Tag Archives: Love

I Fucking Love The Way He Loves Me: Told From My Pedestal in Late Summer

We’ve met again. This boy and I who never seem to put the sealing wax on the envelope. We’ve spent our whole lives having missed encounters with one another. Chasing a dry leaf in an October breeze, for me. Writing sexy lyrics to a perfect song, for him.

We couldn’t be more different, or in tune. Worlds apart in all ways except heart and humor. We remain on the periphery of each other lives though. Sometimes close, sometimes absent. It’s both difficult and precious to know this is the most loved I’ll ever be. It’s the kind of love, passion, and connection I’ve always expected. His love is both a tax and reward.
I may cheat myself by comparing all love to his. It seems unfair to compare the man who knows where I’ve been to the one who wants to know where I’m going. And, as he and all my former lovers put it, I may end up alone because I don’t trust a single one of them.
He’s not a provider in a tangible sense, or like I’ve always wanted, yet he offers something others can’t. I don’t know if the latter compensates for the former. But, I fucking love the way he loves me. This is my attempt to describe it. Or, justify it. Or, prove something to myself. Or, give myself permission.

I admit that regardless of how I feel, I have trouble making that meet what I think. Thinking is where I get into trouble. I wonder often whether or not it’s possible for someone else to come along and make me feel as adored as he can. There is a man I know who is the mate for my soul. Truly my soul mate, without question. (Quite possibly the only one who thinks I have a soul.)

The standard for cellular attraction and spiritual connection is so high because of him. Us. We tried, or played with one another, throughout the years. We tested each other out, he always more honestly than I. For years he looked after me and was always around, and I was a phone call away when he got into trouble. He worshiped me, and was uncharacteristically gentle with me. I was out of reach and he was too accessible. He was risky. I was a commitment girl with high standards, he was…sort of the opposite of that. Actually, not sort of.
He shared details with me, over and over, as easily as he shared everything else. Details and honesty, and not just sometimes. He tells a story in a way that puts you in a room with him, whether you want to be there or not. Many times, over several-a-story I wanted to scream “No! Stop talking!”, but simultaneously found comfort in the closeness we had that allowed that kind of openess. He told me things he didn’t tell anyone, and I’ve been both hurt and honored by his honesty. He’s told me things I wanted to hear. And some I needed to. We lost that one day.

So, for more reasons than that, I love him from a distance and am there when he needs me. Or something.
Him arriving at my window as kids, at some ridiculous hour was not uncommon. He often ended his nights there. We’d sit in the yard, the floor of my living room, or in the woods for hours. And, we walked together. So many times he walked me home. So many footsteps and stories that ended with a surprisingly quiet and gentle hug. The smell of his signature leather jacket lingered after he left, and I always wondered what was on his 16- year-old mind on his walk home…besides my ass.
There were many nights when we just held him together. His adventures were hilarious, exciting, dark and wild…and destructive. To say he was a bad-boy would be an understatement. I’d attempt to talk him down, or up, depending on what he needed. Sometimes, I was coaxing a bottle out of his hand, other times, it was something more dangerous.

There were quite literally years of 3 a.m. phone calls, and he’d ask me to stay on the line while he fell asleep. (And I’m still here.) He needed the kind of company, or voice, that could help him get right. I like to think he reached out when he needed something soft and forgiving. But the truth is I’m not forgiving, and he reached out because he knew I would always be there. He’s quite possibly the only person I didn’t give birth to that gets my soft side, while simultaneously accepting my I’ll-fucking-cut-you side. He calls me “home” and I suspect he has reused that one a few times…just like “my queen”, “goddess” and “my wife.” He’s dramatic. But, I was a safe place to go when things were ugly, always available to listen to good news, or a place to write when he made the news. I offer him a place to send his feelings and reflections. A way to empty his heavy mind and even heavier heart. A person to share his vulnerability, ridiculous humor, and not-so-secret mean with. I am the human equivalent of confession, affair, and therapy. I’m crazy. I’d have to be. A sane thinking person would run.

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

He offers me a pedestal, though. Oh, and don’t I just graciously let him set me on it. I stand up here…doing twirls and smiling the whole damn time. Worshipped. A completely untouchable goddess up here doing naked curtseys and soaking in the affection like warm sun rays. I fucking love the way he loves on me.
We’ve had a friendship for 24 years. A pretty sensual relationship once, and a move-in that ended abruptly. We nurtured a paper and ink romance, at times. Actual stamped envelopes & lined paper filled with more love than any journal could hold. Pen & pencil. Handwritten. We’re probably solely responsible for deforestation and USPS mail carrier job security. We’ve been hanging out, laughing, writing, and loving each other since I was 12.
I’m always here. I’m, admittedly, the fallback girl and I’ve always been okay with him sauntering in and out of my life while he finds himself. I’m a terrible partner anyway. I had space in my heart for him, but not in my life. My super-power is loyalty. My weakness is the spiritual connection to childhood that we share.
I’ve always been easy to love briefly, or..by mail. When he tires, comes to the end of a road, or can’t get what he needs, he calls…or writes. When he misses home and is lost, he reaches out. He’d say “That’s not why.”, or “I’ve always loved you.” And, in fact, we’d both be right.

Sure, I’ve felt used, occasionally. But it has in no way been a one-way relationship. We’ve both received something sweet.
A written romance. A beautiful and ugly one. Both of us in love with words of the other. The excitement of an addressed and stamped envelope in the mailbox every day never tires. He comes home to me that way, and I love it. Seven intimate pages of a handwritten story, some dreams, or plans replace an embrace at the end of a day. His with pen, mine always in pencil. Mine folded properly, his never. The opposite, according to him.

Sometimes I save them to read over tea before bed. Other times I rip them open as I close the door with my back. Some, I have never read. Even though there is a letter in my mailbox almost every day, it is still a gift and a surprise to receive each and every one, 27 years later.

The greeting is never the same, the script varies based on his mood, and his closings either make me laugh out loud or ache below my belly. Each make me smile. An old fashioned postal romance woven together by time, friendship, trust, familiarity, attraction and love. There’s a string that runs from my heart to my pencil and only he plays a chord on it. I’ve always been easy to love by mail…because the idea of me is like a love song and the actual me is…not.

