A Shot of Redemption

Mr. Sam called me Monday about noon. “Are you around?”

I wasn’t. I’d been sick all weekend and was even at that moment in bed and awaiting a call from my doctor about antibiotics.

“I’m sorry Sam, I’m not. But what can I do for you?”

I knew what he wanted though. A progress report on some documents I’m trying to lay out for him.

“I’m so sorry they aren’t ready, I’ve been sick, blah, blah.”
He laughs at me.

“It’s completely fine, I actually have a new project to add the first project. Come see me Wednesday morning at 8:30.”

Oh snap. What have I gotten myself into? I know that is not going to happen. Way too early for me to comprehend his complex projects.

“Can we meet Thursday at 1:00 after the director’s meeting in Neighboring City?” (A mandatory thing I have to attend.)

“Sure Angel, I’ll see you then.”

He’s so good to pull me in on his projects in order to replace the slight reduction in pay rate I took a few months ago, so our facility could stay open four full days.

(I’m not a martyr or a do-gooder in general, I just like to do one thing for a longer period of time. I don’t want to mess with a half-day.)

Sam’s actual plan is to place me one full day at town hall, which I would love. In fact, I’d love to work for him full time because we are a lot alike. “Just be quite and work.”

Everyone says I’m a people person, but I know I’m not. Deep down I’m more like, “Shut up, just listen, let’s get this work done and no, we don’t have to chat while we do it.”

He really does need help on his projects but he has a degree of misplaced faith in me. Because he thinks I can do things I can’t, if I just set my mind to it. He is very much like Adam in that regard.

When I arrive he’s on the phone reading someone from the Department of Environmental Management the riot act and I know I’m out of my league already.

He soon turns his attention to assigning me another really hard project. And stares me down when he does it.

He’s just daring me to say, “I can’t.” I can see his hand ready to fly off his desk and into the universal sign for stop at the slightest hint of an excuse from me.

I fidget and take a deep breath and his fingers are already an inch into the air.

“Ok Sam, I’ll try.”

His weather-worn face breaks into a smile. “You’ve got this.”

A few seconds later the woman who complained about my pay rate steps into Sam’s office and his smile fades away. He doesn’t pretend to like her, but he isn’t rude.

“Angel will be turning in about 4-6 hours extra every week and she’s going to be doing the work Mondays, from home. Let me know what type of requisition you need from me.”

Her. Face. Fell.

Now that was a shot of redemption I never saw coming!

Mr. Sam starts to gather his laptop even though I’m still trying to question him on on the exact perimeters his needs.

“I’ve got to run to Neighboring City Angel, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Sam! You should have texted me if I can run an errand for you, or pick anything up while I’m there.”

I live in that metropolitan area, 30 miles from the rural city we work for and he lives in another smaller rural city, 30 miles in the other direction.

His smile is back, this time rueful and he tries to make a joke. “I would Angel, but they won’t let anyone else take my radiation.”

He leaves me sitting in his office, bewildered.

I knew he’d had surgery in January and had taken a leave, but I had no idea about this.

I wish I didn’t know.

sam

A man walks down the street
He says, “Why am I soft in the middle, now?
Why am I soft in the middle?
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard”

Bonedigger, Bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away in my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly, Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know, I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty, when you call me, you can call me Al

A man walks down the street
He says, “Why am I short of attention?
Got a short little span of attention
And, whoa, my nights are so long
Where’s my wife and family?
What if I die here?
Who’ll be my role model
Now that my role model is gone, gone?”

He ducked back down the alley
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl
All along, along
There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations

A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the third world
Maybe it’s his first time around
Doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound, the sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity

He says, “Amen and Hallelujah!”

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Doug’s Canadian mistress is coming back to my Southern town this weekend

The Book Groupie, aka Doug’s mistress, is coming back to my town this weekend.

Her travel is paid for as part of a grant she won, when he was still alive.

The first stage of the grant brought her here from 2700 miles away and I certainly could have lived without that stress!

The facility I now direct houses a historical archive of the publishing event person that was Doug’s friend. The mistress was a huge fan of publishing event subject, which is how she met Doug.

She and Doug planned to use our mutual friend’s home as a place to be together under the nose of his unsuspecting wife, but his condition worsened and he was lifeflighted to another larger city while she was forced to remain in classes at a nearby university to fulfill the requirements of the grant.

Our mutual friend lives near my office and the mistress stayed with Mutual Friend for a few days.

