The Fourteen Years War – 1993 – Volume III

June 24, 2006 at 12:19 am (Uncategorized)

I did call him. I went to see him and explained everything. I cried and I figured he and my mother had had quite the pow-wow on the phone and he had had time to deal with it before I talked to him about it. He was the first man to touch me sexually after that happened. He did all the right things.

Two things stand out in my mind. The first was when he ran his hand up my naked back and he stopped and drew a breath. I’m not sure if was my vertebrae sticking out or the fact my skin had broken out terribly along my shoulders, which is very unusual for me.

Regardless, I knew it was either of those which drew him up short and, as I said, I was very sensitive about the weight I had lost and how I looked, so I stopped short too. Wow, this is one of those tough things that hurts, in a way, to remember. I wanted to crawl away in a hole. I did. I was ashamed and scared that he was going to reject me.

If I remember correctly, I was sprawled out on top of him, it’s dark, but I knew my eyes were closed, my head was hanging, and he brought my forehead to his lips and enveloped me in his arms. On occasion, he still kisses my forehead, and it’s the same rush of love and acceptance every time.

The second thing was after we fell asleep. AZ has a king size bed not just because he’s tall but also because he flops like a fish out of water, not to mention, he’s a very light sleeper. The noise of the answering machine kicking on, in a closed drawer, under a wadded up t-shirt could still wake him. Having slept with him before, I knew this, so I perched on the edge of the bed allowing him the maximum room to flop.

But I had a dream. Must have not been a very good one because he told me later I was moaning and twitching, all guaranteed to keep him awake. All I remember is trying to get out of the dream. You know where you’re trying really hard to wake up and it’s like you’re swimming up from the depths? That kind. The scary, chest crushing kind. I felt like I was literally clawing my way out of something. Then I sat straight up in the bed. I tired, disoriented, and scared. AZ sat up too, wrapped his arms around me, and laid me back down, still in his arms, still holding me tight, soothing me. All the right things.

Who knew life would step in and clobber us?

The fall of 1993, saw me back in college, taking more advanced classes where I met a member of the police department which Jeff worked for. My instructor was the chief of the detective bureau and was a member of the FOP. He invited to me to participate in the annual Haunted Trail held at a local park.

I was still a bit leery but since it meant possible brown-nosing points, I gamely signed on. I was some kind of screaming witch and the Lieutenant said, “Hey Nanner, scream for Jeff here.” And I did. That was mine and Jeff’s first meeting. Nothing Earth shattering, no sidelong glances, not another word spoken between us.

Things get a bit fuzzy toward the end of 1993, but I know this was around this time that a woman named Julie came into Steve’s life. Between Julie and Jeff, AZ and I would find ourselves at impasse after impasse in 1994. That story is one of the most incredible I’ve ever heard or been a pseudo party to. (Lex filled in many missing blanks in this story, so you will get the full story, not just the half-assed one that I did for so many years.)

Our year had started out with two people getting to know each other better and asking questions, blue bras, ice cubes, and that yellow dress he loved to take off of me. It ended with Julie having a direct influence on my relationship with AZ and therefore, later with Jeff and we began a steady decline into 1994.

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The Fourteen Years War – 1993 – Volume II

June 24, 2006 at 12:15 am (Uncategorized)

AZ really didn’t have much of a chance to anyway because in February of 1993, I was sexually abused by a former classmate of mine. I wrote about it here. Yes, a very hard time would begin for me. I stopped going out with my friends, I skipped class, I stopped eating, I stopped seeing AZ too. I couldn’t stand for a man to touch me. I was really close to an ex-boyfriend of mine and we would curl up on the couch in the Art Building and nap together between classes. One day he laid down beside of me and I freaked out.

Right now, I weigh around 135. At the height of this insanity I weighed about 105, twenty pounds less than my normal weight. Not hard to accomplish when you’re only eating one bite of food a day. Once I started dealing with it, my weight crept up a bit but still I was painfully skinny and very sensitive about it.

My boss and our district manager knew what had happened and decided I might do well with a change of scenery, so after college was out for the summer they sent me to another work site out of state for a few weeks. It ended up being something like two and a half weeks and I called home to let my Mom know that I was coming home. (Luckily, my Mom’s sister lived within five miles of the place I was working so I was well looked after while I was there.) My Mom said, “AZ called. He was worried about you. Said he hasn’t heard from you in a while. He’d like for you to call him when you get back.”