His neediness has reached exhausting at times. His energy can be too great. His ego is a storm. But he’s worth it. In fact, I’m thankful to him for the opportunities I’ve had to touch pencil to paper, with frequency and at length. Right here even. His words saved me, by beckoning a written reply. But, we’d still miss each other, out here in real life.

If I was open to dating him, he’d relapse into a life I couldn’t be part of. When he was on top of his world and wanted to try, I was in a relationship. More often than not, I was available while he was…passing time. Once, after a really great year together, and only weeks after moving in, he quietly left while I slept. He left a note on the table. Yes…a note, in the night, left on the table. The irony is not lost on me. He used the same method to break my heart as he did to fill it. Left on my table.
My life was too much. Boring, rigid, sober and stale accompanied by responsibility and accountability. Not exciting. He’d say “That’s not true.” But it was suffocating him and lacked the energy and vibe he thrived on. He wasn’t going to survive in my space. I wasn’t going to survive his relapse. To this day, I can’t remember all that note said. I do remember “I’m sorry.” “Please forgive me.” and “All my love, always.” He relapsed that week and was writing to me shortly thereafter. I knew he was sorry. I forgave him and thanked him in my head.

I knew he loved me. Always would. It wasn’t even about me, or love, but it didn’t feel that way. Because he loved me, he shouldn’t have come. Because he loved me, he had to go. When it was far too late, I still ached for a better answer. I struggled to deal with the sudden death of my boyfriend before us and then the loss of us. I don’t recall a time when I felt more alone in a bad way. I spent a spell trying to undo the young picture I had of life together. Again, a truth that honored. Then I was alone in a good way.

We’ve been friends, and have grown up together. Well, I’ve grown up. He’s still the 16 year old boy that wraps me in his jacket, and tells me how beautiful I am. The boy who is wildly inappropriate, incredibly loud, and often both at the same time. He’s the boy who makes me laugh at any cost, walks me home at night and keeps me safe through many an adventure. There were things he couldn’t keep me safe from, but he would have done anything for me. Still would. He’s the kind of friend I share dark things with, and he doesn’t scare. I’m not always proud of those thoughts, but it’s good to know there’s one man who…can always make them worse. Partly, because he’s crazier than I am. Mostly because he understands me.
I watch him grow older making music, he watches me dance. I watch him build, and he watches me mother. I listen to him sing, he holds me when I cry. We drift in and out of each other’s lives in an easy way. Sometimes the out part isn’t as easy as the in. Usually it’s necessary for one of us.
He’s like Winter. When he’s not here, I know he will be. During warm months I know he’s not far off. When he comes back into my life, he’ll be intense, and harsh, and offer a brisk wake-up in emotional places I’d carelessly neglected or fail to control. He’s a warm blanket for me when I need to be nurtured, and he’s a nor’easter when I don’t. He tests my strength and I test his commitment. Our relationship is complex, yet so simple. We’re friends. Friends first, and always.
Time together and apart is like moving through seasons. Each distinctly different, each encounter beautiful in its own way, and always comes to an end. It never lasts long, but when I’m in it, it seems endless. A storm or a season, this man is a presence as large as both. You could easily get lulled into listening to the wind howl if you’re not paying attention to the temperature drop or the drifts building up. There is always more than one thing happening in a storm and he’s no exception.
He’s melodic and as enchanting as snow fall when he’s loving. He’s as explosive as thunder when he’s challenged. Dealing with and loving him requires resilience and the ability to shift course if the tide changes. The tide he rides always changes. I’m as resilient to his manipulative tendencies as as a sail is to wind. Longevity with him is not for pussies. Knowing that what he wants and what he needs is constantly at odds. Knowing what he likes can’t replace what’s good. Understanding that his ego is strong but fragile, and knowing how to nurture the boy while respecting the man is balance. He is the dark to my light. He’s the tide that changes the shore in my life.
Trusting someone so unpredictable is contrary. Him expecting trust when he knows me is contrary.
He’s not been a good friend, but he’s my best friend. He’s not been there every time I needed him, but he’s been there the few times I’ve asked him to be. He’s broken my heart several times, but he still makes me feel more loved and understood than anyone in my life. I can’t imagine a deeper connection can be made, and I wonder at whether or not it’s possible to find this in someone else.
When we connect, no time has passed. And we connect on levels that can’t be described on paper or with imagery. It helps a bit that he’s strong and unpolished. We know each other in frighteningly honest ways. There are moments when the only words that can be spoken are “I know” because he really does know, exactly, what I’m thinking or feeling, or because I really do know exactly what his eyes said. Other words or empty sentences are needless. We just know. Sometimes it’s a relief to be known so well, and other times the honesty stings. Sometimes I just tell him to shut the fuck up, which he really can’t do. Sometimes he tells me I’m completely irrational, and then surprises me with an accurate explanation of why I’m wired to react that way. He knows where I come from, why I do what I do, and has an idea of what it sounds like in my head. I appreciate that, because my crazy is wicked. Not as tough as his. Nobody has crazy like him.
I know what he’s made of. I know what he’s capable of, and it would frighten most well-adjusted people. Frankly, he’s the most explosive, selfish, abrasive and impulsive man alive, even by my measure. Yet, he’s capable of restraint-more so as he ages. He’s overwhelmingly tender, and present with me. He thinks in romantic gestures and stories, and he acts like a spoiled man child at the hint of no. He’s gentle when he wants to be, and capable of drawing and drinking the blood of anything that crosses him. And, not in a sexy Twilight way either. Given the opportunity, he’d make a torture session look like recess if I asked it if him. He’s the alpha of alphas.
He conforms to nothing, refuses to be anything less than the center of attention, and is a warrior for his family and friends. He is a spoiled, spoiled man who needs to be reminded of it…gently. He speaks in lyrics, and sings like a caged bird. He whispers with his annoying blue eyes and smiles with them, too. He makes me laugh until my cheeks and belly hurt. He moves me to tears. He enrages me. He makes music for me. In me.
He’s completely selfish. Selfish in a way that makes me marvel at his ability to be so in tune with what he loves and wants. It’s a mix of awe and disbelief. I can’t believe someone would do so much for only himself, yet I envy his ability to define so precisely what makes him happy…and then just do it. Sometimes his selfishness enrages me, and other times I truly wonder at what that must be like, even just a little.  Is there a word stronger than “selfish”?
We are so incredibly different.
He thinks I’m amazing, and so, I love him.

