“Life is a B Movie, it’s stupid and it’s strange…” – Ani Difranco
Today on More About Me, is a glimpse into my past and what my life will appear as when it becomes a B movie LOL.
The One That Got Away
Contrary to popular belief, I was not always in the midst of wedded bliss. As my wife likes to remind me, I spent a few years,”getting around.” I think that is the polite way of calling me a “slut.” I like to retort that I had to make up for the numbers she wasn’t getting since she was in one relationship for so damn long. So, I did my duty.
In all seriousness, however, I had my share of life experiences and hurts back in the day. The one story that always sticks with me is the one that got away. I’m not sure I ever really had her. It is the one relationship that ended before it ever really began and that haunts me still.
I was hanging out with a new crowd in 2009ish, the exact time escapes me. Now, for the record, I have been cursed and/or blessed with a near photographic memory. Not Sheldon Cooper a la Big Bang Theory perfect, but I remember a lot (except the year apparently). In the middle of my failing relationship at the time, just after just getting out of another failing relationship (sometimes we take one step forward, two steps back in life), I was just plugging along, not miserable but not happy, either. My girlfriend was a nice girl; it was our second attempt at things, which is a good indication why it was failing. My friend at the time, we’ll call her Dana (all names have been changed to protect identities), was dating a girl I’d heard about but never met. Dana’s girlfriend had dated the same girl I had just gotten out of the failing relationship with. We all decided to have a poker night, which put me face to face with this woman, who of course I’d not heard the most flattering things about due to the circumstances of learning of her. We were playing poker at Dana’s house, who lived with this new woman, Alex. The energy between us was apparent immediately, if not to anyone else, it was to us. She was a bully at the poker table. A very aggressive poker player. She used intimidation and bluffing to push the girls around at the table. She had this glare that she would use to scare people off their cards, even if she had nothing at all. That caught my attention.
Who was this woman? She was tiny, much shorter than me, with a firecracker personality. I remember that in the last hand I had pocket kings and flopped a 3rd king (all you need to know is 3 kings is good). She was determined to push me off my cards, but I wasn’t flinching. She glared, and tried to talk me off my cards. Turns out she had 3 queens and I took the money. And that was it. That was where it started. We all went to the bar that night and then out for pizza after, and Alex and I talked all night. It was like long lost friends that had never met before. She was beautiful, engaging, intelligent and the chemistry was there for both of us.
Of course, there is the obvious downside to this scenario right at the start. Alex is dating Dana, and I have a girlfriend of my own. The problem is, there is this force, this attraction that neither of us can contain. And now we are in the same social group. We talked often and texted all the time, innocently, at first. But, suddenly we moved to topics that strangers just don’t discuss. My girlfriend sees the attraction I have for Alex. I don’t deny it. Attraction is innate and cannot be controlled or denied. It moves around your body just like blood. Finding all the dark places, the places that suffer, the places where your failing relationship dwells. Amy (my girlfriend) knows that we are going to end. But we live together on a 40 acre property with an amazing old farmhouse. 40 acres of Heaven that all I can think about is dreaming of sharing it with Alex. Amy knows that my heart was gone the first time we broke up, and that this time it is no different. I love her. But not in the right way, which is painful for both of us. Amy is my best friend, my confidante. We got through a lot of our own shit together and served our purposes for each other. She asks me about Alex. Do I love her? I know that I do. I never felt like this for anyone ever before. Alex consumes my thoughts. And Alex has told me the same. She loves me like she’s never felt before. Amy sits with me in our amazing home. We cry together over the nothing that has happened. We cry for all the years we spent together, the years we knew would not lead anywhere. We cry because we know that this time, we’ve realized that our time together is truly over. That there is no coming back from where we are. My honesty has saved us from the pain of lies, cheating, and treachery, but not from the pain of loss. I miss Amy still. Despite us never having a future, I loved her as a friend and wish that we could still be friends today. We have long since made our peace with each other and apologized for our mutual failings, where we did each other wrong, and moved on with our separate lives.
My other problem is Dana. She is my friend. We travelled together. Played hockey together. Hung out together. She stands in the way of my life with Alex. The pain of living in the impossible position of being in love with your friend’s girlfriend is like no other pain I have ever felt, before, or since. We would all be hanging out together after a long week in our own lives, and I’d have to watch Dana and Alex sitting together. I’d have to watch Alex’s beautiful eyes watching me, knowing that we are trapped in our own private Hell. Dana knows something is wrong and their relationship is a failing relationship. In my heart of hearts I knew it was failing before, but of course my influence is not helping. Alex spends every spare moment she can at my home. We talk in circles about the situation we find ourselves in. We explore each other. We crave each other. Amy actually talks to Alex one night. She tells Alex not to waste this opportunity. To make sure not to let me go. I will never forget that.
