"Kitten-I was just thinking this morning how I enjoy having you in my life. Our relationship is a bit unusual but I like it. We have known each other for something like 14 years. And although we haven't walked through fire together you have been a good energy in my life. So I just want to say that I appreciate you and love you. And every day I hope that you are doing well and that you are happy,”
The above is a text message that I recently received from my friend, Grey. I don't use the term friend loosely. The sentiment is full of love, admiration and respect. Most of the people in this class have been in my life for ten, fifteen, twenty-plus years. They are the ones who have stood by and with me through some of my darkest days.
Grey said that we have not walked through fire together, but he knew me in the early days of CX when I was a lone and weary warrior fighting the constant barrage of attacks that CX waged against me. I was part of CX’s wreckage - misplaced like a lioness born to the wild finds herself trapped behind stone walls. It was a time when I was stricken with terror of the man, and barely able to function. Grey took my calls at all hours of the night and early mornings. I shall not forget the time he took me home with him, and tucked me into his bed so that I could sleep without fear.
I can tell a hundred stories of my friends being there for me in moments when I needed someone to talk to – a hug – a place to hide – a laugh.
Grey’s text got me thinking about what it means to love someone and truly be a team player in their life. None of my friends has ever said to me, we’ll be friends when you are no longer sick or sad or hurting – when you’re not broke and struggling – when you are no longer dealing with personal problems.
No. When I'm sad and hurting, they take me out for margaritas and give me hugs. When I'm sick, they bring me soup and care for me. When someone hurts me, they get angry. When I need someone to talk to - they listen…
I've been thinking a lot about Clark in this regard. He reminds me of Kenny and I in our early days when I was on the run from myself and wouldn't let anyone close. Clark said that it’s not past heartbreak that keeps him from my arms – it’s issues with life – that his problems are too big for us right now - he doesn't want the only time he sees me to be at night - that he's spent time thinking of a solution that's fair for us and cannot find a way. He said that this is the very worst time to have met me.
His words hit me like Déjà vu. You see, when I met Kenny I was battered and bruised and fighting so many battles, I thought that it would be selfish of me to subject him to my drama. I tried to scare him away with the tragic tales of my drug addicted ex-husband, psychopathic ex-boyfriend, and the issues that these two men posed in my life.
I was still trying to pick myself up after having fallen and felt that I was too broken for love. I felt toxic. It seemed as if Kenny appeared in my life at the very worst time. I used to tell him that I had nothing to give him but pussy and problems.
"I want your pussy and your problems," he would say which always made me giggle.
"I don't care about any of that," He said. Marriage, divorce, drama with kids, heartbreaks, death...that’s normal stuff that we all go through. These issues gets resolved in time. Why would you want someone who only wants you in your best moments? How do you know what they will do when things get tough? If you’re waiting for the right time for us to be together, the right time, which is right now - will pass us by,"
It took me a while to believe him. What man in his right man would want a woman's sorrows? Yet, when I was with him my problems didn't seem so big in those tiny moments when I stopped thinking about everything that was wrong with my life and give myself entirely to the present ... those were the times when I experienced my most intense period of happiness. In all the misery, hurt and uncertainties of my life, Kenny was my happy place.
I don’t think that people ever show up in our lives at the wrong time. My friend, Tyson would argue that their timing is perfect. I used to wonder why of all the men who could've shown up at the very worst time in my life - why did it have to be him. But as it turned out, Kenny was the one who showed me love when I no longer believed love possible. I thought that I was no good for anyone, yet when I looked at myself through his eyes, I was the most captivating, enchanting, delightful creature I'd ever seen.
Clark wasn't going through anything that I haven’t gone through and survived. I could see him behind his shattered walls, his quiet strength, passion, drive and intelligence and knew that I wanted more than his happy moments – I wanted his sorrows too. In those moments when Clark came to my arms, I was his happy place and he was mine.
"You can’t just give up on someone because the situation’s not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both people care enough about the other person to find a way to make it work.” This quote by an unknown expressed perfectly my feelings on this matter.
Jen and Ally did not understand my relationship with Clark. I'm not sure I did either. Ally said that we all have at least one man in our life for whom we lose our minds and do foolish things. She said Clark was that man for me.
“He sounds married," Jen said one day. “I should know. I’m dating one,”
“I see him on nights and weekends. You grab quickies on lunch breaks,” I said.
“He’s playing games with you, Kit,” Ally had said, joining the conversation.
“He’s been honest with me. He told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship,”
“Then why are you still seeing him?” she asked looking at me as if my answer was concrete proof of my foolishness.
“I don’t believe him,” I said. "He can’t seem to keep away from me,”
That’s because he likes to fuck you,”
“And I like to fuck him,” I said.
“So it’s the sex then? He’s controlling you with sex.” Jen said.
“That’s not it. It’s that I can see him from the inside out and I like what I see,” I said.
They had stared at me. “I don’t know what that means. Do you know what that means?” Ally asked Jen who shook her head no.
“What is it about him, Kit?” Jen asked. “Any other man, and you wouldn't think twice about leaving,”
“He has this big heart and a sweetness that reminds me of innocence and I want to take care of him." I said. "I like the way my bedroom looks in the morning after he spent the night as if a tornado had passed through. The sheets are always crumpled in a ball at the foot of the bed and I have no idea how they got that way. I like that even though he’s a giant, he fits in my arms. I like the way his cock fills me – giving him massages, feeling the tension leave his body as he surrenders to my touch – I like the way he holds me in his sleep…”
“You know what your problem is, you’re a fucking romantic,” Ally said. “You’re in love with love,”
When I did leave Clark, it was a decision based purely on the kind of logic that my friends claimed I lacked when it came to him – all the while, my little kitten intuition that I trust implicitly, opposed my decision to walk away.
But he came back and left again…and I watched him go for a second time, knowing that if he really cared for me - if he longed for me when he crawled into bed at nights - if he could still taste and smell and feel me though I'm no longer there - if thoughts of me filled his heart with joy and sorrow - joy because memories of me brings him pleasure, and pain because missing me makes him ache - then giving up our now for a future right moment that may never come was a mistake. There’s always going to be something else. Life is an influx of constant change – the issues that seems so big now in time will fade, something else will take their place and he and I will have missed our chance to explore what we might have been. I know this.
All the problems that I had when I met Kenny and from which I wanted to protect him have long been resolved one way or another. Some are not completely gone, but they have become manageable. CX has since been stripped of his power to control me – it was power he never did possess – I gave it to him in the way I dealt him. He still tries to manipulate and create conflict and confusion on my schedule weekend visits with Caesar - but I have stepped out of the ring with him. Now when he throws a punch in my direction his fist has nowhere to land.
Thomas died, and as it turned out, our life together was my greatest life lesson rather than the tragedy I thought we were. Thorr is now an adult and trying to find his way in life. He's still making poor decisions, but they are his to make and so are the consequences and the lessons. I have found myself, but I'm not without issues.
Kenny taught me that love is healing - that when someone truly loves and cares for me, they are not just there for the good times - they want my sorrows too. They would rather hurt with me than know that I hurt alone. He taught me to never trade my right now for tomorrow.
I know for sure that in this life we all have our season of joys and sorrows. And the people who are not just there for the good times, but who sees us through our dark days - these people - be it a family member, a lover or a friend - they are priceless.
"Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got," ~Art Buchwald~