Liars, all of them. All of those strong-minded women who always proclaim they did the right thing. They married the right man and chose the right career. And that they chose every path in life through wise choice.
They smugly consider themselves as the pinnacle of wise choices and wise intelligence. They pretend even failures happened by choice. And although that much might be believable, they go way too far when they adamantly insist that they are never haunted, in their minds, by any ‘what ifs?’ over ex-loves.
They are dismayed that I would even ask them if they have regrets about any events in their lives. What a stupid question when every choice was made with such intelligence and forethought?
Well, they can deny it as adamantly as they like. But I don’t believe it, not for a minute.
I tell a different story. Yes, I have never regretted the life I’ve led, the husband I wed, but I have to tell you, if we’re going to be totally honest, I have engaged in ‘what ifs’. And those what-ifs have led to more than forty years of a haunting of my reality, my night-dreams, and my day-dreams. And what’s more, the haunting is the conjured up image of an ex-love and I hesitate to admit it, but it is true – an ongoing love.
He might have been my first love. I’m not certain now. It was so long ago. But, I tell you true, I have never before or since had such a crush. This man took up permanent residence in my soul the very first time I saw him and nothing could chase away his image from my dreams, mind, or imagination. Hub is a maniac driver, but so was he. Still no matter how fast he drove, he could not drive himself out of my mind or affection.
When Michael J. went from black to white, I could not help but ponder for a time if Hub could have a face-transplant to make him look like my lover-haunt.
I want to describe my dearest love but words fail me. All I can say is that each time I saw an image of him, I felt so warmed by the presence I perceived. The first explosion of affection was sparked by incredibly soft, oh so sensual lips.
Where are the words? I can’t find the words. Maybe there just aren’t any for this circumstance. It sounds so dumb and inadequate to say that his lips radiated a pull like a powerful magnet. No matter whether his lips were compressed with rage, hurt, or fear, it was impossible for those lips to successfully hide their strength and beauty and softness and warmth.
Eyes, blue eyes, with the same attributes as his lips. The same magnetism, and intensity. Tiny pools set within that handsome face, small and crystal blue, but so overwhelming to me that I was swept away in them as if by a monster flood. It was as if, between the sensuous lips and the blue eyes – as soft, meaningful, caring, and loving as those lips – that the sight of him set off a pressurized tension that tugged at every fiber of my flesh, bone, and soul, and every cell and follicle of my being.
And although that swagger when he walked, was a wee tiny bit less endearing than those eyes or lips, still it could not be ignored.
And although I love Hub dearly, although I’m appreciative, although he’s special, I still must confess that my reality, and my daydreams and nightdreams, are haunted by ‘Hud’, more often than Hub. And that, dear friends, was not a spelling error.
Those women I spoke of earlier in this rant, who so quickly say they have never made a regrettable choice would probably call these admissions immoral, uncharitable, sinful, deceitful, and a host of other malicious names. They would call my honesty vain pettiness and my admission of such pettiness, crude and sinful betrayal within the context of a monogamous relationship.
But what they need to understand, if they have the withal to understand it, is that Hub and I do not have what is termed an ‘open-relationship’ in today’s modern-speak lexicon. We have an ‘open relationship’ in the context of what those words originally meant. In our archaic configuration, an ‘open relationship’ means brutal honesty about all things.
So with that philosophy in place, Hub does not need to say, “I know in your past you have loved others, but do you still love someone more than me?”
He’s always known without asking. He knew when we were courting, he knew the day we got married, and he knew last week, last year, last month. He has always and forever known that I have loved someone more.
But for your edification, if he were to ask, I would be compelled to say with brutal honesty –
“Yes”. You know that. You know that I always have, and always will, love Paul more than you!”
Paul Newman passed away on Friday. I cannot help but weep. I am sad, but so is Hub. Hub is sad for me because he knows how much I’ll feel the loss for today and for all time…