The Amazon Trail: A Personal Silver Lining


I thought there could be no good news.

Not in the midst of a pandemic and the mass selfishness that hastens and continues its spread.

Not when the abiding depth of U.S. racism bubbles to the surface without shame or remedy.

Not when the vainglorious puppet of the far right “that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” continues to assault everything we’ve done right as a country and tout as successful every evil we continue to perpetrate.

Even as this circus of horrors rolls on, I have been able to privately celebrate two personal milestones. I have broken my record for a long-term relationship. Only by a week so far, but what a relief to get beyond the jinxed anniversaries of my past. My sweetheart and I have started our fourteenth year together and we’re okay. Really okay.

Earlier this year I hurtled over a second pitfall: I now have lived in the same home for over seven years. At age eighteen I was privileged enough to leave my parents’ apartment and attend college. In the span of the next fifty years, I moved twenty-three more times. Not a world-shattering amount, but enough to necessitate recreating home, and sometimes my life, far too often. A number of the moves came as a result of break-ups, or of trying to make a relationship work.

It’s true that I want to change the world, but there is much to be said for stability. I was always performing at top speed, always devising ways to use time more efficiently, keeping sleep to a minimum. Only now am I beginning to learn to do one thing at a time—multi-tasking was normal and necessary. My pace was an attempt to make up for the hours and energy I too frequently lost to moving out, moving in, breaking up, starting again.

Short-term relationships seemed to be the norm in lesbian life at the time. It would be decades before I met women who had been together since high school or college or since coming out. The first such couple I met said the secret to their success was simply, “Be kind and love each other.” I had already foresworn leaving relationships and I taught myself to do as the couple advised. But it wasn’t always up to me to pull the plug. So I moved, and moved, and moved on.

My heart longs for solutions to the various wrongheaded conflicts tearing our world apart. Who am I kidding? These frictions have always been our inheritance. Racism is not new, nor is income inequality or incompetent, power hungry leadership. All are plagues, as malignant as the current viral scourge.

I see our single friends suffering from lack of companionship, touch, and safety, to evade this illness. African Americans, Native Americans, and gays, among others in the U.S., have never been guaranteed safety at all. Neither have my sweetheart and I, but we, at least, have respite in each other.

More than ever, I am grateful to have at long last found unwavering love and a home where it can thrive. While constancy won’t slow the rise of fascism, or appease alt-right activists, or allow us to go without masks, we are stronger for it, and strength is what is needed to repel the advance of the recurring infamies we now -— and perhaps always -— face.

Copyright 2020 Lee Lynch / June 2020

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