Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Another New England Winter

It was a dark winter evening. A fresh dusting of snow was layering on to the unending white landscape, adding weight, compressing the layers below to solid ice. He was heading back from work, wipers swishing the snow as it landed on his car's windshield; but, his view of the road was still blurry. Finding himself alone for the first time during the day, nothing but himself and the unending white, his mask of resolve broke under the weight of his emotion, silent tears turning into racking sobs. He tried to compose himself; driving like a man who had neither looked forward to the departure, nor to his eventual arrival; unsure of what he was driving back to, or where to go from there.

They had met through a friend, a room mate they had both shared at different times. Later she told him, she suspected he was more interested in their ex-roommate than her. On that first meeting, he noticed her smile didn't always reach her almond eyes. On the few occasions that it did, it was treasure for him to behold. Soon he sought her company every chance he could get. By 29, she was already accomplished, and was clearly capable of much more. She thrived under pressure, in adverse circumstances, worked 16 hour days, and frequently injured herself squeezing lemons or shoveling show off of her car. So, there wasn't much else to do that winter, except dinners, drinks and heading back to her place, to her and her 3 cats.

His was a more collaborative approach to life, and work. He found joy in the interactions, and the camaraderie that life had to offer. For him, to compete was an effort, to dig deep into the dark corners of his soul, to summon hatred and fear of shame were the only fuels he used to compete, and he could not call upon them often, or long enough. He was quick to relinquish leadership to someone he respected or deemed deserving. She was a natural leader.

Before long, before he knew it, he had fallen in love with her. She was thoroughly lukewarm in her response,insisting she wasn't right for him, or that she wasn't ready for a relationship, except for those moments when they were alone. Yet, after years he found himself being reckless with his heart, and with her feelings; blinded to her intentions by what he felt for her. A slip up, an impulsive mistake, and she had cut him off, completely. I expect I'll fondly remember this rarest of New England winters, filled with warmth. Here's hoping that this winter too will end and lead to pleasant fall, for summer is now behind us. Perhaps our paths will now never cross again.

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