I'm writing to you this morning from my cousin G~'s beach house. G~ is in the kitchen, trying to wrangle up breakfast, while at the same time corralling her very exuberant, and hungry, two-year-old girl. I'm sitting in the living room with my feet up on the window ledge, gazing out over the water as the sun climbs and contracts from porous blood-orange to firm yellow to pure and focused white. As the morning opens and expands, I am breathing in the drastic changes in my life over the past month, trying to relax into rather than brace myself against all the changes yet to come.
Dear readers, I owe you an update. So much is happening, and I have been remiss. Even G~ tells me I owe you an explanation. "What is this 'new love' you wrote about last time?" she says. "If I wasn't here with you and if you didn't write about it today, I'd be calling to ask."
The truth is, I'm still answering that question myself.
I feel like a teenager. J~ and I are on the phone every day, and when we're not otherwise occupied, we're smiling involuntarily, talking about each other to whomever will listen. We've only spent time together on two occasions, two slumber parties: once at my place, once at his, and though we've shared a bed, we're not rushing the physical stuff. I've met his eleven-year-old son, B~. For simplicity's sake, B~ knows me as someone his dad is dating, which, I have to allow, is not inaccurate, though we are not too keen on defining it as such, or defining it at all. It's still all so new, and we're proceeding with cautionary bouts of trepidation. In part, this is to think well about B~, who could become attached to me quite easily, but also, to think well about each other, and our own vulnerability.
J~ and I are opening to each other so fast it is a physical rush, the thrill and terror of a rollercoaster ride, requiring deep breaths galore. Our relationship began like a support group, each of us losing our spouses to adultery a week apart, contending with the same very rude awakening, admitting to each other every feeling that comes along with it, from waves of nausea to fear to anger, and every twisted urge (to hurt the ex) and cringing apprehension (about being alone) and desperate hope (for miraculous change in our exes, or else miraculous rescue by new love) that comes along with it. It's wonderful. It's terrifying. It's life.
"Everything ends," J~ said on the phone last night, when, once again, we found ourselves projecting into the future, trying to prepare and protect ourselves against the inevitability of getting hurt. "It's going to happen. Whether it be on the phone with one of us saying, 'I can’t do this,' or on one of our death beds. We’re already opened up to pain. So we might as well enjoy the present.”