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The Fourteen Years War – 1993 – Volume I

June 24, 2006 at 12:08 am (Uncategorized)

1993 dawned bright and clear. Frankly, I don’t know how it dawned, but having celebrated AZ’s birthday in December and receiving my first and only Christmas card from him, it appeared as though things were going to be starting out okay.

1993 is both fuzzy and deathly clear. In January and the beginning of February, I don’t remember a whole lot. I know that sometime in the 92-93 segue, I had heard AZ talking on the radio about some ex-girlfriend and it got my back up. (Ya’ll know what “got my back up” means, right? Like a cat or a porcupine? Yeah? Okay.) I mentioned it to him and he asked, “Why do you care?” I said, “Because it’s mean.” He said, “Well, you’ve never been my girlfriend, so I wasn’t talking about you.” *Pause* “Why haven’t we ever dated?” *Pause* “Don’t know.”

Then came the inevitable question of, “If you have a girlfriend and I have a boyfriend, then what are we doing here?” And then the inevitable snark, “Well, you must not be very happy with him if you’re here with me.” And the retort snark, “Well, you can’t be very happy with her if you’re here with me either.” Talk about talking around something.

Then came the incident about the address book, which I blogged about but will put the pertinent part here. We were laying in the bed. He was on his back and I was curled up next to him since its always arctic cold when we sleep (whether together or separately) and I was just drifting off when he ran his hand up my back and he said, “Hey.” I raised my head and looked at him but he didn’t look at me.

“Know what I did the other day?”

“No, what?”

“I went through my address book and I erased people right out of my life.” That sent a chill right up my spine. The finality of his words.


“But when I got your name, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make myself erase you,” and then he looked at me and I saw anger and pain in his eyes, and then they softened. I don’t remember what I said, but I do know I probably kissed him and ran my hand down his chest. Then I would have turned over and he would have pulled me flush against him, draping his left arm over my waist, our hands intertwined and tucked between my breasts as we slept.

Sometime after that, we hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks and he called me, so I went to see him. Now, AZ was just not one for coming out with emotional things and to hear him say things sometimes takes me full off guard (like last night when he was pissy with me because I had made a flyby of the shop and didn’t spend anytime with him – that man… *sigh*) but that day, we were laying in bed, and he said, “I missed you.”

I hate to even write these words out. I hate it. God, but I fucked that up and royally. Fuck. My response was a light-hearted, “Are you on drugs?” Yeah. Smooth. Wonder he even speaks to me, huh? Ever want to snatch your words back onto your mouth? There was no recovery from that, even when I realized, he actually meant it and it meant a lot for him to say it. Again, it would have helped had I known a little bit more about him. However, not a great moment. Guess who wouldn’t speak to me for a while? Yeah.

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1992 – 1993 Segue

June 23, 2006 at 12:30 am (Uncategorized)

Yes, both AZ and I dated other people during the year of 1992. Yes, we were still together during that time, even when we were dating other people. No, to my knowledge, neither of us had sexual relations with any of those significant others. Tough questions and hard times would follow in 1993.

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The Fourteen Years War – 1992 – Volume III

June 23, 2006 at 12:24 am (Uncategorized)

This was also the time that my relationship with my parents grew rockier and rockier as they tried to rein me in as I was attempting to spread my wings and old issues popping up between my mom and I, I did start a short-lived downward spiral. I say short-lived because of two incidents.

I had headed out early, stopping at Beki’s apartment, hit the water bong with her, her roommate, and her roommate’s boyfriend, then popped a few speed pills, drank a beer or two, and then went out dancing. I hit a joint behind the club with the bartender and proceeded to drink even more beer and probably a few B-52’s. Had a few more pills, toked up, had a few more beers. By quitting time, I was trashed, but eerily sober, somber, and paranoid.

