I’m not superstitious. I like to say I’m not anyway, but in life there are patterns, and when you pay attention, superstition can rear her gnarly head. It’s like this – if you are kicked in the vag every day at 4:30, you start to gird your loins shortly after lunch. The dog days of summer have historically made me their bitch. If there is pain to be had, it has a ticket to ride in July with an open return ticket come Fall. It sounds so dramatic, so patchouli patchwork, but I have a trail of tears soaked in summer sand. My marriage to Dean ended on July 28, Tim’s and my relationship ended in July, both times. Jake, our demise, landed squarely in August. I lost my brother in early September, and the months preceding it were the kind of pain I hope to never feel again. I could go on with lesser coincidental summer dick punches, but y’all get it. We are at the time of year that I’m gun shy, I don’t walk under ladders, I don’t cross paths with black cats and when the opportunity presents, I throw some salt over my shoulder. Maybe I’m a little superstitious, but more, I’m a believer in paying attention and covering my ass. But something has happened. One day I am writing about bad dates and hound dog behavior, and the next, I’m falling in love. In July. This is the story of my dog day exorcism.
The Viking, well, he and I are a thing. It moved breathtakingly fast. This is so different. I’ve done some work. I’ve extracted my damage, examined it, acknowledged it, learned from it, and accepted it as part of me. This relationship has a future, and I’m getting glimpses of it. These feelings are on level, equal footing. This one, this one, will irrevocably change me. And him. This has legs. Long ones. I’ll tell you about it.
Those moments leading up to free fall, those are exquisite. He’s 56, I will be 50 this year, we have both been there, done that, a couple of times. When he told me he loved me, he said he isn’t a kid, but a grown man who recognizes and appreciates what this is. It’s rare. It’s real, and I agree. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this, waiting for him. There are words that change the way you think, words that fall and land softly on your heart. I’m feeling this. We make each other laugh. A lot. We make each other think. A lot. I won’t take this for granted. This feels unequivocally right. In my past, something this good would make me twitchy, make me sabotage. I won’t lie. It’s frightening to risk my heart again. Frightening, yes, panic, no. For the first time I know I deserve the love of this good man, and he deserves mine. How lovely is that?
In the past this would bring forth my demons. I feel like they and I have an uneasy truce. I fed them for years and in the last couple I have worked to tame them. They don’t run free anymore. In the aftermath, I have learned to value myself more and to appreciate the sincere. This connection I have with this man is worth putting my demons behind glass and worth putting my tattered heart in his hands, and his in mine. Maybe we heal one another. Maybe we get it right this time. Maybe the love of this beautiful, kind man arriving when it did makes summer, just summer.
This is the magnificent, soul stretching, limitless, dream catching beginning. That brings me to what I’ve been thinking about. Things change, wounds heal, hearts open again. Eleven months ago I would have disagreed. The break with Jake was more wrenching than both my marriages combined. But here I am. I endured. We all can. White knuckle it and push through to the other side, sometimes there is something better for you there. Please don’t think I’m holding myself as an example, that is the farthest from the truth. I’ve pushed through, yes, with many, many mistakes getting there. I hope I learned a little with them. Truth is, some were just bold faced blunders. I own them. By chance or fate, I met this Viking at just the right time, my wounds are healed, I’m on the edge and I’m starting to slide. Everything in me is saying this is different. Jump. So I am. I’m free falling. The dog days are exorcized. The sun is on my face and all is right in the world.
Go forth in conquer.