Returning to Normal; Falling in Love Again.

                                                             Dedicated to my "Sweetheart" Theresa Griffin Kennedy!

I remember the first time I saw her. She came to my office to ask permission to interview me. Fortunately or unfortunately I had achieved some notoriety in my former profession. Some things are best left in the past...still I was amused and flattered that she thought I might be an interesting subject. Researching her, I found we had a mutual male friend that often needed my professional services and that she wrote regularly for an alternative newspaper. “Fun,” I thought, “let's see what she has to say.”

We shook hands politely and she smiled up at me. Shaking hands with a pretty woman is always slightly awkward. Shorter than I, it looked like she would come under my chin. Her hands were soft and her nails were short and done in clear nail polish. Bright pink lipstick adorned her lips and her bright blue eyes smiled up at me too. “ Wow,” I thought, “Pretty and she looks interesting.”

We adjourned to a nearby restaurant and sequestered ourselves in a back booth away from the noise of the bar crowd. She set up her MP3 recording device and I ordered coffee. She kept looking up at me with those blue eyes. It felt as if I was being studied. I was slightly uncomfortable, not used to being stared at. I tried to study her too without being obvious. Her hair was shoulder length, not dyed, naturally Auburn with a shock of gray in front that showed her maturity. She was no fresh-eyed out of breath school girl. As she talked to me about the interview I quickly learned that she was intelligent and quite articulate. All in all, a very smart woman.

As she squirmed about in the booth getting comfortable I noticed her shorter stature allowed her breasts to rest on the table top. They were as beautiful as her blue eyes and I tried to concentrate on the interview questions. I tried not to stare.

Some of the questions she asked were hard for me to deal with emotionally. They evoked memories of human suffering and death. Things I had to deal with in my professional past. I tried to maintain a man-like macho demeanor but several times tears came to my eyes uncontrolled. She reached across the table and held my hand. Her touch was caring, almost protective, and comforting. Strangely, it felt good to be touched by her.

With the interview concluded, we agreed to talk more about it on the phone when it was transcribed. We shook hands and I watched her walk away toward the bus stop. Her hair blew in the breeze and she walked with a quick step. When the bus arrived she boarded and disappeared down the street. Returning to the office my office manager reported, “She likes you.” “But we've never met before,” I responded, “How can you say that?” “I can tell,” she said, “It's a woman thing. It's in her eyes.” I didn't answer but contemplated what she said, dismissing it after a moments thought. Two days later the blue eyed interviewer called and said her MP3 recording devise had malfunctioned 10 minutes into the interview and could we reschedule and start over again. I was beginning to wonder about her professionalism, writing for an on-line paper I had barely heard of and now her recorder hadn't worked. “Sure, come out any time,” I agreed. I found myself thinking about her eyes. “Sure, come on.”

It was the middle of the following week before she could return to my office, but she assured me that she had a new tape recorder and batteries to last. Just then I realized I was looking forward to seeing her again. Male that I am I found myself thinking about her blue eyes... and her ample breasts. She showed up on a Wednesday and again we went to the nearby cafe' to find a quiet booth. She set the recorder on the table top. Her breasts rested on the table but were partly hidden by the recorder. This time she had a microphone and I leaned over to talk into it. I had to pay attention to the questions. Still... there was something about her that attracted me.

As we talked about the difficult things I had seen and done in the past my emotions overcame me again and tears came to my eyes. Damn! I hated to cry in front of a woman. She offered her hand across the table. Her touch was comforting. I remembered what my office manager said to me. “She likes you.” Was I reading too much into her touch? This interview was harder on my emotions than I thought it would be and I was glad when she finished.. Soon she was whisked away by the bus, disappearing behind the double closing doors. I didn't anticipate seeing her again.

But I did. This time at my home and just to “finish up a few details,” regarding the interview. I was assured that it would be appearing in its entirety in the printed paper. Having concluded our business, she started to leave when I decided she might be the right person to work on a book project I had begun years ago. She agreed to help and took a copy of the manuscript with her before once again disappearing down the street on a city bus.

A few weeks later my life changed dramatically. My significant other of ten years passed away suddenly in her sleep. We had been estranged for some time and were not together when she died. She had been in poor health with liver disease from years of daily alcohol abuse and shooting dope years earlier. During the 10 years we were together she was also using Methadone daily which she received at one of the Methadone clinics.

Although we had many problems I loved her and always took care of her. When she died I was lost. Nothing was normal anymore. How do I go on? Now I had to be responsible for myself, for my washing, cleaning, cooking and housekeeping. I was really angry at God for taking her without asking me first. I felt abandoned. How could she just leave me like this? I closed up the business and laid off my office staff and began drowning my sorrows at the bar.

For the next year and a half my life was a jumble of drinking too much. The excuse I gave myself was that I was looking for a woman and what the hell, there was alcohol at the bar. I am self described as “female dependent,” and absolutely hate sleeping alone without someone to put my arms around. I don't do well without a female. I suppose then it goes without saying that I'm also breasts dependent. Breasts present a complicated set of emotions for me. Nurturing, a warm soft place to lay my head, mother earth like, the epitome of femaleness and sexual all at the same time. In fairness to men, when boys are born the first thing stuck in their mouths is a tit. I'm not sure if I'm different or not, but I never got over it, hence,”female dependent.”

