My girl friends and my parents thought I was insane to marry Lucius. The statement “He’s my husband” carried weight and safety, but I was well aware that being with him was unbounded territory for me. Every day with him was different in every way: lovemaking, cooking, going out to trendy bars on occasion, impulsive shopping for clothes or accessories and his quirks only added mystique to his mercurial character. He made me laugh and he also made me think.
“Karlie” he said, “there are things I must tell you, so you know me as your friend and you can decide what to do.” I can’t say I was surprised when he told me he enjoyed sex with men and women. He told me about his past, between bites of his grilled chicken breasts with a mango-infused sauce on a bed of white rice and an amazing gazpacho. I swooned, although I had to confess the meaning of what he was telling me would come into my mind slowly. He cooked modestly, but with great sauces and I admired his resolve to make his home a welcoming place for our dates.
At first, a feeling of dread came over me when he asked if I was a jealous person. I dated several men before Lucius with mostly disappointing results, yet I felt there was a possibility to have a long-term relationship with him, much like what my parents had. He said: “I won’t ask you to be superhuman, my love. I just want you to accept me.” I asked him if he preferred one gender to the other. He went on to say: “I can be with a man or a woman.” My silence fell like lead. Was he implying that I would have to share him? I looked away for a moment and when my eyes met his again my sadness was on the surface for him to see. He poured some Pinot Grigio for both of us and looked at me with tenderness. His “I am with you now” felt like Heaven; I was so blindly in love with him.
I’ve had relationships with women off and on throughout my life, starting with a girl crush I had on Amelia, a popular girl during my junior year in High School. What I did not enjoy were the moments when we would both become hysterical and catty, just utterly vicious with each other at random times. The boys seemed to be mostly push-button creatures, but I appreciated their consistent programming. My preference for the male stereotypes both charmed and annoyed me at times.
Lucius and I felt more and more empathy with each other as the conversation continued because he forced me to examine my past and see the real me. He was challenging me to go on this wild adventure with him into a sexual and intellectual realm I had never foreseen with another being. His honesty helped me to express many things I kept hidden, even from myself. Nothing made me doubt his love, as his actions showed. This new reality where I could have the freedom to indulge in my fantasies and he would be free to philander with my approval was both terrifying and alluring to my ego.
When the light of dawn came through the windows, I was in his arms and he said softly: “White walls of rented flats and many jobs, but no career. Blank faces with secret identities surround us and somehow, we found each other.” I listened to his heartbeats. “Let’s have a life together.” I kissed him and nodded, knowing this was a demented troubadour’s dream. Sometime during the night, it also became mine.
The morning sun found us walking to a bakery for some croissants and coffee. We said nothing else to each other and he held my hand. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland came to my mind in waves.
Text: © Lucius Bod
Image No1: © Maksim Matyuk
Image No2: © Ramón Peco