A coach I had once called me his super mortal. That was a long, long time ago, but strangely enough, my current coach called me the same thing the other day. I’m not, of course. Gawd, I am eminently mortal. But it does serve to remind me of things.
Mostly it reminds me how intense I can be. When I focus, there are no limits. I am unstoppable. Over my business career, almost every job or posting I have had has taken two people to adequately replace me. I left one summer job when I was in college, and in fact, it took three people to do my job. I’m pretty proud of that. When I was in high school and working part-time, I remember the facility’s assistant manager talking to the manager, not knowing I was within earshot, saying I was the best part-timer he had ever seen.
In business, I was the go-to guy to get things done. I was always in charge of the impossible projects. They sent people from around the world to sit at my feet and learn how.
But no one said ever “Wow, look how he gets things done by doing it with half measures.”
But that strength is, wouldn’t you know it, one of my greatest weaknesses. I’m unstoppable. While I’m generally pretty casual and a laid back kind of guy, once I am focused, you definitely get the full measure. And my full measure can be just plain too much for many. It’s overwhelming. It scares them. They worry over my expectations.
Sometimes women fear they won’t measure up over the longer term. When that happens, I miss out. And I hate missing out!
There’s got to be a better way.
Time carries on. It inevitably changes things. Us. Time is history … moving. We can fight the motion, but we can never keep up with the result. But moving on without a struggle offends human nature. It’s so … defeatist.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m on the brink,
I remember how I used to think”
“Would you if I asked?” she queries me.
She wants to know what I’m thinking these days. Where I’m at. Really, where I’m going.
“If you texted me more often, you could find things out,” I say.
“I don’t like to ask”. She infers, “Would I tell her the truth?”
“Yes, I only want to see a peek
But if …
You skirt the questions … I’ll just be weak”
Where once there were no secrets there is now caution and timidity and the fear of seeming weak or needy. Instead of brilliant clarity in the relationship, there now are only shadows. Shadows which hide, grey shadings to mask feelings. An illusory mist to dampen and lubricate previously sharp emotions. A veil concealing the feared imperfections.
While dormant, the intensity is there yet. She fears it. I don’t know whether I should get closer. Or go away.
‘No, it won’t ever be like before
Not now …
The Dark craves always for even more”
It’s now way past time to get back to those times. This is a series on our young Marty. Some of the stories that laid the foundation for who he is … or perhaps more accurately, who he thinks he is.
Should you have missed the five introductory pieces, you can visit them here and here and here. And the two most recent episodes (all true by the way) here and here.
You just know Jessica is going to come up again, don’t you … ?
I left off introducing Jessica. Let’s do a quick review. Jessica was Peter’s wife. I had met Peter shortly after my arrival in London. Peter was a work mate of a fellow (Mick) who had befriended me. The crazy part of all this is that I had met Peter in the “City”, the square mile of old London (roughly between Tower Bridge and London Bridge on the north side of the Thames) that at the time housed the major British banks and financial houses. Yet unbelievably, Peter was a habitue of a pub where I tended bar in a far away section of London. The odds of that were catastrophic. No actually, I guess they were providential when you add Jessica to the situation. Are you up with me now?
Jessica would typically come into the pub with Peter on a Friday night. Or perhaps on a Sunday afternoon with their 4 year old daughter while Peter played football (soccer) with his mates on a nearby pitch.
Jessica caught my attention from the very beginning. She was a natural blonde beauty, usually wearing a mini skirt and her hair down and slightly bouffante-style. Think Jane Fonda in Barbarella. It was the very late 60s after all. Think very Jane Fonda at this time. Small of stature, she nonetheless had a big presence. All heads in the pub turned whenever she came in. I know I wasn’t the only one who thought this … how the hell did Peter … not the best looking man on the planet shall we say … land such a looker like Jessica? Part of the story was their daughter of course. Peter had got Jessica pregnant not long after they had begun dating.
A couple of quick facts here. I was 19. Jessica 25. A much older woman in my eyes. Older, more experienced, more worldly in every way. But I was mesmerized by her.
And she was starting to pay attention to me.