Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Have you ever been hopelessly head over heels in love, only to find out you were probably head over heels in love with the idea of being in love?

I have several knuckleheads in my life, some more involved in my life than others, and some bigger knuckleheads that others, but all of them knuckleheads nonetheless. And I seem to love them all, in some way or another.

Knucklehead #1 is by far my favorite knucklehead, because we’ve been friends the longest. We are the most alike, our lives are very similar, and we have the same basic background, and have experienced some of the same things although not together. He is a goober and that’s what I love about him. He is an eternal optimist, sometimes to the point of denial. He’s such a lovable person, and a sweet friend, who would give up anything to help his friends. He cares deeply and loves completely. His inner circle of friends consort to protect and shield him from the harsh realities of life. They make excuses for him or to him for the world around him. They bail him out when he gets in a bind. They tell him what he wants to hear, which is not always the truth. They love him and they protect him and they cripple him. The overwhelming consensus of everyone who knows him is that he’s a good guy; he’s just a prima donna. The irony is that everyone in his life helps to perpetuate the whole prima donna persona.

I know all of this about him, and them, and I love him anyway. Not in a romantic kind of way. In another time, in another place, in a parallel universe we would be together. But in this reality, we are destined to just be friends. He’s my best friend.

Have you ever been so love with someone it hurts? So in love with someone you can’t breathe? So in love with someone nothing else matters when you’re together? That would be knucklehead #2.

He was my prince charming. He was the best relationship I’d ever had. He made me happier than I’ve ever been. We had it all, trust, respect, spaces in our togetherness, laughter, love. Then pain, silence, distance, gone.

I never expected to love him. We never said it, but we could feel it. While ‘I love you’ never crossed his lips, his heart told my heart ‘I love you’ every time we were together. There was no rush, no thrill, no frills, nothing fancy about us. We just hung out, spent quiet, peaceful, evenings at home watching movies. We spent wonderful tumultuous, wild nights riding the waves of passion. There was a time he drove all the way home from KC just to sleep beside me for 1 night. There was the time he planned to spend 1 night with me and ended up staying the whole weekend.

I could look into his eyes and see into his heart. I could see the love I could feel and he could never speak of. I knew I was loved without ever hearing the words. I never doubted him, never questioned him, trusted beyond doubt, without measure, and loved beyond reason.

And then, my demons reared their ugly heads and my past destroyed my future. I suffered a breakdown, and he just could not handle the emotional roller coaster. I know, if he had truly loved me he would have stay by me, but he couldn’t. Maybe it’s still blind love and trust, but I don’t hold it against him that he wasn’t strong enough for me. In honesty, my mental destruction was scary. He has his own mental anguish to deal with, mine added to his was too much for him. I had unfinished business from my divorce. I had issues I hadn’t faced, and demons I had to slay.

I have faced my hell, I’ve come through it, I’ve survived and become better and stronger for it. I still lost the love of my knucklehead. Maybe that’s the price I had to pay. I will forever be grateful for the time I loved and was loved by him. It was a magical time, full of hope, love, joy, laughter. It still hurts when I realize what I’ve lost, but I look back through the tears and I smile.

Knucklehead #3 is the rarest of them all. He doesn’t live here anymore, but we talk often on the phone. He is one I never expected to connect with on any level at all. Turns out he challenges me intellectually. He’s the perfect combination of city and country. He hunts deer, he’s travel to New York to see a Broadway play. I know that life with him would be grand and easy and the sweet life. I would want for nothing, and I would be adored beyond belief. It sounds like every girl’s dream, but I have to sell my soul for the life he could provide. He would adore me, but I’m not in love with him, and unreturned adoration eventually becomes resentment. I would have to settle for a relationship with someone I’m not in love with, and no matter how wonderful my life could be, without love it would be nothing.

Knucklehead # 4 is one I'm proud of. When I met him he had jewlry provided by Dept of Corrections. I didn't ask, and he didn't tell. It didn't matter. People make mistakes, and people learn lessons, and people can change. Some one believed in him enough to give him a job, who was I to sit in judgement when I had just met him. He played by the rules, he walked the straight and narrow, for a very long time. But, because he's human, he slipped, he tripped, he fell from grace. He lost his way and lost control. At the time it was hard to watch him hurt himself and everyone around him, but until he was ready to get help nobody could help him. He finally hit rock bottom, and he bounced. He got the help he needed and got back on the straight and narrow. He found his way back to his family, his friends, his job, his life. And he walked the straight and narrow again, for a long time. But once again, he tripped, he slipped, he fell. And he hit rock bottom. He realized he needed help, and he got the help he needed and turned his life around again.

How many strikes does a person get before they're out? That's not for me to decide. I'm not in love with this knucklehead. We've never had a romantic relationship. He's a good person, who makes mistakes. Sometimes his demons are bigger and stronger than he is. He may occassionally lose a battle to them, but he always comes back fighting and he never gives up. He continues to try no matter how often he falls. He has more courage than anyone I've ever known. He has a huge heart and he loves completely. He's smart, and caring and funny, and wonderful. He's human, he has faults, but he never gives up.

I have several knuckleheads in my life, some more involved in my life than others, and some bigger knuckleheads that others, but all of them knuckleheads nonetheless.

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