Even when there is something you love to do, if you’ve been away for any time at all, there is a part of you that wonders if you’ll still be any good at it. That is how it is when I pick up a pool cue after not playing for month, or put on my roller skates for the first time in years. It is how I feel going out on a shoot with a family for portraits hoping I don’t miss the special expressions and moments that I have been lucky enough to capture in the past. It is how I feel about seeing Martin again on Thursday. I KNOW it will be great but there is a little piece of me that is a bundle of nerves.
I used to be in marching band and we would compete in parades. Everything had to be precise in our movements. Everything had to be impeccable in our musicality. Is the plume straight? Are the spats clean? Is the instrument tuned? Will we work as a team and pull this off? Or will we look like a train wreck? The seconds before a performance are intense. But the second the whistle blows and the drums begin their cadence the magic begins. It is what is called “Stop time”. It’s as if time stands still and you are living the moment. Completely caught up in the sites, smells, and sounds of each second as if you are lost in the joy of the performance. Nothing else matters until the song is over.
I can image how amazing and nervous it would be auditioning for the part of a lifetime as a theatrical performer. The part you’ve wanted since you were a little girl or boy. The one you were born for. After getting the part how thrilling it is training for it; practicing your lines and dance steps and singing the songs. But what a joy at the same time.
For me that is how things are with Martin right now. I feel like I’ve auditioned for this part I’ve wanted to play my entire life in the play that is perfectly written for me. Opening night is coming closer and I’m getting nervous. But I’m so excited. It’s been such a joy and yet also a lot of work and at times very hard.
The last time I saw him I was upset and torn on the inside because of lies he had told. I flew home on September 19 wondering if that would be the last time I would see him as a boyfriend. At that point he was set to move out in 4 weeks. Those 4 weeks came and went. After another month we realized he wasn’t moving at all. By that time I had figured out his true age and was devastated at more lies. I wondered why. Why he couldn’t trust me? He disappeared a couple of times to think and process all that had happened. I was fearful he would give up. He had two root canals and one surgery. He’s had a birthday. We had our one year anniversary of meeting in Dublin. We talked and talked and talked and smiled and shared and kept sharing and came to the conclusion that being together was not a choice anymore for either one of us. It was settled and we’ve settled into a good place. So many things have transpired since I saw him last.
The last few days he’s been busy with family obligations as I have. He’s back at his sister’s house speaking to me only from the garage (where there is a decent signal for his WiFi.) It’s been freezing cold. The snow hasn’t stopped him from reaching me but it’s definitely put a damper on our conversations. They have been short and his mood less relaxed. I feed off that I think. I get a little nervous and I miss him more.
In a little more than 3 days I will see him face to face again after 103 of being apart.
I broke a nail. Of course.
I find myself sitting staring off into space thinking about what it will feel like to hold his hand in my hand and kiss his lips. I feel this lump in my stomach do flip-flops because for some strange reason, I’m having trouble believing that he is actually going to be on that plane and I’m actually going to see him this time. My mind involuntarily jumps to the day he will leave for home at the end of his visit. The home he was supposed to have already left. And I’m instantly sad. Then I push that thought deep down back into the pit of my stomach only to have it turn again every time I hear the ring of the Skype phone. I’m a mess. I’m up then down, then up, then down.
It’s almost curtain call time. I’m ready. He’s ready. We are excited and happy but it’s been a long time. We will still be great together. We are every night. We’ve got it down.
I must breathe. I’ll take my kids to In-n-Out Burger. And we will play more Wii when we get home. I will try to keep my mind focused on the present. Maybe a good movie. And before I know it….it will be Thursday. I will drive sweaty palmed all the way to LAX. I will check my face and hair about a million times. I will see him standing on the curb with his suitcase smiling at me. I will feel his heart jumping out of his chest and his hands shaking from being so excited and nervous himself to see me. And we will hug until the security guy taps us on the shoulder and tells us to get a move on. My makeup with be smeared and my hair all messed up before he even gets a chance to get a good look at me.
After two minutes, maybe three, our heart rate will come back down to normal and we will settle into that song we love to sing and belt it out smiling because we are exactly where we know we should be. And we will want it to last forever. We will not let ourselves think too much about the final curtain call because we will be having too much fun.
As I type this tears are streaming down my cheeks because I can already feel the sadness of that final day but also the excitement for the first. Bittersweet is our time together. But how can I do anything but want it? It’s so good. It’s so perfect and right and great and fun.
I know he’s not staying. Right now we have no plan other than knowing we want to be together. We’ve made two attempts. But this trip is not going to be the one where he stays. I am prepared for the end. I have to be. I’m crazy and so is he. But it truly feels like our destiny. So we have no choice but to embrace what we are given for however long we have it.
“We did what we had to do. Won’t forget, can’t regret, what I did for love.”