Tonight, eager to learn more French, I found a site that reads children's stories en français so that I can read along and practice my speaking.
On the first click, my heart sank. Big thud.
The stories listed (and others beyond that) had once been read to me by the Frenchman.
Those were the most special times for me. Being read to feels so intimate and lovely.
His voice was an added bonus.
He was the first (and still the only) person to make French sound beautiful to me. I've never cared for the language (as mentioned in The Poet & The Butterfly while being wooed by another Frenchman), but when in Montreal...
The thing is, I felt closer to the Frenchman than I had to any other man. In the ways that mattered to me at least.
So it's sad and strange to me that the dynamic we shared, which was filled with so much beauty and expression and connection and understanding and kinship and desire and genuine intimacy and such a high level of communication, could dissolve in one evening. Could be reduced and tainted and leave me feeling horribly violated. Just like that.
I haven't written about him since sharing what happened on Facebook (a post that's now private), nor have we spoken since then obviously.
But I think of what happened daily. It still confuses and saddens me. And I think of all the beauty and magic that preceded it as well.
He irrevocably marked me in both ways.
There was a reason I let him in and there was a reason I kicked him out.
The parts where we merged were exceptional. I felt deeply understood by him. I felt safe to share my heart with him. Why else would I welcome him into my world?
A man doesn't last in Mandyland for months without offering a substantial amount of the good stuff. And there was plenty coming from him.
Then that night happened and the saddest part was knowing that this ending meant saying goodbye to all the parts I loved so much. All the tenderness that softened me. All the exchanges that expanded me. All the ways he added to my joy to each and every day.
I still miss all those parts. Deeply.
And I can miss those parts whilst knowing what I know about the other parts as well. While being grateful he's no longer in my life. While feeling icky whenever that night crosses my mind.
Matters of the heart are rarely black and white.
He was the greatest gift for me as I transitioned from Cambridge to Montreal. He helped me in so many ways. He was my rock during the upheaval that was my life at that time. He was the bridge from there to here and for that I will always be grateful.
I needed and truly appreciated everything he offered me.
But things went to shit lickity split.
C'est la vie.
With love and other things I won't name,
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