I love the way he loves me.

I love the pedestal he’s spent 27 years molding for me. And I take my place on it both bashful and grateful. He thinks I’m soulful, and remarkable when in fact I’m just crazy. But being made to feel that way by someone you love is amazing, and something he does. He tells me regularly that he’s proud of me. He knows that I’m jealous of his ability to live in, and appreciate, each moment-instead of working and preparing for moments that may never come. He thinks I’m a good mother, and he thinks my children are special and good because they’re an extension of me. He listens to stories about my girls, despite not being a parent, and understands how much they mean to me. He knows love, and he appreciates it.

He challenges me to let go and makes me feel better. He doesn’t meet me halfway. He comes right to me and takes my hand, because he knows that’s where I meet. On my side of the street. And he’s okay with that. He doesn’t quit on me. He pushes obstinately as if picking away paint, to make me believe in his love. When even the most persistent of men would stop, he’s warming up. He’s completely in tune with my crazy. He knows why it’s there, how it works, and when it’s likely to rise up. He knows what hurts and he’s just selfish enough to use it. He’s occasionally belligerent, believes he’s right all the time, and is incredibly smart. He knows shit I’ve never said, and remembers things I’ve long forgotten. He’s impossible to negotiate with, is an asshole when he’s tired, and could manipulate like no other when he wants something.

Our love is non-traditional, messy, beautiful, chaotic, powerful and stronger than time. If you asked him, he’d confidently tell you “She’s mine, and she knows it.” (I can actually hear his voice, his cadence, and his confidence.) He’d say I’ve always been his, like he owns my heart. He’d say he always hoped we’d end up together, and that our other relationships were just intermissions. “That shit was on loan” as we say to each other. We’ve met again.

I sincerely love the man behind this man, and he loves the woman only he thinks I am. I love what he wants to accomplish in his life. I wonder at his experiences and talent and fearlessness. I love what he dreams he can do, and I appreciate the promises he wishes he could keep. I love his charisma, shamelessness, and ability to make connections anywhere. The man, who has no dependency, accepts all risk, assumes all responsibility, and knows no boundaries. He is unapologetically raw.

When we talk I feel like me. The real one. Not the one I’ve been fighting to be my whole life. Not the one who has something to prove or to compensate for. The free, young, offensive, mean, smart, sweet and strong one that he loves.

He wants one thing from me, and it’s the one thing I can’t give him. Trust. I learned a lot from the bad alone time, and now I am just a tiny bit too excellent at being alone. There is no one I depend on for anything, because I simply don’t completely trust anyone. It sounds sad, but in my life it was an absolute asset, not a flaw. I envy people who trust, don’t project, and can resist worse case scenario planning. I’m just not one of them. I don’t want to ruin us with that, but I could.

He’s also an addict in recovery and he hails from a world I’ve spent a lifetime hating. It consumed people I once trusted, him included, it depleted me mentally, emotionally, financially and physically. People in that world let me down, brought me down and held me down. He spends most of his time with people, and in places, that trigger actual negative physical reactions for me. It’s obvious to him that I hate that world. It hurts me that I hurt him by not being more empathetic and supportive, or even less disgusted. He can’t leave there and I can’t go there and I wonder if it’s fair to either of us. He deserves a love he can invite into his world. One who’ll accept the invite and marvel at him. I’ll cut the bitch who tries, but I believe he deserves it.

I trust him only with the pieces of me that are for no one else. I trust him with knowing. I trust he’ll be dishonest. I trust we will hurt each other. I trust he’ll underestimate me. I trust his razor sharp tongue will say words I won’t be able to forget.

But, today I fucking love the way he loves me. And, when there is only an expectation of passion, we make it.

Dear Mr. Jacobs

Today, 18 years ago, I lost my boyfriend of 5 years. He was 32 with diabetes and had a massive heart attack. I was 21 and wild with a massively broken heart. 

our last day togethether Christopher Lee Jacobs 3/30/1966-9/23/1998

On Sunday, he was the best man in his friend Shawn’s wedding. On Wednesday Morning he was dead.

I drank too much champagne at the reception and was drunk. I started to feel sloppy and he wouldn’t take me home. In his defense, neither of us had a car, we took a limo and it was gone by then. But in true Heidi fashion, I left him there. I took my strappy heels off, pulled up my dress and walked barefoot out to Long Pond Road. I put my thumb out for a ride wearing a $400 dress. I took a ride from a stranger, didn’t care, and fell onto my bed to pass out when I got home. I wasn’t a drinker and couldn’t hold my liquor. I also didn’t have a lot of champagne experience.

When I woke, he was breaking basically everything in the place, angry because I’d left him. I snuck out in the same dress I’d passed out in, and didn’t come home that night. As I left he was smashing his guitar into an oil canvas he bought me for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t say a word. I was scared. I just took my keys and left.

I would see him on The Cape the following morning when I was picking up my daughter. She climbed into a cardboard appliance box in the yard, and he carried her around and played, while she talked to him from inside of it. Man, he loved that girl like crazy. He was the only daddy she knew. We met when she was 11 months old. When he came to me for forgiveness, I wouldn’t speak to him except to say it was over. It would be the last time I’d explain holes in the doors or the walls or pick up and throw things away before the baby came home.

He went outside and sat in my car with the passenger side door open for a while. I watched him through a window. He hugged our girl goodbye, and kissed her face a whole bunch before he picked up a duffel bag and handle of vodka and left for The Patriot to ferry him to Martha’s Vineyard where he worked.

It would be the last time either of us saw him alive. Later, when I went to my car, I saw that he’d written a note. In his super neat all caps printed handwriting, he wrote:

 “I’m sorry. I will wait for you, forever. Tell me when you’re ready. I love you guys.”

We didn’t have cell phones, we couldn’t have text message arguments. This was a time of landlines and pagers. He paged me 143…a lot. I never replied because there wasn’t a number to call. He was staying in a room on the island.

