Starting fresh with my clean slate and day one into the New Life, I vowed one thing above everything else. And to be honest, the vow was mostly out of spite.
I would never love again.
The concept that life would be so much easier, if I went a different route.
There’s one thing you’ve never been in your thirty five years. From freshman year in high school, to current age… you’ve never been single.
Be selfish. Be mean. Tromp over the backs of others to get what you want. That seems to be where the happiness is. The proof is all around you. Can’t you see that?! Use people. Manipulate, deceive. Discard at will. The dark side is so much more alluring. That’s where you’ll find peace. Everyone else seems so happy. Give it a try.
For a short while, (a very short while) I enjoyed that nastier side of me. The side not many will ever, ever see. The side where I say or do something and those who hear about it instinctively say, “That doesn’t sound like you.”
The worst part of my nasty side is I actually stop and think about what I’m going to do, or say, before doing it or saying it. I don’t have a broken filter where the words accidentally slip out.
“Oops… I didn’t mean to say that. Sorry.”
No, I damn well meant to say it.
To my dying day I will always have specific regrets. Things I can’t ever rectify, though not for a lack of trying. Those things I’ve said in anger towards others, even if it felt deserving.
I’m so glad I chose the right path.
My love story goes a little beyond the conventional and dives into the strange. A good strange, yet different and interesting. Not two people finding each other online or riding a buzz at the local bar, falling into conversation. We didn’t bump into each other in passing. We didn’t meet at a singles club or a local event. We had actually worked together at the same building for roughly a year and saw each other quite often, though we hardly spoke much.
Something about Nancy that struck me quite odd in the beginning, perhaps her second visit, she enjoyed the quiet as much as I did. We could sit, in silence, watching t.v. or a movie. Sometimes not saying a word until it was finished.
We had our introductory conversations and got through the awkward surface dialogue, but once we started feeling more comfortable in each other’s presence, we found the ability to be ourselves.
Some of that time, being who we are, was spent in quiet harmony.
Learning about each other over the following months was the head trip. At least for me.
To get it out of the way, Nancy and I have many similarities, but we are completely different people.
I hate shopping. Even for myself. Nancy loves it and shopping for others is a part of who she is. The woman has more boots than anyone I’ve ever met.
I enjoy Family Guy, American Dad and other adult cartoons. She watches Law and Order and Criminal Minds.
I play video games online with some buddies on occasion while she attends local concerts in Maine.
I write. She colors in one of a hundred adult coloring books we have shelved in our room.
She thrives on tattoos. I wish I could get rid of mine.
The fourth visit, I found things we had in common I wasn’t expecting. The things that slowly helped me reinforce that idea there’s no such thing as circumstance. Nothing truly happens by accident.
It happened more frequently over time, but in the beginning…
My father and I married a women with the same first name.
My father divorced and remarried a Nancy, and I was slowly falling for one. Nancy’s father was born on March 3rd. My father, March 2nd. Her mother, August 3rd. Mine… August 2nd. And a few other things most would find trivial, so I might as well not discuss it.
Later on, more numbers come into play.
One of my hangups at the time was, “Who’s going to want someone like me, and all this emotional baggage?”
I’m guessing she might have felt the same way.
Just before the first snowfall of that year, we decided to move in together. She was renting a single bedroom apartment and I was staying with family. When she wasn’t at my place visiting, I was at her place.
The problem was, no apartments or housing was available. We know what we wanted to do. It all made sense. But we were trapped.
Out of nowhere, an opportunity made itself known. Less than a thousand feet from my workplace, a three bedroom two story home was ready to rent. A friend of a friend of a friend owned it and our names were dropped to the landlord.
Again, my biggest worry, was housing the mutt. Insurance companies hate large breed dogs, especially one as large as mine. She was 150 pounds.
“The dog is fine. Move in within the next couple of months and we’ll work out a contract.”
Just when I thought the task was impossible, it fell into my lap from out of nowhere.
Damn. You have no money. No savings. New credit cards.
That afternoon, pacing and wondering if my bank would loan me anymore money, and knowing it wouldn’t, my mail was brought to me. On the top of the bill pile was my monthly statement for an old 401K investment arrangement I started through previous employment. For the first time in eight years I decided to open it.
The results were nothing mind blowing. Just a record of a rapid stock decline and how much money I was losing.
I was about to put it in the fireplace with the other fliers and junk mail and just before I crammed it inside among the coals, I looked at it again.
It was the earnings that captured my attention.
I snatched up my phone and called the number at the bottom.
“If I was to cash out with you, today, how much would I get?”
The total was a couple hundred dollars extra for what was needed for first months rent and security deposit. I was able to purchase the start up supplies with the extra and once the check showed up, we were able to move in right away.
A handful of months later, at the peak of the spring thaw, just when the flowers were poking through, I was forced to go to war.
This time, not to attack, lash out, and inflict pain.
This time, it was to defend.
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