten out of a relationship with a woman so crazy that she made Veronica look stable. She had managed to get them both arrested for pot possession & drunk driving, had blown through what meager funds they had, threatened to kill him & herself, and finally had to be forcibly evicted from their house, clawing & screaming the whole time. Now, he was on the tail-end of a week-long drinking binge & was depressed, out of control, and possibly suicidal. Roxanne & her family were worried sick, as was our good friend Shawna. That night, Roxanne, Shawna & I all talked & tried to figure out what we could do.

Eventually, the girls got him over to Shawna's house where they could keep an eye on him. I explained the situation to Annette & told her that I might be gone for a while, which she was very understanding about (remember, she never knew the full extent of the Roxanne situation; things may have been different if she had). His mom drove in from 3 states away, and we planned an impromptu intervention, which we were not convinced would do any good, but we had to try something. So, we sat him down (myself, Roxanne, Shawna & her husband, and his mom....Roxanne's boy/girlfriend had to work. Priorities, I guess) and just tried to talk to him.

Fortunately, it did do some good. We convinced him that he finally needed to seek some help. Roxanne found a live-in treatment center nearby that would take him on a sliding payment scale, and he agreed to go for the month-long program. We were all thrilled, and very hopeful that he might finally be able to beat the demons he's been struggling with for years.

So, because of the situation, Roxanne & I found ourselves seeing or talking to each other on almost a daily basis for a while; with the intervention, taking care of Jerry's affairs while he was gone, the 'family meetings' which I was always a part of. Sometimes the boy/girlfriend was there, most of the time she wasn't. What was strange was that, all of a sudden, the boy/girlfriend started being extremely friendly with me, treating me like we were old buddies now all of a sudden. I'm still not sure what that was all about, but my best guess is that because Annette was in the picture & I was supposedly getting married, that it was finally 'ok' for me to be around, in her eyes. At least, I'm sure that's the way she wanted it to look...I didn't buy the act for a second & I still don't, nor do I give a shit. But anyway, the point is that this was the first time that, at least according to the rules of their relationship, Roxanne & I were 'allowed' to actually spend time with each other...if only because we were all pulling together to help her brother(and I should make it clear here that, everything with Roxanne & I aside, I love Jerry like a brother & was going to do everything I could to make sure he got the help he needed, especially after our strained relationship over the last few years).

So, needless to say, it was a pretty intense few weeks for everyone involved, as it would have been even without all the personal drama. But...we were getting along famously. Maybe a little too famously for some people's comfort. The first time I noticed it was one day about a week into Jerry's stay at the facility. it was his first visiting day, and the whole family & I were there. The place was set on several acres of beautiful countryside, with a large pond right in the middle. We were all sitting out next to the water, talking & laughing, when Jerry's father put me on the spot by asking me if I had set a date for my wedding yet. I hesitated for a long second, obviously trying to sputter out an answer while all eyes went to me. I can't remember exactly what I said, but it was described by Shawna's husband later as 'some serious backpedaling'. I told him that we hadn't set a date yet, and we were trying not to make a big deal of the engagement, and that it probably wouldn't be happening for a while, or something like that. The whole group was silent as I was struggling with my words, all of them shooting glances over at Roxanne, of course (who kept her head down the whole time, betraying nothing), except for the boy/girlfriend...who was staring a hole dead through me.

I don't know what I should have said...maybe I should have made up some bullshit about how we were going to have some grand wedding with the two of us in KISS makeup while parachuting from a plane...but I was totally caught unawares, and the truth just came out. I didn't know what the hell was going to happen or if we were going to get married or not; Annette & I were both already on the fence about it by that time. Plus, some internal mechanism that I honestly couldn't control made sure that I left that door open, and that everybody there knew it. And I'm sure everybody knew it...

Which is why I shouldn't have been surprised when, over the next few weeks, I started to hear from Roxanne less, and when we saw each other on the weekend Jerry was getting out of rehab (he did great, by the way), that things were very stiff & guarded between us....with the boy/girlfriend right underfoot the whole time. It took me a while to piece it together, but that's my theory, anyway: that Roxanne got the proverbial reins tightened around her after that day, and she, feeling guilty, went along with it (because that's how she is; for Roxanne, ever the fact that she & I talk via e-mail is almost cheating in her book, and I know that she felt like she was betraying the other one by opening up to me as much as she had), and began to try and toe the lesbian line again, so to speak.

