Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Confirmation of Perplexity

Well Houston was something else. In more ways than one. The sunshine released it's heat on us and I lapped it up, my skin left thirsty by New York's fickle Spring. The people all smiled and nodded when I walked by. No one smirked, although they might have thought I was under dressed when I accompanied D to the local BBQ spot dressed in a one piece jumper with extremely short shorts. But maybe that's just my mind playing tricks.

Which seemed to have been the theme, emotionally at least, for the entire trip. I wish I could pretend that I left Houston with a renewed sense of confirmation, a clearer perception of reality. But instead, although deeply satisfied, I am yet and still mildly confused. D has a way, oh does he, of being so kind it makes my teeth hurt then so deeply mean I feel like I'm bleeding internally. The difference between him and any other man I've ever known is that as far as I've been able to tell in almost three years, he does both unintentionally. He's honest, though in a different way, as brutally as I am. His honesty, is silent.

On Saturday, we went to Houston's Black Expo, which included a book fair. We walked hand in hand through the isles of vendors, skimming the table tops aimlessly. We had the pleasure of bumping into friends of D's (or friends of a friend of), two young ladies probably a few years my senior. D neglected to introduce me, which I've noticed he's only done when he's thrown off by the run in (once we ran into a girl he sort of dated at the Soul Festival...he referred to me as his "friend"...never forget that one). One of the girls stuck her hand out and introduced herself, name forgotten, and the other one mimicked, name forgotten. All I paid attention to was the fact that the slightly taller and thinner one glared at the side of D's head as we began to part ways, she gave him a look that could be (at least in my over-active mind) interpreted as "Wow, D, didn't know you had a lady friend." or "Wow, D, why didn't you tell me you had a lady friend." These two interpretations, as ladies know, mean two very different and significant things. Neither of which are officially my business. But then again, if you hit it....then you have some explaining to do, especially if you do so with loving eyes of devotion and whisper "I love you". So I asked about it...and in his "D" sort of way, he managed to confirm absolutely nothing. I let it go quickly without even trying and we continued on our way. I met Mary B. Morrison, the erotica author, who I've admired for some time now. She signed my book and write "Happy Birthday" at Desman's request (adorable).

We left the convention center and walked across the street to the Discovery Green Park, a gorgeous park in the middle of downtown that is entirely economically friendly. We sat by the lake and sipped on Chardonnay. I felt like it was alright to let my guard down and speak with unbridled honesty. I told D that I still wanted this life, that I never stopped wanting it. That I was only afraid of my own weaknesses and knew I needed to sort them out. What I didn't tell him, was that I was disappointed that he might give up so very quickly on me and without much of a fight. That as soon as I turned in another direction other than his, as soon as I tried to build myself up rather than depend on him to always do so, which I'd imagined had been wearing him down...he gave up on me altogether. I wanted to tell him how much that hurt me. How deeply it wounded me. But instead I just told him that I'd be willing to move to Houston to give us another try, that I'd be willing to do anything. That I wanted to make him happy, and that now I was confident I could do so. He let my words come out uninterrupted, taking them in like a side dish to the scenery. He only said that he felt like he pushed me too hard before, pushed the idea of marriage and family, and that now maybe he just wanted it to come naturally. I couldn't imagine what could be more naturally than letting someone you love make the necessary changes, give them space and support and then for them to come back to you on their own and tell you they are ready. It has only been two months, but D held an expression on his face that made me feel like it was two months too long. Then why did he let me leave? I was filled with sadness, and a little anger. But I kissed him, and squeezed his hand and prayed for a second that he could forgive. Love is forgiveness. Didn't we at least have that? Did he mean he wanted to let it come naturally...with someone else?

That was pretty much the last time I brought the subject up. We spent the rest of the weekend being the same us we'd been for two and a half years. Ate dinner, watched TV, visited museums, took pictures, rode rides in Kemah, made love, drank and slept beside each other. I loved it. Every second. Then came goodbye....again.

Again, we held each other with the security check point in sight. Again, he said I love you over and over, kissing me then looking at me, then kissing me, then looking; as if my lips were concentrated morsels he couldn't bare to take all at once. Again, I felt strange inside and just wanted to get "goodbye" over with. Again, it felt too soon; where the hell did the time go? We agreed it came quickly. Again we finally parted, and I snaked up the line, plopped down my baggage, looking over my shoulder continuously and saw Desman there in his gray tee and basketball shorts looking like his feet were glued to the floor. I passed security and looked back again, he was still there, hadn't turned away. I kept walking, on auto pilot, and turned back one last time. I knew he was there even though I couldn't see anymore. I felt them coming before my eyes even watered up. I slipped on my sunglasses and sniffled as the moisture rushed my eyes and nose. My heart stuttered, this was something I knew I couldn't keep doing for long.