I once had my heart broken by a redhead.
It was a season of madness, during the season of madness that steals through your life in your mid-twenties, if you’re fortunate; never if you’re not. The sort of madness that begins with what seems like an innocent conversation, and which ends with RastaChad giving you a pat-down in the parking lot before a LARP to make sure you’re unarmed. And that’s all I have to say about that.
However, there were a few really awesome things that came out of that relationship (other than the entire experience, the stories, and the redhead himself – he is still very much alive and has a family and artistic career of his own now, which is a Very Good Thing). One of them was self-esteem, and the other was another doomed relationship. That sounds odd, doesn’t it?
Well, let me tell you, it was wonderful. Both of us knew that our relationship was a Bad Idea. In a movie goodnight moment one night, we stood in my stoop (I had a stoop back then) and we talked about how stupid it would be for the two of us to see each other. He had just ended an eight year relationship, and I’d just recently rejoined the land of the emotionally human, in a very broken state. But. There’s always a but. We looked at each other; really looked at each other…I mean…this was a dime-store romance, Oscar-winning chick flick moment.
It was early in the fall, still warm enough that you didn’t really need a jacket, but cool enough that you probably wore one anyway. I probably could have seen the stars through trees Midas had just begun to touch, but I couldn’t see anything but his eyes. I felt a pull at the centre of my chest, and it led me toward him.
He said, “this is stupid.”
I said, “It’s incredibly stupid.”
He said, “we’re smarter than this.”
I said, “speak for yourself.”
He said, “we should wait for a while.”
I said, “just one kiss is waiting. Kind of.”
That night, there was just one kiss. But, see, the danger of kissing someone to whom you are being pulled directly by your heart chakra towards is that you won’t be able to think about anything but that stupid kiss until the *next* kiss, and everyone knows where THAT leads. Well. Anyone who knows my mother knows where that kiss leads. More girls get pregnant when they kiss boys, she would say. She didn’t have much to say about what happens when girls kiss girls, but I’ve never got pregnant from that, so she might have had something there.
The first kiss that led to the second kiss that led to subsequent kisses and making out and ravenous sex on a crappy futon eventually led to a remarkable relationship that was both confusing and profound. I love that guy. We broke up on bad terms; he was hurt and I was hurt and everyone was hurt and hurting really sucks and animals that are hurt lash out at everything around them and what was around us at the time was each other and I regret to this day that I busted the stick that he gave me. That will make no sense to you, but it was a very special stick. He also brought me a rock. From his Thinkin’ Spot.
So, I think it was the day after Valentine’s Day, or three days after, or something, that we finally broke it off. It was as dynamic and mad a breakup as the romance and love had been. He took all his dishes but forgot his roaster. I didn’t even know he’d *brought* a roaster. But the day I called him up to ask him to come by because I wanted to talk to him, he mentioned that he’d like to get his roaster.
He left with his roaster and with the knowledge that I was pregnant. I have no idea how scared he was that day; how angry, how hurt, how…how everything. We were both young, and still hurt, and underemployed, and…oh hell. When you play with fire, sometimes you get burnt.
But here’s the thing.
I love that guy. I love him, I love his wife (she’s amazing; she is the sort of woman that makes me proud to be a woman). He is an amazing, brilliant, big-hearted, witty, loving man. We had dust-ups, and there’s no way to explain all of the craziness that goes on when there are babies in the mix.
I don’t think I have ever apologised to him for the horrible things I said and did during those times. I don’t think I have ever told him how thankful I am for his being in my life, and for the great gift he helped to create. And this might be a very weird thing to read, I don’t know.
So. Sean, thank you. I am sorry that I was an utter asshole to you. I’m sorry for the horrible things I said, and I’m sorry that I hurt you. I am so happy that you are doing what you’ve always wanted to do; what we always knew you would be awesome at – using your brain and your heart at the same time. Thank you for taking a chance with me. You’re awesome, and I’m very thankful to have you in my life. And thank you for introducing me to your amazing wife, too. I wish we had more people like her around here. She’s a one-woman army!