M asked me the question, somewhere in between the bottles of wine we had. It was asked innocently, and has stayed with me since that foggy night in Brussels, as we got to know each other after not having seen each other in nine years.
Do you need to be in a relationship?
I answered no then, and the answer has stayed with me. As the weeks have worn on, that answer rolling in me has been replaced by another question: what will I do with this newfound…freedom/power/revelation/liberation? Ah, that’s where the fun begins, I think. It’s like a clean slate, having been unshackled from having to keep up with appearances of needing to be coupled. And it’s not that I don’t want to be coupled. It would be very nice to. But who I am as a man and as a human can’t/shouldn’t be defined that narrowly.
I can pursue relationships on terms better suited to who I am–the multitudes that Whit Whitman wrote about. M asked me what I was looking for in a partner. I said four things: an ally, a lover, a friend and a consigliere. That last one she laughed at; I meant confidant. What I seek isn’t complicated–or at least I hope not. And, while I’m asking for that, I have to give it as well. And I can’t forget that.
What will I do, with the newfound power I have?
To be (gratefully) continued