Love Hurts – A Moth Story Told Live

My story begins in 1975, I had just returned to college at the Ag and Tech College of Farmingdale NY and sitting next to me in Professor Becker’s poultry class is a young woman, a classic Irish beauty with freckles and auburn hair. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen, and I believe that I loved her from the moment I saw her. I gathered all my courage and I asked her out. Naturally she said no.
A month later I’m at home alone when the doorbell rings, when I open the door there she stands. She says that she has reconsidered my offer for a date and while at a friend’s house nearby decided to stop and ask me out. So began our relationship and together we stumbled through it for several years. When the passion could no longer cope with all the other baggage we brought with us we broke up and went our separate ways.
We then each married, had our children and were both evidently quite unhappy.
25 years passed and I was on the verge of leaving my wife when one night while exploring classmates there she was. I sent her a note asking how she was and telling her I had a photo that I thought she would like to see. She replied, told me that she had divorced her husband and said yes, she would like to see the picture. I sent it to her and she replied by sending me a story she had written from the inspiration of that photo. That began a long distance intellectual love affair that lasted over a year and included poetry, stories and much heartfelt sharing.
I finally separated from my wife and moved to Asheville, when I was settled in I made the first of many trips to Rhinebeck, NY to see her. After so many years in loveless marriages I think we were both ready to be in love, to be loved. I would drive from North Carolina to Rhinebeck New York to see her on a weekend until I finally convinced her to move to Asheville and live with me. I had never experienced love like that, it was amazing, magical and filled with passion.
We were together for 2 years when again our personalities and issues resurfaced. I was still in love with her but was afraid that we were again headed for a break up. This is the time when my wife, we were legally separated but not yet divorced, decided to reappear and proclaim that we belonged together. I had always been so afraid of being old and alone. I decided to trade passion for security and I received exactly what I deserved, I ended up with neither.
As she and I both continued to live in the same small town, it was inevitable that we would see other, She was so mad at me that when I saw her on the street she would not even look at me. I still loved her, and it tore my heart out each time I saw her. I still had dreams about her, for the seven years that my ex and I were together.
As you might have surmised from the way I look, I wasn’t exactly the most typical boyfriend or husband. In 2012, I finally told my wife that I am transgender. She considered the “till death do us part” thing decided it wasn’t for her and promptly announced that she was leaving.
A short time later a good friend ran into my former lover at a local brewery and tells her that I would like to talk to her. She says no that unless there has been some drastic change she’s not interested. When he tells her that I am transitioning she smiles and remembers a time 10 years before. We were in Boston, when she insisted that I share my secret with her, she didn’t know what it was but she knew it was there and after much insistence I did finally tell her, it didn’t make a difference and the subject was dropped. She was there only person in my life I had ever shared it with.
When my friend shared with me that she was willing to meet with me, I made a bargain with the Universe, that if she would speak to me, I would accept whatever piece of her life she would be willing to share. A short while later, we sat together at a coffee shop and over the course of several hours we spoke of our regrets, how we had grown and we finally laid our ghosts to rest.
Of course seeing her again made me crazy, I had never stopped loving her and this had reignited my desire. I started to write the screen play for the rest our life together almost immediately. It seemed as if our history was meant to be a movie. We went out in college broke up, reconnected 25 years later and for several years had another passionate love affair, then another breakup, seven years later we reconnect again, but now I am a woman. It just seemed like we were destined to be together.
My hope was that I could convince her that we could again have a relationship, and I spent the next 18 months trying to convince her that she was a lesbian and just didn’t know it. I had to convince her that I would not hurt her again and over the next year and a half, I saw her for dinner, college lectures, poetry readings, and walks by the river.
The moment of truth came over dinner one night. She expressed her desire to go to the beach to ease the stress she had been under. I suggested we go to Charleston for a weekend, and she said yes. It was understood that there would be two beds and no drama. What I wanted after 18 months of wondering what the future might hold was an answer to two questions. Who did she see when she looked at me and could she ever have a relationship with me as a woman?
I think you can figure out the rest. We talked for hours and walked for miles on a beautiful sandy winter beach. I think it was the most honest and open time we had ever spent together. In the end it was as I hoped but as I feared. She does see me as a woman but she could not have an intimate relationship with me.
I had said that I would accept whatever part of her life she was willing to share, and I will gladly live up to my end of the bargain.
We are good friends now and I will always be grateful for that friendship, but I will always love her and it will always hurt.

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