- He is kind to me, and even expresses affection: we kiss goodbye, hello, goodnight, and so forth. He leaves me notes, such as “Remember that I think of you, always” on a little sticky note in my purse.
- He records the few TV shows I watch just for me, so that I can watch them after boys’ bedtimes, uninterrupted. (I confess I can not figure out how to set the VCR to record ahead of time.)
- He calls me his “love”, which sends me to the ends of the sky and back: “Why don’t you take a bath, my love, while I finish the kitchen?”
- Flowers, unexpected, occasionally appear in a vase on the bathroom vanity countertop.
- He kills cockroaches for me. Ya, every guy does that for any girl, but – check it out: as soon as I make that high-pitched, undignified yelp that all squeamish girls make as soon as they see a cockroach, he is there, with a weapon in hand, and he waits for me to turn my eyes as he dispatches the nasty thing and removes all evidence of its corpse. OK. it’s really more the way he does it. He doesn’t patronize me in any way, he just does it, and then he says, “All gone; that’s that,” and the horrible thing is gone.
II love you, [Yearning Heart]: Spelled out in block letters, in Purple Dry-Erase Marker on the bulletin board in the kitchen. Someone asked me, once, if Monsieur had ever come out and told me that he loved me. Yes, he does. Not often. I have been told that more often by guys who didn’t really love me. When it comes from Monsieur, it’s very, very sincere.
II“Do you have plans for your birthday?” he asked me. My birthday is in a little more than a month.“Why, no, Monsieur, I don’t.”“Very good. Try not to make any plans, if you could.”“Yes, Monsieur. No, Monsieur. I mean, all right.”
III“Where,” Monsieur asked one evening this week, “would you like to be in five years?”“I’m not sure, Monsieur,” I replied. “Do you mean what would I like to do? For a living?”“Not only that, love, I mean, would you like to be in a creative, artistic endeavor, or would you prefer returning to school if it could be made possible?”I told him how I thought that the pull towards graduate school hasn’t been so strong lately; also my acting fantasies have hit the wall of reality that come from having to make my way in the world.He understood. “Do you know,” he smiled, “that I once had the idea of earning my keep as a sort of a traveling song-and-dance man?”“You’re good on the guitar,” I said.“You’re good on the theatrical stage,” he replied, “but talent, celebrity and success are three completely different things.” He turned to me, and asked, point-blank, “[Yearning Heart], what do you want to do?”“Well,” I said slowly, “every time someone asks me that, I usually answer that I don’t know.”“But do you know, or do you have some idea?” he asked.I thought about it, for quite a few moments.I felt cornered, but I tried to be cool. “I’d … well… I like it here,” was all I could say.“Is this enough for you, this life?” he asked.I looked at him, then looked away to think about it. When I look in his eyes, I tend to forget what I should be thinking about. I don’t think clearly. I lose perspective. Time for perspective, here. Time to focus. Time for an honest assessment.“I’m really very happy here,” was all I could say.I thought about it some more. I am still thinking about it. I still don’t think that I really have answered him.