Childlike and Evergreen

In January of 2005 I departed the East for the West while simultaneously labelling myself as single for the first time in close to three years. I left behind quite possibly the most wonderful person I'd ever met, but something drove me to break ties. Freedom? Uncertainty? I still don't know. And neither does she. It still stands as the greatest relationship of my life and provided memories that I will reflect on until the day I die.

Since supplanting myself in the Bay Area, my romantic life has been quite possibly worthy of a weekly column. I've had one sort-of relationship that lasted about two months. Ironically, she was in New York. I knew from the outset that it wouldn't last, but there was a passion to it that kept me around for a while. Right before Christmas of last year that came to a close.

There have been a smattering of dates throughout 2006, but none seemed destined for anything beyond a few good nights out.

However, there were two. The first I met one night in Los Angeles and was immediately floored. And I mean floored. We spent the entire night laughing, drinking, talking, and after endless hours of talking, finally dozed off around 7am. I awoke the following morning and couldn't believe what'd happened. We went on to speak everyday on the phone for two months - usually multiple times a day. I finally made it back to LA for a business trip and the plan was to extend the trip through the weekend and spend a few days with her. I couldn't wait. It appeared as if she couldn't either. When I arrived in LA I called her and invited her out for drinks with a few colleagues. I sensed a distance. Something had changed. And it had. I was never given a reason, but the extension of the weekend was nixed and I returned to SF broken. Sure, it was only one night with her. But man was this one night (and I don't mean the way you're thinking).

The second likely came to a close today. I met her the first day I landed in the Bay Area. She had a boyfriend at the time. And she still does. However, over the course of the past 20 months or so we've kept in close touch. Nothing has ever happened aside from growing closer through conversation. We've both admitted that there was more. But we left it at that. Until today. She'd made a few trips up to SF to visit me over the past few months and we both realized that things were coming to a head. It had to. Last week she said she wanted to come visit and finally decide what we should do. As always is the case with us, we spent an amazing day together. We had lunch in Sausalito, drank a few bloody mary's, stopped for coffee and the conversation flowed. I could sense the decision was coming. As has happened every time that she's visited, she missed her train home. With an hour to kill, we stopped into a local pub. I knew that this was it.

"I came here with the intention of saying that we have to stop", she said.
"And is that what you want?"
As she looked away, I had no clue what to expect.
Next came a very slight nod.
"It's ok", I sheepishly replied.
We sat in silence for what seemed to be ten hours.

I then walked her to her train. As the conductor was prodding her to step through the gates, she grabbed me. "Good luck to you", she said. She then wrapped her arms around me. She looked me in the eyes and kissed me. The embrace got tigther. We couldn't let go. "Now", said the conductor. We ignored. I finally let go. We kept looking at each other. I finally turned to walk away. With each step, I wondered if we were walking away for good.