Last night, my roommate Eddie told me that he loved me. This post is a meditation on my relationship with Eddie.
I met Eddie and his then-partner, we'll call him Sun, at our college's GLBT group, almost exactly ten years ago (wow). That was the only meeting of that group that I ever went to (I wasn't working through anything about being queer, I'd already done all that in high school, so I just didn't feel like I had much to say), but the two of them caught my eye, they seemed interesting. Afterwards, in the evening, the three of us went for a walk in the woods. There was nothing charged about it, but somehow I knew, with complete certainty, that we'd all end up sleeping together.
Not too long after (a couple of weeks, maybe?), we did. I hooked up with the two of them for, really, just a handful of weeks, but it made an impression on me. They were both so innocent, in their different ways. God, I can't even remember who initiated. A lot of it is fuzzy, really. I remember vivid moments, pleasure. I remember kissing, touching. We didn't define it or try to set up any sort of structure or rules, I wasn't "dating" them, they just graciously opened themselves and their relationship to me and we all treated each other with care and respect.
Then, Ziggy, the man who, at the time and for many years after, was the love of my life, left me for the first time. I couldn't bear to be with anyone then, so I broke it off with Eddie and Sun, as well as with another pair of lovers of mine (I had a wild young adulthood, what can I say... for the record, everyone knew about each other, it was all copacetic). I stayed good friends with them, especially with Eddie, throughout college. He and Sun eventually split, and Sun moved away.
Eddie and I didn't really stay in contact after college. He was a year ahead of me, so I was still there after he had left. A year after I graduated, he got in touch -- he wanted me to be part of his party for his wedding. He was getting married to a man I'd known in college, my now-roommate Liam. As it happened, I badly needed a new place to stay at the time (don't ever live in a deteriorating mansion with 12 punks and no house rules, kids, it's pretty gross!), and they had an extra room in the place they were renting, so I moved in.
Since then, I've watched him change and grow, all for the better. He's happier now, stronger, fiercer. He lives a vibrant, active life. I admire him and feel immensely comfortable with him at the same time. We talk at great length about sex, relationships, and human nature, trading thoughts, laughing.
It was years before it happened this time around, rather than weeks, but I eventually fooled around with both Eddie and Liam. I like Liam, but it was Eddie I was still irresistibly drawn to. We would get tipsy and then end up on the floor making out and more, totally oblivious to whomever else might be around. Unlike with new infatuations, despite being intense there was no sense of *urgency* to our re-discovered sexual relationship. It happened when it happened, and the rest of the time we were just friends, relaxed.
Then, I started "officially" dating Davis again (long-time readers of this blog know that story). While Davis accepted my existing relationship with Gia (ending that was *never* on the table), he asked that I let go of my more casual dalliances. There was one FWB that it pained me to cut off (Harry), but with Eddie it wasn't remotely a problem for either of us. Since then, actually, Eddie has gotten a special "makeouts are ok" pass from Davis, so we're back to that, on occasion.
All of this is to explain what I mean when I say that my connection with Eddie is effortless, uncomplicated, enduring. As friends, our affinity had stood the test of time, and is reaffirmed nigh-daily. When the opportunity has been there, we've made solid, if sporadic, lovers. When the opportunity hasn't been there, neither of us have pined for it, because it's not the important part of our connection, nor is it even our main mode of conveying affection physically. We communicate wordlessly, frequently, with hugs, small touches, back scratches, bites.
We have what I think of us as a sort of unfettered comfort and understanding. If I want to walk up during the middle of a roleplaying game that Eddie is DM'ing, kneel at his chair, and lay my head in his lap for a minute, he doesn't miss a beat, just keeps interacting with his players as he slides his fingers into my hair and strokes. We look out for each other, advise each other, know each other, trust each other implicitly.
So, when he said to me, the other night, that he wanted to let me know that he loved me, his voice a little nervous, I didn't think twice before replying that I loved him too. How odd, really, to have gone a decade without ever having said it. I suppose we've simply never needed to. Still, it was nice to hear it, nice to be able to so effortlessly express reciprocation. He is family to me, dear, irreplaceable. No one has filled the niche in my life that he has.
If writing this out serves to do one thing only, it's to remind me how incredibly, incredibly lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do. <3