Did he love me more than anyone else? Didn’t he ask me to stay? But he didn’t beg me to stay. In fact, he was both sad and relieved when I decided it was time to go. And so was I. Admit it, we were in over our heads, partners in an unreal pasa doble. Not able to dance to our own beat and yet out of sync. I was in love with the impossible and the hope of home coming dissolved the further out to sea he swam. It was the alcohol, finally, that did it in. At first it made everything shining, a patina of transcendence. To sit at the restaurant drinking mojitos while the Buena Vista Social Club CD played, watching the blue sea fill the horizon. Suddenly a deluge, a tropical storm, dumped its water, churning up the bay, invisible in the wall of rain in front of us. Thank goodness we were safe under the roof. No windows, just an open room and the loud violence of that outpouring of water, the echo that roared from all sides. How we laughed! His latest partner stared at us, puzzled by the innuendos and the bark and dip and the sudden locking of our eyes in understanding. No one else knew what we had been through. We wanted to draw blood. There were secrets between us. It was impossible to let go. We were bound soul to soul. And so I had to leave, to extricate myself because the behavior had degenerated from silly cocktail happy hour to so many martinis the devil came into him. A threatening malevolent presence. He could be mean. He was still flirtatious with whoever was sitting with him (sometimes it was me!) but he would turn, at the last minute, and venom would spew out. Would we make it home safely? Would he be able to handle the creeps who came out of the woodwork sniffing at his pockets? Oh, the pretense of money, of being wealthy, of success! It turned out later that he was more vulnerable than he realized. That was my cue. But I had already drifted away, began my journey back to sanity and safety. The leap had unfurled my pain to a deeper dimension where healing could begin or I would drown. Finding my way back from the underworld, connecting back to life and family, getting home without his presence to distract me.
Dancing solitaire. Dancing without a net.