Equinox

In the month since I last wrote, I’ve been adjusting to my new routine of separateness. On one hand I relish waking up alone, stretching out under the covers, or simple things like home-cooked meals that no longer require extensive negotiation. I hadn’t realized how much I missed my freedom. But on the other hand I miss having the physical presence of someone close, the intimate moments and language that only a couple can have, and, yes, I miss waking up next to the person I love.

K is still around and still living with me, but our time together is abbreviated. Two or three nights a week she’s out with Jess and sleeps over her place, the other nights she’s either at home with me or I’m out or she’s working late at her second job. For now this arrangement works, giving us ample room to carve out new lives. I’m not angry or resentful, just eager to be in a space that feels less transitional, yet anxious about what that life will look like. Continue reading

New Sight

Earthquakes come in two forms.

There are, of course, the literal ones, the geological varieties that cause multi-story buildings to sway as if a branch in the wind. Then there are the metaphorical ones — earthquakes wrought by a buildup of wrenching emotional tension and heretofore unexpressed grief; earthquakes that threaten to rip apart the psychic landscape with their undeniable power; and earthquakes that cause an illusion to slip, laying reality bare. Continue reading

Post Mortem

It recently struck me that I had planned to have this nice leisurely summer. I even turned down freelance work so I would not be overburdened or stressed by deadlines. I planned to set aside room for my goals and dreams, even saving space for beach trips, swimming, and frozen cocktails. But, as things are want to do, the demise of my relationship filled the space instead.

Good thing I cleared my schedule.

I’m a faithful believer in divine timing. Call it fate, call it the script of life, but everything happens in its own time — even breakups. To have forced a different outcome would have delayed the inevitable, causing myself and K avoidable emotional agony. If you needed a reason as to why I walked away from a four year relationship, it’s that. If you wondered why I didn’t fight more, it’s because I had fought enough. It was time to move on. Continue reading

Transitioning

It was on Thursday, unable to breathe life back into our partnership and wanting to let it go, that I told K that it was over. The grass of Madison Square Park was the backdrop for our conversation. I just couldn’t go back; the mere thought was a struggle. Instead, focusing on a future where we could still love each other as friends, I chose to spare myself a painful alternative.

K, wrestling with our new reality, emailed me the next day with the question, “Who will we be when when we’re not us?”

The words shot through my already aching heart. Indeed, what identity is forged when a couple ceases to be? Do we revert back to a younger version or do we find ourselves anew, yet feeling strangely lacking?

As K and I slowly navigate the unfolding terrain of our separateness, I am aware that it’s one thing to talk about being done and another to experience it.

Done?

In the tarot, the 10 of Swords is a card of not only completion after an arduous journey, but one of total surrender. When I drew the card on Sunday as my daily oracle, I took a sharp intake of breath, immediately resonating with its message of I’m done. No, not beaten, despite the grisly scene of 10 swords sticking out of the figure in the card, but that of yielding to events beyond my control. I had weighed the Pros and Cons and I was ready to move on.

Over the last few weeks, maybe longer, I slowly inventoried the contents of my heart, packed them up, and cleared space for something new. How could I not? How could I maintain my connection to K in the face of a situation that was completely at odds with my heart?

I didn’t do this stealthily. I was very clear as the days and weeks went on that things were not going well for us, that some sort of decision or resolution would be broached at some point, that maintaining a relationship with two people who each wanted a full time relationship was unsustainable. I slowly disengaged from K and made myself less and less emotionally available. I all but made my language as blunt as possible that the clock was ticking towards the moment when I would have enough. Continue reading

The Accidental Polyamorist

As I trace back the events of the last couple of months, it’s hard to remember when it exactly happened, when my relationship with Ms. K started to unravel.

Was it during a recent vacation when she, yet again, proposed the idea of an open relationship? Was it when I said yes after years of saying no? Was the seed planted months or even years before, born of restlessness and the arguably difficult task that some find it to remain monogamous? Or was it there all along, tucked in the knowledge that long term commitment probably wasn’t something that K was cut out for?

I don’t know.

I can, however, point my finger to a conversation with K this past February. She had innocently announced that she was going to purchase Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships from Amazon. With that she had hoped we would both read it and have an honest talk on whether an open relationship was right for us. It was a very passive-aggressive approach to an old subject that occasionally bubbled up. But K, knowing me well, had played to my rational side this time.

