Saturday, January 18, 2014

Holding Tight

By my best estimation, it happened eight years ago, in the spring of 2006. I had recently been accepted into law school. A couple came into Charly's on their first date. She knew me, apparently, because she introduced me to her date and informed him that I would be going to law school. I have no recollection of the incident.

Years later I received an e-mail on in response to my profile which indicated that I am a full-time lawyer by day and a part-time bartender one night a week. The e-mail, the second I received from this person, queried "Did you ever work in that little bar in East Bakersfield in the Albertson's shopping center?" In fact I did, and continue to work there to this day.

Marcos and I have communicated every day since he sent me that e-mail. We're more than just in communication - We're in love with each other, and we're having a baby together. Sometimes I feel discouraged by what I perceive to be a lack of romance in the way we started dating - Through a dating site. But when I consider our one-time encounter and subsequent meeting years after that encounter, the whole thing seems sort of fated.

I wonder why our lives couldn't have been more aligned back then. Why did he have to be in my bar on a date with someone else? Why couldn't we start dating then? Why did it take eight years for him to walk back into my life? Of course, I know that I wasn't in the state of mind to love him, or be loved by him the day that we first met. I had my experience with Gabriel to get to. I had eight years of living and learning to do before I would be ready for him.

I love Marcos, selfishly, because of the way he loves me. I love him because I can tell that he loves Gabriel, even though he never met him. When I found myself a single mother of a deceased baby, I thought that maybe falling in love again would mean I would have to put that part of my life away. But the family I'm forming with Marcos has plenty of room for Gabriel.

I love Marcos for what he is. He is a dedicated son, brother and uncle and dog owner. From the moment he knew about Rocco, he's been a dedicated father. He is devoted to our relationship. In his words and in his actions he assuages, daily, my fear of being abandoned by assuring me that he will stick around. It's hard to imagine that he's really only been a part of my life for a brief period, because he's made my life so much more complete and meaningful.

I love Marcos because last week I watched him cradle his dog Zeke while he had a seizure. I know what it's like to watch helplessly as some being that you love seizes. I know what kind of strength it takes to bring comfort to some creature in need. I love his strength. I love his stoicism. I love him, deeply.

Love - The loss of love, the search for love, the relentless pursuit of love - has been a running theme in my story. In my life. I know well how fragile love can be, and how much it means to find love. Sometimes it's still hard to believe that Marcos' love is here to stay - I question him about it regularly, to the point of near sabotage, but Marcos is unwavering. I've done my share of pushing. But at the end of the day, when I look at Marcos all I want to do is cling to him and our love with all of my strength for the rest of my life. I just want to hold him and be held by him, and never let him go.

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