I thought I'd get that off my chest, first thing. Mr. X cancelled our date. But it's not what you think.
To be honest, I was relieved. Despite all my internal efforts all week, I'd spent all week trying, very hard, to not invest this "date" with much emotional baggage.
HAH. I have to face it, at 58 I've got baggage. Lots of it.
But enough about me. This is about Mr. X.
He's ill. Seriously ill. And he's taking all kinds of meds for it. Unfortunately, his particular medical "cocktail" sometimes has severe physical and mental side-effects.
When I came home from the office on Friday, around 7:15 pm, I found that he'd left a message for me earlier in the day, around noon. He sounded fine, so I tried to call him back. I went into his voice-mail, so I left him a message asking him to call. I have a regular Friday night gig which I attend, so I left the house around 7:50 p.m. with no word from him.
I got home a little after 10:00 p.m. and there was still no message, but I decided to stay cool and assume the best. The next morning I did my usual Saturday morning routine and chores and got home around 9:00 a.m. Still no message. I have to admit that by now I was getting pretty concerned.
Finally, at noon, the phone rang and it was him. He sounded pained and distracted. He explained that the medicines were kicking his ass and that he was sorry but that he was going to have to cancel. I told him that was okay (and I meant it), and that we could try it again sometime.
And, as I said before, I was relieved. Relieved that he was okay, despite the pernicious effects of the medicines, relieved that he understood what was going on with himself and relieved that he had been able, finally, to let me know what was going on with him.
I didn't make it "about" me. It was about him, and that was okay.
We're going to try it again next weekend.
He called me again, around 3:00 p.m. He was obviously feeling a little better and had become concerned about me. We talked some more, and I let him take the lead because I didn't want to tire him out or try to force him in any way. We talked for about 17 minutes. He said that he was sad because the medicines took such a toll on his social life, and he wanted so much to have a social life again. My heart went out to him.
I have a non-stop social life. I've got friends, really good friends, from Virginia to Boston, and from Ft. Meyers to San Francisco (and London).
Mr. X's life has gotten progressively smaller because of his physical illness. My life has gotten progressively larger, because of my mental one.
I am truly blessed and grateful.
HOWEVER, I'm not going spend this week pretending that I don't care about Mr. X by maintaining a cool, discrete, hands-off distance from him. Nor am I going to smother him with umpteen check-in calls every day (I'm not his mommy), but I am going to call him at least once a day, and not to make sure that things are going my way, but rather to let him know that he doesn't have to go through this alone and that I genuinely care about him and his well-being.
I don't know him very well yet, but I know enough to know that I want to know him more.
It's important to let people know how I feel about them.
Even if it means risking a piece of my heart to do so.