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