21 months ago…
In the midst of what must have been the most miserable few months of my life — I had just come to the agonizing realization that I had to end my marriage, but hadn’t yet communicated it, things were not going well at work, and I was certainly suffering from situational depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder — I went on a work trip to a warmer clime.
My project partner lived in the city I traveled to. I had spoken to him on the phone and emailed with him. I enjoyed his cooperation, responsiveness and playfulness. But I thought nothing more of this fellow, who I shall refer to as Max. (I simply wasn’t emotionally available to think or feel more of this fellow — or anyone else, for that matter.)
While working with Max, I slowly began to notice the following qualities: he was tall, muscular, tan, and had a charming personality. He was helpful, friendly, communicative, willing and calm. He had a nice smile. And here’s the thing that I loved most about Max: he woke me up.
For a long time, I hadn’t felt anything but depression, resentment, anger, betrayal or hurt. I could barely remember feeling any other way. But there was something about Max. Was it possible that he was flirting with me? Now something inside me, that elusive feeling we refer to as chemistry or magnetism, was slowly blooming. I felt as if I were waking from a deep, long slumber. And for the first time in probably six months, I felt hope.