AZ was working midnight shift at the radio station, and although I had often snuck into the other radio station to sit with him, not to mention that little tryst in the sound-proof room, this was a different story. I called him from the bus station crying, practically hysterical, because I couldn’t find him. He ordered me to get back in my car, lock the doors, and drive forthwith to his apartment and wait for him there. The bus station at 4 a.m. dressed like an 80’s band whore, not exactly my glowing moment. Did I mention it was snowing? Did I mention how short my hot pants were? Did I mention I didn’t have a jacket?

I did make it to AZ’s house in one piece, now more than just upset but also terrified because I had freaked out. It had to be hard for AZ to wait out his shift, not knowing whether I had actually made it to his place or not. It was I who was bleary eyed and disheveled as he angrily jerked up on the door handle of my car and then strode away in the pre-dawn light. It was cold and I was shaking from chills and coming down whatever I had put in my body that night.

One of his friends came by and they talked while I shivered and dozed on the couch. Eventually, his friend left and AZ practically picked me up off the couch and carried me to the bed. He was angry and had basically let me lay on the couch shivering as penance. He didn’t say a whole lot but I knew he was upset and that bothered me.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. Almost same scenario, I just didn’t call him this time. I was just asleep in my car when he got home from work. The same angry jerk on the door handle, this time, more vocal, as in, “Get your ass out of the car and into the house. Have you ever thought about what would happen if it wasn’t me who was pulling on your door handle? What if it was the cops or someone else?” I didn’t answer, I just followed.

As I got to the doorway, he turned and said, “Don’t come in here with those clothes on. Go get some other clothes out of the car.”

I hated him very briefly in that moment.

I trudged back out to the car, got some clothes, and with attitude, changed. Petulant was I, oh so petulant. He was waiting for me in the living room. His bottom lip drawn up, eyes glittering, that “stop fucking with me” aura seeping out of his pores. I wasn’t so petulant then, I was back to terrified. I really expected him to tell me to get the fuck out and never come back. I expected him to yell at me to stop sleeping in front his house and just stop, stop everything, just get out and never come back. I expected the worst. I expected the yelling and insults to rain down on me. That’s what I was used to, having shit thrown back in my face.

I’m not sure now if he met me in the middle of the room or if I sat beside of him, I just don’t recall. I do remember his words though. “Nanner, you’re very beautiful and you don’t need to dress like that to get attention.” As you know, that is not what I had been expecting. It floored me and I’m pretty sure I started crying and I’m pretty sure he hugged me and I think he said something about, “Please don’t ever do this again.”

*Laugh* And since it was probably 7 a.m. in the morning, we went to bed. After gathering my courage and petulance back, I grumbled, “Why did you make me change my clothes if you were just going to take them off of me again? You pissed me off.” A smug grin played out along his face, “I know.” How could I do anything but laugh? He got me and I never did that again.

Once you start getting to know someone, you start developing patterns. Now, the wild drinking, semi-drugging, wasted phase didn’t last long (relatively speaking), but the dancing and laughing and fussing, it continued. I would describe us as “unstable” at that time. Not just because of me but also what AZ was dealing with, those things I didn’t find out about until later. For some reason, we kept coming back around to each other. Even after I ripped his picture to shreds. Yes, I did. That’s how much he pissed me off. But, when I would go to his house in the afternoons, we would lay in bed, kiss, and snuggle, I would give him a whole body massage and he would say, “Tell me a story,” and almost every time, that story would start, “Once upon a time, there was a big, grouchy bear named AZ.”

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The Fourteen Years War – 1992 – Volume II

June 23, 2006 at 12:19 am (Uncategorized)

I was totally crazy about him from the moment I met him. I was also very young and inexperienced. He had already graduated from college and been engaged, which ended badly. He was still in mourning from his father’s sudden death. (This took some time to get out of him) I was also deep in my party phase. Most of that first year was spent going to college, working, getting toasty on the weekends, dancing to live bands in the clubs, or dancing at the bar that AZ worked at.

He worked on the second floor overlooking the dance floor and often I felt his eyes on me and I would look up and he would smile and wave. If I wasn’t there, then I would leave wherever I was, drive to his apartment, and sleep in my car until he came home. All he had to do was walk up and lift the handle on my door, which made the keys “sing” in the ignition, and I would get out and follow him inside. Oddly enough, he always came home, and he never had a woman with him. He never told me to get lost.

