A Gentle Love Like Harold

Chapter 1: Dinner & Love & Wide Smiles

If there was anything I could possibly add to my collection of stationery, I am sure Harry is adding it to a gift package for my promotion party right now. He insists we make it special even though the promotion is lateral. Without a pay increase. After two years. And after two years with Harry, it’s just not what I expected.

Honestly I’d prefer to just keep the same pens I’ve always loved. They sometimes felt like pets. Spending time, making memories. Going through the tough decision-making processes with me. Should I bring you to work with me? No, you should be fine here. No, I better bring you. You certainly get your money’s worth. But sometimes it is good to put the pen down and let go. Like the time my former roommate wrote me a three-page letter stating “Sleeping with a guy you work with does not a relationship make.” It wasn’t why Harold and I got together, but it is how we got together. I cannot rewrite history.

Can I take a moment to simply say how warm he makes me feel at the core of me? I feel safe and challenged to reset my mindset and smallness of perception at the most critical times in my life. I feel empowered to contribute to his growth as a friend who believes in his free will. I feel hope we will be stronger together. And the greatest feeling is knowing we feel equally satiated by what we offer one another. And the sum of our parts is actually pretty awesome also.

Thank you. I had to say that. You need that context to see why we have high standards for our relationship. We earned them.

I made rotisserie chicken last night. I needed to feel that spirit of hygge I’ve been reading about everywhere. If you remember anything about it, you may faintly recall an image of a matronly woman in a Viking hat, baking caramel cookies and making lattes with snowflakes made from dusting confectioner’s sugar atop milk foam. That pretty much captures it. I know that feeling. It’s the Paper Source feeling. It’s the feeling I cannot wait to experience when I’m away from it. It’s the way I tell myself the day is possible to get through. We had cake and wine for dessert. We do every night. This month, he’s giving up gluten. So I made rice cakes.

As far as Harold and why any of this matters, when we get into bed stuffed with dinner and love and smiling wide, I can’t imagine bliss like this with another man. That’s why it’s so sad that I have to be the one to make him leave the country.

Hopefully he goes quietly…

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