i had a rollercoaster few years in the second half of the nineties. i moved to a new place (yet again), met a couple of guys who, each in his turn, gave me a further blast back towards bedrock, and then sat back to lick my wounds; met misc.writing, and started being part of the community again. the road back to self confidence has been a long and rocky one, but there are a few people without whom i would still have been at the beginning of it.
some of those, a majority, perhaps (this is bizarre - i depended in a huge way on the love and support of people i had never met...) are to be found on the Net. i have made some lifelong friends here. i am grateful. one in particular has been an order of magnitude more important than the rest. i asked him not to speak of love to me and he went and showed me instead, in a thousand loving small ways, how much he cared in more than three years of emails and ICQ. he gave my life back to me, reached out across the miles and healed me of past hurts, gave me back the idea of the meaning of "always". and when, during a bitter conflict you all know very well, i stood in dire danger of breaking my heart and losing my soul over things i could do absolutely nothing about he bought both back for me in the coin of unconditional love and a level of support without bare survival would have been difficult.
somewhere along the line , when he did finally tell me he loved me, i found myself able to say it back. all right, there were lots of problems. the age difference between us was huge (but, in the end, irrelevant); our politics often were, and remain, poles apart (which would only make for an interesting lifetime); i was an only-child princess of doting parents, raised with a certain love of trappings, and he finds them irrelevant (except when they happen to be books)... we lived on different continents. but even that was solvable, and, in the end, solved. i think that those of you who did not KNOW about this relationship could certainly make educated guesses, for quite some time now. there will probably be few who are really surprised to hear me say these things. but the man i speak of is Deck, and what i have to say here is, Reader, I Married Him. i really don't think i need say any more.