Lemon Lime Sable, by Charlie Grosso

A short month of courtship. We were clear with each other from the start. Casual has reached the point of diminishing return and both of us are on the serious business of looking for our person. Cheap and easy this is not.

Are you my person?

No. I am not for him and he is not for me. We are both clear on that. Yet there is something here, a bond, a recognition of each other on a cosmic level beyond the intellect. We investigate with sweet kisses, long conversations and tea. Cups and cups of tea sweetened with lots and lots of time. Time I hold precious and rarely want to share.

An incident overblown. I am the guy and he is the girl in this surprising and unnecessary plot development. This is a one-act play but the tea, the endless conversations and inexplicable bond tricked us into thinking this had another act to come.

The end deserves as much respect as any beginnings. Give me an hour. I’d like to say goodbye to you as my lover. The next time we see each other, we will be friends.

An hour, coffee instead of tea. Hold back the impulse on diving into a deep discussion about art, mortality and food. I could talk to you forever. We kissed goodbye, I duck down into the subway, across the set of obstacle course of humans and metal before the platform, perfect timing, and the train pulls up. Straight into the train, in a seat, one long effortless sequence without missing a beat or an extra breath. Suddenly, there it is….sadness….on my skin, in my stomach….the heart contracts a little.

Home. Dinner. Emails. Still can’t shake the feeling. Sad. Sadness at our goodbye that this has come to an end. I think to myself, too old and too tired for this. The lengths we go through as we make our way to our person is like sea turtles swimming for miles for the perfect sandy beach to lay their eggs.

I guess I showed up in more ways than I thought. I guess I was more present than I had anticipated, even if we both knew from the get go that we are not each other’s person. There is something beautiful in that, showing up this way.

Night my love.

Dreaming covered in tiny goose feathers and the morning light will hopefully ease the sadness. Morning. Sadness spent the night and is here for coffee and breakfast. Okay then. I am more human than I thought. Why do I always forget?!

I capitulate to the sadness and start the ritual of grieving. A few hours of aimless wandering through the inbox, Facebook, organizing files that don’t need to be organized and chats with friends all sound tracked to sad sad songs. Now it’s time to force myself outside for errands and a walk through the pale blue sky. A new French bakery offers up beautiful selections for the gastronomic portions of the grief process. An hour on the spin bike with my favorite instructor, she tells the class that we are perfect exactly where we are, completes the ceremony of break up. Step by step I follow through with the rite of grieving and as promised each act made me feel better.

You say that is a lot of trouble. A lot of time for someone who you knew wasn’t the right for the part. Shrug it off, let it go and don’t give it anymore thought you say.

Except I believe in honor. I am big on respect, both for you and for myself. I honor the sweet beauty that was shared between us by formally bidding him adieu. I took time to show consideration for the part of me that felt something for him, even if we knew he is wrong for the part. We care for one another in kaleidoscopic ways; love is more nuanced than simple. When we take care, respect and honor, we resolve, release and move on without extra baggage. Ritual is a powerful thing. I don’t think I fully grasp it until now, be it the ritual of love, of grief, of letting go.

What about the very serious business of finding your person you ask? The heart can only take so many too young, too old, too hot, too cold. The part is still available and we are still holding auditions but more than anything, I remind myself and you this….he is looking for me too. He is making his way to me just as I to him, you to her.

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