And, with a few tiny exceptions, that's how it's been ever since, for the past year or so. I mean, we still email each other sometimes, and lately that has mostly transferred over to texting (which I fucking hate; you can't really express yourself that way...or I can't, anyway), but I could tell that she had started to patch that old wall back up again. And I guess I understood, for a while. After all, Annette was still around (even though she knew we were having problems; she gets Shawna to spy on me, not knowing that she also fills me in on it, as well), and there wasn't much that we could do about anything, anyway. Until recently...

She sent me a text a few weeks ago asking me if I knew that my favorite band was coming to town. In the course of our exchange, I told her that Annette & I had split up. I don't know how she reacted in real life, but she told me she was sorry & asked what happened & if I was ok, yadda yadda. We talked for a while that night until it was time for the other one to come home, but only about me, never about us.

In fact, we've talked several times now since then, but not about anything important, as it were, so I really have no idea what she thinks of the fact that I'm single again. But the thing is, she hasn't had a lot of time lately to think about much of anything: for the last six weeks, she's been starring in a play that runs 5 days a week, with 2 performances on the weekends. On top of this, she's working 40-45 hours per week at her regular job, and averaging about 5 hours of sleep per night. She's been doing this with no breaks & no time off, and she still has another week to everyone has been a little worried about her. Especially in light of...well, things that have recently come to light. Let me explain...

So she invites me to come see her play on opening night (which, I knew, meant that the boy/girlfriend would not be coming that night), which I do, of course. I drag Elaine along with me & I make plans to meet Shawna & her husband there, as I haven't seen them in a good while. We go, we see the show, she's brilliant, yadda yadda. We're outside talking afterwards, waiting for Roxanne to get out of the dressing room when, out of the blue, Shawna's husband gestures to me & says to his wife "Tell him."

Tell me what? Shawna squirms around a little bit & tries to protest, but it's far too late for that now...I know something's up. So I tell her to fucking well tell me. She takes a big breath, looks at me & says "You can't say anything!"

"Anything about what?", I ask.

"We don't know this for sure yet, and it cannot get out that we said anything, because we didn't actually see anything, and if..."

"Will you just tell me, before she gets out here!" I almost yelled.

Another big sigh. Shawna looked over at her husband, then back to me.

"Well...we think [the boy/girlfriend] is cheating on Roxanne.", she says. I start to speak. She interrupts me.

"You CANNOT say anything! We're not for sure yet...but it's from a very close source, and we definitely saw some shady shit going down! But you CANNOT say anything yet!"

It took me a minute. Anger, hope, elation, more anger...they all drew straws in my head. Hope won. I asked her what it was that she knew, exactly....which is a long story.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Damned if I do...

So a couple more days went by; I still hadn't written her back. I was still too overwhelmed to get my thoughts in any kind of order. A few days later, I got this:

>you never responded to my last msg.

So I did...and the floodgates opened again. I wrote:

