His red truck with the driftwood put together around the sides as a kind of fence, was an item I would never forget, even after he moved to Portland and gave it to me, even after I sold it.
He was always leaving, my father, even when I was the one departing. I have carried this with me all of my life. To this day, I am comforted by leaving. The familiarity of the ache in my gut warms me, the longing, the sad departure. This is all soothing to my nerves.
My father is long dead, but I have settled happily into a relationship where I must leave, every Monday. And when I arrive, every Friday, I have the palpable longing that makes me so happy when I see him again.
Summers are a joy. He leaves for two weeks at a time and comes back for two days only, and when he leaves, I am ecstatically gutted, leveled by his absence, and almost immediately anticipating his return. By the end of the summer I am such a joyous mess at his strangeness that I can barely contain myself when fall comes. The excitement of not knowing my love is almost too much.
It is the same with the random men I see here and there throughout the year. I love the longing for them, dreaming into them what is not there. I have a romance with the impossible and in this a perfection I have never known. Time on my hands to do what I want, whatever I want, is a freedom I did not have with my ex-spousal unit.
It was a horror to ride home in the dark, rainy winter Portland nights, an hour into an hour and a half ride, wishing there was more time for me to ride, hoping that he had somehow found something to do that evening. The sameness, the feeling of lock-down was a burden and I always thought it was my flaw, my impossible nature that made this relationship such a struggle.
And maybe it was. But maybe it wasn't.
It doesn't matter now that I have found my freedom in love. For in love, I have dared to create my own type of delicious torture. I have created a life that will keep me longing, keep me wanting. In this state, I have found my peace.