He has a crooked smile, calloused hands from constantly playing His guitar, and right now I couldn’t tell you who He is. A few months ago I could. I could tell you that he drank his coffee black doesn’t like tacos and liked to remember certain parts of his life by which guitar was by his side.
Our upbringing was different. Our environments were different. Our aesthetics were different. Different seems like a lousy way to describe it. We looked like we were opposites. He would joke about how cool I looked in my flip flops and I hated that he only wanted to wear black regardless of the temperatures. He felt just as calm and serene riding in a plane as he does on the stage. His passions fueled his goals and he referred to His time writing on His guitar in the music room as his ‘church’. His vocabulary was thoughtful and educated. He might have had a poor Southern background, but I found Him to be one of the realest men I had ever met. He expressed himself in a way that made my heart tight. He is so genuinely himself that I felt like I was drowning. He walked with a confidence that was made from self-assurance, from surviving, from always finding a way. He was rough around the edges, but I found comfort in that.
I didn’t know how He would react if He was backed into a corner. I didn’t know how He would feel when I was angry. I didn’t know how deep His hurt ran. I didn’t know what kind of person He could be. I did know that I wanted to see the outcomes.
When He was hurt or embarrassed He told me. I had never met a man that was willing to tell me how He felt. Besides anger – I was the pusher of enough buttons to know when I made a man angry. He shared with me when he felt insecure or frustrated. The things He said and how He communicated made it clear that His feelings at the moment had nothing to do with me. That is not a path I am used to taking. If feelings aren’t about me, I will go out of my way to make it about me. I am so blinded by my own bullshit that I can’t ever see the end coming.
We were walking downtown one night. He had been sharing something about his day and suddenly He stopped. He faced me and said “No bullshit. You are amazing. You are so beautiful and I feel so lucky to walk with you. Take the compliment, don’t say anything stupid to ruin it.” People continued to walk passed us and I tried not to cry. The way He looked at me felt like the most beautiful high I had ever had. My addictions aren’t the same as most. Drugs and alcohol I’m sure have their pros but men are just as consuming. Men are so easy to be addicted to. I want so badly to been loved and made to feel worthwhile by a man I trust. I couldn’t tell you where this need comes from. My father was present in my life and has told me he loved me since the day I was born. It is this deep seeded, primal urge to seek acceptance and validation from a man that I love. My disease of addiction is cunning and baffling and it sits quietly in my head and my heart. It is black smoke and it finds a way to cloud my judgement and alter my motives. When He said those kind words to me, the smoke found some movement. The wind of fear whipped up my black smoke and brought it back to life.
I can only now see my black smoke, my addiction, my fear. I can only now see the crystal clear ways that I can drive someone away. I am selfish. I say this not in a way to garner pity, but as a truth. I am selfish and for the most part I am okay with it. I try to check my motives and intentions. I try not to deliberately hurt another person. I tell my sons and step-daughter to make good choices and attempt to have compassion for others. But, I can’t rid myself of my black smoke. I can try to keep it calm, I can try to play the tape all the way through. I need to acknowledge that I am an addict, I need to acknowledge that I am extreme example of self-will run riot, I need to acknowledge that I am sick. My black smoke can find its way into the crevasses of my fears and slowly drags them from where they were buried. My black smoke gives these fears life and I never know what is fueling my reactions until it is too late.
He would tell me sweet things out of nowhere. He had walked me to my car and I was trying to squeeze an extra few minutes of His attention. He kissed me and grabbed my face. He told me that He was falling in love with me. He knew it was fast and he didn’t know what else do to about it. He said he hadn’t felt like this in a long time. Given what He told me of His past, I felt I could believe Him. Being aware of my own need to be loved and cherished – I had to believe Him.
His wife still sat in my thoughts. Did he feel a betrayal to her by having feelings for me? How could I ever compete with the relationship that they had had. Could Him and I ever have the bond and love that they once shared?
He and I were talking almost constantly. If He was going to be unavailable to talk He would tell me. He didn’t leave me questioning. He would send me pictures throughout the day of what He was doing – most days I felt like I was standing next to Him and seeing the day through His eyes. Butterflies took up a home inside my belly. I was excited to see His name pop up on my phone. I was excited to know what He had to say. I was excited at the idea of what We could be.
I got ahead of myself. That’s typical. I put the cart before the horse and wonder why the fuck I am not moving. I want all my ducks placed in a row before I am even willing to admit I have ducks.
We had a love that was fast and furious and for some reason I’ve always had this longing to run away. To start over in a different place, different town, different life. But sometimes my black smoke shows up. In this house with that big window I want to run. I want to be a woman that can handle life on life’s terms. I want to sit on my porch and watch the birds fly across the sky with a cigarette in one hand and glass of wine in the other. I can feel the warm flush creeping up my chest and neck as I write this. I think maybe in a different place I can act like a lady. Maybe in a different place I can be free and easy. As an addict I am inherently hopeful. I am always hoping I can control my urges. I am always hoping I can get my way. I am always hoping that I can behave like a normal person. I am always hoping that my next man – will soften the unease and discomfort I carry with me. Even in my fantasies I can’t find serenity.
In the last few days I have over analysed myself. I am not addicted to men. I am afraid of true commitment and true love and when I feel it coming I will do whatever I need to do to sacrifice it. I am with a man that loves me for who I am and that is utterly frightening to me. Therefore I am reaching and digging and hoping to find some kind of reason to run away from Him before its too late. Before my heart gets shredded to pieces once again.
If you stumble across this anytime soon Sir, please find your way through my black smoke and realize that regardless of whatever I may be saying or however I may be acting, YOU are my life and I am extremely proud of who You have become. The obstacles you have overcome in the last few short years are incredible.