Do you remember the scene in Mountains Wanted when James and Sarah make love for the first time?
I remember it like every word is etched into my DNA. I have a double helix of fully intact memories of that night because it really happened, and it happened originally not to James and Sarah but to my lover and me. I wrote that scene of Mountains Wanted in January 2011 only it was in second person and it was in the form of a blog post.
Tonight is my last night in the house I've lived in since moving here six years ago with my soon-to-be-ex husband. I think I knew from the very beginning that this was a temporary living arrangement. I never felt at home in this house and I never felt right in my job or in this town. There were two times, though, that I did feel right and at home. One was when I entertained company in my bedroom, nicknamed The Vault because it has a pocket door that enclosed my lover and myself inside amidst flickering candlelight. The other time was during my 2.25 mile walking route around the neighborhood.
I had to walk my route one last time tonight. Even though I was dead tired from getting up the last two mornings at 6 AM and holding a moving sale in my front yard and schlepping approximately four zillion boxes and pieces of furniture for hours on end both days, I needed to say goodbye to that 2.25 mile trek that served as therapy for me for 6 years. I think I probably walked it at least 300 times in the six years I lived here, and probably more.
How do these two seemingly disparate puzzle pieces fit together besides representing "home" to me for the last six years? Well, in the last 2.5 years, almost every time I walked that route I was thinking about that connection that first sparked in The Vault on January 20, 2011. There were times I felt elated to be in love. There were times I thought it was over and was ready to give up on him. There were times I wondered what in the hell I'd gotten myself into. I'd pound the pavement so many nights wondering why the magic that first happened in The Vault couldn't go on and on forever. And some nights, I would just pray.
It's been a long time since we've made love in The Vault. After six months of exclusively seeing each other here, I began to visit his home, which then led to me spending whole weekends with him. But the foundation of our relationship was built here, endless hours of passion followed by philosophy and then more passion. I've never met anyone like him. He is truly an extraordinary person and it's no mystery why I fell so hard for him.
All I've wanted for so long with him is a tiny golden chance. For two and a half years I thought he would go back to his former fiancee and leave me in the dust, fading into a distant memory as they went on with their lives, making vegan babies and growing their own food. But tomorrow - tomorrow a new chapter of our story begins as we prepare to live under the same roof. I still can't believe it is actually going to happen even though I never truly gave up hope that it would.
Yet, there is still a pragmatic side to me. I know that we still don't have a traditional commitment to each other. There's no ring on my finger and we've both agreed that this is really a one year trial. He's helping me get my life back on track in the middle of my divorce and during the process of getting my writing career off the ground. In one year's time, he may decide he's helped enough and we may end up going our separate ways. There's no way to know for sure what the future holds. But I certainly never expected to come this far.
Just like Sarah, my romantic and pragmatic sides are at odds. And that's okay. It's a pendulum I've gotten used to swinging upon. The one thing I know for certain is that I must cherish each day I have with him, the same strategy I've employed for the last 2.5 years.
And so, with that, I say goodbye to The Vault, my walking route, and this state. Now I'm ready to look forward to what tomorrow will bring...