I was fascinated as a kid by the little black and white Scottie dog magnets you could get out of a vending machine at the Stuckey's Truck Stops. If we drove by them on our inevitable trek across country (thanks to the United States Army) almost every summer, I would beg, nag and make life generally miserable for my parents until they agreed to stop...and provide me the cash to go buy these magnets.
The pay off for my parents was that I would be quiet for a little while as I watched the nose or ass ends of the dogs snap together while equally fascinated with watching the nose-to-ass ends of the dogs be repulsed. I was so interested in why one end of the dogs would pull them together and the other end would push them apart. No matter how hard I tried I could not push the nose-to-ass ends together nor could I make the nose or ass ends refuse to join.
For some reason, I was thinking about these stupid dog magnets from my childhood on my drive home yesterday. And my thoughts immediately turned to Lane. Not because he reminds me of Scottie dogs’ ass or nose ends or even magnets. But because I think of him every day as I drive home from work. In fact, I think about him a lot. But the two thoughts immediately following each other caused me to think about them together. And I realized that the Scottie dog magnets were a good metaphor for my relationship with Lane.
Let’s take the nose-to-nose or ass-to-ass connection first:
Lane an I met online. It was different with him from the start and I believe that we began falling in love from our first couple of texts. We texted a lot over those first few weeks and it was clear that intellectually (nose-to-nose) and sexually (ass-to-ass), we were going to get a long just fine. When we finally met a couple of weeks later, it happened just like the Scottie dogs...as soon as we were in close proximity to each other, CLICK, we were together. We saw each other, eyes locked, he walked up, kissed me and that was that...nose-to-nose connection. We were in a restaurant at the time so we did not throw down right there...we spent an hour or so talking, him rubbing my feet, eating nothing that we ordered and staring at each other, smiling.
The sexual tension could not be ignored so we went for a walk on the beach at sunset and watched the sun go down. It wasn’t long before we were in the sand dunes satisfying each other and afterwards laying on our backs, still entangled from the passion looking up at a blanket of stars (ass-to-ass connection...well you know what I mean). MAGIC! The still entangled part led to another coupling not too much time later which resulted in us both being home late to our kids and attempting to sneak into our respective homes not revealing where we had been or what we had been up to...being covered in sand was a little bit of a dead give away.
When he walked me to my car, it was hard to pull us apart. We lingered, as if we knew that pulling apart the connection was going to be painful...it was. He texted me as soon as he got into his car and then called me on his way home. We talked until we both arrived home and had to go reclaim our roles as adults and single parents.
Apparently, being connected like a Scottie dog magnet is quite intoxicating and wonderful...the connection strong, secure and intense. It was like that for us the whole time - every time we were in each other’s presence - SNAP - nose-to-nose/ass-to-ass connection. I didn’t know it in the beginning but it turns out that either end connection is a hard thing to maintain...
Of course we now have to talk about the nose-to-ass issue...
I am not sure how those Scottie dog magnets ever got pulled apart except by the sheer force of my two hands yanking them apart...but when they did they would end up getting turned around and I would watch them repulse each other - now the opposite side of each dog would repel instead of attract. As a kid, it was weird to me that the other side of the dog which was less than a quarter of an inch away, now had this extreme force pushing the other Scottie dog away - just as strong as the opposite end for pulling together.
No matter how much or long I tried, I could not force the nose-to-ass ends of those Scottie dogs to stay together. As soon as I would release them, that invisible forcefield would separate them immediately...
What I didn’t know that night on the beach with Lane was that we were going to have another force in our life together that was equally strong as the attraction. We would be repelled from each other over and over again.
I am still sorting through how we got all turned around in the first place but it seems that whenever we were not connected nose-to-nose or ass-to-ass, we would somehow get turned around and then this great force would start in one of us (I like to think it was him) pushing the other away which would then cause the other (I like to think it was me) to push away also. Like the physical law forcing those Scottie dog magnets away...Lane and I were also repelled apart without our consent or cooperation.