I prayed and fasted over that situation and begged God, “Lord, please, I absolutely can’t deal with this. Please protect me and make it so that I never have to see the mistress.”

At the time, I didn’t think that was even possible. I thought I was foolish for even asking God for that favor.

But she never came to my facility.

Yes, I had three days of hell and panic every time the door opened. But she never once darkened the door.

And now she’s coming back.

I feel different this time.

Doug repaired our friendship and did so many things to ensure that we reconciled before he died.

I was with him once twice a week in the two months before he died, and spent Wednesday evening with him and his wife Julie, before he died Friday morning.

I was the one who delivered Doug’s last message to her. I was the one who called her when he died.

And now?

Now I’m the one who is aching to see her face to face.

I can’t even explain it and I don’t understand stand it, but I want to see her.

I want to comfort her. And I want her to comfort me. I want to cry with her, about Doug.

She is the only person in this world who could ever understand my grief over Doug’s death.

She is also the only person in this world who can understand the depth of my guilt.

And I want to see her. I just don’t know how to ask.

Doug is fading fast, so I reached out to his mistress

Oh. You thought I was Doug’s mistress?

I’m the one who said no. I did care about him though.

Part of that care found me leaving his house Wednesday and stopping at the Walgreens on the corner to try and contact the other woman.

Yes he is married. I’m not defending what they did. I didn’t like her one bit and she was truly (mostly) bad for him.

But he asked me to “tell her.”

I knew what he meant.

I also knew (but hated to admit) that she brought him joy in those weeks between his cancer treatments.

He buried his reality and traveled through several states and into Canada with her. They stopped at every river they crossed and took selfies, lighting up their individual Instagrams like the 4th of July.

She was young and alive with love for him. He was staring down both barrels of death.

It was probably easy to rationalize their affair by believing that what the wife didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.

I’m not excusing what they did. But a part of me understands it.

~~~

I was also motivated to contact the mistress in order to protect Julie, Doug’s wife.

Monday was the last day Doug was able to use his phone and I’d noticed that Julie had it charging next to her chair Wednesday.

I didn’t think she deserved to inadvertently receive any frantic messages from women she has no idea Doug even knew.

~~~

It was still hard though. I sat a few minutes biting my lip and taking deep breaths.

Then I hear Asa’s voice, like a little Jewish conscience in my heart.

And from somewhere in me came compassion for the mistress.

She has no way of knowing what’s going on, if Doug is alive or dead.

Whatever I thought about the situation, (I hated it) and whatever I thought about her personally, (jealousy mixed with disgust), I knew I had to reach out to her for all of the above reasons.

So I contacted the mistress.

Since she had followed me on Twitter several months ago I followed her back and sent a DM.

“Nancy, it’s Angel. I just left Doug’s house. My number is 867-5309 if you want to call.”

My phone rang before I could even put my car in reverse.

“Is he dead?” she blurted out. Then she burst into tears.

To be continued…

[I’m not a hero here…I was tempted to do what she did. I just didn’t do it.]

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back

Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don’t make no difference what nobody says
Ain’t nobody like to be alone

Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

“Goodbye sweetheart”

When I left Doug’s house Wednesday, I wondered if this would be the last time I’d see him.

It surprised me to realize I carried peace either way.

~~~

He was asleep most of the visit, but I asked his wife Julie if I could wake him up to say goodbye.

“Please do. He might wake up and know you, he might not,” she warned me.

I stopped at his hospital bed that was delivered a few days ago from hospice and touched his shoulder.

“Doug, buddy, it’s me…”

His eyes flew open and he grabbed my hand.

“Angel, Angel.”

I was so elated. I turned around to look at Julie and said, “He knows me!”

He started talking right away, rushing through the words.

“Albert’s grave. Teach Justin.”

Albert is his friend that the major publishing event revolved around. Doug always took care of his grave but his stepchildren are not interested in continuing this.

Justin is my 12 year old son.

“I will Doug, I promise. We’ve already been twice this year.”

Doug’s nose was bleeding, I’m assuming from the cancer? I grabbed a tissue and cleaned his face.

He started crying and said, “I’m afraid Angel.”

“You’re doing good buddy, you’re strong, you’re hands are strong!”

But he was afraid, and very sorrowful. I could see this in his eyes and it broke my heart.

“Doug, let’s pray.”

I put my other hand on his chest and bowed my head. (Details omitted because, well, it’s too private.)

When I finished he didn’t let go of my hands, so I was still bent over somewhat.

“Tell her, please tell her,” he whispered. “Tell them all.”

I knew that he meant his mistress in Vermont and all of the friends he’s made in the town I work for.

“I will Doug, I’ll tell everyone. We all love you and we’re praying for you.”

He kept holding my hands but stopped talking. I thought maybe he was falling back asleep so I gently tried to pull away.

“No, don’t go.”

So I stood there, just looking at his face, so sweet to me now, and again, after so much anger, bitterness, and anguish between us.

I realized then that our reconciliation was possible and accomplished because of him. Because he reached out to me, and came to my work to ask me to forgive him.

Gratitude filled my heart. God was so good to me to allow this peace at our end.

