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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell this story. I sit down to type it all up and I get one sentence down before I hit that backspace key. The story centers around Michael, aka Beardy McMatherson (he said to use his real name, and yes I got that in writing in case he decides to sue me for slander). Maybe I should just start at the beginning. Michael and I met. We went on a couple of dates, enough dates for me to say “I like this guy!” and then out of nowhere I got a text from him saying he needed space followed by some not ideal behavior and confusion. So I gave him his space. I was just on the edge of moving on when he asked for a second chance. There are some people out there who are probably wondering why on earth would I give this guy a second chance. Then there are some people out there who had an inkling that this wasn’t the end of this guy. In fact, it was those voices that partially influenced my decision to give Michael the second chance. Another part of my decision was made by how easy it is to be in his presence. Even when there was this tension between us over his bad behavior, it was still easy to sit and talk about these things with him. He’s exactly what I was looking for, someone I enjoy spending time with and who I’m comfortable taking my clothes off in front of.

And ever since his admission to being an idiot, and his fuck up, things have been swell, but I can’t help but notice how different this is from what I had before. Mostly it’s getting used to the presence of this new body next to me. Friday evening, we went to Starlight Theater to see A Prairie Home Companion’s Radio Romance Tour (I totally flipped out when Garrison Keillor stepped out...I mean OH MY GOD! GARRISON KEILLOR!). We were sitting there and Michael had his arm draped around my shoulders and I had this very surreal moment that verged a little on panic. I was very aware that I had this very different body sitting next to me and how differently I fit against this person. It’s not wrong, just different.

He spent Saturday driving me around to places in Kansas City I’d never seen. That surreal moment happened all over again as I sat in the passenger seat of his car. I remembered how Chris and I used head out on Saturday mornings and just see what we could see. It was like that but different. Michael knew where he was taking me, had a specific plan for things he wanted to show me and it was a great day. We went to the Swap-n-Shop and then he showed me around Main Street in Independence. He showed me the most amazing Mormon church and stopped every time I wanted to take a picture of something. It was a full day. It was a good day.

I don’t want to compare, but there are times when I can’t help but notice the things that are similar and the things that are different here. But I don’t compare it all in a bad way. It’s a comparison of the good things and it’s an adjustment. Actually, there’s a lot I need to learn to adjust to. I’ve been alone for a year and a half. I’ve grown set in my ways and my routine. Michael messes with that routine, but in a good way. I’m having to learn to be with someone again and that’s going to take some getting used to. We’re working on it.