While I can understand that the Scottie dog magnets were just behaving as the magnetic physical law demanded, it is harder to understand what happened to Lane and I...
I will not bore you with all the details of this love affair, this article would be 10,000 pages long, but I do think that it is worth mentioning that like that invisible law that brought us together, there was also an equal and opposite law that forced us apart. I find myself wondering if that is always the way it has to be with great attraction, always great repulsion? If the attraction would have been less, would we have been able to survive the repulsion? Once the two Scottie dog magnets got older would the magnetic properties have waned a bit, thereby making the attraction and repulsion be less violent and insistent?
I understand very little about the laws that govern our physical world...in fact I am pretty sure that I would have failed high school physics had it not been for my friend Jason that let me cheat off of him; his volunteer tutoring in hopes that I might date him. But this concept of attraction and repulsion has my full attention because I can see it manifested in my life repeatedly.
So what happened to Lane and I? How can something that started off so wonderfully intoxicating, intense and attractive have ended to where it actually feels like there is some force field pushing us apart. The real bitch is that not unlike the magnet Scottie dogs, the repulsion does not propel the other dog a great distance - just pushes the other one far enough away to disrupt the connection. Unfortunately, that is where I have remained with Lane for a long time. Pushed away but not far enough so that he is not always within my mind's view. Distanced and disconnected but still close enough to reconnect given the right circumstances...
As a child, I always felt like it was sad that I could not force the two Scottie dogs nose-to-ass ends together. It bothered me and made me sad though I could not tell you why back then. Today, I think my relationship with Lane gave me the real life experience which allowed me to see why as a child I felt sad...
Here were these two beings: Lane (the black Scottie dog) and me (the White Scottie dog). When you put us close enough to each other, the attraction was so strong that this invisible force pulled us closer together and made the ultimate connection. I think even as a child I knew that life could not be that way - you could not stay connected to someone all the time and that once you disconnected from each other physically, in actual contact or in proximity, that circumstances could cause you to be pushed apart and another invisible force cause you to stay apart.
Thirteen months later we are still like those two fucking Scottie dogs...removed far enough in proximity and intimacy that the connection is broken and disrupted but not so far in intimacy and proximity to be able to not still see the evidence of each other’s existence. Or maybe it is just me, maybe I am the Scottie dog that was pushed away, not a great distance, but far enough to create some space for the black Scottie dog. Connection - ended. Intimacy - over. Yet, I have been waiting in close proximity for the black Scottie dog to turn toward me again and pull me in closer. I think sometimes I am an idiot...It is not lost on me that Lane and I's strongest connection was always when one of us was turned away from the other. Commanding the other with a magnetic field to pull the other one back...sometimes against their will, common sense or control.
Ok, well maybe not an idiot...maybe just a little Scottie dog that believed that the connection I felt for the black Scottie dog was enough. It felt like enough. It felt like I had spent my whole life walking around and never feeling drawn to someone like that. It seemed to me that everyone out there found that kind of connection and it felt like the black Scottie dog I found in Lane was my turn. Turns out it wasn’t. I can see now that I have sat for a very long time waiting for it to be my turn again. I couldn’t see that I don’t want to be compelled by forces beyond my control or design. I do not want a relationship that is dictated by this invisible force over which I have no say so. Sure I loved the connection the nose-to-nose or ass-to-ass connection produced but was I really willing to hang in there for how awful the nose-to-ass repulsion felt?
It has taken many months, tears and reflection to bring me to this:
Perhaps it was not him that caused the interruption - perhaps I did. Perhaps one part of me really, really wants to be connected but the other part defies connection and, in fact, pushes it away. Perhaps I will always be this way but this realization gave me the ability to see that maybe, just maybe I can work with this within myself. This part of me that desperately wants to connect but is stymied every time by the equal yet opposite force causes me to push you just far enough away so that I feel safer. Perhaps, I can begin there dealing with my own internal forces of attraction and repulsion and perhaps that can provide some stasis for me. In so doing, perhaps I can forgive the black Scottie dog for his own internal conflict that caused us to be forever parted.