I’m excited to announce that I’ll be taking a short trip to Denver next month. Despite the fact that my own brother lived in Denver for several years, I have never been to Colorado nor ever seen the Rocky Mountains before, so this will be a big First for me. And yes, I fully plan on quoting lots of lines from the movie “Dumb & Dumber” when I arrive there. It’s kind of a requirement. 😀
I’m going to visit my longtime friend Mark. He’s been wanting me to come out there to visit him for quite awhile, so I decided to finally take the time off to do it. All I have to do is buy a plane ticket, and the rest is on him. I’ll be staying at his beautiful home in downtown Denver, and we’ll be doing all kinds of fun things together including seeing a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, going to the aquarium to see the mermaid show, and maybe spending a night at a resort up in the mountains. But most importantly, we’ll be enjoying each other’s company like we always have.
Mark and I actually dated each other about six years ago back in 2010 when we both lived in the Midwest. We have a rather interesting history. We met through the E-Harmony dating website. I was living in Illinois and working for the State at the time, and he lived an hour away from me in a loft in downtown St. Louis and worked for the Social Security Administration. Our first date was kind of impromptu and was a bit awkward because he had already been out with friends earlier in the evening and was quite inebriated. At the end of our first date, I went home expecting not to see him again. But after he sobered up, we agreed to see each other again and quickly hit it off. We quickly developed a deep mutual respect and connection with each other. We were both very educated, professional-working, Liberal-leaning, science-loving Atheists who had an appreciation for Family Guy and Bill Maher. What a great match. LOL!
Unfortunately, our lives took us both down different paths before we had a chance to get really serious. Mark’s job soon took him four hours away to Kansas City, and a year or two later I moved away to Florida. When I looked him up again shortly after moving to Florida, he was living in Nashville, Tennessee by then. We instantly reconnected as if we had never parted ways. Then a year or two later he got promoted again and had to move even further away to Denver.
Throughout the last four years since we found each other again, we have maintained our deep respect for each other and our connection has deepened. There have been times when he has entered relationships with other women, and I have become involved with other men. But regardless, we have remained close to one another. He is one of the very few people in the world whom I fully trust and respect, and I feel safe talking to him about virtually anything. He is one of the very small number of people I feel safe opening up and baring my soul to. We give each other advice and support during difficult times. And he has been there for me as a listening ear without any judgment during some of my darkest moments. He accepts me fully as I am, including all of my faults and weird quirks. Even after discovering that I have high-functioning Autism and all of the fun symptoms that come with that, he still didn’t shy away from me. One of the things I’ve always appreciated the most about Mark is that he has never been intimidated or turned off by my independent nature, my intelligence, or my ability to financially support myself like most other guys usually do. In fact, when I mentioned this to him recently, he replied with “I’m the opposite of most other guys. I expect any woman I date to be a badass bitch.” Well if he likes badass bitches, then he definitely hit the mother load jackpot when he met me!! LOL! He’s not one of those conventionally sexy hunks with lots of muscles and tattoos that most women swoon over, but none of that matters to me. When I look at him, I only see who he is on the inside. If there was ever a person who I felt a sense of true love for…not heated whirlwind infatuation, but a deep, lasting love built on a sturdy foundation of respect and trust…it would most likely be him.
A year ago, Mark came to visit me here in Florida and brought his entire family with him for the St. Louis Cardinals’ training season games. We spent every evening together, and I met his family for the first time. Now he says it’s my turn to come visit him. So that’s what I’m going to do. Then it will be his turn to come back down here and see me again. Who knows how long we will take turns visiting each other across the country? We’re not counting; all we care about is enjoying each other’s company just like we always have. That’s all that matters. We’re not a long-distance couple or anything like that, we’re just two people who like being around each other enough to not let geographical distance keep us from doing so.
So in a few weeks, I’ll be taking a little trip to someplace warm…a place where the beer flows like wine and where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called Denver. And maybe I’ll come back with a mermaid T-shirt, too. (And yes, that was a quote from “Dumb & Dumber”, if you don’t know. 😂)