Looking back on it now…I’d expect to like him less, you know? And I really don’t, even though I no longer want to be with him. So many of the things I admired about him from the beginning still ring true, even after all this time and without the verging on hero-worship I felt for him at the time. I feel like I have a more realistic perspective on the guy now and, that said; my view on him is still fairly rosy. There are a few things that pop to mind, that I remember and that I say any time I try to describe him to some one new, who never knew him in the first place. He’s like the calm center of the universe – wherever he is, whoever he’s with, that’s just the role he takes. He’s…calming…which is very strange because he’s also easily the most fanatic, most radical, person when it comes to his basic beliefs that I’ve ever met. There is no doubt in my mind that he’s capable of killing some one and an equal lack of doubt that he would ever intentionally do something to hurt anyone he cares for…it’s just not fathomable. The man had the best eyes – blue and clear but the best thing about them wasn’t the eyes themselves, it was the way the corners would crinkle up when he smiled…it was priceless to see that smile with those eyes. His legs were great…and his hands…oh, those hands.
He was, and I imagine still must be, smart and funny and kind and generous and utterly driven by his own, chosen star. He was a fanatic but he never tried to convince anyone else that he was right or that they were wrong. He’d talk about his faith with anyone who’d ask but he never forced some one to listen if they didn’t want to hear it. He’d buy a round with his last $20 and never showed the slightest hesitation or regret or angst about it. He was the world’s biggest mooch but somehow managed to do it without ever seeming to ask too much…and he really didn’t. I wish words were enough to really describe the guy. He gave the best hugs – he’d pull you in and hug you with his whole attention, his whole body, he was the king of the casual touch and the gentlemanly gestures that never came off as a play for approval or admiration. And something about him pushed every positive button I’ve ever had – emotionally and physically. The room, any room, was better for his presence in it, period. This is true to this day for me, at least I imagine it must be. I still smile when I think of him. The energy he’d bring made everything around him somehow better.
All this is true, to my mind, and still, if I’d ever really been with him, I think I may have ended up hating him. I used to say (and yes, feel) that everything I loved most about him – his faith, his freedom, his generosity, his absolute grasp of what actually mattered and what didn’t…all those things together ultimately made him a man I don’t feel I could have lived with…and that strikes me more as a failing in myself than anything lacking in him. As much as I admired that he’d take his rent money and go to Mexico for a weekend and fuck the consequences…to try to live with that…not something I was prepared to do when my own sense of temporal security would be the constant trade-off for honoring his higher ideals. He’d have had to change too much and I liked him the way he was, I wouldn’t have changed anything…and I think it’s interesting that he seemed to be looking to be changed. He drank too much and for really bad, or what seemed to me to be unhealthy reasons, he was desperately unhappy in a lot of ways… The last time I saw him, he was neatly groomed, not at all rumpled and different in a way I know I wouldn’t have pushed him to become. I’d have kept the wild hair and rumpled clothes and the rampant generosity. When I knew him, he was searching, always searching and longing for a connection, a family…a life that was as much a dream as a possibility. I hope he’s found that…I hope being a father and a husband is everything he dreamed it could be and I hope he’s found the life he longed for with so much passion.
For my part, he remains a reminder to me of what I value, what I admire and equal parts what I want and what I don’t want in a partner. I want to feel the way he made me feel again, I want it like I can taste it sometimes and I fear it too. If partnered I am ever to be, I hope whoever it is does half as much for a room and for me while he’s at it.