He died three days later, early on a Wednesday morning, on his way to work. Shawn called me at work to tell me. I thought it was a mean joke the two of them cooked up to get me on the phone.

It wasn’t a joke.

I was never quite the same after that call. I was 21.

I’m certain I left my body.

Those were some fucked up circumstances.

Man, we were fucking crazy. When we were good, we were pretty fucking sexy. We loved each other other like crazy. But when we were bad, we were bad. To say “We had some times” would be an understatement. Today, I wrote him a letter to remember him.


September 1998, Shawn’s Wedding at Brewster Garden, the last day we spent together
Hi Baby,

I’ve missed you and haven’t quite been the same since you left. I still remember you like you were here yesterday. I don’t need pictures to see your face. I think about you all the time, especially in September.  The cool air and the color of the leaves remind me of loss and of you and your champion sweatshirts over tee-shirts, paint covered jeans and high top Reeboks.

I own a house now, and I think you would hate it because the walls are uneven and made of horsehair plaster. I can remember whenever you finished a job, you’d shut the lights out, plug in a shadeless lamp, and sweep the wall with the light looking for drips or inconsistencies. My walls would make you crazy. Sometimes I stare at the lead paint trim peeling and the gap between the ceiling and moulding and wonder what it would look like if you put your hands on it.

I can remember going to work with you, and the sound it made when you tapped your brush on the inside of a paint can. I loved working with you. I can picture paint spray over baby oil and sweat on your body in the summer. I know how to perfectly care for my brushes and rollers after a project, but sometimes I just fucking throw them away. When I don’t, I imagine you’re proud of me.

I remember when you painted the Nantucket Inn and I spent a weekend there with you. We spent the nights partying with the Irish and Jamaican staff who worked there. I remember walking out to the bluffs with you, after you walked me through the Haas house that you painted in Chilmark. I still can see the entryway, the height of the ceilings, and the view from the edge of the bluff. We went to an Oak Bluff’s bar for beers, I wasn’t even old enough to drink, but you were basically an old man compared to me. I couldn’t get that house out of my head. I’d still love a home with a tiny guest house on the property some day. I remember the pickling you did on the cabinetry on Manomet Point Road in Plymouth, and the crappy little 150 sq ft studio cottage we lived in on Taylor Ave. right down the street. We kept champagne cold in a potty chair of ice and sat on crates one New Year’s Eve.

I miss staying home during the Summer with Alexis and Christopher. I miss planning his birthday parties and how excited you’d be to drive to Connecticut to pick him up. I don’t miss how sad you’d be when we left without Jess. I miss your proud daddy face, though, and how you loved to love those kids. I miss Christopher’s sweetness, his rounded nose and his dirty blonde cow lick.

I still have a brand new paintbrush of yours and an aluminum coffee mug that I took from your island VW work van. On 9/25/1998 I rode the Steamship Authority ferry over to clean out the van. I kept my round-trip ticket stub as a reminder that yours was one-way. I think I was punishing myself by making sure I felt a little bit of sad every day. It stayed inside my mouse pad at work for 17 years.When I left that job, I decided it was time to let the ticket go, too. I couldn’t give my round-trip to you. I took Alexis back once that fall to be near you and say goodbye with her. It rained and hid my tears.

I’m still pissed about you not paying the rent in our State Road condo, not telling me, and leaving me there to deal with the landlord with the kids. I still hate you for us having to stay with Mark and the wicked bitch witch Susan. I should be grateful she helped me get an apartment, but she was a hag and mean. You are so lucky we had Mark looking out for us. He was so good to you, to us. And Miss Alexandra was the sweetest girl. I didn’t keep in touch. I’m really sorry for that. I meant to. I should have tried to stay in touch with Carla and Christopher, but it hurt to see them, and I was afraid it hurt him to see me. I always hoped he’d look for me one day so I could tell him stories of you (maybe not these ones!)


Christopher and I, while you washed and vacuumed my car
If I’m being honest, your mom is a bitch. I know what a momma’s boy you were but she was awful. People really get ugly when they lose someone. Everyone in your family thought I was holding onto your “stuff”, whatever that was. Marlboro Miles, cassette tapes a leather jacket and some clothes. Baby, you didn’t have shit for “stuff”! I miss being that poor with you! Maybe if I were your mom, I would’ve needed to blame someone too, but she knows I took care of you. Maybe I should’ve given her slack for grieving, too. But I wasn’t capable of that. I had a hard time just existing in the world. Waking up, pretending to be normal and mothering was all I could do. And even that was marginal.

You were the only man to ever understand what a psycho I was when I was PMSing. When you and Mikey (was it Mikey?) were leaving for Woodstock ’94, you said “hey catch!” and threw a bottle of Pamprin to me.  I wanted to fucking kill you…but not as much as I did when you came back covered in mud with a blood sugar count over 400. You fucker.

I love remembering how young and untamed I was, and how angry you’d get at me. You loved that I was wild, but hated that I was disobedient! You’d be so angry when I walked outside in my underwear and a tee-shirt to check the mail., or laid in the sun topless in my yard. I never thought anything was wrong with either and always laughed at how mad you’d get, worried someone might look at me.


Card Night on State Road, Chris age 28, Me age 17
Remember the time I told the bartender I was 18, after a pitcher of beer and some pool at The Trading Post in Buzzard’s Bay? oops. How about the kid who threw a full beer can at you and hit my face with it? I love that you beat him up on the hood of the car before you asked me if I was okay. I was amazed it wasn’t a broken jaw. (You were always mouthing off to someone and getting us in trouble.) Getting pulled over with you in the car was always a joy, too. You were so bad!

You’ll be happy to know I’ve maintained your strict no littering rule, but you’d be disappointed at how messy my car is. Some days, I wish I had a guy that took it and vacuumed it out they way you always did when I drove the Saab. When I tought Alexis to drive, I quoted you…”Go, or don’t Go. Never hesitate. Hesitation will kill you.” which is what you always said to me when I was pulling out in a 5 speed to make a left through three lanes on Samoset St. 

