Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Life

When I look back on this year, on my marriage, on my life, I feel I will remember October 23rd: either the beginning of the resurrection or the beginning of the end. As the conversation drew to a close and I lay alone with my thoughts, I found bits and pieces of a song ricocheting inside my skull, One (the Cowboy Junkies version).

Much talk that day, talk of the issues, talk of the future; talk before my therapist and talk after. My fever has receded, my head feels clearer. There are bedrock issues in the discussion, a level of hurt not easily dismissed.

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame

I have never been a fan of blame – giving or receiving. Of all the human emotions, it seems the most pointless because it is a retrospective feeling at a time for looking forward. And now, as in most cases, there tends to be more than enough blame to go around so why devolve into the only thing worse than blame – relative blame.

One love one life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby
If you don't care for it

And what would be a day of talk without the main session, the when any normal couples are sleeping now session. The topic is a recurring one – how do we start to rebuild. My entreaties were heard differently than I envisioned. She heard “I will zip it if you will fuck me.” Yes there is linkage of sorts – I do envision having sex, hopefully with Carrie – but where I hoped to speak of patience she heard immediacy, an immediacy I never intended.

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

There is only one item that seems non-negotiable in all of this – the very fact that I am bi. Actions can be discussed but the fantasies will always have their power. There was a time where Carrie would have been happy with a cessation of my acting out. But there is now an element beyond that – if I never act again, she has seen behind my eyes, and the shadow of those visions will always be with her.

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other

So we talk into the night, a deep bond of friendship, a shared commitment to our children and to each other. I so desperately want to find the starting point. For much of our marriage we had been one, in so many ways the same. Now we have to learn how to be different without coming apart.

I do not ask for forgiveness and in some way that must gnaw at her very marrow. On one hand let’s start to rebuild, yet throughout my writings – yes Carrie has caught up on her reading of my Blog – there is the theme of sorrow coupled with a singular lack of regret. Yes, regret for some things said and yes, regret for some lapses in judgment, but no regrets for allowing myself to be bi, for allowing myself to if only for a brief moment live my fantasies.

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

We realize the sheer unreality, at least for us, of a middle ground. She talks of a marriage in name, a bed shared with bodies kept separate. If I was gay, if I was not sexually drawn to Carrie maybe it could work. But I am drawn to her – emotionally and physically – and that is a powerful package. Even if I were to “settle” for the emotional, the straits are tricky. A touch, a hug, an embrace: ah, how those so easily morph into so much more.

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one, But we're not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

Carrie is hurt, deeply hurt and my offers fall short. I am willing to try to give up men but her skepticism is palpable: she has been burned before. I feel like an alcoholic willing to forgo one drink, begging encouragement and support for that little act. She is waiting to see if I can go a few weeks before believing. Crawling – yes it is how I feel: I respect her hurt but I know that unless we get beyond the hurt, we can never rebuild.

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

I finally ask the question, the only question. If I give up acting on my desires can she live with a man knowing the fantasies will always be lurking. I am not prepared for the answer, for the fact she does not know. I do not believe her, not after a life together fraught with the fantasies, fraught with the sexual tension they created. Have things changed so? While it is for her to answer, I cannot fathom that we cannot return.

One life
With each other
Sisters Brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other


Paul said...

And what about the Mary J Blige / Elliott Yamin version? Just the visual of them performing this song confirms that two distinctly different individuals can become one.

Flip said...

"We're one, but we're not the same."

Not the same as each other, not the same as either of us has been or will be.

"But we get to carry each other, carry each other."

We don't have to, we get to.

Anonymous said...

For some reason this whole post with the song playing in my head in the background sounds so sad.

Spider said...

Sad in one respect, but possibly a new door opening in another respect - which also brings up a set of issues...

Nate said...

Thanks for the comments guys. I typically do not respond - they stand on their own very nicely.

This group particularly touched me both for their wisdom and for the sensitivity - yes, sad in a way.

Ian said...

"If I was gay, if I was not sexually drawn to Carrie maybe it could work."

No. Because you are bi, because you are drawn to Carrie physically, you have the potential of making it work. If you were gay, once you got beyond a lifetime of repression, her slightest touch would feel wrong. Even the slightest hint of intimacy would give you the creeps. And kissing her...kissing her would be like kissing your sister.

Don't ask me how I know... :\