> I know...I didn't. I guess I feel like I've heard
> you say all those things before...all the reasons
> why things are so difficult now. Trust me, I know
> them. I also know that the course we took was
> probably...maybe..the best one to take at the time,
> but I'm still not sure. I still know I'd do it all
> differently if I had it over again, but you know
> that, too.
> I've been thinking about you a lot lately; this past
> weekend I couldn't think of much else, and I had to
> stop myself & shake myself back into reality a
> couple of times. I'm not saying that to scare you &
> I hope it doesn't, but I guess it just says a
> easily you can still occupy my thoughts.
> The last time I saw you remember it? (this entry), I
> really, really tried to take it all as some kind of
> sign...that I was going to be ok & that life goes
> on. After all, what are the odds of me being in a
> coffee shop at 9 in the morning, on the very day I
> was to leave for the movie, no less. And there you
> were...I remember hearing your voice while I was at
> the counter, and knowing it was you before I ever
> turned around...and I remember exactly what you
> looked like, and how I stood there with coffee
> running down my hand from where I'd sloshed a little
> out the side but I didn't want to wipe it up & I
> hoped you wouldn't notice. I remember you seemed
> like you were disappointed in me for what was going
> on between me & your brother, and how much it still
> stung me to know that I was somehow making you
> unhappy with yet another of my actions. And I
> remember leaving that day & telling myself that it
> was some sort of final test that the universe was
> putting me through, to see if I was man
> enough to go do what I needed to do to follow my
> dreams....until I remembered later that I don't
> believe in that kind of stuff. or maybe I do...I
> dunno sometimes. I know I believe in you....
> I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say now, I
> guess I'm just trying to put everything in
> perspective. I don't have any idea what your
> day-to-day life is like or how you're getting along
> in your relationship, but I'm hard-pressed to argue
> with anything that's made it easier for us to talk
> to each other (or whatever it is we do).
> [Annette] doesn't think anything about you, that I know
> of. She knows who you are, of course, but she
> doesn't know all the long history & I'm not really
> convinced that she should. I know she trusts me &
> that she knows I would never do anything to betray
> that, and I wouldn't, but she knows I had a life
> before, and that you were part of that. I don't
> think she'd react like [the boy/girlfriend] about us talking, but
> then again, [the boy/girlfriend] might have more reason to react
> that way. I have to say, though...the statute of
> limitations on her attitude has to be running out
> quickly; you can be jealous for a year or
> two...fine, but at what point is she going to be
> secure enough with your relationship to not feel
> that way? And if she's not, is that really what's
> making her feel that way? And why is it?
> In any case, I'm just really glad that I've been
> able to communicate with you again. I have no idea
> what the future holds, but I'd like the present to
> hold the promise of us at least letting some of our
> guard down & accepting the fact that we are still
> important to each say the least. I don't
> care how it sounds, but there's always a hole in my
> life when you're not in it. I've tried to get used
> to it before, but it's always there...unless you're
> here. I could write & write to you all night, but I
> think I'll stop now....I'm getting better at
> quitting while I'm ahead.
> Love always...always.
> -[x]

The next day:

> i remember
> that day well. i remember that you looked
> good. i knew what you were about to do, thanks to
> my spies
> and jerry. i was proud. i remember thinking,
> finally he's really gonna direct! i remember feeling
> awkward. it was early and you were out! i know i
> came
> down a little hard on you that morning about jerry,
> but he IS my brother. mostly i felt proud of you,
> but
> i couldnt really show you that. over the years since
> we broke up when i see you i instantly feel
> protective of myself. stupid, i know, as you have
> beat
> yourself up for hurting me more than i ever could.
> i am glad [Annette] isnt the jealous type.[the boy/girlfriend] is
> insecure, it's true. i seem to draw the insecure to
> me. i also attract those that detest change.
> interesting, since resiliance and adaptability are
> strengths of mine. [the boy/girlfriend] HAS become more secure over
> the years. she has abandonment issues from her
> childhood. i know you're thinking 'blah, blah,
> blah',
> but i'm just telling it like it is. her jealousy has
> certainly wained over the years. she trusts me, and
> i
> felt it appropriate to limit contact with you, as
> she
> knew how deep my feelings for you have always been.
> there is nothing going on right now to change that.
> things in my daily life are truly terrific and
> happy.
> for some reason this time
> i just felt the flood gates open and went
> with
> my need to communicate with you, right or wrong.
> i wonder about your life. i wonder how things in it
> are going. i must admit it makes me smile
> to
> think you are marrying a musical theatre performer!
> it
> also makes me jealous, and i am certain she is
> better
> than me, more talented, more beautiful, whatever.
> (PS:
> jerry thinks she looks like kara, buti think she looks
> like kelly clarkson, and i know
> you
> love kelly clarkson) [EDITORS NOTE: neither Annette or Kara resemble Kelly Clarkson in any way, shape or form other than they're all hot...dunno where she gets this]
> i am jealous because she gets
> to
> know your friends and go on vacations and BE a
> couple
> with you, which i never got to do with you. i am
> scared to death i will run into [Annette] at an audition,
> or get cast in a show with her. i feel better
> knowing
> she doesnt think of me as 'the one who got away' and
> isnt the jealous type, but every time [someone]
> mentions
> you two i wanna slap her.
> i am very lucky to have [the boy/girlfriend] in my life. she takes
> great care of me. and i get to perform alot, even if
> it is for peanuts. i feel like i have so much ahead
> of
> me.
> i'm sorry, it's early in the morning and i am
> rambling
> on and on. i am not sure my brain is fully awake, but i
> like that we're 'talking'.

