Prior to his taking a few trips, I outright tried to talk him out
of going at all because  journalists have become such easy
targets for torture and grand public killings by American
enemies. Fortunately, he always made it home. I was always
glad, even when home meant home to his children and wife
and not to me.

When I first met the writer, I didn’t know right away that
he was married, but learned soon enough to have walked
away completely. That first time we met that I told you about
earlier, we met at 6 o’clock in the evening. My watch
stopped on my left wrist at that exact moment. I also think
that I stopped breathing for a few moments when we first met.
Not taking our eyes off one another as we talked, he truly took
my breath away from that first moment that I met him until a
few hours later when we kissed goodnight a couple hundred
times outside. Not long after that first date, I wrote him a note
to say goodbye.


P,
As  the old jewelers go out of business, replacement batteries get harder to find for
my antique watch. Can't walk in WalMart, drug stores or mall jewelry stores and
buy one for this 1953 antique watch that I just had to have. It’s one of the first
watches made with batteries.

A jeweler called, thought he had the right battery in for it. Nah, but later today
maybe.

So I'm still looking at 6 PM from when it stopped last week when we met. Have
other watches but don't like them. Keep wearing this one, hopeful that I'll find a
battery.

In that latest run downtown to the old jeweler, my cord on the bottom of my leather
coat must've caught onto my glasses on the car console when I got out of the car.
My glasses likely flung out of the car attached to the cord, fell off somewhere, likely
downtown in the parking lot.

Like the old watch, I paid much too much for the glasses and way too much for the
insurance to replace them if they break. Only I need the glasses, even bent or
shattered to get a free replacement pair. Later I'll run back downtown to try to
locate my glasses, even flattened in the road will be ok...and maybe I’ll buy a
new watch, too, while I'm at it.

I'm not sad, angry, bitter or anything that you didn’t tell me from the very start
that you are married. But I won't be in touch anymore with you and hope you honor
my request not to write back or call. I think it's for the best. J


What you just read was the first of ten brave and most noble
attempts to say goodbye to the writer. Each time, he
immediately replied or got in touch. Each time, I listened to
my heart instead of head and kept the relationship going. I
never knew anyone like him. And having ended a long
marriage myself, I related to his situation since mine was
similar for a few years before I moved on and out of the house
and marriage.

Actually, his situation was worse than mine had been since he
and his wife had not really even spoken in seven years and
fought when they did speak. It was easy to rationalize away
why we should continue on together. Sometimes,  you
recognize a soulmate immediately. The writer and I were
kindred spirits of sorts and that was as hopelessly romantic as
you can get.

It was a long time since the writer was just a man, just a
regular person, and that’s probably what he missed the
most and wanted to reclaim from his old life before he found
fame. Today, his face smiles at millions at breakfast tables or
office desks worldwide in print or online as people read him.
Some days, he loves being in the public eye. Other  days, he
wants just to get up in the morning, go for coffee and read the
paper in some café without people recognizing him and
asking questions about this column or that politician or
whatever controversy his writing points out that week.

To let down his guard and welcome someone new into his
private world, no doubt, brought him happiness. There were
many similarities in our backgrounds and upbringings. We
knew that we had been in the same places at the same time
twenty years earlier but never met. It wasn’t meant for us
to have met then, we concluded.

But it was meant for us to have met mid-life. The writer now
lives apart from his family. His sons visit him often. They love
seeing him happy because they never saw him content at
home. He made that big step out the door when I sent my 11th
and final goodbye note and meant it last spring.

Now when the writer writes his column, he lets me read over
his shoulder and it doesn’t distract him or interfere with
his creative process. Sometimes, he now writes about things
other than politics in his column and his readers love those
diversions about his parents, childhood memories, his children
and me.

The writer still asks the tough questions and pisses people off
to make them better politicians and public servants. After all,
that
is his job.

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