That’s not to say though that we didn’t spat. Oh Lord, did we fight! He was, and still can be, one sarcastic asshole. If he vented on me, I wouldn’t see him for a week or more. Often I would take my breaks between classes and call him from the payphone at the school, sometimes he called me there (way before cell phones ya’ll!), and then sometimes I would show up on his doorstep, unannounced, and he would open the door, bleary eyed and disheveled, and I would wince, apologize, and then he would drag me inside, undress me, and throw me in the bed. (Disclaimer: No, no sex, just everything but) I skipped many a class with AZ.

Time has made some things fuzzy and the time frames involved may be a little off but not enough that I feel as though I must consult AZ, yet.

Sometime in early Summer, I asked him why we didn’t progress our friendship/relationship to include sex, since we did everything but. His response at the time was, “I don’t love you and I don’t know if I will.” That stung a bit, more than a bit. Of course, it might have helped if he were a little more forthcoming about how his relationship with his fiance ended and how soon before I came to know him that it had ended. Water under the bridge now. Regardless, I loved him anyway and I remember how he groaned in frustration with me when I informed him that him not loving me didn’t stop me from loving him in the least.

One thing is, I was WILD AS A BUCK. I lied to my parents about who I was with and where I was going. I especially lied about weekends. Often, okay, all the time, I would say I was staying with Kelli or Beki, and I would actually stay with AZ. I was experimenting (lightly) with drugs, drinking too much at times, and dressing like a total 80’s band whore. I loved to dance and often spent more time on the dance floor than at a table.

This was around the time AZ had been fired from his radio gig and, for a while, was going under in the Gulf of Depression. I’d swing by between classes or call and check on him. In no time, he had landed a gig at a competing radio station and took great glee in peeling the former radio station’s bumper stickers from my car. He declared all out war, even to the extent, he was showing up earlier at concert ticket sleep-overs and generally making the other radio station look bad. I can still see his smug grin. Amen.

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The Fourteen Years War – 1992 – Volume I

June 22, 2006 at 11:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I know writing this is not going to be easy. It may not even be cathartic. However, I have wanted to write this history down for a long time. No time like the present. Chronologically…

In January of 1992, I noticed a good looking redhead hanging out at the Art Building at my college. We started talking and then dating. Valentine’s Day was on a Friday that year. I remember because that good looking redhead broke up with me the day before V-Day.

On the following Monday, I’m assuming, since it would have been the first time I saw my friends Kelli and Beki at school, Kelli told us she had met a local DJ, AZ. We were in awe. THE AZ. Wow. She said she was kind of interested in him and would we like to meet him, since she now knew where he lived. The three of us piled into my father’s truck, as my car was in the shop, and she directed me across the river to a half-house apartment in the center of the small town that I now live.

AZ met us at the door, disheveled and bleary eyed, in his underwear. *Laugh* He excused himself, leaving we three neophytes on his doorstep while he put on his blue and green bathrobe. I won’t ever forget that bathrobe. After donning his bathrobe, he invited us in. Me, being in the throes of heartache, immediately zeroed in on his massive CD collection and found a song which had just the right beat and lyrics to soothe my aching heart. The song was “Gimme Love,” the B side of the single “I’ve Got A Lot to Learn About Love” by The Storm, a Journey-esque band with a couple of former members of Journey in it.

This was the time of Shotgun Messiah’s Heartbreak Boulevard, Skid Row’s second CD Slave to the Grind, Metallica’s Enter Sandman, Guns N Roses was singing about November Rain and we had started hearing new bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.

While AZ and Kelli sat together on the floor, Beki sat properly on the couch, I jammed out, dancing in his living room floor. It was very hard for me not to look at him. Long dark curly hair, and those eyes, those dark, deep set eyes, like pieces of onyx, and the look of a very hungry leopard. His look alone made electricity surge through my body.

I was 21 years old. I didn’t know much, didn’t have a lot of experience with men, but I knew when a man was interested and he did little to hide it. After we got back in the truck, Kelli and Beki both remarked, “God, he couldn’t take his eyes off of you!” Kelli wasn’t upset. She figured he wasn’t much her type anyway and urged me to “go for it.”

I said, “But he kissed you.”

