The Mistress

I first met her in Undergraduate school. I was excited, but I was stressed. I was in a top tier school, and had a ton of work to do. I was still holding down work at my part time job that wasn’t (30 hours a week leading to 40 hours a week during the holiday season, finally moving to having to work 40 hours on 3rd shift). I wasn’t in the best of shape. I just needed an outting. Just something to relieve stress. You understand don’t you? Of course you do.

I had seen others with her. A few here and there. They always seemed happy together, but I could never really see a place in my life for her. Not at all. What would she have to do with me? ME of all people?

I guess somehow, inevitably, I caught her attention. How, I will never know. Perhaps it was the look of desperation on my face. Perhaps my low self esteem somehow became endearing to her. Perhaps, just perhaps, she saw me as a project…a future upgrade, so to speak. A couple hours spent with her, after all and my self esteem rose dramatically and I started shedding weight so fast.

Actually the more I hung out with my mistress…the more women wanted to be with me! I guess it really was an upgrade. She had to make me viable. Turn me into a man.

What ever it was, the attraction between us was undeniable. At least on her end. Truth be told, I wanted nothing to do with her. At first, anyways. I mean look, I’m not gonna lie. She was attractive. I might have even had fantasies of her once or twice. But come on! Let’s be honest here! Nothing long term was ever going to come out of it. Right?

She began flirting with me in early Spring. The Winter season had just finished, and I was happily my lone wolf self. I had seen her around and was surprised to learn that she associated with some of the people in my neighborhood. I’d see her with them as early as 6:00 a.m. in the morning or as late as 8 pm at night. Just in the neighborhood hanging out.  “Funny”, I thought. “The more I see her, the more she piques my interest”. Perhaps I should introduce myself?

To say our first interaction was awkward would be an understatement. On a warm spring day, arrangements had been made and I walked right up to her and introduced myself and asked her to join me on an excursion. My sense is that she was a bit unsure of my ability to sustain her longterm. I was too. Truth be told, I was really scared that this wasn’t going to last a day.  Or even 10 minutes. But she went with me.

Look, at the risk of shattering your confidence in my abilities, I don’t mind being honest. Those first couple of times together in an intimate space with just her and I at night time after work were not enjoyable for either one of us. Our very first time together, I was pretty much done within 5 minutes. My heart beat fast and I just didn’t have the stamina to keep up. It was embarrassing and I realized I had a long, long way to go. It got better, but still horrible. I remember once I was able to sustain for about 10 minutes. Of course, I’m walking around thinking I’m the man, but then I find out all the others she’s been with can go for about 40 minutes. In some cases 5 hours and at the very least 20 minutes!  Let me tell you, she gets around! I knew I had to improve or this wasn’t going to work out.

She was very patient with me. It wasn’t always easy but I put her first in my life during that year. All summer long we spent every day together. When I decided to spend a day apart from her, I always missed her and always thought of the next time I would see her.

When we were together, it was so amazing! It was like I could tell her all my secrets. All my thoughts. She helped to clarify things. She made things easier. I was always a better man when she and I were together. She was there when my mother got sick and we got the bad news that it was terminal. She was there when I had my first car accident. She was there when I moved to graduate school. Basically, since about 1999 she’s always been there. Loss after loss, failure after failure, good news after good news. She’s been my mistress. I can call on her anytime, and often time have for the last 12 years. She calms me and makes me centered. I am hooked.

When I moved to the beach, I was surprised to learn that she had actually moved with me. Immediately, we went to Wrightsville Beach, to a little area of town called “The Loop”.  Things  were easy for us. We met every night on the beach at 11:30 p.m. and spent time together until about 12:30 a.m. It was late, but with my graduate schedule it’s the only time I had for her. She understood. It was also a 20 minute drive to get to the beach to see her, but let’s face it…I did what I had to do to be with her. I loved her.

We haven’t seen each other in about the last year. Life– it just gets in the way sometimes.

But she just…appeared. Yesterday. Yesterday morning. Sunday. Right after church.

I walked into the gym. Thinking of lifting weights. Maybe doing some Yoga.

And there she was. I fell in love with her all over again. She is my mistress yet she will always have my heart first.

At first, I was unsure of it. But now, I know. She will never leave. She will always be around. She will never desert me. When all the frills are gone and everything is broken, she will still be here.

I have a mistress.

And her name is, “Running”. Yes, at heart, I am a runner. Though I often experiment with other exercises I will always know where home is. The treadmill. The outside trail. The beach. The park. Low tech of the low, but always there for me in a pinch.

Don’t wait too long for me baby…I’ll see you right when I get off work today. Those 3 miles are seriously calling my name and I can’t wait be with you again.

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