Remember the year Santa brought Alexis a kitten? Yeah, that fucker lived for 16 years. I didn’t get to tell you, but that was an aweful decision. She grew up to be evil. You didn’t tell me cats live that long. I had that cat longer than I had you!

For the record, I have never smashed a plate off the head of another person since that one time I did it to you when you called me crazy. There’s some irony in that, isn’t there? And, maybe you know this, but after you died and I was cleaning out the apartment, there was still shards of glass on top of the cabinets. I laughed between tears when I packed up the few things I owned and left. Remember when I broke my hand breaking your cheek? I’m sorry about your plastic surgery, but really, you never should’ve cheated. We were such ass holes.

I miss making your lunch and tucking love notes inside it for you. I miss notes from you hidden in the house. I miss making sugar free desserts. I do not miss Jello-O! (By the way, Bill Cosby is a rapist, and there are tons of sugar free options today, besides Jell-O. And I think if you were around now, you would’ve lived a little longer and maybe been open to more good-for-you food.) I miss how happy you were to have dinner ready for you when you got home, and making you your disgusting half cream-half coffee-one equal coffee.

I miss sucking at rock & roll trivia, but I still remember that the name of The Who song is Baba O’Riley, not Teenage Wasteland, and that Jethro Tull had an electric flute. I do not miss your drinking, or your temper, or your mullet…thank you for letting me shave that off accidentally. I have never attempted to cut another man’s hair and they all have you to thank.

I miss how cocky you were at everything. I miss you teaching me to shoot pool. I miss teaching you to write in cursive. I miss your stupid air guitar to Van Halen, but I don’t miss your pegged jeans.

I miss how fearless you were and remember hopping the fence at the Melody Tent to see Robert Cray. The weekend at the Newport Folk Festival that we snuck into without tickets, blowing bubbles through the moon roof on the way there, and putting Alexis on the news truck in a pink wig during the Indigo Girls.

I miss Sega Golf and VHS Movies because I couldn’t afford cable, and the way you’d hold me from behind while I did dishes.  I do not miss mixing your insulin, your tissue trauma, worrying about your blood sugar, or giving you shots. I do not miss calling ambulances,  ER visits, and how you refused to see a doctor. I miss the good days, the good meals, the family time, and how many places we took the kids. I miss bills with both our names on them.

I remember peaceful weeknight evenings with you when we’d make coffee in our cobalt blue mugs, take a few hits off a joint on the porch and snuggle in for the night. I refuse to ever date an Aries, or a diabetic, or a guy without a license. I still have cassette mix tapes that you made for me and few songs from the 90’s don’t make me think of you. Dan Fogelberg’s Same Old Lang Syne (not the 90’s!), Ani Difranco’s Imperfectly, Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, and Pearl Jam’s Black are some of the ones that stand out. I’ve never met a man who held the small of my back quite the way you did when we walked into a room, like I was property. I think you thought I was.

I miss how much you loved Alexis, how much you loved me.

Chris & Alexis Circa 1995 at the Hyannis Ferry, we were leaving for The Nantucket Inn

I love how many photos you took of us because if you hadn’t there might not be any of me. I remember 35mm film and having to send it off to be developed. I ordered 3″x5″s because they were cheaper. We’d get pictures in the mail and get excited over coffee at the ones that actually came out. No one prints pictures anymore.

Everyone knew you lived to live and that you were here on your terms, even if it meant a short life. I wish I could have had a little longer with you. I wish the children did, too.I’m angry at you for not taking care of yourself. I’m angry at myself for not telling you how fucking much I did still love you before you got on that boat. You still knew though, right?

I miss how you were such a good, all night hold me, snuggler.

You never let go.You would say “If I die in my sleep, I love you.” and as you kissed my neck I would laugh and make you promise you wouldn’t die next to me. “Do not die in our bed, I mean it, say you promise!. And you would say it.

And you would keep that promise.

I want to say thank you for sparing me that, but I’m not sure I’m thankful. I wish I got to hold you, the same way I did so many times on the floors of our apartments or in the grass by the harbor.

I have not been right since you left. I got pretty serious, and scared, and have spent decades worst-case-scenario planning. I say whatever I feel, so as to never miss an opportunity. I only keep close people I really love. I say or think “If I die…” a lot. 

I’m making changes though and want to love life a little like you did (Minus the jail, booze, dying young part.) Certainly not in the reckless-ride-on-top-of- a-truck-on-the-highway -going-the-wrong-way, kind of way that you did! I’m going to take care of myself a little better, but I’m going to try to relax a little. Today, thinking about you, and about how you sort of breezed through and didn’t worry much about anything has helped me a little bit.

I really miss you, Chris Jacobs. Thank you for the time I had with you. All the good. All the bad. You left us way to soon, but on your own damn terms. You helped us live while you were here. Still loving on you 18 years later you crazy fuck!


PS I still find rocks that are shaped like hearts and wonder if you leave them for me sometimes. 


At Falmouth Harbor


Autumn’s Gift: FALLing in Love

Thursday is the first day of Fall here in New England. On September 22nd we’ll experience the Autumnal Equinox. There’ll be an almost perfect balance of day and night, dark and light. The sun will cross over the celestial equator and the days will become shorter as our evenings arrive earlier and stay longer. As they do, I’m planning my next love affair.

I said good-bye to my short but passionate Summer. I hung on until it was clear Summer left me. The night air has cooled and darkness comes noticably sooner. As a woman from the Northeast, I consider myself hardy, hearty, and resistant. Each season requires some kind of preparation, and no amount of holding on to the last can either make one stay longer than it’s supposed to or do any good. Change is inevitable. Necessary. Expected, even when we don’t expect it.

It’s no secret I fall in love. I love, love. I fall in love with gestures, images, music, ideas, words and most recently, the wrong lover. Like Summer it was a a long build up but a short affair. Now, Fall has arrived, and I’ve begun to let that go. I am so tired from the heat and from holding on. I’m ready to fall into Fall.

I’ve been attempting a very intentionl shift to do something different, something for me, something that fills the space I kept for him and absorbs the energy I reserved to love him. Something that starts on the first day of Fall and wakes me with renewed energy. I’m looking to smile, feel passionate and alive and excited. I am tired of being tired. I want to fall into something beautiful.