I liked that we were talking, too...even though I was technically doing it behind Annette's back...that hadn't escaped me. but what was I doing, exactly? I wasn't cheating on her; I wasn't scheming to get back together with Roxanne behind her back. I know that it would have killed me if I had found Annette saying the same kind of things to somebody else, but...fuck...what was I supposed to do? What would you do?

I just tried to do the right thing, be true to myself, and to not ruin anyone else's life, which is a habit I've been trying really hard to break for a long time. There was a part of me that wanted more than anything to leap through the crack in the door that Roxanne had opened & try to win her back once & for all, all others be damned...but, even though things with Annette weren't exactly storybook-worthy by then, there was another part of me that still felt like this might be some sort of test from the universe (you know, those kinds of things that I don't believe in & yet still allow to fuck up my shit) that I was supposed to rise above & do the honorable thing. So, that's what I did.

Only thing is, now, I realize that the truly honorable thing would have been to simply follow my heart; tell Annette the truth, end it before she could get hurt, and grab hold of the opportunity Roxanne had presented me with, never to let it go again...but I didn't.

And so, that's how it went for a while. Annette & I went on growing aprt slowly but surely, and Roxanne & I kept talking; less intimately, but just as frequently. For a while. About a month or so later, problems started to develop. Not with us, but with her brother, Jerry.

Jerry, one of my best friends in the world, is a beautiful but troubled soul. I'm sure I've mentioned much about it before. He has struggled with drug, alcohol, anger, and emotional issues all his life, and for the past few years, they had been coming to a head. Last fall, after a horribly failed relationship & a series of other setbacks, Jerry hit rock-bottom. Roxanne & I, being two of the closest people in his life, were, or course, drawn deeply into the situation together. And that's when things sorta got weird again...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

True Confessions

So, yeah. After the whirlwind of the previous year, and after all my steps taken towards semi-closure (wanted or unwanted), and almost a year into my new relationship with the woman I will supposedly marry...after all that (not to mention the better part of 2 decades), she finally says it. Then I get this:

>i'm sorry. i probably shouldnt have sent that last
>email. i probably should have kept it to myself.

I didn't know what the hell to say or do. I knew what I should do (nothing), I knew what I could do (probably nothing), and I knew what I wanted to do in my gut (something). I took a while to answer. I said:

> Dont have any alone time to write back today, but i
> will later. Thank you.....

>i completely understand, and appreciate you telling
>me, or i would be worried sick that i had said too
>much if i didnt hear back from you.

Couple o' days went by; I didn't have time to write her with Anette around, and I still wasn't sure what I should say. I figured that, just like everything else I do, I had to just sit down & see what came out. So I wrote:

> > Don't you dare be sorry...
> >
> > Timing. That's all I kept telling myself all
> these
> > years, too. I've never had good timing, I'd be a
> bad
> > comedian. You have to know I still wonder about us
> > all the time...and how things might have been if I
> > was able to be the man then that I am now, and did
> > what I knew I was supposed to. The last few years
> > would have been so, so different, one way or
> > another.
> > Now, here we are, and part of me just wants to
> grab
> > you & shake you & ask why you couldn't have just
> > said those words to me a few months ago, or a few
> > years ago...or anytime, when you know how badly
> I've
> > always wanted to hear them. And another part of me
> > wants to just hug you, and try to laugh at it the
> > irony of it all...
> >
> > It would be so nice to have the last couple of
> > decades & all we've been through finally all make
> > sense somehow, wouldn't it?
> >
> > I have no idea where my life is going to take
> > me....I think I'm trying to make better choices
> now
> > & some of them seem to be working, but who knows.
> I
> > know that if I ever thought the hell do
> I
> > say this.....well, maybe i just wont say that
> > part...but I do know what i've always known; that
> if
> > we ever had the chance, through whatever
> > circumstance, to start over, that I would do just
> > what i told you before...I would never let you go
> > again. Timing can suck it.
> >
> > I don't know if I should feel bad saying that, but
> > it's nothing I haven't said before, and nothing
> has
> > changed about it. I guess the fact just remains
> > that, while there are certainly some other
> wonderful
> > people in the world, and while we both might be
> able
> > to find some kind of happiness elsewhere, without
> > you, I'll always feel like I'm just settling for
> > something...just like I always have. Now I should
> > probably be the one who's sorry....

