Friday, August 15, 2014

Old Loves and Old Lovers

"Things are not always what they seem; first appearances deceive many."  ~ Phaedrus

He was chatting in that relaxed cheerful manner that I have come to so enjoy. His long legs stretched out under the little bistro table, his feet have captured mine.  Even with his boots on he somehow manages to gently caress my ankles.  He smiles a playful smile, quotes a little passage from a sonnet and my heart skips one beat. This is a young relationship between two people who are not themselves young.  We two are both in our sixties and yet here we are, two aging people basking in a newly kindled relationship born a mere 6 weeks ago.  A well read man who is also hard working construction kind of guy, it always takes me by surprise that he so easily slips in a line of poetry when I least expect it and that makes me smile.  It was something from Shakespeare.  For some reason, the words remind me that we met over coffee.  A mere 42 days ago I noticed a man drinking a coffee as he was reading a novel that I've read.  He asks me is if I liked the book.  
I was startled.  Other than the mumbled good mornings of the uncaffinated, no one ever chats with me while I sip a latte.  An odd silence for a few seconds when I finally realized, that he was, in fact, talking to me and I stammered a response.  He smiled that smile. We met again and again in that coffee shop.  A little flame and so much dry emotional kindling that it was a forest fire before I knew what was happening.  And I loved it!  

So many activities.  We went off-roading together, exploring the woods that surround and decorate the high desert.  I drove most of the time.  Once we took his truck and he drove.  His 4x4  could climb rocks that I could never manage is my much smaller vehicle, not mention my much less off roading skill.  He and I both love photography so no arguments over request for frequent stops.  We made love in that great out of doors theatre.  We had  picnics and shared reading a book out loud together.  Neither of us gamble so there was no casino hopping, just the out of doors and the occasional movie and of course, coffee.  My dogs trusted him, and in fact seemed to  loved him and before long I did too.  How I love to lie in his arms, my head on his chest, feeling his warmth and listening to his strong steady heart beat.  I'm 66 and he is 67.  I never dreamed that I would be able to hear a lovers heart beat again, even though that very thing is on my "bucket list".   And he even joined me on a 100+ mile trip to a medical center where I have chemotherapy.  Yes, I'm battling cancer, again.  Another story which we may or may not explore here.  Anyway, I never go with anyone.  I'm usually too frightened and in a horrible mood but for some reason when I finally told him and he asked to join me, I relented and let him escort me to that part of my destiny.  He held my hand and stroked my arm and read a book to me.  It was the first time I've ever been calm or for that matter pleasant while allowing therapeutic poison run into my body.  The nurses had to wonder at the change in personality.

So here we were again, sipping coffee and discussing a camping trip.  He reminiscences about other trips and other places and chuckles when his mentions "Susan and the boys".  I think my heart stopped.  There was something in the tone.  It was loving and tender.  And I knew instantly that he was married.  His tone conveyed that not only was he married, he was still in love with his wife.  He is a still-in-love kind of cheater.  I remember standing up and wanting to throw my latte in his face.  I put the coffee down and whispered "you're married aren't you?" He softly said "yes".  I told him to "stay out of my life" and walked away.  There have been five telephone calls pleading a second chance.  No calls since yesterday morning.  Its over.  They say everything happens for a reason, then so be it.  I discovered that there is still passion in my body.  I know how much I yearn for companionship.  I know I can love someone who makes my smile.  I'm thinking I may give up coffee.


sage said...

This is heartbreaking, but glad you discovered something about yourself. I'm also saddened to learn about the cancer. Prayers!

the walking man said...

Heartbreaking? NO! Remember you were not the one doing the cheating Melinda but what i saw here was an eye opener for you and all the possibilities of life you had maybe given up on.

You did right in the end but now now you have a future left you to scout out a real man.

Battle that cancer now with that better humor you discovered it will be an easier fight. When the next stranger comes to you don't do the back ground check until the third meeting.

Be Well.

Brian Miller said...

ugh. i am sorry.
some people...i dunno...

i still would not give up coffee though, smiles.

and the cancer, it has touched my family in several ways. stay strong and i wish the best journey available through it.