Letter number 52: Escalation
Well, more than two weeks since writing probably tells its own story doesn’t it. After all that talk of caution in my last letter I think it’s fair to say we might have let our baser feelings run away from us. Unexpected, certainly, unwelcome — not so much.
So I’ll pick up the thread from the visit — I drove down to your Mum’s as planned to trim Loki’s claws. Having just had some work done on the van I drove that down to test everything was okay (a new clutch, and the steering tracking — and it all seems to be working well which is good!).
It was lovely to see your Mum, step-dad and sister — we had tea and chatted for a while before facing into the task in hand. It wasn’t quite as bad as feared — Loki was tricky to catch and did take a chunk out of my finger, but I managed to get him in a towel and calmed and your Mum and sister were able to trim his claws, he was really good at keeping his feet still although insisted on making a fist with one which was tricky.
Such a relief to be able to actually execute the task! I kept him covered and calm to give your Mum the chance to change out some perches in his cage, and eventually popped him back in. He wasn’t too happy with it, but was back to his normal self really quickly — success! We celebrated with more tea and some of the cake I’d brought with me (I popped into M&S for a speculative look for Percy Pig cakes and struck lucky!).
You arrived shortly after this — it was stilted, our first face to face meeting in months and with an audience! I got up, I hugged you, I had to mentally stop the reflex of my hand snaking up your back to run it through your hair. We sat and talked as a group for a while, it was comfortable but weird at the same time of course. You looked great, I’d made a bit of effort with my appearance too. Eventually we decided to head out for a walk before the rain came.
I’d cased out a shortish walk nearby, we hopped in the van and parked up in a nearby pub and walked and talked. I held your hand, I’m not sure why. You told me about the new injection, how much more level you were feeling, less clouded. You still couldn’t explain what was going on in your head before, just that you regretted it. Half way through a field I asked if I could try something, you smiled, I kissed you — it was electric. The spark was still there.
Heading back the pub was gearing up to show the football, a bouncer had coned off the car park and gruffly asked if we’d booked. I said know but we needed to retrieve a car, we retrieved the van and had already decided to find a quiet spot where we could watch a film since it has a projector. So that’s what we did, we got cosy, we talked, watched the film and — well — things escalated.
Since then you came up here last weekend and we’ve been messaging almost incessantly in between. I’m not sure of the wisdom of it, but maybe we need to see if the more animal spark is still there, we’ve been much more open with each other about each other’s urges than we’ve ever been before. It is quite intoxicating. I do love you, and you love me — and that feels amazing. But also with some worry, of course, life can never be simple can it?
You booked a train to come up on the Friday like you used to, I didn’t have to ask you to, you did it yourself. I picked you up from the station after work, I’d been to get my hair cut and had a new suit since all my current ones are too big. We went home and frankly barely left the bedroom for much of the weekend — we did go for a walk, we spent time with Sonic, we watched some crap on telly. It was, in truth, a wonderful weekend.
I’d missed silly things, half dozing at night and you reaching over for a hug, waking up with you, making you a coffee in the morning. We cooked some HelloFresh recipes together, we didn’t fall out, we ate at the table and talked instead of on the settee watching the TV. I took you home and sometimes latterly that felt like a relief as things had been strained between us — me frustrated at the growing distance, you probably eager to get back online. There was none of that.
I got home in time for the football, we FaceTimed during the game — it obviously ended in disappointment but well, such is life! Your Mum is on holiday next week and you’re house sitting for her, so I’m coming down to see you on Friday. At some point we need to lift ourselves from not being able to keep our hands off each other and have a proper conversation, but the temptation is strong.
You are still streaming and have that life, but not nearly as much. And in truth, I never had an issue with it as a hobby. Just not an all-consuming one, and I’m not comfortable with my existence being denied — these are the things that we need to talk about. You’ve been really open when I have mentioned things like that though — you were looking at dresses for a friends’ wedding, I opined that one with Suns and Moons on it probably wasn’t ideal from my perspective, and you didn’t get funny about it.
And there will be things you will have reflected on when we were parted that weren’t ideal — at some point we need to go through those things and work out whether or not they are surmountable. Almost certainly as this wave of passion we are feeling subsides we will need to face into that, but part of me thinks it’s worth enjoying the ride for now — and be comfortable that at least we can be more rational coming to whatever decisions we come to.
Most of me is thrilled with how things are going, obviously physically but emotionally too. I am wary still, you’ve been quite open with folk about how things are developing (if not with how they went wrong!), I’ve been more closed — tackling my family feels daunting if we did decide we’re back ‘on’ properly. I did tell A. and S. that we’ve somewhat rekindled, they were both — predictably — super supportive but didn’t proffer a strong opinion either way, which is fair — but were both happy at the thought of us finding happiness.
You unblocked me from Twitter the other day, and — lord help me — I did check and you’ve stopped following him (obvious move really!). You did mention how you’d been learning French but lapsed somewhat — I didn’t press as to what motivated you to do it, it’s not a bad thing to want to learn regardless of the initial inspiration.
I suppose this whole journey has taught me the importance of happiness, and not to discard it unnecessarily — lockdown only amplifies the perils of loneliness but equally by the same token, opens the door to settling for something that ultimately won’t work out. And that wouldn’t be fair on either of us. One of the bittersweet elements of this is that I’ve got two weeks away with my Aunty coming up, and you’re working the weekend before that — so we will have some enforced separation physically.
We probably need that space to reassess properly without the physical temptation we present to one another. Of course, if I weren’t keeping my family at arm’s length in regard to this I could easily sneak out of the whole two weeks, hell, there’d probably be room for you to join us for some of the break but it doesn’t feel right. One of the pitfalls with my family was that they discovered we were a ‘thing’ from our Facebook statuses — if we do decide to make a go of this then I need to talk to them in person first this time.
I need to make sure that they understand I’ve given this thought, weighed things up and that I expect them to respect and support my decisions — and be open and inclusive of you in our respective lives too. They weren’t before, and I left them to it rather than confront them, which I should have done. But that’s a bridge to cross when we’ve done our working out and maybe those three weeks of enforced separation will help us to get our heads straight.
So yeah, a twist in the tale I wasn’t expecting (although had idly contemplated, I guess). Currently heart is working hard at convincing head of things at the moment, which is probably perfectly normal. At least I feel equipped mentally to do that now.
I’m going to go back to…
I love you, Bert