First and foremost, I appreciate the concern I’ve received from so many of you. Numerous comments and dozens of e-mails inquiring as to the state of my mental and physical well-being, statements that my absence has been noticed, requests that I return to writing. Even a text message or three checking in on me. Thank you, one and all.
I know I don’t have to explain myself, so please don’t interpret the following as justification for my absence. As per the usual, I’m just writing to get things out, to let spill the tide of various emotions I’ve been feeling for a while so that I may think more clearly. I don’t want anyone to have the impression that I’m not okay. I’m always okay. I just have those moments. The past month and a half has been a particularly long moment.
Christ, has it been that long? Anyway.
A day or so after my last post, Pretty Grad Student and I had a nice sit-down about our affair. It had become obvious to me that she was developing some pretty serious feelings for me, which she confirmed over coffee. I had to explain to her, as gently as I could, that while I certainly shared the emotional connection with her, it could never replace the emotional connection I share with Ashley. That I firmly believe it’s possible to have intense feelings for multiple people, but that acting upon them by committing to some form of exclusivity can be risky for everyone involved, particularly when one or both parties are already participating in exclusivity elsewhere. (That’s scientist speak for, “Yeah, I have feelings for you too, but I’m married and that ain’t changin’.”) This led to an intense discussion (not a fight, but a sincere, gin-yoo-wine conversation) about my feelings for anyone–her, the numerous other women I’ve slept with, Ashley, and even myself. She ultimately suggested that I may be depressed and need to seek some kind of counseling or otherwise attempt to right the wrongs in my immediate universe.
I value Pretty Grad Student’s opinion more than most. She’s a sharp cookie, very perceptive, exceptionally sympathetic. So I took some time off from everything but work, with the intention of examining what, out of all the things I’d excluded, I missed the most.
It didn’t quite work out like that. Sure, I spent a lot of time at work, and just as much time at home with Ashley. But I found that, the more I isolated myself from everything, the less inclined I was to come back to it. I found myself thinking, “Hmm. I could do [insert activity here]. But I don’t know if I want to.” That indecision stopped me from doing a lot of things, including writing this blog, and I saw no measurable difference in my happiness. Effectively, I spent a month and a half treading a fine line between depression and apathy.
And that pisses me right the fuck off.
So this morning, as I stood comfortably in Virabhadrasana for the first time in weeks, watching the sun creep up over the hill, I decided, at least for the time being, to embrace who and what I am. Fuck if I know where things are going, or what will happen in the near future. But I’m tired of fighting it, of trying to justify it, of struggling with something that is as deep a part of me as anything can be. So I ran with more purpose than I’ve felt in months. So I worked harder, wrote faster, thought more clearly. So I left work early and fucked Pretty Grad Student with all the intensity our bodies could muster.
When we were done, she rolled onto her side, pressed her bare body to mine, and said, “It’s good to have you back.”
All I could say was, “It’s good to be back.”