“What do you want from me?” he asks. He is being serious but I avoid answering the question right away. Not only is it a difficult one to answer but the way he asks it, his voice edgy and dangerous, the threat of flight hovering in his tone, makes me want to throw caution to the wind and wrap my arms around him while I can, even though doing so will ensure his abrupt departure. Because answering the question will have the same result. So there might as well be some hugging.
“You’re going to have to answer the question eventually girl. If only for your own well being. If we take this dance any further without having a clear understanding of the reality of things, YOU are eventually going to get hurt. And then things will be weird with us. I don’t want that.”
“I wish I could answer that question simply” I say. “I do know one thing. I sure as hell don’t want you to come to the Farmers Market with me.”
“You’re such a weirdo” he replies, laughing. But I can feel him getting panicky. Even though I just told him I DON’T want him to go to the Farmers Market with me, he is very smart and senses manipulation in my quirky comment. “But good. Because that’s just not my thing. If you asked me to go I would probably start hating you. Besides, do we even HAVE a Farmers Market around here?” His eyes are darting around looking for the nearest exit.
“I’ve never been to a Farmer’s Market in my life you dummy. It’s an analogy for where I go and what I do before and after I have been with you. In my real life. See?”
“Are you saying what you think I want to hear?” he asks. His tone is cool and unreadable.
“Never once since I have known you have I had an inkling of what you want to hear. From me or from anyone. But I do know that if I ask ANYTHING of you I DO run the risk of you hating me. You’re impossible. Which, YES, is why I don’t want you to go to the Farmers Market with me.”
“Stop with the Farmer’s Market shit. I know what you’re doing here. Maybe it’s better that you don’t answer the question. Never mind. I just don’t want to hurt you. You’re a good person. A sweet gal. But I’m not going to change. Not for you. Not for anyone.”
“No YOU stop! You asked the goddamn question so you’re going to hear me out before you abandon me again for however long you deem it necessary for me to ALMOST give up on you. And enough with the sweet gal brush-off bullshit. It’s insulting. I’d threaten to never speak to you again if you continue your attempts to placate me with that crap, but we both know that’s never going to happen. I myself am not the abandoning type. SOMEONE has to stick in this relationship.”
He is silent now and I know that when I am finished speaking what is in my heart he will be gone from me for another excruciating period of time. This is how it is with he and I. It’s the one thing I have come to understand and accept in this unconventional love affair with my muse.
I take in a deep breath. It is important to say words that are my own. They can not be spoken lightly and they surely must not be what I think ANYONE else wants me to say, let alone him. Nor can they be laced with manipulation that begs for some kind of self-serving result, wicked intentions hidden within the punctuation. For as it is anytime he comes to me, this could be the very last. What I say must be authentic. It must come from my very core so that if we are to part forever, our end will be filled with rich, deep truth that matters.
“I need you more than I need air. I ache for you, crave you almost every second of the day, especially when you have been away for a while. And when you choose to be with me, every pore of my body sings with rich, elated energy and your very gaze drenches me with a passion that does not compare to anything earthly I have experienced.
But what I have come to know of you is that if I were to cling too tightly to the heightened sense of wholeness that envelops me when I am basking in the inspiration you bring to me whenever you visit, the very act of doing so, would diminish you, and as a result of my well meaning but strangling embrace also diminish me.
And so, my love, I do NOT want you to go to the Farmer’s Market with me, holding my hand, while I caress fat red tomatoes, and taste the sweet cherries that are finally in season, or purchase homegrown, golden honey lovingly poured into jars capped with colorful lids. I want nothing more from you my handsome, impossible muse, than for you to let me continue to have the same capacity for joy when I taste, feel, hear, touch and breathe in the deep, richness of life, before and after you are with me.”