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Back on January 1st I married two of my friends in their home, in front of their children and two witnesses.  Today was the big, in front of family and friends ceremony at a historical landmark with the flowers and the white dress and cake and candles…  It was lovely.  Simple, elegant, beautiful and full of love and smiles all around.

I stayed up until 2 am last night researching different wedding ceremonies, vows, ring exchanges and what not, putting them into some semblance of order and storing them on my tablet so that I could read off it for the ceremony.

The bridesmaids were beautiful, all in perfectly matching cerulean blue dresses of different styles and the groomsmen had vivid, matching blue shirts and bow ties.  The groom had nervously handed me his vows before the ceremony to get my opinion and I thought they were great, heartfelt and sincere.  His voice broke a little as he read them to her.

I did all right with the ceremony, there were a few awkward moments when I forgot the papers with the bride’s vows and the couple’s vows to the four children and had to take a few steps to the side to go get them.

I did less all right with the song, it’s a hard song to sing to begin with, Jordan Feliz’s “Beloved”.  So beautiful but it goes very low on the verses and into the perfect range for me (on the raised version of the accompaniment track) for the chorus and the bridge, which are the majority of the song.  The sound system provided was less than stellar and as I practiced with it about an hour before the ceremony was to start I realized that if I sang too loudly into the mike the music cut out… ugh.  I have a very loud voice but not for the lower parts so I wound up using the mike for the verses and turning it off for the remainder of the song.  And I also missed words in several places, being really distracted by the sound system and not having a monitor to hear myself in, lol.  Everybody seemed to love it though and gave me lots of compliments afterwards, which made me feel better.

After the ceremony there was lunch served by a food truck, a little bit of dancing by the bride and groom, the bouquet toss – rigged to be caught by a young girl because apparently she was the only single female there, I had become invisible at that point, lol.  Lots of visiting and then lots of help to clean up and everybody left.

It was beautiful and a wonderful reminder of what love can do in people’s lives.

I cried afterwards, a lot.

Not because it was so beautiful but because I am so alone.

I feel bad letting my friend’s happy moment make me so sad, my own personal guilt trip is telling me I’m so selfish that I can’t even be happy for her, all I can do is focus on myself and my own problems…  And then I am miserable AND embarrassed.

I cry more.

The struggle bus is real and today I was it’s driver.

Why can’t I just be happy for her and trust that God will give me a good relationship when I’m ready – and when he’s ready?

I have Kyle, even though I’ve been in a completely different state for almost a month now he messages me faithfully every single day and sends me a picture of himself.  I (save every picture to look at over and over again) message him as well and send him my picture.  Our friendship has grown more intense? is perhaps the word to use, while I’ve been gone but I’m beginning to realize that hearing every day that he loves me and misses me helps me soooo much but it isn’t enough.  He doesn’t ask me questions.  Like hardly at all.  Occasionally he will but I’ve even asked him to ask me questions and he won’t.

And yes, I fully recognize that Kyle is NOT my boyfriend and I don’t even want him to be but I need more love than even he gives me – and he gives me so much more love than I’ve ever had from any man in my life, more than all the men in my entire life combined actually.  And if his love isn’t enough is there even hope that another man exists who can love me more than Kyle does?  It creates a kind of hopelessness that makes me want to throw every effort into doing whatever it takes to make sure Kyle never stops being my Gay Best Friend, my Cwtch, my Not-Boyfriend Love Of My Life… because if I lose him I lose so very, very much – and yet it is that exact desperate thinking that ruins relationships almost the precise moment you act upon it…  So I balance delicately on a wire, constantly worrying that he will run away screaming if I share one more thing about myself or how I feel about him and yet completely unable to stop myself.  It’s like a train-wreck, my own life’s train-wreck and I can’t look away… But he hasn’t run away screaming yet either and I’ve been more open and honest with him than any other guy I’ve ever known so just maybe this could last forever like a “normal” best friendship…  Please God…

So I’ve learned something about myself… I need questions to feel loved.  Who knew?  Just simple stuff like: “How was your day?” “How did that make you feel?” “What are you doing tomorrow?” “Are you OK?” “Why do you want to know what brand of cigarettes I smoke?”  “What’s your favorite…???”  “What did you eat for dinner?”

I also need answers to feel loved.  When I ask questions, and they don’t get answered then I feel ignored.  I feel like I am “too much” and “overwhelming”.  I feel like – now that I am more myself than I ever have been in my whole 43 years of living – I feel like I love too hard, too deep and too fast.  I drown people, particularly men, with the way I love.  And I’ve never seen anybody love another person the way I love.  And I’m so very weary, I pour out and out and out and get so little in return.

Not because people won’t give in return but because they can’t.  They literally can’t.

In the end, what should have been a joyful day full of happiness and cheer and bright, shiny rainbows and puppy kisses became this introspective dive into a deep, dark misery and hopelessness.  Know how to have a good time, I do… heh, heh…  <rolling my eyes>  I did my best to keep my friend from knowing how I felt and she was so busy with her other friends that I think I succeeded.  She deserves happiness and I’m glad she found it.

Well then, I have been in beauty school for three months now and will have accumulated 500 hours in about 2 weeks, yay!  I was able to start working on real people (instead of just mannequin heads) at 300 hours, which was the beginning of April, and so far have done 2 perms and about 4 haircuts.  It’s been fun and a little overwhelming at the same time, mostly because they don’t really teach the way I learn, so I’m trying to figure out a lot of things on my own that they may or may not have told me already, lol.  But the customers have been nice and so far they’ve all been happy with the way they look when I leave so that’s a big plus.

