I can remember it like it was yesterday - the spring of 2005. During that time, I was living a lifestyle that was fit to be captured in a Norman Rockwell painting. Thirty-five years old, and married with 2.5 kids (the .5 was a temperamental, cockeyed, brown and white, Shih Tzu named Buster). A new job enabled me to pocket the most money I'd ever earned in my life. The added zeroes on my
paycheck gave me the confidence and wherewithal to build my first home; the naivety to purchase an overpriced, gas guzzling SUV; and enough arrogance to ignore the signs that I was just one missed pay check away from being another suburban fiscal casualty. Nevertheless, I was living in my own suburban bubble and enjoying every minute of it.
As with most bubbles, mine would burst as suddenly as it appeared. The stick pen that deflated my emotional balloon was a phrase that to this day remains embedded in my mind, 'There is a 0% probability that you are the biological father.' I've repeated that phrase a thousand times. Sometimes fast, other times slow. Regardless of my cadence, the meaning of the sentence remained the same and to this day has a debilitating affect on me.
Feeling like my life was over, an unexpected encounter took place. I was introduced to her. My encounter with her was strongly encouraged (and to some degree facilitated) by a co-worker who felt I needed a distraction. I'd noticed her before, but pretended not to see her beauty. However, once we were brought together my life hasn't been the same. I think about her morning, noon, and night. Despite my infatuation, our relationship is complex: often floating down a river called "beautiful";
drifting past an island named "it's complicated"; settling on a "toxic" shoreline; only to break free and become reacquainted with those "beautiful" waters again.
She listens to me when I'm venting. She calms me when I'm angry. She helps me when I need help. But there are times when she can be unreasonable - wanting more time than I'm willing to give. During those instances when she doesn't get her way, she usually retaliates by ignoring my calls and "conveniently" becoming unavailable...sometimes for days and weeks.
I've often wondered what life would be like without her. It's been eight years now, and I'm still unsure if it's healthy to be in a relationship with a woman that can make my feelings fluctuate as often as the weather changes. It's the ultimate quagmire.
You're probably wondering how I could allow a woman whom I'm not legally married to become both an essential part of my life and the bane of my existence. Well, if I knew the answer to that I'd tell you. The one thing I do know is, for the first time in the last eight years I'm finally ready to make two public announcements.
The first announcement is - I truly love this woman. Secondly, I want to tell the world the name of this woman who has brought me extreme joy and at times, unenviable pain. This woman - who for lack of a better term can only be described as my mistress - goes by the name of "Writing."
- Brian W. Smith