I’m taking all my mislaid attention, energy and affection and turning it in toward me, the human I am and the mother I fight to be. A shift in focus. I couldn’t find a reason not to give to myself everything I’d given to him, to everyone. Everyone except me. I always thought I was honoring me by giving of myself, instead of to myself. I’ve been depleted, though. I need to fall back.

At first this shift felt uncomfortable and forced. Actually, it didn’t feel like my choice at all…because it wasn’t. I would have given until my last day. I had to be hurt and alone to realize exactly how much of myself I gave up and how little I consider me. I was left as though in tree pose. Autumn’s wind blowing me around, leaves being plucked off, my balance was off…I lost my focus. My eyes darted around for something steady, something reliable, so I could regain balance.

I self-talked, wrote, willed, yoga’d and often cried myself through heartbreak, anger and grief. It was ugly. Making progress toward this Fall…from one love to another…requires intentional thought and provokes some tough-to-describe feelings about how it left me standing here. I am the only steady and reliable thing I had to focus on.

I turned off the hurt so I could analyze facts and reason. I had to cry out about my loss and then come out of myself, turn around, and respond sternly. These are the conversations I had with myself about this past Summer…about this passing love.

When he stepped out…

I lost the greatest love of my life. So far. Life is not over. How lucky to have loved someone like that. No one else could ever have loved you because you held onto and saved that space for only him. Now it is available, so do something for you.

I lost the love who is also my oldest friend. A friend shows up for you how and when you need him. Duration of a friendship does not determine its quality and depth. Let someone else in.

I lost the person I most enjoyed being held by. Let someone else hold you. There are a lot of arms out there, and some are strong enough to not let go. You will be okay.

I lost the person I most enjoyed being silently stared at by. Other people were staring, you just never looked back. Look around.

I lost the person I spoke to every day. Every. Single. Day. You did. You lost that. Very few of those conversations were about you, how you are, what your dreams are. You are okay.

I lost the person I was the most honest, the most comfortable and the most safe with. Yes, You did. You will be okay. You will find that again.

I lost the person who knows the most about me. And he used that knowledge to be hurtful. The list of negative adjectives he used on you were angry. Someone who knew and loved you would know you couldn’t survive that.

The rest of my life is still very much in tact. Not much changed at all when he left, I wasn’t getting what I needed from the relationship emotionally. I never had his time when I arranged it. I was very much an afterthought. A back-up option if something else wasn’t available. I only heard from him if he needed me. That’s not mutually beneficial. You couldn’t depend on him. Walk away.

I lost a love who didn’t love me, think of me, consider me or want me as much as I, him. Yup. That’s not awful. Someone will come along who wants your kind of love. Someone will come along and love you the ways you need to experience love. Let it go and be grateful for the opportunity to practice loving. Now go love yourself and your own happiness that much. 

So, as I enter Fall, the Autumnal Equinox, I decided to name it…FALLing in Love With Myself . I will focus on a regular yoga practice. I will bring myself to a safe mat each day. I will be the woman I need to be for me.


I have no intention of spending time analyzing any of the adjectives he used to describe me. I have no plans for personality changes. I have no desire to try to make myself fit into anyone, or anything. I have spent a lifetime being harder on myself than anyone ever could. I’ve spent decades giving attention to everything that is “wrong” with me and never deeply considered my own happiness. I  have no plans to do any fixing.

I do plan to spend a great deal of time learning and loving. I plan to appreciate the qualities I have to offer this world, my children, my friends and my lovers. I plan to embrace Fall and her long dark evenings, as I wrap myself up in a blanket of self care. I will meet myself on my mat every day. I will listen to my breath. I will pay gentle attention to my body and treat myself to kindness. I will calm my mind.

Not because I’m broken, but because I’m worthy. I want to fill myself and love myself. I’m looking forward to a season of supermoons, crisp air and beautiful foliage. I will take lovers and vacations. I will pick apples and eat pumpkin pies. I will walk the beach during full moons, naked if the air is tolerable. I will read, and write and sleep. But mostly I am looking forward to feeling what happens when I really, really FALL in Love With Myself. 


Messy Lessons

I fell in love with a man who broke my heart, again. Everything is all messed up. Our dreams didn’t come true. And our story got ruined. I’m still moving through grief and anger and shock and sadness and hate and jealousy and regret and crazy and mean and lonely. ..I’m still hurting through all of that, but in an attempt to remind myself to keep moving, I captured a few of the lessons I’ve learned from my messy bleeding heart.

I learned I can be hurt and sad and angry, and still compassionately love and hope for wonderful things for him.

I still love him. A stupid amount. I can’t have him back. I can’t imagine ever being over this. He ruined our story and me. And, despite my roller-coaster responses to heartbreak, I’m still capable of love. I’m capable of loving and understanding him while, not after, being so hurt. I don’t want to or need to be his friend. But, having been his friend, and having really loved him, I can acknowledge and accept that what I bring to the table is simply not what nourishes him. I can still feel love for someone, without giving it. I can still hate what someone has done and love that person.


I’ve never been the person who loved more in a relationship, and I don’t want to be again.

I think in every relationship one person always loves one more. That can’t be me. I’m incredibly untrusting and therefor insecure about how people feel about me. I need to know, with all certainty, that I’m the one, always. Then, I need to be reminded often.

Heartache is real. It actually hurts. I can physically feel my heart hurt, ache and get hot, like it burst and is spilling out of me.

When I read the words “I can’t do this” it ached. It felt swollen or bruised.When I listened to Liz Longley’s Goodbye Love I had to hold my chest because it felt like my heart was leaking or falling out. Literally a pouring sensation. When I listened to this song written by Mark Seymour (and performed with Eddie Vedder) I thought of how I never got to hear him sing this one to me at the fire. Losing love hurts.

I learned that if I didn’t try with him, I never would’ve let anyone else in.

It’s true. I would’ve continued comparing everyone to him. I can stop that now, because I know it was our story of us, not us that he loved. If I didn’t take the risk with him, I would’ve been waiting for him to come claim me as his own forever. I would’ve wondered “what if?” I would never allow myself to completely love another man.

My period makes me a psycho. I have extreme PMS. 

