The soundtrack of so many fantasies contains a declaration of love. Obviously, this orphan adopted by abusers desperately wanted to hear those words — credibly uttered — but I was not expecting how the most sincere expression of love for me would sound.
As we were unpacking our things at a campsite, he said: “I brought peanut butter.” I’d never before, ever, experienced thoughtfulness.
It was 1980. He moved to Vancouver from Seattle and we moved in together. And when I heard him speak others about my work and me I experienced more new feelings: Loyalty, support, defence. I remember thinking, “So this is what it’s all about.” I melted into Steve.
He and I had a great fourteen years together, but in 1994 we broke up so we went to a mediator. There were no harsh words and no blaming; our friendship never wavered. We only needed the mediator to help us work out how to spit up our money and things. When we signed the deal, we went for a walk together.
He moved to LA and although he has had a partner ever since, we still vacation together alone periodically and we talk every week.
Through it all though, I cannot recall ever hearing the words, “I love you.” But last week, in an email, he wrote: “And remember, I love you.”