I often read, from about age 10 on up, that they said, “When you know, you know.”
They were authors, comparatively more expert about the ways of life than I.
But now I am older than they were when many of them wrote about life.
I will not debate the concept of wisdom because I am too wise to talk seriously or crack about wisdom.
I just know that I know.
I know when I ache for her she aches for me, that the ache is deeper than superficial wants but not so deep that it doesn’t need physical presence or the want of physical presence to ease the pain.
And what of pain?
What describes the feeling I have when I could be with her but I am not?
What describes the feeling when I know we are in the same room, not looking at each other, addressing another person, completely attentive to the person’s attention deficit needs, and yet fully aware we are together doing what we do best, socially at ease, dancing with different partners, feeding off each other’s energy?
Tonight, I spent another evening eating out, shopping at a big box store afterward, accompanied by a partner of 30 years (in about nine days, to be exact), yet I was somewhere else, feeling alone, yearning for a moment, a dance, a conversation with her.
Sounds so impersonal.
Not much different.
We communicate without speaking to each other.
We “get” each other without having to explicitly state what we’re thinking.
I have never had that kind of relationship with my partner, not once (except through coincidence), something I am fully aware of, and become immediately aware of during our honeymoon in Mexico.
I have had that kind of relationship before, with “Helen”, a year younger than me, who now lives in Tokyo with her husband and was my close companion throughout high school and into college, going to all our proms and sorority/fraternity formals together. When we tripped together, we saw our differences, me believing in the here-and-now and its connection to previous/future conditions of sets of states of energy in motion, her believing in and respecting the need to perpetuate the Judeo-Christian upbringing of her parents, both of us agreeing that we’d made love more intimately mentally than we could ever match physically. We are still connected to one another in ways I cannot describe. If I could have equaled her father in financial support of her, we might be married but I know I am an artist less interested in financial wealth and stability and am glad she found a man who surpassed her father financially — it was a difficult but wise decision to make, giving her up but not losing “Helen”.
In this new here-and-now, the person who lives just on the other side of town, with whom I would rather be dancing than sitting here typing on a laptop computer while my partner works on her handmade card art, she knows what I know and do not have to say.
We are dreamers.
Can dreamers live together?
Although we get close to each other and have spent time together, just the two of us, we have never been physically intimate.
I always saw her as a playmate, like an elementary school classmate with whom I could run around on the playground and have carefree fun.
I still want to see her that way and probably always will, to some extent.
But this week, on Monday night, I woke up from that childhood dream world and saw a mature woman standing in front of me.
All of a sudden, my worldview changed.
Previously, my thoughts of running away with her had ended at the doorway as we stepped into the fuzzy cloud of my playful imagination.
Monday night, the cloud cleared away and I thought how serious I would need to become to make that grown-up dream of running away real.
It was no longer just a silly, passing escapist fantasy.
I only made one commitment in my life that I knew I would keep as long as I believed in the validity of my childhood subculture — saying “I do” to marriage in front of friends, family and strangers.
Question is, how valid do I still believe my childhood subculture to be?
Do I have to throw it all away in simply wanting to change, to start a new life with her, to risk giving up all the financial and community wellbeing I’ve built over a 30-year span?
And if she didn’t exist in my life, would I change anyway?
That is the question I faced as I readied the spaceship design team for the next major milestone.
The story of Guin and Lee had a beginning but has no end. In the beginning, there were doubts and fears we all face until we take the plunge off the cliff with only a parachute between us and splattering on the valley floor, not realising the jump was just the start of a great adventure, this time to build a launchpad in the valley, then a spaceship to explore and settle Mars.