From Saturday morning:
I am feeling very sad this morning. Things with BFD just don’t feel right. I know I do this often — I called him yesterday and he didn’t call me back. That’s become unusual — him not calling back.
What I am struggling with is how to overcome this arms-length distance at which he’s holding me. It’s new, this distance. Or at least, it feels new. It feels fucked up. March, April, May felt different — making plans, hanging with my friends (or at least planning to).
Now, it’s harder, when it should be easier. I have doubts where I should have certainty.
I decided to call him around noon — I had business, personal, and finance things and didn’t feel like emailing him. Surprisingly, he answered to say “let me call you back,” but sweetly, as though happy to hear my voice.
He called 45 minutes later from his hair salon. Rather than do dinner with the couple who had invited him/us, he hit the gym, had a massage, and went to bed. He’s sick, coughing and trying to beat back a cold — frankly, the same one I think I am getting.
We spoke mostly about business, which is always interesting, because in BFD’s world, business is everything. I told him I expected to hear good news mid-week and that it looked like we would move forward. He said, that would be very good for you. It would show you are a player, it would say a lot about your business. I teased him that I am already a player just for getting it to this point, but he corrected me that in his world, it’s very black and white. You either are or you’re not, so at this point, I am not. But if I can get them to the table, whether he closes it or not, I have succeeded — and impressed him.
BFD needs me to succeed, not for what I can bring to his business, but for what it says about who I am. It’s always been his due diligence on me — is she who she says she is? Is she a badass? Can she make things happen?
[Yes, dear readers, I know that sounds fucked up to you. It sounds fucked up to my friends, but the fact is that it’s important to us. It’s important to me that he’s successful. I’ve spoken before about how he moves through the world. His movement fascinates me because he is very in control of everything all the time. I can move like I own the room — BFD moves like he owns the world. He is who he is. It means he can be a bit of an asshole, but even if you know nothing about him, you know he is a badass from nothing other than his movement through space. It’s just who he is and it emanates from him. I admire that supreme self-confidence. BFD sees hints of that in me, but he’s known me only through failure and it scares the hell out of him. Yes, love conquers all, etc., but he cannot consider dropping his guard until he knows I am his partner, until he knows I am self-sustaining, until he knows he can admire and respect me. Some of that is accomplished through our social lives, I am more gracious, more thoughtful, more accommodating, more socially connected here and in other places (though he trumps me where it counts). But, I have always known why he was holding back and he still is. It’s not that I have to succeed, it’s that he has to know that I can. If we were younger or less accomplished, things would be different, but then we would be different people. We are who we are.]
BFD is alone in the world — he has friends and family, but none of them understand him or what he does or how he thinks. It’s the one thing that I bring to the table. I am not in business with him, not competing with him, not taking out my dick to measure against his. I am outside the flow, but I listen and (mostly) understand. He’s a genius, a guru, and one of the hardest things for him is the emotional toll of knowing everyone wants you for what you can do for them. It’s the downside of money and early success. (I experienced the massive early public success, on a smaller scale than his, and it makes everything complicated.)
During 42, we spoke about his current relationship with two business partners. He is very upset about how things are going — they owe him 2 and he thinks they may default — but he’s also upset about the shift in the relationship. BFD is still a young man, and he realized, seeing his partner here, on his turf, that he was small, making dumb decisions, and depending upon BFD for help and guidance. It just devastated BFD to reevaluate a man he had long admired.
So, for today, we talked and it felt good and solid. I wish my future relationship were not so interwoven with his opinion of my business savvy and success, but it is. I’ve known that about him, and frankly, I want him to respect me in the arena in which he plays.
For now, we’re happy together, but we’re maintaining here.
I know what it will take for him to exhale, to relax, to drop his guard. He loves me, but he is holding back. I love him, but I am holding back. The fear is that we will remain in stasis for too long, not advancing, just being. The next few weeks are important.
From Sunday morning:
Around 10 last night, I sent him a short email that was provocative and a bit graphic. It’s not my usual move, although I have done it from time to time. I was thinking about him and envisioned an entire sexual fantasy, so I decided to clue him in to the start of it. I began: “baby, i know you’re sick, tired, etc., but i was just lying here in bed thinking about a few things i want to do to/with/for you the next time we fuck.”
I did not expect a response, since he is really ill, but I wanted to plant some thoughts. On the rare occasions when I have been provocative, he has responded and tried to change plans to see me, which I knew would not happen here. I just wanted him to know I have plans for the next time we have sex. And I do . . .
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he called me within 30 minutes of when he awakened this morning, just to check in and talk. He’s really sick and sounds terrible. I made the gratuitous “let me know if there’s anything I can do.” His response: “I’m just sick,” but he knows I am here for him, here to nurture and care for him. He liked hearing I’d felt a bit of the same illness and beat it fast.
He really sounded awful. I gave him the whole, don’t work, rest, lots of liquids, take it easy, but he has decided to sit by the pool and then work. Of course. I also offered to come over and take care of him this evening, but he begged off. Sweetly. Really, it was a lovely, short conversation. We were even just silent together, listening to each other breathe, until he coughed, of course.
He doesn’t want me to fuss over him, but he is happy to know I would. And I would. I love taking care of him. We’re both comfortable with me in a wifely role. My friends often think that I take on the role of a personal assistant with him, never realizing that I am taking on the role of wife. I love to do little things for him, to help make his life easier, to protect him, and care for him, to love him and nurse him back to health.
Being with him is never easy. He pushes himself too hard in everything he does, and he pays for it over and over again. He sleeps poorly, works too much, works out too much and too hard, eats poorly. When he destroys his body (as he inevitably does), I am there for him, watching over him. Cautioning him to be better, knowing he won’t. Our life together will include fetching ice packs for his knees, knowing the right spots to help relieve his constant back pain, and taking care of him when he becomes ill. It’s what I do already and what I am eager to do more of. There are few things in the world I can truly do for him that he cannot do for himself. It really comes down to love, nurture, and support. That’s all I can do.
He has given me love and support and opportunity and access and money. He has encouraged me to create a new career, and helped me do it. He had given me a car, bought groceries, and protected me in ways of which I was not even aware.
Long ago, I knew I had to accept certain things I did not necessarily like in order to be with BFD. But I can no more change those things about him than change his eye color. It’s all a part of who he is, and being with him means being with all of him. The wisdom of age is knowing that how we interact is about embracing who we are as people and negotiating through our own things to be there for each other. We’re doing the best we can right now, and I can honestly say this morning that I feel close to him, much closer than yesterday.
We cannot change certain facts about our lives. We have to accept that we are who we are. We just work to be who we are together.