~~~

I could tell Doug was going in and out from the Fentanyl but he stirred and opened his eyes again.

He brought my right hand to his lips and kissed it.

“Goodbye sweetheart.”

I leaned over and hugged him.

“Goodbye buddy.”

Boulder to Birmingham

Well you really got me this time
And the hardest part is knowing I’ll survive

I’ve come to listen for the sound
Of the trucks as they move down
Out on 95
And pretend that it’s the ocean


Coming down to wash me clean, to wash me clean
Baby, do you know what I mean?

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face
If I thought I could see, I could see your face

Boulder to Birmingham is a track from the 1975 album Pieces of the Sky by Emmylou Harris. The song was written by Harris and Bill Danoff. It has served as something of a signature tune for the artist and recounts her feelings of grief in the years following the death of country rock star and mentor Gram Parsons.

Wiki

Will the circle be unbroken?

Adam called me tonight and his voice seemed heavier, older.

As if now he is the father and I am the child.

He has grown up so much this past year, and indeed he’s taken this role more often than not.

(When he takes a role at all that is.)

Angel, It seems as if the circle is closing.

Which circle? You and I?

Yes.”

Closing as in ending?

Yes.”

Don’t say that.

“I know you are crying. Don’t have those tears in your eyes.”

I don’t.

You do, I know you do.”

Yes. Ok, I do.

It’s just that I feel like a different person from a year ago. I don’t even recognize me, as her.

That’s because you are different, you’re not her anymore.”

Thank you for helping me, for all that you did. But I don’t want our friendship to be over.

Stop crying. I meant that the circle of the year, and the events that caused our paths to cross, that circle is closing.”

He says this I realize, because I messaged him that Doug called and asked me to come see him this afternoon.

I told him that Doug can no longer stand. He just wanted me to sit by his bed and tell him funny work stories.

I took food, cake, fudge, just treats I knew they’d love, including Starbucks.

Dinner, so Doug’s wife could have a break.

She asked me to help with Doug’s birthday party. Of course I will. I’m good at being a background utility player.

Adam, I say, I’m so thankful to God that nothing happened between Doug and I. That I can walk in his house without shame. That I can sincerely love his wife.

Adam, I’ll call you back in a few minutes, I need to pay for this can-opener.

That’s fine.

Except I don’t call him right back. I go into another store to buy him some Band-Aids to drop in the mail. Adam cut his finger on a can and I’m worried that he doesn’t have bandages.

I gather myself and stop crying as well.

I made it to the car and reached for my phone. I stare at the number. But I can’t make myself call him.

In the past eleven months, I’ve never called Adam.

I’ve always thought that I should be there for him if he needs me, (and I am), but I should never call him.

So I never have.

I closed the phone option and message instead.

Adam, call me if you want. I’m finished at the store.

Angel, I want to take a little break. We might need to push it to tomorrow.

Okay buddy, no problem. TTYL.

The circle indeed closes.

Angel

So I close my eyes softly,
’till I become that part of the wind
That we all long for sometime.

And to those that I love, like a ghost through a fog
Like a charmed hour and a haunted song
And the angel, angel of my dreams

Angel of my dreams

I still look up
I try hard not to look up, yeah
That girl was me, yeah

No great pretender…

I met a lady who is going to Steve Jobs herself

“I have pancreatic cancer. But I’m not letting them cut me open. I’m fighting this naturally.”

When she said that I teared up and reached for her yellowed hand.

Not because she has cancer, although that’s sad.

But because I know she’ll be dead soon.

She has insurance, and money, but she doesn’t want a colostomy.

I wanted to say, “But Steve Jobs…”

I didn’t though. Because sometimes you just have to think things, instead of saying them.

She asked me to pray for her and I will.

