I don't have time to write much today - or, really, ever - but something good has been happening in my friendship with Metis.
In June, Vix and the girls went off to Europe for a couple of weeks, using Doc's house as home base. While they were away, I met up with Metis several times for lunch, or dinner, or a walk through old neighborhoods nearby.
Then, I went off to the UK for six weeks; Vix and the girls met me there, and we had a very fine time of it.
Digression: A few months ago, I agonized a bit about what would happen upon my return from the UK: Vix had come home early with the girls so they could start school, but she was planning to fly right back to Europe to attend some events with Doc.
As it turned out, we were able to meet up in the airport - I had just gotten through Customs, and Vix was waiting for her flight out - for about fifteen minutes.
Not a proper good-bye, but not so bad.
I'll write about it another time, but I seem to have handled that particular absence pretty well, and we've been easing back into life together since then - though she is leaving again this weekend for a week pursuing her avocation: she's going on tour!
Anyway, I've been seeing Metis often for coffee or lunch at work, and at various activities in which we both participate . . . and a subtle change has started to take place.
She has been taking the initiative in arranging for us to see one another and, when we've been together, it has seemed to me that her affection for me is growing. We have even planned some activities together months in advance!
In an online chat the other night, she confirmed that her feelings for me have been changing, especially over the past month.
I told her - with only a little hedging - that I love her dearly. I hedged because 'love' is a treacherous word, easily misunderstood. I wanted her to know that my affection for her does not involve any demand for or expectation of a particular kind of relationship; I don't want to rush anything, or even assume anything about the direction in which our friendship might go, because I really, really don't want to mess it up.
She didn't use the word, 'love', but wrote instead of fondness, and admiration, and warmth, and affection. I acknowledged that there has been a mismatch in our feelings for one another, but she replied that the mismatch is not as great as it was in the past.
I don't have a label to put on my relationship with Metis. It's certainly not a romance, in any conventional sense of the term. We aren't lovers, in any conventional sense, and may never be.
The best term I've come up with to describe it - in talking about it with Vix - is "warm friendship."
It seems to be getting warmer.