Friday, March 28, 2008

Getting to know Ranger

Ranger and I spend hours upon hours on the phone. He doesn't let me stay up past midnight, though. "You need sleep," he'll say, and then we're off soon. About five minutes later, I get a goodnight text.

We've had some serious conversations. We talk about childhood, exes, heartache, and secrets. His childhood was horrendous, but he's made the choice that it won't mold his life and his role as a father. He speaks openly and frankly. He's had experiences that could have been tragic, but he's come through them to become a better man. He's told me things he was afraid to tell me, and been relieved to find no judgment or rejection from me. These are the experiences that have shaped the man he is, I told him. It's what he chooses to do with them that matters.

He listens to my experiences and is sympathetic. He's curious and asks questions, and offers gentle comment. He understands the betrayal of trust I've been through, too often. He's been there, too. He understands the promises I've made to my children and respects that. He has great respect for me as a single mother, and tells me he expects my children to be first in my world.

He's a sweet, romantic, sensitive man who has been under-appreciated. In his nearly-twenty-year marriage, his gestures of affection were thrown back at him, as overtures for nothing more than sex. I've been starving for such things, and he's bowled over by my appreciation of the considerate things he says and does. That I find his interests at all intriguing, that I listen and learn, is amazing to him. That he wants to share with me his thoughts, passions, and even his hurt is amazing to me. That he speaks to me as his intellectual equal, and then listens in turn, is refreshing.

Before, I mentioned that his life has a soundtrack. Mine does, too, in that music is closely tied to my experiences. I identify with music to the point that it becomes part of the weave, for better or worse. He sends me songs that remind him of me, songs that were previously too painful to hear. For me, the bittersweet songs have turned sweet again. We can build new memories to go with them. Music seems to be life's blood to me, and he completely gets that.

Yesterday, he came to visit me again. We walked around campus, my hand in his as I told him what little I know of the buildings. His son has considered coming here for school, so it was good for him to see what's what. Then, it was lunchtime. As he opened the car door for me, he took my purse from me and set it on the seat. He wrapped me up in his arms and kissed me, for the first time.

After lunch, we had about four hours to kill before I was due home. I've been working a lot of night and weekend hours, so taking time during the day is not only acceptable to my boss, but it's also encouraged.

"I'd say let's go to a movie, but then I can't talk to you," he said. I agreed with that plan, or lack thereof.

Ranger and I decided to explore the Colorado National Monument. This is a major national park here, and I have managed to keep my feet in the valley for the nearly-year since I've been here.

As we're climbing to the top of the mesa, he's pointing out rock formations and colors, telling me about hiking with his daughter, about sitting on a ledge at the top, dangling his feet over the edge, about the last rock climb he did when he fell 300+ feet (saved by a rope), and listening to music all the while. The views are astounding. We stop at the entrance to Otto's Trail. The wind is really whipping around and it's chilly. He gives me a sweatshirt to wear, and we set out along the trail.

I'd confessed earlier to having a bum knee. I even let him hear the cartilage crunch when I go down stairs. Now, as we set out on the trail, he holds my hand again and leads me along the path, choosing the easiest way for my knee to take.

"Which is worse? Stairs or uneven surfaces?"


"Okay, I'm just asking so I know when to slow down for you."

He takes some pictures of me, with the wind whipping my hair. More pictures with the camera's timer, to get photos of us together.

At the end of the trail, the wind dies a bit. We look out over the view pictured to the right. He points out other formations across the valley floor. Ranger wraps me up in his protective arms again, sheltering me from the chilly breeze. He kisses me, and leans his forehead against mine.

"I really enjoy being with you," he said.

"I enjoy you, too," I said.

He pulled back and seemed to study my eyes. The wind blew curls into my face. He gently tucked them behind my ear. "I love you," he said. It was said with thought, earnestness, care.

Some moments in life are best viewed from within and from the outside, at the same time. I had a moment like that. I was aware of the magnificent world around us, the precipice we stood near, his arms holding me, the contented feeling I have when he's near, and of my heart melting. My guard relaxing. All at once. I closed my eyes for a second and just felt it, enjoyed it.

