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Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Shattered Life - Part 1

Author's note: I'm far from perfect. These stories are all from my point of view and, as such, they highlight the faults of the other party. I am endeavoring with these stories to include, and acknowledge, my own faults in the situations; but, they are still from my point of view and, therefore, inherently biased. They are, to the extent I can make them, true stories.

The picture was black and white yet it conveyed everything it needed to. Beauty of features and solidity of stature. Long, flowing blonde hair and bright crimson lips. The black top, coupled with the jeweled pendant enhanced the fairness of her skin as it dangled just above a tasteful display of impressive cleavage. The photographer's technique had captured her beauty at its fullest and the lack of color only enhanced the reality of her appearance.
She was perfect. Gorgeous, sexy, intelligent, independent, and geeky.
The information on the screen was unbelievable.

What lonely man wouldn't click on the button to indicate interest in this woman?

The person I used to be had no idea that this would lead to his destruction.

After a lengthy online interaction we met for the first time on August 8th. I was doing my laundry and she outlined that I should come down and go out with her and her friends that evening. I did some quick mental mathematics and realized it was possible to complete my laundry and hit the road for the three-hour drive to arrive about the time she was heading out. So I did.

The drive was arduous with anticipation and yet, I don't remember any specific moment of it.
I remember speaking on the phone with her as I exited the highway and we crossed paths in the middle of downtown Saco. She turned around and I pulled over in front of a small brick building that was a dance school and studio. Her red RX7 pulled up to the curb and she stepped out, wearing shorts that showed her legs with the same gorgeous blonde hair reflecting the orange tinted street lights and the same crimson color to her lips that the her photo so clearly showed, despite the lack of coloring. All of this was, somehow, enhanced by the red wind breaker she was wearing.
We embraced, a friendly hug that was a prelude to a much greater adventure.

After the introduction was completed and the awkwardness of that first "meatspace" meeting was shaken I followed her to her apartment so that we could leave my car there. We went together to meet her friends.

For me it was an awkward evening. I have never been good with new people and I was much more interested in spending time with her to enhance the relationship we had already begun laying the foundation for.

After dinner, at which she had had a couple of drinks, she let me drive her baby home. This, I was assured, was not something she did lightly (later evidence fully verified that as I never drove that car again). She invited me inside and showed me her apartment, her dog named Spock, and her stuff. As an independent web designer she showed me her other baby, her computer, last. It was a marvel to behold. She rattled off the specifications and fired it up to show off the blue light that lit the interior while it was on.

I was lovestruck. I was luststruck. I had never experienced anything quite like what I was experiencing in that moment.

"I really want to kiss you" I said.

I don't remember the next few minutes; but, I do know that my plans to go stay with my brother that evening were canceled and I stayed with her.

Our relationship promised to be a thing of beauty that would complete both of our lives with a passion that I did not believe could exist. But that promise, and the person I used to be, were shattered by insanity; HER insanity. My body survived the experience but who I am today is very different from the man who met her on that August evening. The time we spent together destroyed that person, and consumed itself in the horror of what he endured.

There remain fragments of the time we spent together. These fragments are the worst of the stories that were burned into my brain. These fragments are the things I cannot forget; the scars that my resurrection into who I am today cannot leave behind. These fragments highly the sadness as much by their own stories as by the reality that they persist when tales of the good times are lost.

Part of the damage that was inflicted has forced these fragments to exist as independent entities. The continuum upon which they all hang has been shattered, along with the life that lived through that experience. These fragments remain as scattered memories. The me that I am now has tried, probably in vain, to order them in the sequence that they happened. The very reality of the situation has, likely, made an accurate ordering of events quite impossible; especially since some of the related components are interrupted by isolated events.

The distance between us limited our time together. Shortly after our meeting a routine began to emerge into our world. As five o'clock rolled into view on Fridays I departed my office and began the intellectually laborious journey southward.  The vast stretches of highway became my familiar Friday evening companions and remained so for nearly ten months. Ten months of counting off the mile markers on the way to her apartment, through the dreary desertion of space between Bangor and Augusta and continuing through the ever-increasing landmarks from Augusta southward.
Each Sunday we debated my return and each Sunday the idea of staying together defeated the desire to sleep close to work. Each Monday the reverse trek was initiated; starting with the densely packed southern region of the state and progressing ever farther into the rural landscapes of central Maine. Each Monday morning I watched the Sun climb into the sky through my own dreary sleepless mind as I contemplated the upcoming day and my eventual return to the south on the following Friday. Each early morning commute I relished the idea of being with my love full time, without the need for the weekly pilgrimage. Each Monday morning I lamented the reality that was the ever-more-boring northward progression as things other than trees became less and less frequent the farther I went.

We had the opportunity, and the technology, to remain in contact nearly all day long. We had broken conversations over the computer while we both worked and we followed them up with the obligatory ultra-cute couples phone calls in the evenings. Aside from our being apart everything was perfect.

Each successive weekend strengthened our bond and forced our desire to spend the remainder of our lives together to grow stronger. She was perfect and, as far as I could tell, she felt that I was, too. Even her dog, whom had been judgmental of boyfriends in the past, approved of me. 

This pattern continued, as I outlined before, for nearly ten months. In that time a future home for both of us was sought and purchased (more on that later) and I continued my relationship commuting. The fuel cost grew and the toll on my endurance was taxed. At one point, in an effort to alleviate some of my burden, she came to me rather than forcing me to join her at home. This effort; however, proved to be a singular event for a variety of reasons that varied in ultimate legitimacy and was never repeated.

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