Finding oneself in the arms of an angel
This world has been pretty damned good to me. I’ve shaken the hands of two presidents, the only two good ones in my lifetime, Carter and Clinton. Jesse Jackson called me “homeboy” once. The actress Claire Danes gave me a hug during a movie junket. I’ve had enough laughter and fun experiences for three lives.
But I’ve never been as happy as I am right now and I just can’t contain it anymore.
While I’ve had a great life, I’ve been shitty at relationships. I didn’t kiss a girl until I was a freshman in college. One woman I knew entered into a relationship with me, promised me the world and all was well — until her husband threatened me with a shotgun.
Another woman was so convinced that I was cheating on her that she would confront me over single strands of hair she found on the carpet, even though it was likely her own hair.
It got to the point where I wrote a column swearing off women, promising to focus on playing Madden games on the Playstation and yelling at kids to get off my lawn.
Then, as life is wont to do, everything turned upside down when I expected it least.
I met Katie.
Like I said, I’ve met women from all across the world, but nothing could have prepared me for her. It never occurred to me that a woman could be intelligent, ravishingly beautiful, sweet and kind — and still like me.
But it seems to have happened to me.
Every cliché from every sappy love song has lived itself out since I met her. She’s my best friend, my love, my indispensable companion and the most valuable ally a man could have.
I used to laugh at my friends in committed relationships, telling them they were fools. But now I’m one of them and it is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“You’re whipped, dude,” one of my friends said to me the other day.
“Thank God,” I said.
Innately kind, infinitely compassionate, wise beyond her years, beautiful in every circumstance: That’s her. And every morning I wake up and thank God that she’s around.
The other night, I did the unmanliest thing possible. I started crying because she was lying next to me, looking more beautiful than she has ever looked.
This old ’80s song started playing in my head, whose chorus asked and answered the question “And do you feel scared? I do, but I won’t stop or falter.”
It just filled me with such emotion and happiness, knowing that I love her more than anyone or anything I’ve ever known.
Yes, I feel scared, but I won’t stop or falter. These are strange times in which to live, but I know more than anything that I want her beside me, all the time, in person and spirit. What we have is something unique to this world, and it’s so very beautiful that it drives me to tears.
Are there problems in the world? Yes, but being with her makes them diminish in importance. Can I help her with her fears? I hope so, and I know that I will do everything in my power to help her as much as she’s helped me.
She was frightened about something the other day and I e-mailed her, “Do not be full of sorrow, my love. Do not be scared. The passion and the power and the miracle of the love I have for you will make everything OK in the end.”
I love this woman. I never could have predicted this, but I’m a devout believer in her. Her. Her as she is. Her as she wants to be. Her in every way, every day, for as long as I live.
I don’t want to change anything about her except that I wish I could be a more worthy recipient of her love.
It was her birthday on Monday and I couldn’t afford to buy her the expensive gifts I’d planned, so I gave her a framed picture and a small trinket instead. She smiled at me as if I’d handed her a 10-pound gold bar.
“I don’t want anything for my birthday,” she said. “You are my gift.” Once again, I was moved in a way I have never been moved before.
Who knows what the future will bring for us. As Norman Mailer once wrote, “What wit resides in the cosmos!” But, for whatever reason, fate has thrown the two of us together and it is in her arms I want to reside, forever and ever, until the day I draw my last breath, many, many years from now.