"I love you, too," I said, and knew it in every cell at that moment. Wonderful man, and wonderful words. Each was what I've been waiting for. We stood holding each other and kissing for a long time. No one was about that day. Then, we headed back to the trail. Half way back, he found a nice smooth rock for me to rest on, giving my knee a break. It didn't really hurt yet, but he wanted to be sweet and I let him. He took more pictures of me and of us.

We walked more little trails. We talked incessantly. Well, when we weren't singing along with the music. Soon, we were out of the park and headed into town again. He took me to my car and parked nearby. I still had over an hour to kill, so we sat in his car and talked. I scooted as close as the console would allow me, but that wasn't so comfortable.

This is a vehicle he camps in. There are no seats in the back. He put a pad down and we laid next to each other, snuggled up and talking low and soft about things magical and romantic. We talked about funny things, too. We laugh a lot! All the time. It's beyond delightful.

Now, I can hear some of you out there already. You're saying, "Dangit, Blogget, you slept with him in the back of his SUV? Already?" No, I did not. He didn't even unzip his pants, or take off any clothes. What I can say is that it's a weird realization to discover a man knows more about a woman's body than she does. He explained a situation to me, in which he was taught by an older woman how to truly make love to a woman, making her pleasure paramount, and deriving his from hers. Suffice it to say that his touch is nothing less than electric.

Too soon, we had to let each other go and get back to the real world.

"Hey, if I wanted to mail something to you, what address would you want me to use?"

I gave him my home and work address. "What would you mail to me?"

"Myself," he said, smiling. And we went our separate ways. I told him to be very careful going back to Moab. He had a two hour drive ahead of him. All I had to do was go home.

About an hour later, I texted him. "I miss you already. I wish you were here with me."

About 8:30 that night, I get a text from him.

"What are you doing right now?"

"Watching silly reality TV with my mom. And you?"

"Sitting by your mailbox."

"No, you're not!" See, we'd had this conversation earlier about how gullible people can be. I was not going to fall for this and look like an idiot, walking outside for no reason.

"Go look!"

I sat and thought. How can I just walk outside and look around, then go back in. I'd look like an idiot. And how can I admit that I fell for the "made you look!" trick.

Okay, I don't have to admit it. I made up an excuse about getting something from my car, and I went outside.

And there he was. By the mailbox. He'd mailed himself to me.

I couldn't believe it. I hugged him tight. "You nut," I said.

"I was having dinner with my friend Mike and got your text that you wished I was here," he said. "So, here I am. I couldn't leave without seeing you one more time."

"I'd invite you in but my mother is in her pajamas," I said. He was already shaking his head.

"No, I don't want to meet your parents like this, just showing up at nearly bedtime," he said. "It's okay. I just wanted to see you and make your wish come true."

I got a beautiful goodnight kiss. And a silly grin on my face when I plunked my happy butt back down on the couch, to finish watching the show. I don't remember how it ended.


Anonymous said...

So I see that Ranger is digging ya also! LOL

You got a start of a black book getting ready to take affect! LOL

Keep us updated on this..

Hey, What is going on with Karl???


Pixie said...

wow,that is just so lovely. LOng may it last and build.

I got told that he loved me on Saturday night with his arms wrapped round me, just before we were going out for a meal.
Then two more times over the weekend. But even better he told me he was happy, and that was worth it's weight in gold because of where he's been. And for the last couple of months he's had the best time.... I want for nothing more.

Blogget Jones said...

Hey Single! yeah, Ranger is pretty dang remarkable. he's knocked my socks off....and I've done the same for him! lol! And without sex (so far)!

I don't know what the hell happened to Karl. About two weeks ago, he ran into some major stress. Looks like the way he deals with stress is to pull in, not communicate. He was still talking about being excited to get here, to meet me. He promised to make contact soon. But NOTHING. That's a bad pattern.

About the same time I was being disappointed about that, Ranger came into my life and swept me away :o) Oh man, I'm such a sap....

;o) BJ

Blogget Jones said...

OH PIX! I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! You must be walking on the clouds! I hope you and your dear sweet man are happy for eons to come. Oh YAY!!!

:o) BJ