Are you, my readers, more fond of me now that I’ve been gone awhile?
Are you simply dying of anticipation, wondering what the heck’s been going on? I know how it feels…
I’ve been debating about whether to give you the long version or the short version. I’m pretty sure the long version would fill a book – and I’m seriously thinking about writing one – so I think I’ll attempt a short version. I’m not very good at telling short stories, though, so we’ll just see where it goes. In fact, I have a better idea: I will share with you a recent letter that I wrote to my Mom who doesn’t read my blog. (She hasn’t received this letter yet, even though I first sent it out 10 days ago. I forgot to include her apartment number on the envelope, and the post office bounced it back to me.)
Here’s your long overdue letter.
I guess the big news is Frank, my live-in handyman. After knowing him for about a month, I resisted – for 2 or 3 weeks – the desire/impulse to offer him this arrangement, but he was in a really bad living situation and as I got to know him, I finally decided that it would be a win-win situation for us both.
His life is very complicated, to put it mildly, and when he first moved in (into the barn) it was the start of my vacation (beginning the afternoon of July 3), so our work arrangement was put on hold (by me) so we could just have fun getting to know each other better.
We had 4 very intense, very fun days and nights together before Mary and Sheila arrived for their visit. Then for 3 days and nights, I bounced between their motel and my house like a ping pong ball. I never really expected Frank to take care of the animals and I never really had a chance to “train” him.
We sisters had a lot of fun, just hanging out by the pool, playing cards, “touring” Mountain Grove. They got to see my house, they got to meet Frank. We went to Wild Animal Safari for a day, which was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.
After they left (on Thursday, July 10), Frank and I finished his official move-in and set up his “apartment” which is shared by my exercise space which I probably won’t use again until cooler weather arrives. His apartment is where we spend most of our time together, or out in the backyard by the pool and the firepit.
We are not romantically involved, but we have had some romantic and intimate evenings. He is married (separated), his wife is filing for divorce and he wants to make sure he doesn’t mess things up with his kids.
Anyway, we had a really special night together on that last Thursday of my vacation. It wasn’t only magical…it was downright mystical. I have never had an experience like it and doubt that I will ever again, even though we later agreed that the experience bears repeating. We were going to spend the last weekend having a good time, and then on Sunday we would start getting “real” about work projects and routines and expectations. On Friday, though, some people from his past showed up and things kind of went into a tailspin from there. The whole, new, really f’d-up situation is making me crazy, and has resulted in several pretty intense arguments between us, the most recent of which took place last night (Saturday, July 26) and almost ended with him packing up and leaving. We managed to talk through it, but as of right now, I’m not really sure what to expect.
There is a new development taking place tomorrow, which could affect things. There’s another development in a week and a half or so. And he told me yesterday there’s been a development in the past couple of days having something to do with his kids. He didn’t want to talk about it yesterday when we were both so worked up about all this other stuff. We were supposed to talk more today, but so far he’s been blowing me off. He’s not here, I don’t know where he is, and I don’t know if I’ll see him or not. I texted him a while ago to ask if he was okay, and all he texted back was, “I’m fine.”
So there you have it, in a nutshell. Sort of. My problem is I fell for him. And he knew that going in. He was okay with it, said the door was open as long as we didn’t cross certain lines (sex), until and/or if his marriage situation was resolved. I was perfectly fine with that, too. In fact, I respected it. I am not looking for sex. We had more than one conversation about the fact that he has stimulated me on every possible level: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual. I opened this door, he walked through it, and then, in the blink of an eye, with no warning whatsoever, he slammed it in my face. I have also come to realize that I’m probably lonely and I’d forgotten what it felt like to feel. Anything. Right up until the time that the new “cast of characters” showed up, the whole thing felt like one really long episode of foreplay, and it was awesome.
One of the worst aspects of this, where “we” are now, is that I know I will never find anyone else in this town that can stimulate me the way Frank stimulates me. I’ve been here 14 years, and haven’t yet; I have no reason to believe that will change. So now I need to take all my big, messy emotions and stuff them back in their dusty little box and put it back on the shelf. If I don’t, I will go crazy.
Then I need to get the hell out of here. See you in New Mexico, one of these days.
A lot has happened since I wrote that letter. I’m not at all sure that I can bring myself to fill you in on all the absolutely ridiculous details. Suffice to say, there has been a compromise – a sacrifice, actually – made by me, in an effort to get something out of this, that something being free labor on my very many, labor-intensive home repairs, so that ultimately I can sell this place and get the hell out of Dodge. Frank is very good at what he does; he has built homes from the ground up. There is not a single issue he cannot deal with, including rewiring my electrical system, tearing out and rebuilding my rotted ceilings, jacking up my sinking dining room, restoring my floors, walls, porches, and maybe even a kitchen and bath and bedroom and laundry room remodel. It will all come down to my budget for materials, and there are a couple of impending deadlines. Maybe as soon as tomorrow, Thursday, August 7, certainly no later than the end of October when cold weather will set in. Unless he decides to move into the house with me. Unlikely, and probably a really bad idea, but there is still this tiny little ember of hope smoldering inside of me.
I’ll let you know how it goes.