Perched seemingly perpetually on the balcony, with the setting sun giving way to a spectrum of shooting stars, the party swirled around us. The other revelers made cameos on our private show, their sudden appearances a source of great amusement and joy as we shared awe at the theatrics being put on by the surrounding natural splendor. A perspective shift indicated to us that it was perhaps we two, in our impressive statis, that were the interlopers into the flow of the festivities. We were observers, commentators, a self-contained unit set partially apart from the rest. She was Waldorf and I was Statler, less cantankerous than our Muppet namesakes, but no less hilarious, at least in our mutual conception.
In the wake of my divorce and two subsequent, wonderful romantic relationships, I am in a nether zone, passively searching for the partner that will accompany me on the many adventures that characterize my life, for the person who may integrate into the current duality of Violet’s and my existence. It is a Zen process, one in which active seeking is counterproductive to the organic outcome that I prefer, to the serendipity that is the foundation of the love that will level me. Occasionally lonely, but frequently intrigued, I proceed cautiously, for the sake of my heart, Violet’s feelings, and the fact that perhaps I am just supposed to be alone at this juncture.
Waldorf and Statler’s love is platonic, the bond of friends who care deeply about each other, but for whom a romantic, physical, sexual entanglement is neither desired nor prudent (Waldorf’s husband is also a friend!). With a tendency to jump quickly into the path set by my eagerness, it is a rapport that is rare for me. But not only is the intergender friendship blissful in its own right, it is critically instructive as to the characteristics that I am seeking in a companion. When the complications of pheromones are removed from the equation, there are so many variables that reveal themselves, so many small insights that would maybe otherwise go unnoticed.
Waldorf and I went to college together, traveled in overlapping circles, but were never specifically close. Two decades hence, with our shoulders tucked into each other in the frosty evening mountain air, it seems impossible that we were not thick as thieves back then. Time has a fascinating malleability, allowing us to cover years in minutes as the inevitability of our new confederacy reveals itself. As we discuss the unfolding of our post-collegiate lives, our respective parenthoods, the travels that cemented our worldviews, the poignancy of our shared values and experiences is rendered in stark relief.
I do not want or need a partner who is exactly like me; that would be immensely troubling and extremely difficult due to the intensity of my blessings and curses. But swimming against the tide of tremendous difference is no better; the alignments with Waldorf have shown me that a mutual frame of reference is very important. There is no question that my girl is going to have to be into the outdoors. Although that predilection is balanced by the likely need to have someone to keep my insanity in check, unless we decide to summit in the Karakorams or bike across Africa or something, certainly not impossible outcomes.
I neither want nor need to know with whom I will eventually end up; there is so much enjoyment in surrendering to the process, to the vagaries of intertwining two lives, to the intersection of the rational and the tragicomically irrational. My link to Waldorf has at the very least narrowed the universe to make it feel more manageable. Regardless of the eventual outcome, I am very grateful to have a comedic comrade with whom to share the merriments and vicissitudes of this life.