Days turn into weeks. Alex’s relationship with Dana continues to deteriorate. Alex and I fall deeper in love, but have no resolution to our situation. Does she leave and start a new life with me? Does she stay? Dana is also exploring life outside her relationship. This situation is causing complications in the friendship circle. Watching Dana and Alex together feels like someone is crushing my heart. Dana still begs me to stay and play hockey despite the situation. She asks if perhaps I would be interested in being a part of their relationship. Sharing, in a sense. I know that my heart is breaking at the thought of not having Alex. For a second I consider it, just because I can’t think of another way to have her. As I cry myself to sleep I actually ponder if this is worth it? I am not a bad person. I do not feel good about loving my friend’s girlfriend. It is wrong. I am hurting her. I am hurting Alex. I am hurting Amy. I am crushing my own soul. But I cannot help it. Alex was the one. She made things make sense. When we would sit and talk the world would just fall away and it was just us. I never knew that truly existed until I met her. Just one look would paralyze me. She told me she felt the same. I believed it was true. The problem was, Alex had a relationship that was already working. They lived together. They weren’t exceptionally happy, but they had something that seemed to work for them. If she left Dana, she feared that we may not work out and then she would have lost both. She’d have nothing at all. I know that Alex loved me more than anything. That even had we gotten together and it didn’t work out, that amazing things would have happened.
As you can surely foresee by this point, things did not happen. Alex opted to stay with Dana. She wanted to choose the path of least risk. I don’t fault her for that. She needed to feel the security of the thing that was working now. Despite her love for me, the fear of the unknown and the fear of two losses were too much for her to fathom. And, as the months went on, and the love we developed was unable to flourish, it became poisonous. The pain in my heart and mind was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. If felt like razors were passing through my chest. I’d wake up with bile in my throat. I couldn’t sleep. I barely ate. It felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from and it ate away at me slowly. And, on top of this, loving someone who is taken is not great for publicity. Rifts were forming with my friends. Despite them being broken hearted for me, it makes it very hard for a friend group to stay together in any healthy way when three of its members are in the pits of Hell. I understand that Dana was hurting. And Alex. But, by this time, I was so mired in my own pain that I couldn’t focus any longer. I had to get out. I had to leave. It was a significant part of the reason that I wanted to leave Winnipeg and I eventually moved to Prince Albert to work.
The promise always was that one day, when she was ready to make the decision to love me alone, she would stay over. We always managed to keep our heads and be decent human beings despite being, in our minds and hearts, soul mates. She never stayed over. She never took the chance on me. It was I that suffered the two losses. I lost Amy, by choice, and Alex, because I wasn’t good enough to make her take a chance with me. She was too afraid that I would hurt her one day to risk loving me like we should have. I know that our love would have been amazing. Whether it would have lasted forever, I will never know. I have found new love with someone who makes my days great and who loves me without fear. Part of me will always love Alex. That is the place people leave in your heart. She will always get to keep a place there and the wonder of what could have been. I hope that she has found happiness in her life and that her heart is full like mine. I hope to be real friends with Alex again one day. Only time will tell.
Needless to say this story is a simplification of my time with Alex. I will be writing little snippets of my life in my posts as time goes on. When my medications were changed in 2015 and I had grand mal seizures as a result, the area of my brain that held memories from the 1992-2010 eras were really activated. I’ve been having persistent dreams of people from that time in my life. They have been vivid and emotional, just as though I have been living those moments over again. Some have been nice; it’s been nice to see those who were kind and loving and positive in my life. Some have not been so positive and have left me living through times in my life I’d rather not re-live. What fascinates me is that the human mind can re-activate the past so vividly. It’s like memories that were buried so deep inside have miraculously re-surfaced as though they were yesterday. I am finding writing about them is helping to deal with unresolved thoughts and feelings. And, some of it is quite entertaining!
On a completely unrelated note, all the lights were on in my condo when I came home. Weird. I wonder if we have a ghost?
Next time on More About Me I’ll be more light hearted. I’ll discuss a different little chapter in the B movie that may be my life one day! I wonder who would play me? 😀