Jack was dumbfounded. He had received an email from Jill. He didn’t want to hear from her. They had had a short and sweet liaison a few months back. She was still in but ending a thirty-year relationship. She worked. These were two strikes against her, the relationship and she worked. It would have been uphill, but Jack dabbled a bit, a half dozen times at least, with Jill. She was seeing a psychologist about the ending of that long relationship and she emphasized to Jill that hooking up with Jack was a bad idea. Jack agreed with the psychologist, but couldn’t break the connection easily or soon enough. He broke two of his rules; she was that enticing. Because she worked at odd hours, breaking up with her became easier than not.
One day, Jack bit the bullet and locked his doors and stayed out of sight the next time she came up the hill. He tweeted her and told her to go away and to leave him alone. He advised her to follow her psychologist’s advice and spend time alone with herself for a while rather than jumping into a relationship and bed with another man so soon. Jill hung around for a while in her car texting him with frantic appeals but then finally left and drove down the hill and out of sight. Jack has a trouble with face to face, except in wooing and in bed. When he wants out, he goes digital. Jill understood this, so she sent Jack a long email. Reading the email took Jack time, since he had developed serious limitations on how long he would spend on a post. He didn’t have the ability to read long articles and posts any more. He gave up books and magazines months ago because they demanded too much time from him to read. It took him two days to read the long email, just once. He was going to print it out, but his printer was out of ink and he hadn’t used it in so long he wondered if it still worked and if he could even get ink for it. The printer was a dinosaur.
A few days later, maybe a week, Jack sheepishly responded with an email that took him days to write.
I loved reading your email, a number of times, Jill. I’m so happy at where you are and what you are doing and why you are doing it -- for you, Jill. Yes, after a long relationship with a man, I knew you and I were a long time away that is why I behaved as I did, as badly as it was. I hated myself for it, but it had to be done. You needed separation, complete and for a long time for your sake, Jill. You don’t need to get back in the saddle so quickly again. I think you have realized that and are appreciating it and living that life now, Jill. I love your plans to spend it in the Mideast and to do these wonderful things for yourself and others, to get out of your “comfort zone.” I love hearing about you reaching back in your life, when you were most happy and using that energy and exercise to help you find yourself and your center, Jill. I love and cherish the time we spent together, the life we put back into each other’s lives, and the love we shared. That time woke me up, excited me, and returned me to a place I had missed and abandoned. We were good for each other at crucial times in our lives.
After that heartbreaking day and you drove away, Jill, I cried.
A few days later I was cleaning out a closet, I found some remnants of Mary’s. I had to stop and take a breath. I was overwhelmed. Slowly I held them, fondled them, and remembered them longingly, and everything came back to me, my love for Mary and how much I missed her. She had just moved to a sheep farm in Oregon. I emailed her about the memories and asked if she wanted the remnants back. In a short curt email reply, she said no. I was hurt, but let it go. I flew to Oregon, rented a car, and drove to that sheep farm in Oregon. We have reunited.
Jill, you are responsible for this renewed love, thank you. Gloria thanks you, too, Jill. I told her all about us, because she asked. Timing is everything, Jill, and our time was short and sweet, but not to be because of too many other issues. You need this time to be alone to renew yourself. I can only hope that as you rise from your fall, you find a person you can love, Jill, who loves you back. I hope you find that happiness you so deserve. I enjoyed climbing that hill with you, Jill.
You may not know Jack, but you may know someone like Jack. We, his friends, always wonder what happened to him, how could he be so successful with women when he is such a cad. Yet Jack always had a woman on his arm. Jack was always an interesting guy to talk with because he read lots and knew so much. When he stopped reading, we thought he must have gotten a knock on the head. Once he stopped reading, he depended on Twitter and Jack became a very dull boy. We never had conversations any more, Jack and me. He became very uninteresting, limited to a smaller vocabulary, and he repeated himself constantly. He wasn’t forty yet and yet he was an old man already, mumbling, bumbling, stumbling, and tumbling. His thumbs became the strongest part of his hands and his other digits useless, as pints and pails would fall from his hands. In fact he had lost that grip in his handshake for which he was famous. Jack became a twit.
I lost touch with Jack. And Jill and I have become lovers.