Bird of Paradise

The sense of relief is palpable.

There is a part of me that is relieved, and a part of me that feels as if I am losing my mind.  A part of me that smiles big, and a part of me that wants to do what I did when I was a young BigLaw associate, which was to occasionally curl up under my stodgy, faux mahogany desk and tremble.

Yesterday, after I had hacked my way out of the seven-week shitswamp; after there were only two-and-a-half fronts left on which to fight; after giving awkward side-hugs and smiles, I realised I was…tired.

The day before yesterday I had had a strange conversation:

Blah blah blah married…, he’d said.  It took me a minute to process that he was talking about his own impending nuptials.

So is she The One? I’d asked.

He’d demurred.

It reminded me of a conversation I’d had a while back wherein my dinner companion and I had agreed: When you know, you know.  It was a conversation I’d had over and over; a conversation I’d had a few times, with a few friends — friends newly yoked with left-hand rings.

And we’d talked about the fear of loveless relationships; tick-the-box relationships; ticking-clock relationships.  But I had also thought about the people I know who are in together-for-the-sake-of-the-kids

The conversations I was having about the Woman Who Would Do had reminded me, vaguely, of that Crosby, Stills & Nash song — the one Stephen Stills had written about Judy Collins.  The one about which he is quoted as saying that the demise of their relationship was imminent because “…we were both too big for one house.”

It struck me then that sometimes, emptiness is too big for one house; that loneliness can be too vast for a single vessel.

Is she The One?

She’ll do.

It seemed so funny and strange; funny-strange.  How could someone who had survived The Big Emptiness run headlong into it again?

She’ll do.  The words echoed over and over in my head.

My sense of relief was palpable.

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