"The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
~ Thomas Merton
~ Thomas Merton
I don’t know where I got the above quote from because I only recently ran into it on the interwebz. But for sure, I feel that it describes what went down between Tee Jay and me. I knew that we both prolly were taking our best chance to have a life partner when she told me that she was looking for ‘something different’ from the type of character she usually dated. And if I could be allowed to quote Jeremy Irons, playing Klaus von Bulow in the movie “Reversal of Fortune”, I should have answered her with “You have no idea,” of how different a cat she had begun dating.
With my boxing career on life support, my OTHER Army/high school friend, Jenny hooked a brother up with a job interview with the company she was with. Tee Jay worked for the same company but at a different location. It wasn’t until I had to go to place where she worked to fill-in that we met. By this time in my life I was completely done with the ‘run ‘n shoot’, and because I had made going down south a big part of my life, I did not think that I would run into a woman understanding enough to let me take two weeks off and go visit my Carolina (and then Georgia) girls. My first couple of years back in the Motor had been spent ‘ducking’ my starter wife, as she lived a half-mile from my Mom in 48219, a block or two west of Telegraph Road. She was game, and my Mother told me that “she’d let you give her another baby if you wanted,” which in the context of the relationship my Moms and I had, was just THE funniest thing she could have said. And it was the truth, too. I would make sure I had my darling brother, one or both of the twins in tow when I went to my ex-wife and the girls apartment, so that if the “small head” got to doing the thinking, the one with the larger brain still had to drive back home!
So it was with our relationship, me Skye and her older sister BJ, rolling around in my Z car to parks and what not. I was not doing any sort of ‘reconnoitering’, and I am sure that between the twins, Jan and our Moms’, that my starter wife was fully appraised of my ‘movements’. By this time, Jenny popped back into my life and that was when the Nexus of Realities once more opened and all the paths that were available to me stood before me, crisscrossing like elevated bridges in the stars. So I took one, not knowing where it lead, and followed my kenning.
YOU ASK ME WHY I’M SENSITVE ABOUT MY HEIGHT
You know I have given some serious thought about cultivating my aura, just as I thought of developing my skills as a fighter or as a writer. Not simply because it is a choice that I should make but perhaps I have been LED to that choice. I don’t think that I am unique to feelings of extra-sensory perception, but I feel that I pick up on ‘things’ more often than others, hence this awareness that ‘something’ is happening in the world. I have this memory in Sunday school of been taught that we all should be able to see G-d in our fellow man and that He was in each and every one of us. Though it is really the rage in the New Age-spiritual communities, I have never had any doubts that the power of creation is in each one of us. And it is something that I believe just as I believe that Tuesday follows Monday and when it does, the sun will be shining in the sky.
This awareness of interconnectedness with the world around me is something that led to my trying to interpret the patterns around me in my life. So when I am told that I think too much, I would unconsciously respond in my mind, “No, the problem isn’t that I think too much; but that you may think too little.”
Devo made a song called “Patterns” that in high school confirmed what I felt about the world and has remained a foundation of the purpose of why I ‘read tea leaves’ along with what empirical knowledge that I possess, to form my ‘why’ to my life. And this is where the interlude begins to dissolve and return to the story I am weaving.
"...A YES, A NO, A STRAIGHT LINE AND A GOAL"
What made an ‘ex list’ appealing besides giving me the excuse to talk to Tee Jay again is that people from my past know who they are getting when the decide they want to be with me again. This includes Mookie Dee, with whom I could have projected working in a degree field if she was supportive. But, and this is my thinking, African-American woman have a delicate balance between loving and being disappointed by their men. For some, this manifest in a fear that when things go dark, it is a sign that it is going to go pitch black!
After my struggles to find a job and discovering that I was left permanently injured as a result of boxing, the air began to seep out of the balloon. But this was not the first time a sister had demonstrated such behavior with me, were instead of our futures merging, that they saw where they were heading in different directions. Both my wife and the Delta Girl were women who could not have the faith that I could be the ‘man that they want their man to smell like’. And despite the evidence that this was possible along with my working diligently towards my goals, when it came to either be all in, they chose… my starter wife chose indifference and scorn, and Delta chose indecisiveness. Thing is, if I was the head of the relationships, the leader, then if there wasn’t anyone following me, it made the journey ‘we’ were on a long, lonely walk.
So when Tee Jay said that she was looking for something ‘different’, then I knew that we had not just a ‘shot’ but that we were ‘favorites’ in the big dance of relationships. She was willing to do the things that maybe she had not done before in a relationship, to maybe try new things and look at life differently. In short, she made room for me in her world and did not require that I give up anything in my world.
AND SEE, I THOUGHT I WAS IMMUNE
Whatever you glean from my journaling, I DON’T live in my past. If that was so, I would not be doing what I do. I am not a slave to the ghost and chains but I do make myself familiar with them, so that I maintain my ‘defenses’. But for the first (and only) time in my life, the shades that inhabit my soul turned into the demons of my nightmares. And when they were done with me… my heart was deeply scarred by an old wound that had never healed.
By the time I made my way back to seeing her, time had done what time has always done. A once open sore became scabbed, and the scab would fall off and reform, only to fall off again, leaving tissue forever weaker than that which it is a part off, and a mark left from the initial injury. And if there was some magic left in our relationship, it wasn’t stronger that the pull of my future. As much as I love that woman, she had become a part of my past…
…but there was just one more name from that past that still lead to my future.
NEXT: AND WHAT HE LEFT BEHIND HE HADN’T VALUED HALF AS MUCH AS SOME THINGS HE NEVER KNEW…