Thursday, October 05, 2006

I've Got A Strange Disease: Her Name is Jay.

A guest post by Jason.

I knew before I nailed her that Jamie was something else. I knew she was probably the funniest, smartest and loopiest person I would ever meet, and most of the people around her seemed to know it too. We all wanted to be close to her back then; we were all just there for the ride.

And what a ride it was.

Of that time, I remember how all the boys were in awe of her, and afraid of her at the same time. She dated mostly older men. I didn't think too much about why she scared the lesser men away. I didn't think too much about anything other than how much I wanted to touch her freckled shoulders. In retrospect, I'm glad I was such an ignorant fool.

If I had considered for one moment what life with Jamie would be like, I might have shied away.

Man. That's tough to say. But it's true. I doubt that I would have had the confidence in myself. I might have thought it too hard, I might have wished for her a stronger man.

But thank God for the stupidity of youth - when I got my chance, I rushed right in, not thinking about anything beyond those first 5 minutes: the proximity of her pink lips, the candy smell of her shampoo. She made it easy for me - I never thought about the future because we had none. She made it clear we were just friends having an extra special good time, and that the affair was short-term. I believed her, but I fell in love anyway.

I loved the storms of her emotions, I loved being the guy with a pen when she had a fit of brilliance, I loved being the one she called when she wanted to feel grass on every inch of her skin. I fell in love with this unknown entity because it made my life feel more exciting just to live it next to hers. And I'm glad now that that my heart left no choice for the rest of me - I was in over my head from the start.

Living with Jamie is like living in an alternate universe. It's definitely worth it - she's worth it - but it's the hardest thing I will ever do, and I'm still learning, and I think I always will be. I've had bad moments. I wonder if I can take it, if my nerves are up to it. Once, shortly after our engagement, a friend of mine took me aside and told me not to marry her. Forcefully told me not to marry her. But that's the thing with Jamie, you either love her, or you hate her. And after many years of careful, intimate study, I still have no idea what makes her tick, I have no idea what she'll come up with next, I don't even know where she is right now, but I can predict with stunning accuracy those who will love her, and those who will hate her.

In fact, I have a pretty good idea of what the people who read her blog must be like. They're not necessarily like-minded people; Jamie prefers people who can argue rather than agree. She hates fence-sitters. Curse the day when I don't have a firm opinion for something that Jamie is ranting about - then I'll get a lecture on both sides of the issue and learn enough about them to be an expert panelist on a game show that doesn't exist. I wonder if she always leaves long-winded, preachy comments on other people's blogs, or if she shows some restraint (no, that's not likely). Anyone who reads this on any basis is probably more of a free-thinker, and more than likely artistic in some way. I feel so ordinary compared to lots of her friends - she gravitates toward people who are driven to create, and they obviously pick up the same vibe on her.

She doesn't believe in conventionality, but she doesn't disbelieve in it either, because she doesn't believe in disbelieving in things. Every single aspect of life is a story. She tells it like it is - without embarrassment, but with embellishment. She drives me absolutely crazy with her contradictions. Some days I feel like I will never really know her because seems to exist on some form of hopped-up evolution that exists only on her own frequency.

She is absolutely manic sometimes. I'd have to become a speed freak to even come close to keeping up. She has highs that I think most humans are incapable of replicating, but to be fair, she has lows lower than anyone should ever sink, too. It's hard to see her like that, it's hard to wake up in the middle of the night to a sobbing woman who is crying "Because" - and those eyes of hers implore me to understand, to instantly agree that yes, because. And there's nothing I can do to soothe her because I have never in my life come close to feeling things as deeply as she does. She is so sensitive, and so passionate, and so sympathetic. She is moved to tears daily. I have to keep those tissues with the lotion built in around because otherwise, her little nose gets raw. But she's not afraid of sadness. To her, real sadness, great sadness, is just as good as great joy. As long as she feels strongly, it's a good experience to her.