I’ve made new friends!  Well, I’m friendly with everyone, that’s just who I am, but some people you connect with easier than others and I’ve found someone I’ve “clicked” with.  Kyle is one of the two guys at school, about 10 years younger than me, tall, good looking and while you wouldn’t know by just looking at him he is happily engaged to his boyfriend and they are getting married in July. I would have never expected that out of everyone at school he would be my closest friend at school and yet he is!

Kyle was the one to put the first “fun” color in my hair back in February – magenta pink with black tips which I absolutely loved – and he accidentally got a lot of the pink dye on my forehead and it wouldn’t come off.  He felt really bad and kept apologizing until I finally just grabbed him and gave him a quick hug and told him not to worry about it and that I loved my hair.

I was a little nervous about hugging him but in the last couple of years since I became single I realized that if I’m going to experience any kind of human touch at all I will have to have to initiate most of it so I became a hugger.  I hugged my Asian family and my friends back in the town I came from as much as I could but I don’t have anybody to hug here in Montana – except my folks and for some reason family doesn’t really count for things like this.  So I made a quick decision to give him a hug and was really relieved that he didn’t look upset afterwards.

Fast forward a few weeks to a Really Bad Day.  I was super stressed out, Beauty School, having mostly late teen and early twenty-something girls is FULL of drama, people talking loudly and lots of high emotions flying around all over the place.  Add to that the fact that I’ve been couch-surfing since October and was struggling with a bit of depression again along with trying to adjust to my new life here in Montana and it was just a really bad day.  I made it through school feeling fragile and ready to cry at the drop of a hat.  After school I posted something on Facebook to my friends about please hug everyone you know, often and randomly because you don’t know when someone is having a hard day and most people really don’t get enough physical affection.

The next morning I walked in the back door to school, which opens into the break room.  Everyone goes there first thing in the morning to put their things in their locker, their lunch in the fridge and hang their coats on the hooks so it was full of girls.  Kyle sees me and in front of  God and everybody he wraps me in a giant bear hug.  He held me for much longer than an “normal” hug, let me go and we separated enough for him to see that I was trying not to cry so he pulled me close and hugged me again, long but not quite as long as the first one.

All of the girls at school were staring at us, apparently this is not how he hugs everyone else and he does a fair amount of hugging because he’s a very friendly guy and just about everybody loves him – or is in love with him, ha, ha.  He is also quite handsome, most of the girls would like to sleep with him and tell him so to his face regularly – but besides not being interested in girls he is committed to his partner of 6 years and just laughs.

I wrote him a little note telling him how much I appreciated – and needed – the hug and that I noticed how he helps other students and the teachers, just a little encouraging note that said I was proud of him for being such a nice guy.  I’ve done similar things before and the recipients usually (not always) say thank you and it’s never mentioned again.  Kyle seemed to go around and show just about everyone important to him.  I know for sure that he showed the owner of the school – who told me later what a nice thing I did in writing the note –  and then Kyle told me that he showed it to his boyfriend and it made him cry.

I’ve never had anyone share my notes with other people before, that was pretty cool.  Because of his reaction to my note I’ve written three more to other students and while they each said thank you and really appreciated the notes it didn’t enable a connection between me and that student like it did with me and Kyle.  I don’t know if it was because they were girls or because Kyle and I have just clicked and I don’t connect as well with them… regardless I’m going to keep writing those encouraging notes and try to write one for everyone by the time I’m done with school

Ever since then he hugs me regularly, pretty much daily and sometimes often more than once a day.  I have become the envy of all the girls who swoon over him, which is entirely a new feeling for me that I’m torn between enjoying and feeling bad about, I’ve never been the girl that other girls are jealous of because of a boy!  And Kyle gives the best hugs, ever.  Even when I was married I never got a hug like Kyle’s from my husband.  Kyle hugs me long and tight, he holds on until I start to pull away.  There is absolutely nothing sexual about his hugs and I feel completely safe in his arms.  He talks to me sometimes and shares stories about his past, his childhood, what was going on in his life when he became homosexual, how some of his family reacted and a few other things that I doubt he tells very many other people.  Sometimes when we hug he tells me he loves me and I say I love him back but again, it’s not at all romantic.

I think that maybe he has never had anyone offer him friendship and affection without strings or sexual joking attached so he probably needs the hugs as much as I do.

We’ve even started messaging each other outside of school occasionally and Kyle said he would go to a movie with me.  I asked if his boyfriend would be okay with that and he laughed and said it was cute that I asked.  He says he’s looking for a boyfriend for me but that it will have to be someone super-special.  The feelings I have for Kyle are pretty much the same kind of love that I have for my best friend from high school.  Deeper than family or marital love; a total, unconditional love between friends.  Kyle’s hugs and friendship have changed my life and made every day at school a little brighter and the hard days easier and I hope that I make his hard days easier too.

I found a word, Cwtch.  It’s Welsh and it means:  A hug that feels like a safe haven.  It’s pronounced like “crutch” except without the “r” so say “cutch”.  Kyle is my Cwtch.  I wish everybody had one and he has inspired me to hug even more people because I know I’m not the only one suffering from lack of physical affection, even in my small sphere of influence.

So I’m going to encourage you too – Go Hug People!  Go be somebody’s Cwtch.  You may never know the difference your hug can make, the life you may actually save by reaching out and touching someone, by hugging them with affection regardless of how “good” of friends you are.  People need to be touched so become a hugger!  Hug hello and hug goodbye.  Tell people you love them, it means you care about them and it doesn’t have to mean anything else.  Be a safe haven for people.  The world needs more Cwtch’s.