November 06, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Lost in all the excitement of finding a house, applying for a mortgage, anticipating a new space, and managing the logistics (as well as the lifting) of a move, is the fact that as of this weekend, Zippy and I will no longer be living together.

We met back in 2000 or thereabouts. I was coming off a truly horrible half decade - was probably clinically depressed, at the tail end of digging myself a financial hole that am just now climbing out of. I was living alone in Waterbury, in a house I could not afford, and well - my life was a wreck. It might have looked OK from the outside, but it was most decidedly not.

Zippy met me at the Children from the Shadows conferece (I was staffing a table) and despite my cluelessness with regard to his intentions, and my inadvertant attempts to pawn him off on other support orgs, he hunted me down online (a rather remarkable feat, knowing now how the internet vexes and frustrates him). After a bit of an email wooing and a few dates (trivia, our first date was a walk round Reservoir #6 followed by a bite at Wild Oats), we, as the saying goes, hooked up.

After some months of a commuter relationship (he in Hartford, me in Waterbury) we decided to move in together. I found office space in Newington for my business, moved in with him, and started to get my house ready for sale.

Moving in with Zippy loosened slightly the financial vice that had clamped down on me - I eventually sold the house, got out from under the mortgage, and found the money to begin and complete my transition. I moved to Hartford where I found communities - bloggers, artists, musicians, yogis. And we have lived together for 8 years - far longer than my short lived marriage. We've each let go of two dogs in those years, and I wept for his Mauzie and Melina just as much as I did for my own; we now have two dogs that we adopted together.

Perhaps our relationship was doomed from the start. He's quite a few years older than I, and a lot of what has become my culture grates and irritates him. I'm perenially moving - ballooning, hiking, yoga, arts, music - and he just cannot keep up and resents my being away. His ideal - a quiet house and a book to read - pulls me down into depression and addiction. My ideal - a life filled with people and activities, and a perennial "glass half full" attitude that he calls pollyana, gets him cranky. And each of us have gone though major life transitions that have taken us physically and energeticlly in different directions.

When I fell in love with yoga, I think it was the last straw for him. I was too often gone, too often looking outward and away. My yoga friends see mostly his anger, his resentment towards a practice and a community that, at the end, took me away from him - so it is hard for them to see his humor, his generous spirit, his difficult journey. So for the last few years, even as our relationship became completely platonic, we have cohabitated with some friction, some resentment, some anger. It's time to move on.

But I leave with no small measure of sadness. He is, for all that, my very good friend. We have shared a bed, a household, countless meals and movies. I have come to love his family; my family has embraced him. I called him from a hospital bed in Trinidad, CO; I stood by his side in a hospital in Springfield. And I know that his life will be harder and a little less vital without me around to drive at night, to help out financially and logistically. (although he'd say, rightfully, that he'll have a lot less cleaning to do and a lot less clutter to put up with, with me gone!)

Even as I prepare to move we've been sharing the HBO series True Blood via Netflix; and I hope we can continue to have a regular movie night, an occasionally meal, and some time together.

So, in all this excitement for a new life to come, some sadness and letting go for what has been an incredible period of change and the person who was the catalyst for much of this change.

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