Striking a Blow for Iseult

As mentioned previously, this weekend was the resolution of a decade-long star-crossed love affair of Shakespearean proportions (if Shakespeare had included porn, divorce, and dot coms). So here is a little modern fairy tale for you.

Once upon a time, there was a Princess. Of course this Princess happened to be a project manager at a dot com in her early thirties, but this is the 21st century and we have to adapt. The Princess was quite lonely, eligible princes being in short supply at her age. One day, a handsome Troubadour wandered into the Princess’ kingdom (also known as rented office space over a dive bar in the city). This Troubadour was married to a cruel and venomous Witch who shunned and spurned the Troubadour in favor of the attentions of her Sapphic sisters, which wouldn’t be so bad except she neglected to mention this proclivity to her husband and instead made him feel inadequate and lonely for years on end. The Troubadour and the Princess soon discovered they had much in common, including a love of music, horror movies, and German internet pornography (I did warn you this was a tale of modern romance). Soon, a great friendship grew, and that friendship in turn began to grow into something else. However, the Troubadour, although unhappy and neglected in his marriage, was steadfast in his fidelity to the Witch. The duo spent many a maenadic evening over the years, drunk on hot sake and sexually frustrated, yearning for each other but limited to few abbreviated gropings and subscription to “Das Haus von Spanking und Naughty Schulmädchen”.

One day, the Witch finally up and left the Troubadour. He was devastated, but the Princess was filled with hope. Now, at last, they could be together! She decided to wait it out, give him time, after all, he had just been through a horrible divorce after 18 years in a dysfunctional marriage. She held his hand, dried his tears, and tried to be the supportive friend he needed. After a while, things seemed to be heading in the right direction. Then one dark and stormy night, the Troubadour told the Princess he had a date… with another woman. The Princess was heartbroken, but understood that it was probably best if he saw other women. He had been in a floundering relationship for close to 20 years, and he should play the field, as it were. Still, it made her sad. In tears, she called one of her best friends, the Villain of Our Story. She told the Villain that the Troubadour had a date with another woman. The Villain told her in no uncertain terms to cut the guy loose, that their relationship was unhealthy and that the Princess was better off without him. That night was the last time she spoke to the Troubadour for 7 years. He never called her back. A piece of the Princess died that day, a warm little corner of her heart that she had held for him for almost 3 years. Shortly after that, she met the fearless Knight that would become her beloved husband, but she never forgot the Troubadour who had so cruelly cast her aside.

Seven years passed, and a mutual friend came to the Princess with a report. He had spent time with her Troubadour, and the picture was not pretty. The Troubadour had gotten drunk and tearfully told the friend that letting the Princess go was the biggest mistake of his life. That the only reason he had agreed to go out with another woman was at the insistence of his dying German mother (one does not ignore a German mother, dying or otherwise). Now he was deeply entrenched in a mid-life crisis, shallowly dating multiple women he didn’t care about, sinking into alcoholism, and regretting the loss of his Princess.

The Princess decided to let bygones be bygones and see him again. The moment she laid eyes on him, she realized that nothing between them had changed. The attraction was still there, and it was even more potent than before. They talked about the past, about mistakes that were made. He told her that he hadn’t called her back after that day because of all those emails the Princess had asked her friends to send to him telling him how much she hated him.

“Wait, what??”, said the Princess. “What emails?”

It turned out that after their phone conversation, the Villain (in the guise of the Princess) had churned out a series of hateful emails to the Troubadour. This made him believe that the Princess wished no further contact with him. This was not the first time the Villain had used such tactics, nor was it the last. The Villain’s motives for these actions can be speculated, but remain mysterious and baffling. It is assumed that the Villain’s hatred for seeing anyone happy while her own marriage was failing may have been part of it.

The Troubadour and the Princess looked at each other with a wistful heartache. Seven years had passed, she was now a 40-something rural housewife slowly being claimed by a tragic neurological disease, he was staring down 50 in a cold, empty house with a bottle in his hand. They would always be the road not traveled. They would never know what could have been between them if only one of them had had the nerve to pick up a phone and call the other to find out what was actually going on. They had allowed someone else to keep them apart, and had lost 7 years.

Eventually the temptation to be together was too great, and the Princess traveled a great distance from her island to his. Almost immediately, they fell into each others’ arms, making passionate, clumsy, joyful love for hours on end. The bliss of finally being together was great as they fell asleep in each others’ arms. The next morning, they were pleased to find their friendship still intact and their desire for each other still blossoming.

Neither one knows what the future holds, even if they never made love again they would be content with finally having their dear friend back. Nothing can bring back the 7 years they had lost in the prime of their lives, no one can say what would have happened had they followed their hearts rather than let others interfere. There are lessons to be learned here, lessons about trust, about faith, about forgiveness, about not being afraid to tell the people you love how you feel. This Princess has never been so grateful to have the chance to learn those lessons in her life.

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Uncrossing the Stars

Tonight, after nearly a decade, I finally got to uncross the stars with my star-crossed lover, and it was every bit as lovely as it should have been 10 years ago. We often talk about the weft of the wyrd, but sometimes the path of our threads is so amazing and intricate you really have to sit back marvel at the beauty of it. I am ever grateful for the people who I have been blessed with in my life, whom I never seem to truly lose for long. I am especially blessed with a supportive husband who knows he will forever be the love of my life, but understands my need to express my love for others.

Now if you will excuse me, a warm bed and a handsome man await…

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