And I was. I felt bad...really bad, for the first time in my relationship with Annette. I had my suspicions already on whether she & I were going to make it or not, but it was at that moment when I knew exactly what was going to happen; I knew that I wasn't in love with her. And it wasn't just because of least I don't thinkit was. It was more the fact that, if I really was in love with her in the first place, I wouldn't even have been having that conversation with Roxanne. Which I was. I wasn't gonna do anything about it; I wasn't gonna do the right thing, and follow my heart, and take the opportunity that I had been waiting years for & thought that I would surely never have again. No, I was gonna do the honorable thing...the thing I had committed myself to...the thing that is every man's duty at one time or another: stay in a relationship that you aren't happy in out of some sort of misplaced sense of duty or responsibility.

Besides, it wasn't really an invitation to the dance, exactly. Sure, she finally voiced her feelings about me again after all these years, but she's done that in roundablout ways before, and it really wasn't a huge shock...other than being huge & shocking. But she did say IF we were to find ourselves single again, THEN yadda yadda yadda...and neither one of us were anywhere close to single at that moment.

So, I said what I said & I waited for her response, which was this:

> neither of
> us should be sorry.
> dont shake me and ask me why... you know why:
> timing.
> it didnt work because we werent ready. selfishly, i
> am
> glad to know you still feel this way. part of me
> assumed you didnt anymore. [EDITORS NOTE: WHAT THE FUCK??]
> obviously the choices you
> have been making ARE working for you, on many
> levels.
> you have a beautiful fiance and a career that is
> going
> really well. me too, i have great things in my life
> too. everything happens the way it is supposed to, i
> really believe that. i couldnt say those words to
> you
> at another time because i wasnt supposed to. i was
> very angry with you for a long time. but as i have
> watched you grow, at a distance, i have been so
> proud
> and i cant be angry through my pride. you did the
> best
> you could at the time.
> i only hope you are truly happy. i am genuinely
> pleased that you stopped waiting for me and allowed
> love into your life. i hope she is good to you, and
> lets you be you. i hope journey songs are
> featured
> prominently at your wedding and she gives you a
> whole
> wing of the house you will share together to hang up
> your movie posters.
> we tried... several times. and we are better
> people
> for it. who knows what will befall us in the next 50
> years. i have limited my contact with you the last
> few
> years because of my own anger and because [censored] gets
> jealous of you. rightly so, she was my friend when
> we
> were together. she heard how head over heals i was,
> and ulimately, how heartbroken i became. i
> understand
> her jealousy. i can only imagine what [Annette] must feel
> about me. but, that being said, you have never left
> my
> heart or my thoughts. and undoubtedly you never
> will.

So the night I got that reply from her, I was reading it on my laptop, lying in bed, while Annette was in the shower. I heard her coming toward the room & knew that I couldn't let her see me crying...there'd be no good way to explain that. So I closed the lid of the computer quickly & quietly, wiped my eyes with my sleeve, flipped over on my stomach & pretended to be asleep. A few hours later, I actually got there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Behind the Lines's been a month now.

The house is still a wreck 'cus I haven't had a lot of time to get it back in order. The first time I went to hang one of my pictures back up in the living room, I found that she had taken my hammer by accident. I did it with a shoe. But, it's my place again...same as it ever was.

