I have had a handful of favorite professors in my college experience. One was Dr. Kurt Schreyer for my ENG 4670: Shakespeare’s Tragedies & Comedies class. Even his name was hot!
(Anyway, I digress…)
He helped me to love Shaskespeare (Shax) again. He used Shax in casual conversation as I did, and low-key thought I was brilliant. He even wore a fedora in the winter!
But most of all, aside from him being in the US Navy in his last life, he swore. He was utterly dashing, brilliant, knew I was brilliant–and I liked Schreyer’s class because he did what most dashing men do. He made me…think!
He was able to treat me as a lowly nursing student, as a viable, intelligent English major: someone that used words as weapons of warfare or instruments of healing.
There was a time 8 years before that class that I thought such weaponry was gone from my arsenal. The gift, the talent, the instrument of my coping was gone. The cause? I had spent the better part of my 20s with a man with no prospects, goals or his own light.
For three years, I poured into him, his son and whatever life 20-22 year olds promise to make while having really good sex (or what I know know wasn’t as good as it could be… ).
But, between times of being naked and not naked, I decided that I was going to trust him, and love him and help him with all he needed. From money, to time with his son, to…all I had. In that taking, I conjured up all the strength, love and all the ancestral BGM (Black Girl Magic) I could think of.
Not for me, but for him!
Thinking, believing, hoping, he would put that back into me. I ran on fumes for the better half our relationship.
At the end of it, near the end of it, my mother made a stark observation. She told me to look at her.
She told me that I looked dead. She said my eyes had always shone, since I was a little girl, and they no longer were shining. She told me the relationship I was in was killing me.
And it was.
I knew it was. I knew it was, when I was sitting with pen and paper and NOTHING came out of mixture of time and space and energy.
Since I was 8, even earlier, the stories, the words, would just come–THEY WOULD JUST COME. There was nothing–nothing. I thought it was gone. I just new it was gone. I mourned for it. I missed it. I would get smattering of it every now and then, the ebb and flow of its power like I was pulling the sword from the stone or a disciple of Hecate from Macbeth.
But in came the one I mentioned in the dedication of my book, *The Love Songs Of The Unrequited, Volume 1. The words came back, slowly, crawling and then with dam breaking speed.
That portion of me, that portion of self I thought my malevolent ex had stolen from me along with everything else, was coming back. I was me again. How can you not love someone that gave you back what you thought was gone?
Someone whom helped you regain the hope in you?
I shared worked with him, like a shy child and favorite teacher. At every positive acknowledging, every tear-born word, he heard, he accepted and told me that I was unlike any woman he had ever known.
He told me that I was talented and to keep writing.
He told me to keep going.
That was like breathing again after being underwater. It was glorious to see the light again, it was that dark for me without being able to write. I had a muse…he was it.
I wrote when I was happy. I wrote when I was sad. I wrote to deal without having him nearby. I wrote when I couldn’t talk to him. I wrote when I couldn’t sleep. I memorized his accent, his inflection, his voice, I locked him away in my heart–incomparable to anything before or since. There was *Alejandro and then everyone else.
With him being out of state, all I had to hang onto him was his voice, letters, cards and calls. I smiled again, jumped rope again (yes, OLD SKOOL ROPE!), stayed on the phone with him three hours a night, after working second shift (he worked first shift) and did we did stupid teenage things.
Oh, like what? Like this:
Me: “No, I love you.”
Him: “I love you too.”
(Same conversation after doing kissy-faces to the phone receiver)
Him: “You hang up, I have to go to work in the morning. I feel like crap when I can’t wake up.”
Me: “Welp, gimme 5 more minutes and I’ll let you go. Por favor, mi amor? Para mi?
(An hour later, same conversation)
Me: *Alejandro, it’s (however stupid late in the morning it is).
Him: (breathing in the phone, clearly asleep)
Me: (closing eyes, listening to him breathe. Hangs up the phone only when dial tone wakes me up. (I fell asleep like this more than I will admit here.))
Oh, yeah. We did that at…all in love and not giving a damn.
At 23, I was 16 again.
It was lovely. It was new, it was healthy. He loved me, and I knew to my depth of marrow that he did.
Oh, you wanna know how Shax fits into all this, you ask? Welp, anyone whom is close to me will eventually get a name from literature. Whether that be from a comic or a centuries old play, or a TV show I’m hooked on.
He was my Romeo, my Antony, my County Paris and my Hamlet…and My Dean (you gotta be a fangirl to know #SPN).
He, too, was my Peter Parker. All mild-mannered, dorky, intelligent, strong and sweet.
He called me his MJ.
(I don’t care! I LOVE TOBEY AS SPIDER-MAN!)
Mary Jane Watson.
You would have to be a geek, or love one, to get how deep that is, and how sweet that is, and how I could not want the forever after with Parker.
Every time I would move beyond his grasp in the time we occupied–I would be dating, he would be dating (but we still spoke on a fairly consistent basis), but I would think about him, him about me, and somehow come back together again.
The weirder thing?
He knew when I was ‘far’ from him, and he from me. We knew when the closeness wasn’t there or quite right.
I was getting back to me.
My Able Unshakeable was a reminder that knights still do exist.
They still fight in wars, have armor and still find damsels in distress.