“Mrs. Douglas, stop back by when you see my car out there by itself, so we can spend sometime together and pray.”

She promised she would.

In anticipation of that day, I went ahead and put Steve Jobs biography and my office Bible on the small table between the two leather chairs.

God opens a door, I stick a Steve Jobs biography in it faster than a Jehovah’s Witness can hand you a Watch Tower magazine!

~~~~

Just so I will remember

“In death, he becomes the essence of love.”

I guess I could put this in my drafts along with the almost 800 other ones.

But nah.

Doug messaged me tonight.

Which meant I had to download Messenger and reinstall it, which isn’t hard, but it did take a minute since everyone is on the Internet screaming “Roll Tide.”

Plus I always forget my password, being an early adopter of Facebook not withstanding.

So, I’m slow.

Finally I message him back and he says, “Are you mad at me?”

What?

“No of course not! Why would you think that?”

“Because it took you about thirty minutes to reply.”

Oh Doug.

He goes on to tell me what’s going on with him.

He’s on hospice now and has almost overdosed on pain meds twice so far.

Of course I’m shattered to hear this but he says, “It’s ok, I’m ok. But the pain is so hard to deal with Angel.”

We talk about pain and how much we owe, in the sense that we came unscathed through the tempest.

(He’s says that. He was unscathed. I was not.)

But I know what he means. He means he’s glad now that I said no.

He means he’s glad we can talk to each other without shame.

He means he’s glad to have me back in his life as the rock-solid friend I always was.

~~~~

He ties up a few loose ends about the publishing event we were involved with and asks my advice about a final interview with a national reporter.

“I’m not sure if I should do it. I’m afraid of leaving too much on the table.”

I know that he wants me to interview him. I’ll be much softer on him than the national guy would.

I volunteer (again) and he says he’ll think about it.

“Not for publication, but would you write the questions and come interview me for a DVD for my family? I know I could use my IPad and tape myself, but I don’t know what to say.”

“Of course I will buddy. Let’s plan on Saturday.”

“Ok Angel, I’ll call you.”

But I know he won’t call, not about that.

I can tell he’s getting tired so I make up an excuse to log off.

“Wait, don’t go Angel.”

“What is it Doug?”

“You know a few months ago, and a few weeks ago, and all the other times you offered to bring food?”

“Yes, and the offer still stands.”

“Would you make me some fresh banana bread, from the recipe my mom gave you in October?”

“Yes buddy, I will. I’ll bring it tomorrow.”

I was sipping on a Whiskey when I got the call
Yeah my friend Lex was lying in the hospital
She’d been pretty sick for about half a year
But it seems liked this time the end was drawing near

So dropped my plans and jumped the next London train
I found her laid up and in a lot of pain
Her eyes met mine and then I understood
That her weather forecast wasn’t looking too good

So I sat and spun her stories for a little while
Tried to raise her mood and tried to raise a smile
But she silenced all my rambling with a shake of her head

Drew me close and listen this is what she said

You’ll live to dance another day,
It’s just now you’ll have to dance,
For the two of us, so stop looking so damn depressed
And sing with all your heart that the Queen is dead”

Frank Turner – Long Live the Queen

Thanks for the memories, it means more than you will ever know

He once tried to seduce me, but as a friend, he had no equal when it came to celebrating my birthday.

Sitting in my car in the Publix parking lot on a rainy Friday night, the last before Christmas.

It’s around my birthday and I’m overwhelmed with memories.

Doug always celebrated my birthday and insisted that I did.

I don’t though, and haven’t in years.

Since my parents died no one in my family knows or remembers except one sister sometimes.

But Doug did.

I don’t know why it meant so much that he went out of his way to celebrate me, but it always blew me away.

My father was the same way, maybe that’s why?

~~~~

Doug would fuss at me almost all of December, trying to make me remind my children and husband of the date.

I never would, and it always made him angry.

“You think less of yourself than anyone I’ve ever met.”

What could I say to that? He was right.

~~~~~~

He started sending birthday cards with gift cards inside, addressed to the entire family on the outside, as if were a Christmas card.

His sweet ploy never worked. No one else ever opened the cards.

~~~~

This year’s birthday card from Doug was addressed to “Angel.” No first name, no last name, just my nickname.

As if I exist only in that form.

~~~~

I know it’s the last card I’ll ever receive from him.

He’s dying.