I have no idea how to try and condense the last 2 years into a few hundred words...that probably won't happen for a while. I've already talked about why it didn't work out, and that's about the long and short of things. I'm sure there were several amusing anecdotes I could relate, but frankly, I'd feel like I was making light of things if I did that right now, so I wont. It's done & that's that.

I'm doing ok, thanks for asking. I've had my moments, but overall things have been pretty good. It's weird though; this is the first mutually agreed-upon, organic breakup I've had in....well, since Maria, I suppose...and my psyche is obviously not used to it. After years upon years of hardcore breakup drama after drama, I've been having some trouble handling the lack of it in this case. It's like I have a little John Lovitz on one shoulder wearing a red suit & poking me with a pitchfork, going "What are you waiting for...freak out! Do something stupid!", and It's strange to me.'s sad, but I'm ok, and I think she is, too. She's definitely going to be a lot happier than she was here with me, and she deserves that. I just don't like change.

Speaking of which...

(deep breath)

About 6 months after Annette & I moved in together, Roxanne & I started talking again. I honestly can't remember who made contact first, but I'm pretty sure it was her. In fact, I know it was...she sent me an e-mail congradulating me on my, um, engagement. At that point, her brother Jerry & I had not been speaking for several months, and I took the opportunity to ask her how he was doing. We started talking about him & struck up a fairly regular correspondence for a while. We skirted around talking about any actual issues, but it was pretty obvious that we were glad to be talking to each other again.

Yeah, I know...the irony. After all these years, she decides to open up the lines of communication just as I find myself in a serious relationship. I didn't know what to make of it, but I did know one thing; I was going to keep myself well in check. I had made a commitment, and I was determined to honor it for better or worse (although I was already pretty aware that it was the latter by that time), and I wasn't going to let my past derial my future yet again.

At first, I thought that maybe Roxanne now felt 'safe' with me, now that I was engaged; that she just missed our friendship & saw this as a chance to get that back without having to worry about, well, stuff. I didn't really buy that, especially once I realized that she was still keeping our communication a secret from her partner. Not that I'm one to was I.

In any case, I was glad to be talking to her again, of course. I hadn't had much luck having satisfying conversations with Annette yet, and if there was ever anything that Roxanne & I did well, it was talk. The setup was pretty perfect: Annette worked during the day, I worked at home, and Roxanne was working as a receptionist with nothing much to do all day 'cept talk to me. Still, it remained pretty innocent...if a little awkward sometimes because of it.

Right around that time, we were getting ready to have a local premiere for my film. I sent out a mass invite to all my peoples and included her on the list. I didn't think for a second she would come, but I felt I should at least ask. Included in the email was my phone number, which, until that point, she didn't have.

Anyway, she didn't show up for the premiere. Not that I looked or anything...

About a month later, I was on the phone with Elaine, pulling into a parking space at my local Target, when I got a call on the other line. I didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer it. After I got off the phone, I saw that whomever it was had not left a message. I normally wouldn't have thought twice about it, but for some reason that day I was curious. I called the number. I got Roxanne's voicemail.

I didn't leave a message; I was too surprised. Instead, I took a minute to think, and I did something that I had only done once or twice before in my life up to that point: I sent her a text message. I said something like "I can't believe you call me for the first time in five years & I missed it. Call back anytime." She didn't. I wondered about it for a day or two, but things were busy, so I moved on.

I didn't hear from her for about a week. Then, an email:

> i shouldnt have called you. you gave me your number
> and curiousity got the better of me.

My response:

>It's ok....but curiosity about what?

>i dunno, lots of things. just wanted to talk to you right
>then. why am I doing

I'm hesitant. Is she trying to open some door here? I'm not in a position in my life where I could walk through it, even if I wanted to. Careful...

> Because we've been a part of each other's lives for
> over half of it, and 'cus sometimes we miss just
> talking to each other? I'm not sure I
>buy that, but
>it seems like a good, simple reason, right?

>ok, simple enuff.

(2 minutes later)

>but i dont buy it either. ive been thinking about
>you a lot lately. i wonder about you & annette,
> and i sincerely want you to be happy. i want us
>both to be happy, but that doesnt mean i dont
>wonder about us sometimes. am i making any sense?

