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April 27th, 2005

Today, on the way into work, "I Will Always Love You," the duet version with Vince Gill and Dolly Parton came on my CD player. I'm not sure why most times I get through this song just fine, but every once in a while, it just grabs me by the balls. Or, more accurately, by the heart.

The song can still make me cry, which it did today -- eleven years after the time I heard it as my wife and I began "separating our things" after 16 years of marriage. Our upstairs had two bedrooms with a bathroom in between with doors opening to each room so you could look right through. (I'm sure there's some name for this, like a Hollywood bath, or something.) I was in one bedroom packing up some of the things I would take -- careful to put all the photo albums into her boxes (I knew they were more important to her than they were to me, and figured I could borrow them from her anytime that I might want to look at them).

We had the radio playing and this song came on. We looked up, across the bathroom hallway, at each other in our separate rooms, and the tears started rolling down our cheeks.

How she has remained my friend and we've been so close ever since is a precious gift in my life and when I hear the words to this song, I hear her singing them to me, at that moment, in all her generosity. (Though at times I think that it is truly conceited to imagine that she is singing this song to me.)

I Will Always Love You

If I should stay,
I would only be in your way.
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you ev'ry step of the way.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
You, my darling you. Hmm.

Bittersweet memories
that is all I'm taking with me.
So, goodbye. Please, don't cry.
We both know I'm not what you, you need.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.

(Instrumental solo)

I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of.
And I wish to you, joy and happiness.
But above all this, I wish you love.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I, I will always love you.

You, darling, I love you.
Ooh, I'll always, I'll always love you.

I thank God for the tears. It reminds me that the love we shared was so real. No wonder we're still so close.

Aside: I actually prefer the Whitney Houston version of this song, as that's the one that played that day.



Three years ago tonight, I was at the AIDS fundraisier, An Evening with Friends, when a guy named Charlie stopped me to introduce himself to me. As he was saying, "I'd like to get to know you better," this man with a phenomenally beautiful smile walked up to him to say hi.

Charlie introduced me. "John, this is Robert. Robert, John."

A little bit later, I led Robert from under the tent to under the stars, a little ways out, and asked, "Are you available for kissing?"

He was. And we did.

Happy Anniversary, my little poquito. Thank you for keeping me grounded. Thank you for your beautifully generous heart. Thank you for your incredibly thoughtful mind. Thank you for taking me to places I've never been with anyone else. And thank you for continuing to be... available for kissing. I love you.

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