She said, “Yeah, but he was watching you, THE WHOLE TIME!” (These conversations are over 14 years old and I’ll remember them the best I can, but, yeah, this is pretty much what was said.)

Regardless, I was still hurt over Red and our break-up and seeing Red everyday did nothing to assist me in moving along, but, I did hear AZ on the radio everyday, and that did assist in moving things along. One day in early March, I gave Red a ride to the tennis courts and I was sure it was over and my feelings along with it. That day, I left the tennis courts, drove across the river, and started searching for that little half-house apartment. It took me a while but I did and AZ was out in front detailing his car.

My stomach was full of butterflies as I approached him. He smiled at me, remembered me, and we chatted while he detailed. After a while we went in the house, sat in the floor, listened to music, he played air drums, I sang, and we head-banged. And we kissed.

. . . Next “14YW – 1992 – Vol. II”

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A Tale of Two Men

June 22, 2006 at 7:37 am (Uncategorized)

Last night I was thinking about how much I write about Jeff and AZ. AZ and Jeff. Back-stories have been alluded to, old hurts, years of memories. I was just wondering if it would be worth it, at least for myself, to start at the very beginning and work my way through the last 14 and a half years (AZ) and 12 and a half years (Jeff).

I have thought of doing it before. Could be a nice summer project. The good news is that Jeff gave me back a lot the letters and things I gave him during our relationship and I kept that for Nate so that when he is older, he will have something tangible from when Mom and Dad were together.

I believe AZ has squirreled away every letter, card, photograph, note, and bar napkin I’ve ever given him. About five years ago, hell, maybe longer, I said it was a shame I hadn’t kept copies of the photos I gave him and as I now keep copies of letters I send him in electronic form, all the handwritten letters were lost forever. He said, “What makes you think I threw them away?” He’s mysterious that way.

Wrestling those from his control is probably not possible. However, I do have my memories and I have a journal around here somewhere with some documentation of what happened when. Plus, if I get stuck, it’s not like I don’t have both men at my disposal to root through their brains. I think I should do it now before anymore time passes and the memories fade even more.

So, who do I start with?

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June 20, 2006 at 10:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Jeff is preparing for a hearing tomorrow dealing with issues relating to his disability. This precipitated him dragging out every legal document he has ever been given, including every letter and Order from my child custody suit. Interspersed among those documents were copies of his certifications from the police department, most of which I was aware of, but there was also a copy of a “Recommendation for Letter of Commendation” from Jeff’s former shift commander. It was dated in early 2000.

Jeff said, “You know, it may not mean much to me anymore, but maybe my kids would like to see things like this.” The letter detailed how a call had gone out for a B&E in progress. Jeff had been the first on the scene, parking close enough to box the guy in, parking far enough away that the guy didn’t know he was there. Jeff got him on the ground and confiscated what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon.

The two other officers mentioned in the letter I know were close to be being rookies themselves and under Jeff’s direction canvassed the neighborhood, took statements from other individuals, and were able to ascertain the individual’s real identity as the crook has supplied false information. Come to find out he was wanted for a violent car-jacking and the supposed semi-automatic, which turned out to be a pellet gun, had been used in the commission of that crime. His shift commander specifically praised Jeff’s leadership, etc.

I got a lump in my throat when I read it. I remembered the Jeff that I fell in love with and the fact that he no longer exists. I was still so very proud of him. I handed the letter back and I saw that he began reading it too. I looked away to the television and when I looked back, I could see the emotion on his face, the redness around his eyes, the look when someone is trying very hard not to become emotional. He finally put it down and said, “I have to stop reading.”

I said, “I think your children would very much like to read that someday.” He nodded. There are more than a few reasons why Jeff is no longer a police officer. One is it just drove him crazy. Another is his former chief wanted the men on the department to turn a blind eye to his own son’s drug deals. When Jeff refused, the chief began targeting Jeff and there were a few guys on the department who went along with the chief and I know of one specifically who tried to cost Jeff his entire job.

This officer is so obese that I could out run him in a pair of Brighton’s stripper shoes. Plus, I rode with him as a student rider and he was lazy and stupid, more lazy than anything. For a while, Jeff was the pariah of the department and although we weren’t together anymore, I knew what was going on and I worried for his safety. I literally worried that there were some out there who wouldn’t have his back.

