8.3
March 1, 2024

A year ago, my luck in love had finally, fully run out.

 

“I would like to love you and you love me, for love can only be shared, but my luck does not run that way, these days, or for awhile, and I have a feeling that I will not love and be loved again until all my luck is run out.” ~ Things I would like to do with You.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

 

I wrote the above years ago, in the first chapter of my first book. It felt, at the time, like a positive curse. One I would have to live out, until, at some point, I gave up…and discovered a mutual love, like the one the Buddhist teachings talk about, like the one I wrote about in that book.

A year ago, my luck in love finally ran out.

That’s the good news.

It was like the cowboy song: my ol’dog had died, my girl left me, my pickup done broke down.

  1. Indeed, my dear old Red dog had died an extended painful death following a minor surgery.
  2. My fiancee and I split, hugging and crying in the dark in front of my house. We’re no longer in touch, which makes me sad every day.
  3. My lifelong dream, my business for benefit, had lost 20 of its amazing mostly-longtime staff, and was foundering on the shoals, beaten against the wet block rocks of Big Tech. If that sounds silly, think of your favorite blog or community or newspaper. It’s probably been sold for parts—or is dead. That’s for a reason: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Google have absorbed all of that community magic, in the way Amazon absorbs the profits of local shops (every Amazon truck sells in one day $40,000, the average of a healthy retail shop that pays local taxes and rent and employs, you know, human beings longterm).
  4. My best friend had ghosted me.
  5. I’d ripped up my elbows during the pandemic, so couldn’t even exercise my way through the stress or loss or sadness or grief.
  6. My mother’s health was shaky, at best, for a good long while.
  7. And of course, the Pandemic was still shaking society by the roots.

I finally gave up. I was old. I’m even older now—that’s how it works. No one would want to have children with me, and while I’ve long been a fun uncle to many I’d love to be a caring father to a few.

I tried online dating. I don’t think I went on a single date. I tried out my ghost of a best friend’s dating advice. Neither turned up anything like love. I dated a few folks I met one way or the other, but those experiences, with some good in them, mostly reminded me of how tall the flagpole is that I was trying to run a new relationship up. It seemed impossible: I’m vegan, I’m a cyclist, I’m passionate about eco issues, politics, I’d like to have children, I’m 49 now…communication is important to me, mutually-flowing appreciation for the littlest things is vital…who’d want all that?

And so I went inside from my broken engagement, sank into my couch, turned on the TV, and it was that scene in a bad Hollywood Romcom where they discuss just how many years it takes to start over and find someone and get engaged and get married and start a family. And the math was 3.5 years, minimum. I was 48.

I’m 49, now, and I’ve met you. You communicate. You are caring, always, on the smallest things. As am I. We met after I’d given up, following the logic of my benign curse from my first hit book many years ago, now, written to take my longing for you and to explore and divine and discern what a you would be, what a match would be, what to look for and what to be careful to avoid.

We met after I’d tried feeling grief, and it was bottomless. We met after I did Ayahuasca, for the first time, and cried and sobbed, full body crying for hours. We met after I’d tried online dating, and it was pointless and disappointing but I hope it works for others. We met after I put up a story, then screenshot it and made it into a post, saying to my own friends and community that I was open to dating, again, and ready, finally, I thought, and here’s a bit about me and here’s a bit about what kind of relationship I’m looking for and that’s it. And there was a loud reaction of interest and fun and so many DMs and comments, but most of it noise. But you DMd me, having heard about the post from a best friend, and we connected a little. You were pretty, and far away. A single mom, which I not only had no problem with but was all for. My mom was a single mom and she needed help and didn’t get it and did it all on her own and you had more support but also deserve help while being fully capable of doing it all—two jobs, loving motherhood—on your own.

But there was lots going on in the reaction to that post and you were far away and I was far away and we said we’d go on a date next time you were in Colorado. You visited with your family most summers, growing up.

And so we lost track of each other. And then i wrote something, I’m not sure what, and your aunt noticed it, and sent it to you, recommending we connect. That was six months later, I think. And you reconnected, and this time we fully connected. I checked you out, and you were not only nice and pretty you were fun and wise and grounded and…beautiful. DMs quickly progressed to a phone call to a video call to…

I asked you out, 1,000 or so miles away, and you came. We dressed up and went to the Nutcracker, in a castle not far away, my wearing maroon corduroy and your big eyes gleaming with elegant joy. You sweetly liked me, right off, and I was entranced, fast.