But he remembered my birthday.

~~~~

I always want to remember the good Doug.

I hope he remembers the good me.

She’s a rounder I can tell you that
She can sing ’em all night, too
She’ll raise hell
about the sleep she lost
But even cowgirls get the blues

Especially cowgirls, they’re the gypsy kind
And need their laid on ’em loose
She’s lived to see the world turned upside down
Hitchin’ rides out of the blues

But even cowgirls get the blues sometimes
Bound to don’t know what to do sometimes
Get this feelin’ like she’s too far gone

The only way she’s ever been

“I lay down next to your boots and I prayed for your anger to end…”

I know he thinks of me at times, my ex-friend Doug. Or he has in the past few weeks anyway.

He started messaging me the day his Book Groupie went back to Vermont.

(God Himself must have intervened in that situation for not only did the Book Groupie never show up at my facility, her ability to get to Doug was severely limited by his emergency hospitalizations. I’m sorry he’s not feeling better, but I am so glad she stayed away from me. That is an answered prayer and one I am so very grateful for.)


When I saw the first new message from Doug, there was this narrow sense of surprise and a feeling of, “that’s nice of him.”

But as quick as it bubbles up, it swirls away. And I fight with myself after every single message from him, over what I really want to say.

Not sure which part of me wins, but I have yet to say what I’m thinking.


I wonder, at this point, what purpose would my speaking up serve though? All I originally wanted to do is defend myself. I wanted him to stop acting crazy and go back to Good Doug.

I’m definitely not trying to make him feel better about anything he did to hurt me. But now, it’s all so far in the rear-view mirror. Besides his messages and calls, there isn’t even any evidence in my life that I ever even knew Doug, except for my friendship with Asa. And that friendship has evolved so very far from it’s beginning that I bear no resemblance to the person I was.

Doug sent me several photos, but I’ve not seen him since December. I don’t suppose I will see him again, except in his casket.

I suspect that it doesn’t really matter now. I think I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be resolved. And maybe “not resolved” is how it is resolved. At one point I desperately wanted to say goodbye, but now?

I knew this about him, how mean he could be, how he never ever apologizes for anything.

But it’s still extremely weird to have walked through being one of the people he was mean to. I was like his child, his pet, his project. I saw him erupt at others but we just had this very solid friendship for so long. So that all still feels so strange.

Almost like it was in a parallel universe.


So, the first message from him, in quite a while:

He asked me if I was in the loop with our Mutual Friend about his health.

Which no. HTTN.

I told him, “Doug, first of all, I’m never going to ask Mutual Friend about you out of respect for your privacy and second, I’m never going to put either one of us in the bizarre position of explaining why in the world I would need a health update on you, from her.” Because that is the absolute truth.

I’m never in a million years going to ask her anything about him. She might mention something in passing, very rarely, but as long as all three of us still live, he’ll never hear her say, “I saw Angel yesterday, she asked about you.”


So he proceeds with a horrible horrible health update. Things are about in the end of the second stage of “worst,” if “worst” was divided into three categories.

The update made me cry, but I didn’t tell him. I just said, “I’m going to need a moment to absorb all this.”

He instantly and snarkishly replied, “I wish I had the leisure of time that you have, for absorbing this, that must be nice.”

Which, what?

YOU HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO ABSORB THIS. You choose the experimental treatment instead of having the tumor removed so you could get away from your wife and go spend three months with the Book Groupie.

And he did have three months to absorb all of this. He gave me about 30 seconds! At the time he informed me, I was driving down the interstate and sorry, but I just couldn’t reply how he obviously wanted me to.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.


I also wondered if he’d now say keeping that tumor and watching it grow for three months was the wisest course of action. ( I tried to get him to have it removed within a few days of  finding it. I could barely feel it through his shirt, it was so small. Like a hard pea.) But he kept the tumor in, so he could get into a three month drug trial near the Book Groupie. Within just a month or two of the decision to let it grow until the trial opened, it had gotten about 10 times bigger.

That ran through my mind, but I didn’t say it.


When I arrived at my destination I wrote, “Sorry I couldn’t drive down the interstate doing 80 and properly respond to your message.” And I proceeded to write this really long and what I thought was sweet and sympathetic message. When really, I had no idea at all what to say to him.

Part of me is thinking, “Doug, you hurt me, you hated me, you manipulated me. WHY are you reaching out to me, of all people?”

He treated my unfairly, cruelly and beyond harsh. He manipulated me into providing him with $3000 worth of professional services. He tried to frighten me by coming by my house dropping location pings. That’s the short list.