They still hold love and honor as virtues not punchlines.
They still find the broken in the beautiful ones.
They still are willing to tell the Queens of the realms, they can cry again–that strength and beauty she is clothed in, but it is not destiny always to rule alone.
There is one, will be one, to see tears behind smiles, childlike joy in laughter that reaches your toes and thinks your eyes hold light even when they are shut.
These chosen of your heart are able to see you as no one else. If the Fate of God be merciful, you get to spend your life with them.
As for me?
Maybe next lifetime.
I have this one to live out with a man that is able to do that…and he found me while I was yet hiding. How blessed am I?
I love you, Phillip**.
*-For sanity and anonymity, his legal name will not be mentioned here. He does know the work exists, and even the dedication. He has moved on with his life, and I wish him nothing but happiness and joy. He has earned it.
**-Yes, that is my real husband’s real name.
[images from Google]
There are the people in your life that clearly know they belong in it, but will never come into it in any desired capacity.
There are people in your life that believe that they belong in it, but you will never let in.
Then there are those people that come in believing that have all right to be there, and you agree. Then the pursuit of all that love entails.
The hunt as it were.
The state of being together, but not really together, and them in your life makes everything sweeter, and lighter, and easier. They make loving yourself easier, because they love you.
I have one like that.
It took me years to not think of him without my heart fluttering. If you’re honest, you have one like that too. The person that no one can hold a candle to, or someone that is the archetype of what a good mate is, or the best boyfriend or girlfriend. The person your heart remembers.
I remember taking a Psych class, I remember the name of it was called the Study of Psychodynamic Substances. A fancy name of the drugs that alter your mind, as it were. There is something the class referenced to called EM.
This is short for emotional memory.
Now, stay with me because I’m about to help you out! This type of memory is purely somatic. Meaning, your own body has a memory independent of the more sentient memory–memory and memories you store in your brain.
In this class, this type of memory is totally based on sensations and impulses–or even catalysts to or of both ideals.
That. BLEW. ME. AWAY!
To find out that my body had a (bleep) memory? That changed game forever. Why? I could then begin to put a name to what it was I was feeling.
Keep in mind, I’m happily married now. I’m a college grad, a mother, a writer, a blogger and with like 9 other things I want to do and see before I leave the world and go back to God.
But I am aware of the ‘ghosts’ in my life that have this effect on me. Those people that come into thought when I try and do something else, concentrate on happier things. Most of the time I’m successful–I keep some at bay, have exercised the others to the point they are non-existent.
But there is one that I have to remain armed at the ready over.
Even admitting it sounds like a form of defeat. It shows where the chink in the armor is. It shows where I can be hit at–a heart map, if you will.
The Unshakeable One.
The Able Unshakeable.
This is the one that makes you think ‘what if’. This is the person whom at a thought is able to cause emotional havoc in both spectrum directions depending on where you are emotionally. The one that can show you where it is you could go if they would only come in.
The one that you never envisioned having to live life without, only realizing the indignity of having to. The one that when you hear their name you have to pretend that you won’t cry or scream, blush, get horny thinking about or become incensed.
The one that knew what every inflection of voice meant, where every mood came from, the one that could soothe you with a look. The one that your heart sang such sweet sonnets for.
The one that didn’t know what they wanted, but knew they wanted you, but you would wait your life for.
But I suppose you do, don’t you?
In Julius Ceasar, the most famous line quoted is by Ceasar’s wife, Calpurnia, in Act 2, Scene 2, page 2:
“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”
In this quote I find solace when it relates to the Unshakable One.
I know that in accepting of what is not, and may never be, I have marked the end of what once was and is no more.
I am of no illusion of what time has given, and even, stolen from me. I accept that life before him and after him have indeed been marked.
In the marking, in this death, I do not fear.
His presence may come, but it cannot remain…at least not always. He gave me a glimpse at forever but left me with mortality, questions and the desire to know just how on Earth he had gotten such a hold on me!
I wondered often, alone, out loud and with tears, how had I loved someone with lioness ferocity, with the fidelity of a Queen…and not be with him?
It stunned me.
As a writer, I had to find the glitch in the script. I had to get to the plot twist, only to realize…*Alejandro and I were the plot twist. We were the glitch in the system.
I didn’t think what he found in me and me in him was even able to be found in anyone anymore. What we were reaching for didn’t make sense to heartbroken people, cynical people.
We were a celestial anomaly–and I loved it! I reveled in it. I had found something akin to jasper, diamonds and topaz. I loved him and he loved me. And I knew from the DEPTH of me that he did.
After being in a broken state after a necessary (I cannot stress how necessary it was to leave that dude alone!) breakup in the Summer of 2002 I was still hurting when I met *Alejandro that December. We exchanged numbers and when I heard his voice? I blushed.
As our affection grew, he was a heart starter, I could breathe again. He reminded me I was intelligent and gorgeous and worthy of love. Nothing could be so, would be so amazing…and I enjoyed it.
The more I got of him, the more I wanted and the more we gave to each other. The amazing thing? There was nothing like anything before or since…how could I not want it? But yet…here I am and there he is and…was.
I understand every love is different, indeed, and I am and was thrilled he reminded me that I was worthy of it.
*-Not his real name.
[images from Google and Shutterstock]