And Honeymoon visits followed—meeting friends and visiting favorite community treasures and biking about and making our love of course and meeting mom and soon I’ll meet your family.

And I’ve freaked out once about how good it is and scary and how important communication is and how I’m afraid. And you listened and communicated, and I relaxed as if falling into a soft net. And after awhile we admitted our love for one another and began talking about the future, one or two steps ahead, or sometimes three. But never four, unless it was growing old together—the lines on your broad cheekbones will be etched with lovely patience, your almond eyes bright and caring and hair streaked with white and your long fingers thin and wise.

I know now I look forward to our partnership, every day, not just milestones like a proposal and a wedding and our dear childrens’ birth. All of life’s milestones may be golden with you, but the days and moments between them are all of it, and all of it is what I would like to live with you—not just the highlights.

My luck is run out—and I have met you. I can’t wait to be present with you for the rest of my life.

Our itinerary, this short visit:

I love you, Kelsey.
(so does Winfield)

Another trip for the books. The Sink, loving the historic cartoons and the vegan pizza and the kind waitstaff and even the wait, cuddling in the entrance after we walked over from the bus stop, me biking up to K as she waited for the crosswalk.
Winnie, happy to see her again. Seven Samurai, in seven installments. Curb your Enthusiasm.
Playtime with Winnie, Ann and Georgie in the park. Walking to Trident, where we saw Elyse, Kerry, Jeremy.
Biking to Voodoo, Dry Storage, Nude Foods, ABC Kids, Zeal (good convo with Wayde, who’s also found new love after heartbreak), then Arts Parts and back on a sunny windy pre-Spring day.
Playing with neighbor kids and parents next door (splits and cartwheels and football in the dark), and Winnie zooming with Burreaux their pooch.
Lunch with Will, first of many Leafs. Stopped by Vintage shop across street after, tried out a wedding dress ?
Tea (and cookies and dog treats) with wise Aunty Julia (and Rich?) (she approves of me ❤ Kelsey, as does wise Aunty Ann), while Winnie had yet another playdate with Georgie. Dinner with Belen, Rolando and Oliver.
Tour of Alaya! My first time inside after 40+ years (so many of my lifelong friends went there). My first tour of a school! Kelsey’s first with a partner. We loved it, the mindfulness, the calligraphies, the orderly chaos, and Mikayla and others.
Shambhala Center, reluctantly let us in, so much grand elegant history and tough but healing present. Voting with Amy, doing a live IG to encourage others to do so, talking about Biden, climate, Trump, Gaza.
New Local, at last, with Kelsey’s pals. Such a lovely place, so fun. Then the antique shop, dead bird (not really), Indian head penny, Two Hands Paperie, chocolate vegan truffles, U Bikes, Clasic Facets (❤), Trident yet again with good friend catch up drop in time, biking two bikes over then biking to Winnie then dinner with Brandi and Alex, 2/3s through their first pregnancy ❤ So much love and good friends.
Biking to lunch at Teahouse, loving the chess tables, and the ceiling and pillars and raised tables, of course, and then touring Mapleton, my old school! Sad they don’t much use the old building, not overly impressed ? Also PFAS perma turf out on the playground, now. But still lovely and close to home sweet home. RC working on the house, love everywhere, cuddling, sleeping, playtime with Baxter, Buddy, Ellen, and hottubbing while reading, occasional good talks as at Dry Storage about life and future, always getting to know and meeting community and friends and learning so much together. Facetiming with mom, who loves you, K. Dropped off your handwritten painted letter to her this morning. Biking you to the busstop, then biking to the new Boxcar where I saw you in the bus twice along the road and stared at you with so much love and a little sadness at leaving, and a little awkward joy through the glaring black window at your bright open loving face.
Another trip for the books.

“Mastering the flatbill-kiss, the last morning in the attic, touching crimson felt-leaves of the silver maple from the rooftop.”
Ah yes: the art of bill crossing bill eyebrow-gash-less smooching, the robe to attic, the hint of Spring buds

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