I mean, I could go on and on about the hateful things he did, including saying I was insane, (when I asked him why he was mad at me,) and his backhanded slams at me when I asked his advice on going for the new job.

Why is he looking to me now? Why does he want to talk to me? Why is he messaging me so often? Now, after everything? I’m not equal to the task, even if we didn’t have the history we have.

Yes, we were friends. I do actually miss him as a friend. I just do not know how to walk back down the path of him.

I do, in some respects, I do want to be his friend, and be there for him, if he needs me. I pray for him. I know he’s suffering. I wish I could do something to help.

But why does he think treating me like hell for more than a few months means he can drop bad news on me at any time and expect something meaningful in return, in 30 seconds? He is mad that I can’t instantly comfort him?

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.


Since that first longer conversation, he’ll tell me updates every few days. He’s called a few times, but I’ve missed his calls.

I don’t know why I don’t call him back.

So he messages me: His hair is finally falling out. He’s out of the hospital. He might have 6 months if the chemo works. He’s sick from it most of the time. His right arm is twice as big as the left due to lymph nodes being damaged.

I  reply that I’m praying for him, because I am.

Then he’s sent an ongoing series of notices of events or articles he thinks I might be interested in.

Just like anything you’d drop a note to a friend about. Not even anything that requires an answer or follow up from me.

So I plant one of those big thumbs-up thingies on it and go about my life. I don’t know what else to do.

Maybe someday
When I look back I’ll be able to say
You didn’t mean to be cruel
Somebody hurt you too”

Post Script: He came to my workplace in September 2018 and apologized, and asked me to forgive him.

Faced with a fast approaching death, would I do the same?

I wonder, if I was faced with a soon and certain death, would I make the same choices Doug did, or even similar ones? Would I have sex with someone besides my spouse?

(He had a short affair with a book groupie. He says it was mostly sex, but I think he fell in love with her, he just don’t want to admit it because he knows everyone in our circle/profession knows she’ promiscuous.. He said the same about her before she started supplying him with edibles and parking lot romps.)

For what ever reasons, his marriage has been unhappy for the past 7 or so years and even before then, when he fell for a younger co-worker. Supposedly nothing happened except emotions, but still, it’s just been an unstable marriage. (Ha, or maybe he’s an unstable man….)

I’m not judging either one of them, Doug or his wife. I understand that things change in a marriage. I do however have more sympathy, in this situation, for Doug’s wife.

That has changed. I used to resent her for rejecting him. But who knows what really happened there?

I do believe his wife loves him. He told me he hadn’t been in love with her for quite sometime and feels he made a mistake marrying a woman so much older than he was, who had small children.

Is he a cur for thinking that now? I don’t know. Part of me says yes, part of me sympathizes with him.

But here they are. She’s 7 years older than he is and went through early menopause. Take this with a grain of salt, but he says that severely impacted their sex life.

My personal opinion is that if you can’t deal with that, then get a divorce. Don’t just be a cheater and try to have it both ways. [Yes, I’m a hypocrite.]

And the wife who withholds sex? You better believe there is someone else out there who will gladly take a chance on your lonely husband.

But to the things I’m pondering: Now that I know for certain about the Book Groupie affair, (I knew in my heart, but just now saw the photo evidence,) I’m wondering, would I do the same in the same set of circumstances?

The Groupie is about ten years younger than Doug is. Her face and teeth are horrible, but she’s slender. His wife isn’t. The wife also had a very serious illness that effected her looks, and their sex life, even before menopause.

But what if it was I dying of cancer? And I was still in that state of deep infatuation with Doug. Would I sleep with him? Thinking perhaps, “I’m dying soon, so be it.”

What if I was under the influence of drugs? Strong pain killing drugs. Edibles supplied. Would I be making the right decisions? If I were in another country and could assuage my guilt by saying, “no one will ever know?”

Or what if I was lonely for companionship, lonely for someone to talk to, who was interested in me, my life? That deep kind of soul disturbing loneliness.

Would I take the comfort? Temporary though it may be? Wrong though it certainly is?

I don’t know. The more I think about it, the more I think I might. But I’m honestly not completely sure. I don’t like the part of me that even considers the question.

But am I just as guilty, as if I had already done that?

I think I am.

I never slept with him, but I loved him. He wasn’t mine to love. He wasn’t mine to think about or spend time with. He wasn’t mine to adore.

But yet, I did.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28

04 26 18 yes I would