Nov 17, 2009
We were supposed to meet.So if it works out with us, it will be amazing, if not - you have inspired so much inside of me, and I will remember you forever. Monica: On a rainy Monday morning in SLC When I get home a day later there is a message on my cell phone from Serge. “I am in love with you. I want to be with you. Please don’t be with anyone else ever again.”
We spend our days texting each other and I stay up late nights, waiting for the phone call that would come as he settled into each hotel room after a sweaty couple hours spent on stage. His band moves on to Dallas and up into Arkansas, I think. One night he tells me he plans to call his sometimes girlfriend in London and break things off for good. He suspects she is seeing someone else anyway and thinks that, like him, she'll be sad, but mostly relieved.
"We still talk. Out of habit, not love." Serge speaks in conflicted tones, his voice spray-painted in the blacks and blues of a beaten up coupling. "I did love her once, I think. Or the person I thought she was, anyway." Here was a man struggling under the weight of failed love, gearing himself up to cut all ties and to once and for all let go of the four miserable years he spent trying to maintain a mismatched coupling.
I sit in shocked silence as he tells me story after story filled with violence, rage and frustration. Their relationship had been conducted through a constantly cycling series of brutal fights and break-ups which were subsequently softened by exchanged emails and the long distance between London and Philadelphia, their respective hometowns.
Yet, despite the anger and violence Serge and Caroline managed to maintain some semblance of a relationship because they'd each built up this false notion of a passionate, transatlantic love. And especially because they didn't have to deal with each other on a daily basis.
I listen to Serge recount his relationship and then reveal my own war stories of dysfunctional love. I had become entangled in a debilitating drama of my own ever since my previous boyfriend, Andy, had gently explained to me that I just wasn't The One.
By the time I met Serge I was floundering. Trying to move forward but still fully susceptible to the strong emotional currents continually trying to drag me back to Andy and the deep end of the ocean. And so I could commiserate with Serge, could understand his love/hate relationship and his desire to be finished with Caroline and the simultaneous pull of some sort of dysfunctional relationship with the woman who had caused him so much emotional anguish.
The intense emotions we were experiencing with each other and our desire to share our innermost thoughts and feelings so early on in our relationship provided the proper sign posts that would lead Serge and I from the messes with our exes to a future without the soul-sucking drama we had been halfheartedly engaged in before meeting each other. Neither of us were in love with our exes, we ultimately realized. Our toxic relationships were bad habits - addictions - and we needed some serious rehab. But together? Or on our own?
To be continued...