Thoughts with Richard Bleil
Godon Lightfoot recorded a beautiful song I think it’s called “If You Could Read My Mind”. I must admit, I’ve been singing this song incorrectly for years, but when I looked up the lyrics, I realized that I kind of like my version better, so I still sing it wrong. As such, I might have the lyrics wrong, but I think part of the lyrics go, “Enter number two, a beauty queen who plays the scene of bringing all the good things out in me.”
I’ve regretted being with most of the women who have drifted into and out of the role of “lover” in my life, but my favorites are the ones who inspired me. As I look around my house tonight, I see signs of depression, garbage collected on my tables and my floor, dishes in my sink, and a desperate need to clean. I’m also desperately lonely, without so much as a potential woman to fill the empty space marked “partner” in my life. But what I have noticed in the past is that my favorite partners are the ones who make me want to be better than who I am, the ones who push me to go beyond my current space, to grow, and to try. Sometimes these are the most infuriating partners, but when I’ve had the rare partner who actually believed in me, well, I’ve moved mountains.
With the right person, I’ve repaired, painted, created, and accomplished beyond myself. Without a partner, I find myself stuck, filled with desire, but no ambition. Able to move no more than a dinosaur trapped in a tar pit.
They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Yes, it’s an antiquated saying, created in a time when women were largely ornamental housekeepers. Today, women don’t need men to create, and succeed, but Lord, men still need women.
My friends try to fill the role, but it’s not the same. I love my friends, I truly do, and I know that they love me, but it’s not the kind of love that makes me want to do better for them. I think that the difference is that, when there is a partner in my life, a true partner, I want to make her life better. I want to improve her home, bring home a sufficient income so she wants for nothing, and find ways to keep her surprised, entertained, romanced and in love. Apparently, I’m not very good at that last part, or I wouldn’t have lost my wife. But I did make the effort.
As I get older, the options dwindle. I know women that I think would be great partners for me, but they’re all married, and I have no chance to be with them. When this happens, I settle for friendship, because I would rather have them in my life platonically than not at all. They could ask me to do things, and for a bit it would work, but I couldn’t sustain it. They are my friends and failing their requested goals wouldn’t really risk their friendship, and nothing further can develop even if I could do as they ask.
For the most part, I’m happy with who I am. I don’t really understand the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always been the kind of guy who, if I see something about myself that I don’t like and want to change, I won’t wait until the new year to do it. I’ve made it far on my own self-control and desire to self-improve, but when I’m with a partner, I see a noticeable difference between who I am versus when I’m without. Love is a powerful thing, as is fun, respect, and this makes all the difference.
I really don’t love myself. I kind of tolerate myself. I see my weaknesses, and many things that I don’t like about myself, but cannot fix, or, perhaps more precisely, I don’t know how to fix it. Soon I will be taking my real-estate agent exam, and hopefully will pass it quickly, but somehow, as confident as I am that I will be successful in taking the exam, I find it hard to believe that I will be able to find a broker willing to give me a chance. Perhaps I should explain; here in Nebraska, a real-estate agent is not permitted to actually sell anything. It all must go through a broker, and you cannot become a broker without two years’ experience as an agent. Once the agent license has been issued, I will have only one month to find gainful employment with a broker, but the voice of doubt in my mind isn’t “you won’t pass the exam.” It’s “you won’t find employment with a broker.” I guess I’ve been beaten down by too many employers lately.
I definitely need a partner who would be willing to curl up with me and reassure me. But that won’t happen. Not for me.