I read Opening Up, an enthusiastic if not academic selling of partnered non-monogamy, figuring I would give K that much, even if my enthusiasm didn’t match that of the author’s. I’m not saying that an open relationship can’t work, but even sex positive Tristan Taormino would agree that they can be a landmine. And if anything, to do them well, one has to be at a graduate level when it comes to relating, boundaries, trust, communication, and maturity. Were K and I even capable of that level? Continue reading

Healing

It wasn’t my intention to take a break from blogging, but around the time of February and March I didn’t really feel like I had much more to say, which is a shame because I had been regularly writing since 2004. My life was settling down post move and I had entered an almost hermetic phase full of introspection and self reflection — the kind that doesn’t make for the best writing. In addition to thinking a lot about career goals and starting a new blog and twitter account to support some of my freelance work, I was having big thoughts about life, death, and the sort of psychic baggage I’ve been carrying around.

Again, not the sort of self involved, pretentious prattle anyone wants to read about. Continue reading

"Speaking from experience … you know it’s not just ONE mouse, right?"

For those who are squeamish or cried at Bambi or keep mice at pets (quelle horreur!), you may want to skip this post. Okay? Okay.

Let us rewind to last week.

Ms. K and I discovered, much to our dismay, that we had a mouse. Unfortunately the burden fell to me to take care of our little visitor, and by “take care of” I don’t mean cater to his every whim, but ensure that he would have the least painful death possible. (Before you squeal and post links to no-kill mouse traps in the comments section, I will remind you that you can get meningitis from mouse droppings and die.)

To make a long story short, I purchased some newfangled snap traps from the hardware, baited them with peanut butter, and went to bed with fingers crossed. Lo and behold it worked, having discovered a dead mouse in the trap the next morning.

Ms. K and I rejoiced! It was safe to go into the kitchen again! I felt a surge of something that I can only explain as primordial hunter pride. (Yes, I’m a woman. Yes, I killed a little mouse. But it is a disease vector! I win!)

But before I could rest on my laurels, I discovered another mouse in the kitchen. And I saw it scurry behind the stove, it’s little tail wriggling out of view.

Shit! It had a friend! I may or may not have shrieked.

For the next day I stalked that mouse. I followed its trail, figured which point it was using to access the counter top, and created a funnel in which to direct it towards the snap trap.

In short, it worked. (I’m purposely glazing over the part of the story where the mouse doesn’t die right away and it was up to me to put it out of its misery. With a cast iron pan.)

Over a week later and no more mice.

"Maybe we should move again?"

Shit, dudes. We got ourselves a mouse in the new house. And not some cute talking mouse that secretly makes you delicious French dinners, but a disease spreading creature that poops on kitchen countertops and God knows what else.

When we moved into the apartment and I inspected the nooks and crannies of my new home, I suspiciously found steel wool in the strangest of places — as in the radiators, linen closet, and the door jams. I remember wondering why some weirdo previous tenant had left steel wool everywhere?

Oh right, to prevent mice from entering small cracks in the walls. Duh! Too bad I threw some it away, which may or may not have contributed to our new house guest’s arrival.

Ms. K is not taking the news very well and since I’m the bug killer in the relationship, my duties now extend to mouse removal. Unfortunately for her, I’m at work and she’s having to face the mouse hunt on her own while sending me panicked updates via email.

“Honey! You have to fix it!”

“I am afraid of that bad thing! OMG. I do not like this! Also, it
puts a dent in my cleaning plans!”

“Honey, I feel like you are not being the appropriate amount of
alarmed/ upset about this!”

“I need him to go away now!”

This will be fun to deal with when I get home tonight!

"I love you so much."

The whole addendum or coda or whatever you want to call it to the Deborah incident is that she texted Ms. K on New Year’s Eve to say that she loves her so much. This text came while Ms. K and I were sharing a New Year’s Eve dinner at Applewood, leaving both of us rather perplexed.

“She can’t possibly love me!” Ms. K said as she showed me her cellphone in the middle of our five course dinner. “Maybe she meant this for someone else?”

Maybe.

On advice from me and a friend of hers, Ms. K ignored the text. It had to have been meant for someone else.

Except that Deborah was acting weird at work when they finally did see each other. Ms. K pulled her aside and asked what was wrong. After some evasion, Deborah confessed that she was jealous.

Jealous? Seriously? Jealous of me, jealous of Ms. K’s close friendship with another person (that’s another long story). Why do I feel like I’m in high school again? And I don’t even work with Deborah.

“I’m not sure what gave you the impression otherwise,” Ms. K clarified, “but I don’t cheat on Rouge.”

I hope this is the final words I write on this because it’s all very immature.