"I Think She's Making a Terrible Mistake--Am I Crazy, Or Is She?"
The only Substack with subscribers cool enough to know a Tuesday Weld reference when they see it.
Candid and Beauteous Reader!
You have before you a letter from a heart-broken man. We all know what he’s going through. Let’s help him out!
My tale of woe begins 30 years ago. I saw her in a crosswalk in the Haight.
“K” had the beauty of Grace Kelly, with a touch of Tuesday Weld. She was smart, shy, kind, enigmatic and elusive, artistically inclined. We became friends. I wanted more. But there was another man in the way. Handsome, smart, witty, accomplished, a burr like Sean Connery's—I thought he wouldn't last. I was wrong. She married him.
I married someone else. Had two kids, moved 3000 miles. Heard through the grapevine 10 years later they had divorced. He cheated on her. Of course he did. Fast forward 25 years. I’m divorced and moved back to the area. Kids almost grown. We reconnect for coffee. There’s some tread on the tires, but she still turns heads. Still kind, still shy, still enigmatic.
“K”is living with someone else now, but their relationship is dormant. He hasn't touched her in 10 years. She seems resigned to it, for reasons I cannot fathom. It feels tragic. But the spark is still there. We walk, we talk. We exchange emails. I write her poetry. We see each other again. We kiss. We meet in hotel rooms, go away for long weekends. I don't know what she tells her other, but he doesn't seem to be paying much attention in any case.
Finally she tells him there's someone else. It still takes her six months to move out. We continue. It is glorious. We go to Mexico, New Orleans, Vietnam. Weekends in New York. We travel well together. We attend music festivals and plays. We make wonderful meals, have great discussions. I introduce her to everyone I know. Everyone loves her. The sex is fantastic. We laugh, a lot. She is living two hours away, so we see each other on weekends. Mostly she comes to see me, she gets to know and love my kids. Eventually they move out, and I move closer to her. We continue as before, seeing each other on weekends, even though we live only 20 minutes apart. And then... I make a mistake.
Another woman, sparks flying in every direction, sends me an email. She's living in the next town over. We correspond. I ask her out to lunch. She says, how about drinks instead? We meet on a weekend when “K” is out of town. Drinks turn into dinner, which turns into