Aug 6th, Monday 2007 THE LOVE OF THE CENTURY

Richard turns to me and says, “I don’t feel passion for you, anymore.”

My heart shrieks, cracks, shatters into tiny pieces and drops and flutters piece by little piece into my stomach.
What Richard has just said, I know, means he doesn’t love me, anymore.

The memory of that moment has come to me as I sit on the patio this morning drinking coffee and watching the bees do their bee business among the hollyhocks.

This sudden recall has followed a night of festering dreams about lost love.

In my revere now on the patio I am once again, lost in memories, back in time with Richard, the man who lived with me for almost five years.

He’s a handsome, younger man who dotes on me. Our relationship is hot and passionate.
However, the past two weeks have felt odd to me. Something is wrong but I am not sure what it is.
And now, Richard is telling me his passion for me has gone. It sounds as though The Passion, as a separate entity, has abruptly stood up and rushed out the door; never bothered to say it’s thinking of leaving or of saying good-bye, it’s just taken off and hiked over the foot hills and down to the sea.

I cry and sob.
Richard sits cold as marble beside me as I do some frenzied weeping.
I’m trying to take his words in. Nothing is making sense.

After an hour of crying and babbling, give or take, I turn to Richard and say, “Pack your things. You’re outta’ here.”

“Whaat?!” he says.

I help him pack. He’s numb with disbelief. Surely, I can’t mean it. I can’t just callously toss him out like this, he says.

I do mean it and I can.

“Can’t I stay here for a month or two while I look for a place to live?” he asks.

“No,” I say.

(‘Stay?’ I think, ‘and put myself through the torture of his presence? I think not!’)

I have the man I love packed and out of my house in an hour.

I allow Richard to come back a week later where he spends the day gathering up and removing all his things from my home. I make sure I’m not there. Why would I ask to be tortured more by the sight of him totally dismantling and leaving the life we had together?

Several weeks after I have quickly packed Richard off into the night, I’m in my living-room lying on my blue and yellow couch, all weak and sallow, pulling idly on strands of my hair while thinking of my loss.

The phone rings. It’s “W.” He says, “Do you know who Richard is with?”

No. I don’t.

“He’s with my wife!” “W” shouts with a wail. “He ran off with my wife!”

Ahhhh! Now, I get it. The passion didn’t take off by itself, after all. It left with my friend “Mary”!

I had introduced Richard to my friends “Mary” and “W” just two weeks before Richard’s passion for me had suddenly left.

I’m shocked and horrified now by “W’s” news but I’m also thinking, ‘Thank God I got that man out of my house! What a lot of further emotional agony I avoided.’

“W” tells me that Richard and “Mary” think they are the Lovers of the Century. They have already moved in together and have set up a cozy little condo by the bay.

“But, “Mary” doesn’t like sex,” “W” confides to me. “She had a hysterectomy and now she hates sex. She just pretends.”

Even though I am wallowing drunkenly in my grief, I am clear enough to know that this Great Love can’t last. Richard is a passionate man.

Nine months to the day of “W’s” and my conversation, I learn that The Love of the Century has indeed ended, mean and still born.

A woman friend tells me that Richard has come to see her and asks her if she thinks I will take him back.
“Don’t even ask,” she says she told him. And, she tells me she laughed as she said it.

On the patio, I’m thinking now about that time in my life. I was emotionally smacked unexpectedly and coldly by the man I trusted but, mysteriously I managed to retain my tattered dignity and keep my self respect.
I didn’t, (I reflect,) grovel and beg Richard to love me and I didn’t plead for him to stay with me and ‘work it out.’

Even in my shock and sorrow, some part of me cooly assessed the situation and murmured, ‘There’s something really wrong here. You don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t matter. Humiliating yourself before this man and begging for his love won’t change anything and why would you want a man who no longer wants you? Get rid of him now and prevent even more distress then you currently have.’

And so, I did.

Now that I am single, once again, these many years later, some friends try and convince me to go after men I might fancy.
I say, “No.”

When I meet a man who interests me, I’m willing to do a little Dance and Clap Number in front of him, but if he shows no natural interest in me, I jangle my bracelets, wave good-bye and shut my inner door.
Who wants someone who has to be convinced and fooled into appreciating you?

And who wants someone who has to be forced to stay when Love is gone?

There is always something of interest happening in this world; something fun or absorbing continuously presents itself to us for our enjoyment.
Why do we always think it has to be a man? (Or a woman, as the case may be.)

Life takes it’s natural course. Opportunities and Situations and Relationships begin…run a course… and end.

My advice to anyone who might ask, is to step into in your little Life boat and ride with Life. Enjoy the trip, but don’t suffer beyond the minimum unless you really, really want to.

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