I told her this morning that I was a closet smoker. It turns out she is not really in the closet, but just keeps a low profile as a smoker due to the professional environment she operates in.
I should have known that a woman who is so together and remarkable in so many ways would not be a cowering, fearful closet smoker.
Even though I began the conversation awkwardly under the assumption that she was a genuine closet smoker, she responded with genuine interest and concern, asked thoughtful questions, shared some pretty deep personal things, and gave me some good advice.
Despite her gracious manner, including having a smoke in the alley with me, afterward I felt like such an idiot for allowing myself to imagine a different outcome of the conversation. Fantasies usually remain fantasies.
As it is now over 12 hours since our talk, I am less depressed about what happened. I am going to enjoy working along side this impressive woman, whom I described (to her) as a great little sister for a guy (me) who has no sisters, and who's wife is incapable of any kind of deep emotional connection with anyone.
I am actually considering whether I could come out again (I did briefly several years ago, but went back in due to my nasal drainage problems.) I plan to confront my ENT to see if there is anything he could do to address the drainage issues I endure when I smoke. And if I could smoke -- even moderately -- on a regular basis, I might even think about leaving my wife.
Because I know that going another 20 or more years with my current wife will not result in rekindled love. We haven't exchange a geniuine hug in a years and the last few times we've made love she hasn't even tried to kiss me.
Which makes me realize that I need to hug my kids more -- because never getting hugged is actually not a good thing.
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