Sunday, December 12, 2004

Free

Anna writes to say she really enjoyed our most recent date. It seems to have mellowed her as she reflected on it.

She says that she wants to make no strict claims on me or my time, as she knows my life is full of obligations to people who need me. She does not want to add to life’s pressures, she wants only to add to life’s pleasures. I am free to see her when I can, or not to see her at all. It’s entirely up to me. I am free.

These are all the right things to say to me. I wonder if she believes any of it.

It’s presumptious and na├»ve that she imagines my freedom as something she can grant. Of course I am free. But I don’t hold that against her. She is really, really trying to find a way to keep me in her life, without making herself crazy.

Anna's note arrives as I wonder how, or if, to stay in her life. What she really wants is a full-time boyfriend who adores only her. She deserves what she wants, and she should have it. It's attainable. It’s normal.

She keeps compromising to be with me. Is she thinking I will wear down, and become the man of her dreams? Is she panicking, at age 35, that she may never meet the right man?

Whatever else may be problems in our relationship, we have certainly met at the wrong moment. She wants to find true love, to settle down and to make grandchildren for her parents, as soon as possible. I want to cast off the remaining ties to my marriage and experience the single life that she so dreads as her fate.

It’s like we are two trains moving in opposite directions. Her destination: Security. Mine: Freedom. I hope we are not heading to a collision.

Which is the greater expression of my affection for her? To make her understand that I am unlikely to give her what she truly wants, and send her off to her loneliness? Or to remain as I have, to mitigate that loneliness with the happiness I seem to provide?

I respond that I am happy she wants me in her life, and that it would be great to see one another soon.

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