That baffles a lot of people, including myself sometimes. She's just not afraid of emotion. All the things that the rest of us ignore, or suppress, or hide, she displays. It's remarkable that even the bad ones - the ones that we're not supposed to admit to having, the ones that cast her in a bad light - those are right there for all to see as well. Every flaw she has, she magnifies, and she magnifies so she can embrace it. I have a hard time understanding it, but she often says "I'm a bitch, but I love that about myself," or "(fill in the blank), but I love that about myself. Even the worst parts, she cherishes. How can she do that?

I was so proud of her for joining my gym. She could have gone to the women's club across the street, but she didn't, and I know she worried that people would look at her, and judge her. But in reality, there's my Jamie, singing "Shout!" on the treadmill, and playing air drums on the stationary bike, and of course people are looking at her, and judging her. And she doesn't care. She is comfortable in her world, she is oblivious to anyone else's opinion, and she head bangs on the stair master without a shred of self-consciousness. But if you hold her up to normal societal standards, she starts to itch, it's not her comfort zone. It's not even in her universe. But the truth is, even at the gym, my gym, she shows me up. Did you know that she can pres 333 lbs with her legs alone? Do you have any idea how much that is? Can you imagine the awesome things that woman can do with her thighs?

The other day, I asked an innocent question: "What did you do today?" You know what she did? She spent it dreaming/worrying about the inevitability of inorganic nanobots violating their rules of self-replication and literally eating us all alive. That's what Jamie did on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I asked her for a striptease (shut up, it's almost my birthday, I'm allowed). And you know what she did? She gave me a striptease. Of all the sultry, sexy songs she could have chosen, she picked ACDC's If You Want Blood, and then proceeded to put on a fucking rock & roll show in our bedroom. I mean, we're talking strutting and pursed lips, the whole damn thing. And yeah, she ended up naked in the end, but I just kept thinking, where the hell did this come from? It pretty much violated any notion of stripteases that I've ever had, but it was the greatest, sexiest thing I have ever seen. But where does it come from?

And last week, I spent an hour of my life dressing her. It's a somewhat common occurrence in our house: Jamie will insist she doesn't want to leave, and thus, refuses to dress, prohibiting us from leaving. So she lies inert on the bed while I try to force clothes on her body, and she'll wriggle like a baby, and eventually overtly fight me, and we'll end up wrestling for an hour and she'll end up no more dressed than when we started. For 6 years of our relationship, I have had major guilt over these episodes. I hate to be so contrary. But recently, I've learned that this is one of her favourite games, a good way to get attention and have me touch her. Leaving and dressing have nothing to do with it. Imagine my surprise! This discovery literally changed my life. But that's the thing with Jamie - she loves to push my buttons, and I have never met anyone who is more adept at finding your buttons than she is. But then I asked her in passing if I "looked okay" -meaning gray pants with a cranberry sweater - and evidently, this pushed one of hers. She started crying, and crying, and crying. And finally choked out that she wasn't crying because what I was wearing looked bad, but just because I was wearing it. Because "there are 3 whole days left of summer!" and my wearing a sweater was apparently my attempt to rush the seasons and not appreciate each moment for what it is. So, a quick change into a t-shirt and gray skies are going to clear up, it is once again a happy day.

You know, all things considered, this is an incredible life she has, and I get to be a part of it. Sometimes I wonder if we're secretly being watched, if we'll end up in the history books, if she isn't maybe surreal. I suspect that I have a national treasure, or the missing link, or the secret of the universe, right here in my home...but if that's the case, I hope to keep it under wraps for just a little while longer. I don't know what I ever did to be a part of this, but I can't help but want just a little while longer of having her to myself.

Jay - I know you won't like this post. I know you'll want to delete it like you've deleted so many others. But I also know that if only I can distract you for 30 seconds, our lives will go hurtling down a completely different path, and maybe, just maybe, this small truth will slip out.

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