In a few hours, I’ll be driving south to Portland to meet Roxy. She’s spending the day driving north and throughout the day, I’ll call her to check in, send her love and entertain her as best I can. It’s a long, tiring drive, made more stressful by increasing threats of winter weather all along her route.
It’s not the weekend we thought we were going to have, gathering on the Washington coast with a group of Butch Voices Portland organizers. The weather threw too many wrenches into that plan for everyone but especially for the one driving over 14 hours through weather related hazards, there and back. So the retreat is being rescheduled, Roxy and I are meeting in Portland for some quality time and there still may be a gathering with the BV folks before the weekend is over.
If you read her blog, you’ll know we had a bad day yesterday. Driving up here in one day is a challenge in the best of conditions, but the onset of winter weather makes it really difficult and risky. We had one of our very infrequent unhappy conversations, not as much an argument as a bad collision of misunderstanding and stress. Yes, I did very very much want her to come up — I love her, I miss her, I want to see her. But, no, I don’t want her here so badly that risking her life is an acceptable potential outcome. The compromise we came to still puts the greater burden on her, so I’ll spend most of this weekend making it up to her.
It’s sucks being so far away so much of the time. We can’t do the simple things: meet for lunch, go to shows together, help each other with projects or stressful family events. We do big things, we fly and drive hundreds of miles for weekends together. We cram tons of experiences into those weekends and they are wonderful. No question about it. But the strain of day to day life takes its toll and we can’t be there to hug, and hold each other when the shit turns shittier.
The better it gets with us, the more in love we are, the more we know and respect about each other, the harder it is to be so far apart. And as much as we both love to fantasize different realities, the truth is we’re going to be far apart for a long time.
And given all that, do I consider giving up? No. If even a glimmer of a thought about breaking this up crosses my mind, my heart clenches in the most painful way. As tough as this is, I’m not going to let go, not without a helluva fight — by which I mean, I’ll be unconscious and unable to fight before I let go of her.
Tonight, we’ll be in each other’s arms. Tonight, all the love we’ve held in safe keeping will be unleashed. Watch your seismographs, I wouldn’t be surprised if a bit of a shimmy doesn’t show up on them.
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