I’m finding out that you can run away from everyone but yourself. It seems especially true on these long lonely nights that define my life these days. And in the end it comes all down to last things, hard truths and trying to live with the aftermath.
Looking back out over a following sea, I’m running hard into the darkness and into the coming storm. If the truth comes, at least for me, it comes in these solitary hours.
The truth is that I always was a “fill in” for her. To think that I always joked with her when she asked me what life was all about. And I always saying it was all about filling holes. That one is hitting back at me now like a nine pound hammer.
You see I always knew that if her husband ever came back into the picture and stepped up that I’d be toast. But doing the smart things in life has never been my strong suit and so I loved her the only way I could. With me being me, that meant with my whole heart and soul. There were problems along the way, to be sure, but I did love her more than words can say and she said that she loved me back. So, after ten years it came as quite a shock when she just blurted out that she didn’t want to see me ever again.
Looking back and me not being as dumb as I try to pretend sometimes, I’d seen it coming for over a year. And, again, me being me, I hid all the hurt and pain and just said “kiss my ass” and headed out on the boat. Now some seventy three days gone I can no longer hide from the truth.
There never really was any future for us. My fault as well as hers, with enough blame to go around, we were doomed from the start. You see as much as I try to hide from it there are absolutes in this world. There are right things and there are wrong things. And getting involved with a married woman, no matter how much you try to say its alright because you love her so much, is just plain wrong. Knowing that doesn’t stop the hurt or kill the lonely though, and it seems I can’t run away from it anymore either.
So next port we make, I’ll call her cell and leave a message saying I understand and say goodbye one more time. But last things are hard things. Much harder than I think they should be and even just thinking about it all feels like it is killing me by degrees. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away. Perhaps the best I can hope for is learning to live with it and to go on.
Still, somehow, in the midst of all this, I’ve changed. For better and for worse all at the same time. And it comes to me that if I was really the man she’d wanted she’d still be with me. That and the fact that if I were the man that she’d wanted I’d not be the man that I am now.
The lightning cracks hard around me and with it all stripped back there is no denying that I‘ve got nothing to hide from anymore. The truth is the truth and as I head straight into the wind I also head into the rest of my life and whatever it brings.
M. J. Thomas