Legit psycho. I actually put an entry in my calendar to remind me that the week before my period I’m crazy. I’ve been doing this for more than a few years, but without fail I get my period and think “Oooooh WellThatExpainsALot!” I’m a hateful, mad, dangerous, randomly crying lunatic who loves you, then hates you, then needs you, is hungry but can’t eat Monster.

I am lucky to be surrounded by beautiful fucking people.

I have the love and support of fantastic friends, whether I take them up on it or not. I am able to look up after a few dark days and remind myself that “birds of a feather flock together” applies to me too.  I look around at who I surround myself with, and appreciate that I have a circle of strong, loving, protective and caring people. They’re truly good. Some sent me “You do not have to reply, but I just want you to know…” text messages.  Some left i-love-you voicemails that I was invited to not reply to. One drove 40 minutes to make sure I did yoga, and dedicated a breakfast to dream scheming my next 3-6 months. A few are angry and offered to give him a piece of their mind, I was offered girl-time, alcohol, a date, and other distractions. One offered to come over for the love letter bon-fire that I’m too sentimental to follow-through on. Some sat by me with honesty and told me to my face I could stand to be more open and tolerant. One just said “I’m sorry, because I know you thought he was the one.” They reminded me to write. And sleep. And yoga.  One explicitly reminded me that I am authentically me, that he has known me for 27 years and knows me, and that I haven’t changed. And while me may not be perfect, I never claimed or promised anything that wasn’t me. I don’t know if I picked them or if they picked me, but I’m fucking lucky. When I think of the people around me I love that they’re not pussies, they’re honest, and they have my back.

My children HAVE learned something about love from me.

I have two daughters and I have been a single mom for 23 years. I have always told my girls this…

Relationships must be mutually beneficial. You must be adding value to someone’s life and they must be adding value to yours or it is not healthy.

It must be give with take and take with give. I saw a note to him from my oldest daughter. I wasn’t happy that it happened or when it happened or that he engaged her. But, when I saw my daughter tell him how much I loved him, and how she’d never seen me love anyone except she and her sister like that, I felt happy to know she saw and recognized love from me. I felt a sense of relief. She knows I love her. A lot. And she saw me love someone else just as much. I also felt a sense of pride when I read “My mother is the strongest woman in this world…she raised us to not ever let anyone let us feel that way and I’m beyond mad that you’re doing this to her.” She thinks I’m strong. She saw me be vulnerable, which I wasn’t sure I’d shown, and she showed me that I did teach her not to let people make her feel bad about herself. I was also just proud that she would stick up for me. I think loyalty is gorgeous. I didn’t need it, and she never should’ve been in a situation to have to. But when I read that, I felt some validation. I raised a tough, protective loving girl who recognizes love and loyalty. My 13-year old knows I haven’t felt good. She knows the guy I’ve been loving forever is suddenly absent. She knows his calls have stopped, she doesn’t hear his music, and she has stopped asking where he is and if he’s coming over. From her, I got “Can I sleep in here with you?” And “If you want me to watch The Walking Dead with you, I will.” Not profound, but I fell asleep so still the night she snuggled me.



I have spent a significant amount of time, energy and money to nurture and take care of others. It is time to make a personal investment. 

I do want to do something nice for myself in a lasting way. I’ve always felt that helping or taking care of other people was a personal investment. It’s my way. It’s my default to solve other people’s problems. I want my legacy to be that when you needed something and I could give it to you, you got it. I will help you before you ask. I will surprise you. My thoughts will work for you and wheels will spin for you. I will know you well enough to know what you might need and do it. I don’t regret anything I’ve done for this man because I love him. What I do regret is the amount of energy I took from other spaces in my life to give to him. If I hadn’t, would I feel less shattered today? How different might I be today if 5 years ago I’d started checking things off my own bucket list instead of making “ours”? What if I’d not joined him in prison? If I’d gone to Kripalu for the summers by myself would I be a more peaceful person? If I cared about, or for ,myself more would I have waited for him and risk what feels like my whole future? I can’t answer any. But I fell hard, took risks, spent time, spent money and moved a lot of things around for him because I fell. There is absolutely no reason why I can’t shift all of that to something that makes me more comfortable. I want to fall for myself and see what that teaches me.

One Thousand Wishes:The Perseid Meteor Shower

Wearing the Cap of Darkness, Perseus beheaded the monster Medusa
Last night, I had a thousand wishes.

I laid on a picnic table in my backyard and stared up through swollen eyes. There was only a vestige of light that I could see in side you. The sun was long gone and the light that remained in the sky was of the moon or artificial.

While my world was becoming dark and empty, I tried to be still. I tried to relax, breath and summon some kind of visual focus. My head hurt. My heart hurt. My eyes hurt. But I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity for a thousand wishes. I needed every single on of them and I was certain they were for me.

I was promised an epic outburst at double the normal rate. An epic outburst. One that was said to be beautiful and magical. Touted as a once in a decade event that can’t be missed. I forced myself to blink and free the tears that kept hanging on to the corners of my eyes like little dams.  I needed to focus.

I had wishes to make.

“Where is the beautiful outburst of light?” I thought. I blinked and blinked and tried to be patient knowing it can take some time for my eyes to adjust. I knew the meteor shower was happening, and had been for some time, I just couldn’t see it yet. All I could see was a replay of your outburst. The kind I didn’t think I’d ever see in you…at me. The kind that scared me. The kind that demanded an answer to the question, “Is he even safe?” 

My head drew her sword on my heart, and I knew the answer before my heart raised her shield. I didn’t have the energy for this battle tonight.

I had wishes to make.

Facebook was filled with updates of couples and friends on the beach under blankets or in chairs. Families were circling together. They sat by fires, in good company, waiting for the darkest part of the night. They made plans and followed through with them, in anticipation of sharing and celebrating the celestial magic that was promised.  I was in the darkest part of the night, alone, while you slept. I waited to feel or see the magic that you promised me. I started to forget the promises and reminded myself they’re written down. You wrote them. I started to forget my wishes and needed to re center myself.

I had wishes to make.

