“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ~ Anais Nin
When my boyfriend Kevin died suddenly in his sleep from an unanticipated heart attack, I was like F*k all the positive thinking, healthy eating, personal growth crap! In fact, f*ck everything!
Kevin wasn’t a positive spin guy. But, he was a work hard, party hard, turn up the music, laugh out loud, storytelling, lovemaking fool for the juice of life.
He wasn’t a health fanatic, but he was a rebel.
So, when diabetes, cancer, and the long arm of the law tried to take him down, kick his ass, and reduce his freedom, Kevin, aka the Fire! revolted by coloring vibrant and audacious within the lines.
He worked out most mornings. He took me to his gym to meet his hot female trainer. Like, “Here, Icey (what he called me), come look around the corner and see me. There’s no reason to get jealous.” It was a cool gesture.
Kevin worked out and ate better for his health, but his motivation tuned up as we became Fire & Ice (as in Vanilla Ice and “Ice, Ice, Baby”—not because I was cold, though I could be.)
I turned up the heat in my life, too.
Because great relationships generate synergy. Isn’t that the purpose?
When our Fire & Ice synergy spun as smooth as a Ferris Wheel glides, when we were on top, holding hands, smiling like kids eating cotton candy, awash in peace, tickled by embracing all the world’s sparkles and the rightness of the moment, the ride shut down.
Like a curtain lowered, my life’s lights darkened the moment I learned Kevin left this world.
A crowd hustled, bustled, and moved noisily on the ground, but I was stuck up there, at the top, in the dark, solo in a car made for two.
I wanted to rock my way out, climb down, scream for help, and cry for Kevin. And my mom who died decades ago.
I didn’t want to get off the ride. I wanted the lights back on! I wanted my favorite person by my side.
Maybe that’s why our ride never stops.
Kevin and I were friends for two decades.
Then, we grew into our friendship on a whole new level.
Later, as lovers, we swam to the deepest levels in the sea of intimacy.
He dove in seeking treasure. I enchanted him like a mermaid.
I could go on with the metaphors, and we could swim in a few clichés, but the diver’s oxygen ran out.
There are innumerable ways to tell our story and I choose the meaning I make from it.
People die—even in the midst of a groovy love affair.
People who work out and eat healthy can be convinced to try a pharmaceutical that’s fine for 90% of the people who take it—and be the one it kills.
Life. Reality. Unfairness. Sadness.
Such wretched grief I thought it would eat me.
Then, I swam to shore. Finally, I stood and walked barefoot through time.
Although the diver no longer breathes air, my Fire still walks the sandy shores and swims the sparkly seas by my side.
I’m still a mermaid. And, I’ve still got the treasure.