By Martha Melendez
As I walked down the neighborhood street, I suddenly sensed the perfume of my favorite flower. This flower was impossible to find where I was living. I wondered if I was going even crazier. My therapist thankfully explained that this is a documented phenomenon in mental health. I felt better.
One day, I belatedly visited my father’s home and he proudly showed me his garden. It was quite beautiful but it was missing my favorite flower, which I mentioned to my dad. The next time that I passed by, the flowers were growing quite beautifully against the wall. They are really pretty though few would call them beautiful as a rose. However, they are unique because they call of luxurious dreams. I may even share a picture of them with you but I would do so reluctantly.
You should know that I was under the care of a therapist. I had had a nervous breakdown the year before, which manifested itself in a rupture from reality. My delusions were like a) the queen who ended up dying in a convent because she loved her husband too much or b) a character in a Fitzgerald story that becomes deeply saddened because he loves too much. I am told that a coping skill is to write and so here I am doing so. I want to be healthy, after all.
I will call my first delusion, “Love at First Sight.” A friend of mine insisted that meet this one executive who was admired by many. I reluctantly said “fine.” Then, I thought, “What is the big deal anyway?” It was a quiet introduction for he was awkward and I was shy. Thank goodness I was presentable! I wore my business shirt – albeit in pink – and black slacks. He wore a suit, may be. I just took him in, holistically speaking. It was his expression, his face, his demeanor, his reticence that made him so attractive. After the introduction, he quickly moved on – he was a busy man! It was love at first sight for me and did not even know it.
I thought that it was amazing how he immersed himself in every aspect of his business. Perhaps that was the secret to his success. It helped that he was loved by all, I am sure. He was so collected and aloof that it made me smile when once I saw him lose his temper. He was exasperated because a woman was interfering with his project – “Who did she think she was?” He conferred with his closest friend who advised him to let it be and move on for reasons unknown to me.
I followed my instinct and stayed away from him. I simply was not good enough for him. My therapist says that I need to work on self-confidence. I wonder why (smiley face). When I was in the mental hospital, he brought me guidance, loveliness and light. Then, I was out in the world.
The emotional world can be so confusing! How can you love more than one man at the same time? I would say that it is because there are different types of love. The love that I will speak of now is one that could be timeless and inescapable. I had a panic attack once on my way out of the city. In my mind, it was because I was further and further away from him. I stayed away from him anyway and longed to be close. It is what poets call day and night.
Even from a far, a moment during the day pulled me stronger and a moment during the night brought me passion. A friend shared that these types of relationships are all-consuming. I was grateful for the advice because I was naïve and he was wordly. I had the feeling that he would be the one to overcome my barriers.
The first time I that saw him he was at a charity event, surrounded by people, and looking quite bored. I introduced myself and he graciously thanked me for attending. I said that I was new in town and already working for one of the top companies in town. “Who did he think he was? “ So condescending! Sometimes, I am a little defiant, just a little, well, may be a lot. Little did I know that he was going to direct my life from then on.
At least, a rapport developed over time. His voice was enchanting to me, his energy was powerful, and his look encompassing. I loved it when he said my name for only he could say it like that. I loved it when he smiled for he made me feel happy that he was, and I loved when he took me with a look for I was glad that he liked me. I wanted him!
Rumor had he was a dangerous man with a temper and to be careful what you wish for. I do know that he was dominant and others wanted to be like him. I certainly understood that. Instinct told me that I would always feel inappropriate at his side. And even though, a friend-enemy told me sarcastically, “What Amber wants, Amber gets! Well, Amber certainly did not get what she wanted!
Yet another friend confided that she had sensual thoughts involving actors. I had never experienced anything like that. I understand now that I would have to have limits to those new possible experiences. As to what those are, some are defined and others some undefined. All I know is that I will remember him because of a daring promise that was not to be. When I was out in the world, I almost felt his presence, which made me feel happy, and at times a hole, which made me feel desperate. This is what the poets call light and darkness.