I expected thousands of falling stars. Meteors that were hundreds or thousand of years old, that had circled the sun were to be burning through the atmosphere and lighting up our sky. The only thing you were lighting were cigarettes, which smelled like a stain on your skin, set in by humidity. The only burning I could see were the boards on a bridge we spent years building. The only explosions I kept seeing weren’t of light. They weren’t meteors left behind by the tail of a long past comet. They were the explosions of relationship links. One at a time they got hot and weak from the strain and exploded with rage

No loving  or believing or good intention could prevent it. Holding two sides of our chain was hurting, and I had to let go.

I had wishes to make.

I began to think it was too cloudy in the sky, too cloudy in my head, to be able to see the celestial magic that was promised. And as though exhaustion were the trigger, the universe blanketed the early morning hours of today with thousands of wishes. I saw them before the moon even set.

I told you about the meteor shower twice. You didn’t invite me to watch it under a blanket with you. You didn’t insist on coming over for a fire in the back yard. You didn’t have to wake early for work today, and I wondered for a moment if we were both looking at the same sky making wishes, before sadly not finishing the thought. I knew the answer. I knew it never occurred to you.

I had wishes to make.

I started to think through my wishes carefully.

I was wish planning. Wish assessment. Wish analisys. Wish prioritization. Wish paralisys. 

I thought I had wishes to make.

I realized that all of my wishes were for you. Not one was for us. Not one was for me. They were all for you. They were my wishes for you, not your wishes for you.

I sat up and stopped watching. I walked to the driveway as a coyote walked back into the woods. I wondered how long we were in each other’s company.

The universe is filled with meteors and dying stars. It’s filled with galaxies upon galaxies and the scope of the universe is infinite. Everywhere, everyday, every moment is filled with objects hitting our atmosphere. Even when we don’t see them, they’re there.

You deserve to make your own wishes.

I deserve to have my own wishes.



When Looking for Love: Are His Hands Big Enough?

I’ve fallen both in and out of love. I’ve lost love tragically, and thought I’d never recover from the overwhelming sadness. I was absolutely traumatized, in a way that left me numb and unaware. The only time I’d allowed myself to be completely vulnerable in a relationship with a man, I lost him to sudden death under terrible conditions. After that, accepting love and feeling deserving of it became an uphill battle. I never wanted to let someone in that much again. Once I knew what it felt like to lose that big, and hurt that much, I never wanted to be near it.  My disassociative response leaves a big gap in time.

I unconsciously, and later with intention, set out to live a life where I never depended on anyone, for anything.  Statistically, I was already fucked from a relationship perspective. A myriad of unhealthy childhood and adolescent experiences had shaped an unhealthy picture of what love and trust looked like, already. Surely my relationship style was “avoidant”, at best. I learned quite young that to be well I had to expect nothing, prepare for the worst, trust no one, and rely on myself. At twenty-two And alone, I added “love no one” to the list of ingredients. And, for a long time, that trauma soup worked for me. Really well.

Being vulnerable was a weakness. While I’m not where I need to be, I’ve learned to take some risks with my heart, and I’ve been rewarded with so much self awareness and understanding.  I’ve learned a tremendous amount about what I want, what I need, what I don’t, and what I love. I’ve learned just how weak I really am, and just how strong a man I need. I’ve also learned what I can do, what I can’t, and just how confusing it can be for a man who isn’t tender to try to hold a broken heart when his own hands and heart aren’t big enough.

I’m not easy to love, and I constantly challenge it. I’m hard to please, I’m not tolerant, and I’m now filled with expectations. I’m both venomous and nurturing, and refuse to settle for less than what fills me. I am direct and independent, often confused with bossy and controlling.  I’m moody and sharp. I resist charm and superficial bullshit like a super-power.  To bring me to a place of openness requires a significant amount of trust. I need a presence of love that moves me, and as I grow older I am more comfortable with that expectation. I’ve grown to understand that I can deserve it, I just don’t always feel that way because I’m letting in the lover that isn’t mine.

Every kind of love is a gift and teacher, no matter how small or fleeting. But just because we love doesn’t mean we stay, or commit, or should. Often we shouldn’t.

I’ve had a brief encounter that took my breath away and it still makes me smile when I think of him. I’ve worked hard to make a relationship work, and I’ve turned my back with ease on another. I fought for one with Spartan determination, and tested another to see if he’d fight for me. I’ve been proposed to, and never married. I’ve given back an engagement ring…twice. I’ve been worshiped like a goddess and sung to by moonlight. I’ve had crushes that were nothing more, and once secretly adored a boy I never spoke to. I’ve had an emotional connection with no physical relationship, and I’ve had a physical relationship without a hint of emotion. I’ve tasted summer love to have my heart broken on Labor Day weekend, like most girls from The Cape. I remember my first love. And for years, I’ve held on to a deep and lifelong true love.

Some boys loved me, others didn’t at all. Some left scars, some became friends, and others just memories. I believe that love and heartaches are part of our journey and I do truly love love. I’m trying more than ever not to resist it.

I’m grateful for all flavors of love, but long for the companionship that both takes my hand and fills my heart. The kind that lets me bask and rest and trust. The kind that lasts. The kind of love that I love back, and it feels like a sigh when I do. The lover who knows that broken hearts are whole hearts…in more pieces with more edges. He’ll love it for all its complexities and lack of smoothness. He won’t try to patch it or assemble it, because it works. He’ll know that it doesn’t need to be fixed. 

I’m ready to accept the love of a soul who has lived and hurt and loved as much as I have. Someone with his own scars and cracks. Someone who is as in tune with me as he is with himself. Someone who’s definition of love has also changed and developed into something much more than youthful unsustainable excitement and now includes something that moves him.

I’m waiting on a different kind of love than I’ve taken before. The one that charges my blood. The one that makes my chest flutter while I push responsibilities aside. A love who understands my instincts and my fears, and promises to nurture them. The one who accepts my challenges and laughs at my venom. The one who’s super power is to make me laugh. I’m looking for someone who loves love as much as I do.

I’m holding out for that one because I believe in its sentiment.  Because with him comes balance and peace.

And when that man who knows how to hold a broken heart, in all its bloodied sharp pieces comes along, his hands will be big enough to hold both my heart and my hand.