Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dragonfly Story I

Below are excerpts from two letters, one from me, one from Jo. Yes, I am still in limited contact with Jo, for the time being.

I'm going to take a small preemptive strike here. I know many folks are of the opinion that once a liar, always a liar; why, Patrick, are you still in contact? Why are you listening to anything this person says?

I appreciate the concern, but trust me, this contact is a good thing. It has been helping me. If it's been helping Jo as well, that's nice too, but it's definitely helping me. Perhaps the whole tortured gay man in a woman's body story will prove to be every bit as fabulous as the hunky single gay dad story, but it's just not going to hurt me if so. I feel like I am approaching all this as a true skeptic -not as the word is usually used these days, when we really mean distrusting cynic- but as someone who questions everything. I don't know what is true or false without further verification, but as long as I remember that, there is no danger. You may feel this is foolish in the extreme, and I respect that. If so, I hope you can read this entry at least as a good story.

Some background is needed to make sense of the two excerpts:

1. I left gifts for Nicky and the boys with Jo, the day before I left town. It was too painful for me to think of taking them back to New York with me, and even though my suspicions were coming to a fever pitch, I just wanted to leave them there. In a recent note he asked me if I wanted him to return the gifts. My response is below.

2. Nicky and I shared a love of dragonflies. Unlike him, I don't collect images of them, but it was one of the silly little things we bonded over. I'm beginning to see that a love of dragonflies is quite common among my blogging circle. No idea what, if anything, that means, but it's fun little fact. I love that Somewhere Joe posted a photo and a song about dragonflies just yesterday.

3.Oh, Nicky's favorite color, as some of you may know, was green. No idea if that is true for Jo as well.

I quote from Jo's letter with his permission.


Regarding the gifts I left with you, I have no need of them, and would like all of you to have them. I have no need to be identified to the boys in any way, even if there were any way that would make sense, I'm sure. I leave it up to you when they get them, or how they're explained, but I will be pleased to think of the boys enjoying them. I would also like you to have Nicky's presents. I assume the reasons I thought Nicky would like them will still hold true for you, and I have no problem with that. If it makes you feel better, I regift them now to you, Jo.

I'll ruin the surprise on the smallest gift just to tell you the story now; it has a deeper sadness for me, but I'd still like you to have it. When I was at the GLBT rally in BC (that's a lot of initials) there was a woman there selling glass jewelry. There were a few dragonfly pins that I loved, especially a green one that I simply had to get for Nicky. Later that same day I opened up the package to look at it again... and dropped it onto the sidewalk, breaking it in three places (the wings and the tail). I was devastated and surprised at how strong my reaction was, but realized it was because I saw this as an omen that things were never going to work out between me and Nicky, that indeed I might never meet him (this, you may recall, was the Saturday BEFORE he was scheduled to return the following day). I tried to tell myself that I was being silly, but realized this is what happens if one starts to make a big fuss over omens; it's fun when they're positive, but what do you do when they're negative? Well, I decided to buy superglue and reconstruct the dragonfly, as some sort of ritual of defiance I guess, insisting that I WOULD make this work. It didn't hold the first couple of times I glued it, so I'm worried that it may be in three four pieces again now. If so, I wanted you to know why. Do with it as you see fit. If you don't want it, please pass it along or throw it away.


The dragonfly story is extraordinary, Patrick! I opened it and it is in pieces, but you know something, it IS the most powerful symbol imaginable just as it is. I am going to keep it with me always as a reminder of just how fragile the soul is ... and how beautiful even the broken can be. When the panicky feelings start, and the desire to be my Nicky self rises above all else, I will hold those little dragonfly pieces in my hand and be reminded of how much destruction I have caused by not allowing the fragments of who I am to be whole. Of all the dragonflies I have collected over the years, that one will always be the most precious. Thank you, I accept your re-gift. How lovely it to receive it as both pieces of me ... Jo and Nicky integrated


Greg said...

How beautiful to think that the result of a sad and ominous moment might now bring healing.

Java said...