>I want us both to be happy, also. It took me a long,
>long time, but I finally came to accept the fact that
>you had found someone that made you happy. It's
>too early to know for sure yet, but I may have found
>that as well. Maybe. That doesn't mean I don't
>wonder about
>you. I have for almost 20 years and
>I'm not real good with change,
> as you know. I guess
>it's just weird for me to hear you say...well, whatever
>it is that you're saying. What are you saying?

> right. i know you're right. we have both found
> people that we are compatible with, that are good to
> us, that really love us. it's true though that we
> will
> always love eachother. i'll admit i think
> about what our life together would have been like if
> we could have made it work. but there is a reason we
> didnt and sometimes i think it always boils down to
> timing for us. your timing, my timing. (sigh) what
> do
> i mean by bringing this up? i have no idea. there is
> a
> reason we didnt work, but i must admit i will always
> wonder what that reason is. (beware of scary
> sentence
> to follow) and IF, for whatever reason, we just FIND
> ourselves organically single again, which of course
> i
> do not expect to happen what with you officially
> getting married and all, but IF that happens, maybe
> we
> should then try again... and see if the timing is
> still off.
> why did i say that? i am not trying to stir
> something
> up, it is just honestly how i am feeling. and what
> was
> rolling around in my head about you last night. i am
> not trying to cause trouble.

Yeah...she said that. Bedtime...more later.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back Where We Started

She's gone.

It took us a while to actually go through with it, but it happened. It wasn't ugly or unpleasant, but it was very sad. We do love each other, and I wish her nothing but happiness...but it just wasn't right.

I can't say it was wasted, though...I learned a lot, and I might actually remember some of it this time, who knows. One thing I learned, or at least remembered, is that I'm damn tired of wasting time...damn tired. So, gonna try & do something about that.

Anyway, I'm back, and I guess I'll have to think up another color. Maybe I'll go with this. More later....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Blind Faith

So we've been talking about it...and, even though neither of us has actually come out & said or suggested anything concrete, my hunch right now is that she'll probably be leaving sometime in May. She has a contract at work that runs through April, and I know she's already thinking about that as a kind of cut-off date. I mean, anything could happen at this point, but that's my prediction...not that I believe in predictions.

And yes, I know that her beliefs should not be any less valid than mine...but it's not her ideaology itself as much as the way she lets it affect her life in ways that she doesn't realize are harmful. Last night, for instance, she called me after she got off work at 7:45 and said that it was a nice night & did I want to go for a quick drive through the park? She had a bad day at work & the park makes her feel better. I was in the middle of something & didn't want to break away, so she said that she was going to drive through there on the way home...even though it's about 15 miles out of the way and it was about 15 minutes before sundown (she likes to go to the park & 'connect with nature', as she calls it). I didn't think much of it, so I told her I'd see her when she got home in a little while.

So, I lose track of time & all of a sudden, it's 9:05. I haven't heard from her, so I give her a call to make sure she's ok. She doesn't answer. Finally, at about 9:30 she calls me back & says she lost track of time & was just sitting in her car meditating...which she does out there; this park is very remote & secluded. So she comes home a few minutes later & I...very politely...try to impress on her that it might not be the safest thing for a young woman to be alone in the park after I said, it is very remote & secluded, not to mention dark. She absolutely refused to recognize this point, telling me that I should have faith in her sixth sense to make sure she's always aware & safe. She says that she has a very deep spiritual connection to that park and that she knows nothing bad could ever happen to her there...after all, nothing bad has ever happened to her in her life, so she can go out alone in the dark all she wants and I just need to have faith & not worry so much...because, in short, she has a guardian fairy godmother angel. Oh, and apparently I was being very closed-minded & refused to believe in her.

So, Jaded, in response to your comment, it's not just that she plays with crystals & listens to's that she makes fundamental decisions about her day-to-day life & welfare based on a bunch of baloney. I felt like I was taking crazy pills....

And it's a damn shame, but I guess I knew it from day one....and then just tried to convince myself otherwise. I'm sure she feels the same to some extent. She needs somebody to believe in her fairy godmother...and I just can't do it. We'll see what happens.