Eventually, three other higher ranking officers filed a grievance against the chief for his requests and harassment of the officers regarding his son’s drug dealing. The day the grievance was filed, the chief left the City Council meeting, went home and on his doorstep had a massive coronary. Those three officers were asked not to attend his wake or funeral.

And that is life in small town U.S.A.

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Which Way Did I Go?

June 17, 2006 at 11:56 pm (Uncategorized)

Life can be confusing. This, I know.

This whole thing about the shop and AZ and his reaction and the employees’ reactions. *Shakes head*

See, the guys want me there, at least the two of them that realize that AZ seriously needs a break in his workload. However, I’ve warned them absolutely not are they to mention, which the dumbasses already have, that I’m cute, hot, sexy, built, or any other word to describe the fact that I’m woman in any way. Remember that whole spiel with Lex, AZ, and the jealousy thing? Yeah, jealousy can be a problem.

The other problem could be that the guys don’t know me. They see a cute woman who might make the boss’s life easier but I don’t think they’re quite grasping the concept that if they dick around, it’s me who is going to be busting their balls. I wouldn’t be there to be “cute” I would be there to order supplies, work on advertising, sales, marketing, help with the printing, doing the books, and making sure they are doing their jobs. Them doing their jobs is one of the reasons AZ has to be there as frequently as he is.

Two of the guys fight like bitches. One of the guys has all of these great ideas but… they cost time and money when they don’t work out. This is pissing AZ off. Yakking on the phone for an hour, pisses AZ off. Bringing your personal life into the workplace to the point it affects your job, pisses AZ off. So, as you can see, they’re spending a lot of their time pissing AZ off.

I’m all for having a relaxed atmosphere where employees can meet their full potential. There is a line, however, between relaxed and working hard and dicking around. There are a multitude of things I would rather be doing than working so when I work, especially in a situation where there are deadlines, I expect people to pull their weight.

When I look at the board, it’s all there in color what needs to be done and what the deadline is and what may be coming up in the future, orders that are on hold, orders that need artwork, screens need to be cleaned, some need to reclaimed, ink needs to be scraped, tools cleaned and put in order, screens burned and cured so they can be used the next day, supplies, especially shirts, need ordered.

AZ hasn’t made up his mind yet about having me there. He calls me practically every evening that he has to leave me at the shop with the guys because he has other responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. This morning it was 1:15. We talked for an hour, even though we were both exhausted. He fell asleep on the phone with me. Luckily, he’s a light sleeper so I didn’t have to yell too loud to get him to wake up so he could turn his phone off. He had been awake 22 hours.

I have to say though, I really enjoy our conversations. They are eclectic to say the least. One moment we’re discussing the shop, the next it’s other obligations we have, bits and pieces of our day, anecdotes (he heard why karma is a big fat bitch with a mustache last night), and then the sound of clothes being shucked off, and both of us lying in our respective beds. One night, whilst chilling out, I said, “We’re undressed, lying in bed, now we can sleep together.”

And yet again tonight, another 45 minute conversation. And yet again, he fell asleep on me. I was at the shop from 12:40 until 7 and he stopped by to pick up a personal order he had done for a bridal couple. Let me tell ya folks, you see those pretty, pretty t-shirts with all the nice colors on them, you know, 5-7 different colors on one t-shirt, yeah, let me tell you how hard those bitches are to set up. Pain. In. The. Ass. Three and a half hours with two people working on lining it all up so you have a coherent design. Please appreciate it the next time you see one. If you own one, go hug it.

You know, before AZ asked me why we keep coming full circle I had finally made a peace with it. I didn’t have to know, I didn’t have to understand, I didn’t have to have an explanation. For the most part, I still don’t. I try to live in the moment with him. Every moment may not be made in Heaven, frankly, a lot of people would think it’s closer to hell on Earth (just dial “hell” and I’ll answer – thank you “Elizabethtown.”). It’s not hell. But, damn, yes, it can be confusing, and damn, yes, sometimes I wonder. I wonder why he has a girlfriend and he’s falling asleep with me. Why am I the last person he thinks about at night? Why is my voice the last he hears before he falls asleep?

Life can be confusing. This, I know.

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