I read Joe's post yesterday and fell in love with that song. I kept the browser window opened so that Dragonfly Summer could play again and again. Now I read this post, and the song is twirling around in my head again. Very poignant.

I'm glad you are pursuing helpful things, even if they may also be a bit painful. I wish you peace in your journey.

Butch said...

It is a wonderful way you put this omen in perspective with the recent happenings in your life and a beautiful thing you have done.

Doug said...

I just started reading your blog via Java, but you sound like a really sweet, caring and sensitive soul. I think that is a good thing!

somewhere joe said...

Patrick I had the oddest feeling that you had already found closure while still in BC, maybe even in Tee Tee's arms, with or without a future with Nicky. The broken dragonfly... I had no idea. What a totem that is. Dragonfly Summer, yeah... our old synchronicity. What heady days those were.

Dantallion said...

Beautiful, that.

Jess said...

Interesting that you quote from Jo's letter with "his" permission. I make plenty of typing errors myself, but I think Jo still represents Nicky in your mind. Not just Nicky in the sense that he was a creation of Jo, but Nicky in that he lives on in your heart, so you're feeling an extra presence.

I'm worried about your being hurt more, and I'm worried about this person saying anything to keep you in her world. With that said, I realize you want to maintain contact, at least for now, and I know you're a big boy. So I won't nag, but allow me to worry about my friend Patrick. *hug*

Paul said...

Omen indeed.

I hope you're smiling.

Patrick said...

Thanks, all, for the kind thoughts, and continuing support. The web of love I feel is quite real; I'm grateful to you all. Don't worry Jess, I appreciate your concern but I'm not taking any risks with my heart. I actually deliberately chose the male pronoun when talking about Jo. My natural tendency is to use 'she', since she identified herself as a woman to me when I met her, but until I learn otherwise, I will assume the gender confusion is real, and he sees himself as male. Maybe that's premature on my part; maybe Jo's confusion is more complicated than that, but for now I say 'he' when referring to Jo in the present tense, 'she' when I'm recounting past events. I think in a funny way I'm lucky to have met Jo, actually touched him. No matter how strong my feelings might have been, I always knew my Nico was in large part a figure of my imagination (I'd thought I was a little bit closer to reality, I suppose...). Jo on the other hand, is very real and concrete for me. In the first twenty-four hours after I learned the truth, if I found myself drifting towards my image of Nicky, it was very easy to replace my fantasy with a real person. I think that has helped me immensely in all this.

Patrick said...

Oh hey, I keep forgetting, Dantallion, I can never read your blog lately. My computer freezes up every time I click over, and I can never read more than a few words. I'm dying to find out how you're doing, it sounds like some changes have occurred (I at least want to know if you found a new place to live!). Has anyone else had this problem? Is it only me? Anyone? Anyway, just wanted to know I hope to be over to the Can(n)on soon, to get the full scoop.

Dantallion said...

I'll look into that and see if I can fix it - Thanks!

David said...


I seem to have been one of the few people in my blogging circle who did not follow Nicky's blog, and therefore felt a little bewildered when all of this blew up.

However, several years ago I was one of the people utterly stunned by the A Priori Ad Lib unmasking. While the "Joel" of this blog had a boyfriend, I still had a terrible crush on him. We had communicated considerably outside of the blog and when the truth was revealed I was quite devastated. I felt like a close friend had died.

So in some ways I have a sense of what you are dealing with. Obviously your experience is unique and none of us can truly say we "know exactly what you're going through."

But I'm glad you have received so much support and that it appears you are taking a positive and constructive approach in dealing with the aftermath. I look forward to reading more about this and you.

Sara said...

would you mind emailing me I'd like to ask you something, thanks

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Awe Patrick, leave it up to wonderful you to make a post that could have been ugly, be something beautiful.

*more hugs*

Birdie said...

I am humbled at your handling of this situation, Patrick. You use metaphor in life's events, finding meaning and growth when others might be tempted to shut it all out as too painful. My own experience is that when I put up the wall, I prevent joy from entering as well. Occasional pain is the price of serendipitous joy. May the final result of this chapter in your life bring you great joy. No one deserves it more.