Having no luck finding a girl at the bar, I returned to my church roots and began attending church. Perhaps I could find a good woman there. And this time I would be more particular. I wanted a girl that didn't use tobacco, didn't use any drugs, didn't drink too much, had a positive outlook on life, was smart, had big boobs and was highly sexual.

I knew she would be impossible to find. I was looking for my dream girl. Laying alone in my bed at night I prayed to God to find a "proper companion" for me. Not a particular woman, not a white woman nor a black woman nor a Hispanic woman, but my "proper companion." And please God, this time no more “secret nuts.” I had a previous relationship with a woman that continually cut her wrists, another that injected cocaine, and was later murdered in Seattle, another that turned out to be a pedophile and went to prison, another that heard voices that made her do bad things that sent her to jail, and my most recent was a woman that was an alcoholic and a Methadone addict and died in her sleep, sending my life into a tailspin. Looking back on my relationships made me wonder about myself. Why was I attracted to problem women? Why were they attracted to me? Not this time Lord, please find me a good one.

Nearly a year passed and I was becoming slightly annoyed at the apparent lack of progress on the book project the interview lady and I had discussed. We texted a few times and she mailed me a copy of 20 pages of completed manuscript. She sent me another text inviting me to meet her downtown for lunch and she would give me some vitamins. “Wow,” I thought, “I've never had a woman offer me vitamins.” We met at Kelly's Olympian in downtown Portland. I had breakfast and she ordered a salad. There she was again with those pretty blue eyes smiling at me. She offered me a bottle of Co-Q-10 “for your heart,” she said, and our hands touched. Wow again! Her hands were warm and soft and I felt that feeling of comfort and caring that I felt from her touch a long time before. But there was something else. Was it also a caress? When we parted company this time we dispensed with the formal handshake and hugged each other. She disappeared again into the bowels of the transit bus going her way. I walked around the block catching some fresh air and fingering the vitamin bottle in my pocket. “What had just happened?” I wondered. “Had this been a date?" It sure felt like a date! Finding my own bus home I continued thinking about our meeting. By the time I got home I had convinced myself that it was a date! It felt good. I smiled!

It was a month or two before I heard from her again and I was beginning to forget about the 'date' thing when she mailed a copy of an essay she had written and posted on the internet about her “sexual fantasy.” In the essay she describes her private fantasy bedroom, with red curtains and her fantasy lover, an older man that takes his time and knows just what to do. It sounded like a description of myself. I am several years older than her and certainly know just what to do. I was both intrigued and confused. Was she just sending me another essay she posted on her busy website or was she making a pass at me? I thought about it long and hard. Was she another “secret nut?”

We met one more time at a downtown cafe for coffee and conversation. I was facing the prospect of moving. My landlord was becoming increasingly greedy and the rent was getting too high. I was half way through my second cup when she looked up at me with those bright blue eyes. Her compact mirror was open and she was adding a fresh coat of pink lipstick. Again it felt like I was being accessed, evaluated, studied, kind of like a bug under a microscope. “Why don't you move in with me?” she asked, “I have an extra room.” It hit me like the proverbial “ton of bricks.” Did she just invite me to move in with her? I'm not sure what I said, but I know I was stammering. “Well yes, I'll sure consider it.” All I remember about parting this time was the extra long hug and the warm feeling of her hands. A few days later I was in my new home with my new landlady. It was a large old house with a lot of charm, sitting on a dead-end street in an upscale neighborhood. The big front porch had a comfy love seat and I thought I looked pretty good lounging on it. Sometimes we sat together on it and smiled at each other.

My feelings for her were starting to get really strong, and the way she smiled and touched me let me know her feelings were running away with her too, but still we didn't talk about “us.” My plan, if I had one, was to give it some time. I had to decide if she was for real or another “secret nut.” I needed to be very very careful about giving my heart away again. She too was still studying me, but her smile was telling me things. Had she already decided that we could be “a couple?”

It was my habit to take a long walk in the mornings around our beautiful neighborhood. I invited her to walk along with me one day and she smiled a big “Yes.” We walked along, touching shoulders and smiling at each other and talking. “Can we hold hands,?” I suddenly blurted out. “Sure of course,” she said and hand in hand we walked thrilled at each others touch. The ice had been broken. The very next day I walked alone, but she sent me off with a kiss and my heart soared! The sexual tension between us was now out in the open. It was only a few days later when she asked, “Would you like to spend some time with me in my room?” We made love, wonderful, luxurious, passionate, soul rending love. I knew my heart was safe with her. No more fears of a “secret nut.” Now, each passing day bonds us closer. God did send me my dream girl. She finally admitted that sending me a copy of her sexual fantasy essay was a pass at me and that I was indeed the older guy she was describing.

I have learned that finding a new normal in your life comes slowly. When my ex died I had to start again, but gradually, over time, things do return to normal. You rebuild habits, the new way you fix your food, how you sleep, and how you care for your clothes.

We humans hate disorder and are constantly seeking normalcy. And when a new spark comes along and she smiles at you, follow the feeling because it is what you are seeking. A while back 'blue eyes' and I had our mutual horoscopes done to see what the stars said about our relationship. It said that our love would be "intensely emotional" and also "highly sexual" It is!!

By Don DuPay

    To get 'her' perspective, you can read the essay she wrote, on falling in love with me, available on her website here...

If you'd like to contact Don DuPay, you can find him at facebook here...
or you can email him at his PSU email, at