Mistress reminded me over the weekend.
“It will be 20 years on October 4th, Slave.”
And of course, junky that I am, I related it to a little political history.
“Damn…. That’s right, just around the time Bill Clinton started his campaign for President.”
For us, the more important event this week in 1991 was our mutual decision to, “go public”, move in together and make a go of it as a couple.
We’d been seeing one another since the preceding election cycle, brought together, by our mutual efforts for that short Greek guy in the tank.
There was that steamy week in Atlanta, July 1988. We still have this dorky little souvenir on our kitchen counter.
We must have sweated about 20 gallons in those long humid nights together, so thoroughly entwined it was hard to tell where one of us began and the other one ended.
Plus I got to shake JFK Jr.’s hand, and Mistress got hit on by Claiborne Pell.
That fall, the Greek lost to Mr. “Points of Light”.
Years passed. We furnished a little downtown “love nest” with a Pier One futon bed and cast off furniture, meeting for lunch, or on Sunday mornings. Mistress was the one in the ropes in those days.
We had our ups and downs. She probably dumped me half a dozen times. It was hard, married to other people as we were.
But somehow, that magnetic attraction, and an inextinguishable love prevailed, and overcame.
By the summer of 1991, Mistress found herself with child. We knew it was time to put up or shut up.
So we developed a scheme (as they’d call it in London) that required coordinated disclosures, and escape from our respective domestic arrangements.
And of course it was hard.
Both of our spouses claimed they had no clue. (Hard to believe, even now.) Mine took it harder than Molly’s. And there were my two daughters to tell, and reassure that I would still be in their lives.
Very hard stuff.
My late brother became a co-conspirator, at least to the extent of offering us shelter that first night on the lam from our first marriages. And I can still recall the sublime pleasure of coming together with Molly that night in his guest room, 20 years ago today, after the news finally had been broken.
Our lives had profoundly changed. There was joy, relief, and guilt, and a good helping of fear about how things would resolve themselves.
But sliding into bed together, finally public after years of furtive couplings, was a joy that is hard to express, even now, 20 years on.
In many ways it seems so long ago, and still, only yesterday.
That child Molly was carrying is now a freshman Co-ed, as lovely as her Mom. Another one came along, born only a week after I finally concluded what became a very unpleasant divorce. Now she’s discovering how to use the train system in Europe with her international friends.
I will always be grateful that my two older daughters stuck with me, and remain very close.
And here Molly and I are, still together, closer than ever, enjoying our empty nest, so much water under the bridge, but looking forward to adventures a plenty in the years to come.
I’m one lucky Slave.