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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Patel

Emotional roller coaster

[When I connected with Steve, I initially thought I had just connected with this restless spirit and that we found we had some things in common--intelligence, caustic sense of humor, both pretty messed up about life. I didn't know why he was still hanging around with me, what he wanted from me, but then I got the idea we could just be friends and try to work out our remaining issues together, the kind of things that you needed someone to play off against, even though he had passed through the "corporeal divide" and I was still here. I had no interest in his personal history, didn't want to pry, and definitely did not want to be caught up in some emotional entanglement that wasn't my place, to be the "other woman". I also didn't want to do anything that would cause pain to those with whom he had shared his lifetime. Steve kept trying to convince me that I wasn't interfering in his emotional relationships, but then--he wasn't always that upfront with me, as I discovered. Eventually, it all began to come to the surface, including some stories that smacked of betrayal, and I went through a lot of pain before just... getting over it.

It is not my intent now to cause anyone any pain by posting this, although Steve is okay with it, and really, it is just more of the "rest of the story" that began with the adventures detailed in the book, for those who read it. All of this is really just a story about two people figuring out about love, and since there's already enough information out there that Steve was an asshole, and that his family was long-suffering, I don't suppose this adds or detracts much other than showing how we can grow even after we're dead. Ha ha. And perhaps there are some that can take lessons from it for their own relationships while they're still here and can do something about it.]

February 3, 2017

Steph: Why did you tell me through Susie that you didn’t have that passion and downplay your emotions for your wife?

Steve: Do you really want to know?

Steph: Of course I really want to know. I asked.

Steve: Yes, you did, and now I shall tell you. I just wanted you to love me, Stephanie, and I knew you would not love me if you thought I was still in love with my wife for you would not want to get between a love that already existed, which is totally stupid, because it is impossible to get between a love that already exists and so you wanted to know that I was kinda unconcerned, and I was, and I wasn’t. As you know, I was a terrible husband and that was a huge blow to my ego when I got to this side and realized it. I was so ashamed. I wanted to make it up in any way I could. And you on the other hand wanted me to be an asshole husband because you thought that meant I didn’t really care. And that was not the case. I cared, I just didn’t know I cared, because I was too much of an asshole to realize how much I did love her, for I did. She was a very good match for me and showed me much about love that I had not understood, among them the ability to be so very patient with an asshole like me. You are smiling because you know that this rings bells for you, that you were too much of an asshole yourself to realize that I could not possibly love you if you were so very patient with me because I was too much of an asshole to realize how patient you were. So you just told me to shut up and not tell you about it and go on about our business. So I did.But I was always thinking about her, and I was always thinking about you, and I was trying to figure out why this was so. Why did I care one way or the other? She was gone, you were there, but you weren’t really there, you were off in left field somewhere trying to catch balls that weren’t even there. I didn’t know what to do so I just did nothing, sat there as usual with my thumb in my mouth wondering what the hell to do. I was and I wasn’t, I could and I couldn’t, I dared and I didn’t, so you see I was a pretty big mess. Then when you told me that you really didn’t care one way or the other I realized that I didn’t care one way or the other either. Yes, I’m talking about recently. It was nothing to you. You just took what came and made something beautiful of it and then let it go and went on to the next moment. So I thought, well, why the fuck don’t I do that? And that is when I realized that I didn’t give a fuck about anything but giving a fuck about whoever I was with. This was a big lesson for me as it was for you. You realized that it didn’t make any difference, you were you and I was me and never the twain shall meet. Well, that’s not really true, but you realized that I could have my life and you could have your life and when we were together we could have our life, and so you didn’t care anymore. Then I realized I cared more than I thought, because if you didn’t care any more than it must mean that I was allowed to care more, so I did. I was very kind and went and visited her and tried to make her understand that I was so sorry for being such an asshole and I don’t think she even knew I was around. She is pretty obtuse about this whole thing. So I just kept going back and forth and telling her how much I loved her and how sorry I was and finally one day she said, “Steve Jobs, leave me alone so I can get on with my life.” Ha ha. She didn’t really say that but I came to the conclusion that was what she would have said if she knew I was still hanging around. She didn’t want me. I don’t know if she ever did. I had built it all up in my mind to make something out of nothing because I wanted her to want me so I wouldn’t feel so damned guilty about having been such a stupid asshole and that meant she would be the one that would feel bad that I was such a stupid asshole and then that would be some retribution for me. I was really pretty messed up, as you know. Then I thought, well, if I am such an asshole then she doesn’t need me hanging around, and then I thought, if I wasn’t such an asshole maybe she would have loved me and not just put up with me, and then I thought “What the hell am I talking about? Here I am trying to sort out something that doesn’t even make sense to me and she doesn’t give a damn whether I’m here or not, she just wants to get on with her life and have the experience of love that she never got with me, and I’m trying to mess with her head.” So I just said good-bye and gave her a kiss on the top of the head and went on my way. Right back to you of course, like a bouncy ball. And you didn’t really care if I came or went and that made me feel bad for awhile because here I had given away my love for her so I could love you, and you didn’t even care. You just wanted to love me when I was with you and let me love whoever I wanted when I wasn’t, and that was quite a jolt. After all this, you didn’t even care! I struggled with that one for a bit and then I realized you didn’t care because you loved me the way I was and if I wanted to still love someone else or find someone else new to love that was the way I was, and the hell with it, it was too much trouble to keep track of my comings and goings and various affairs so you just said, “Do what you want, don’t track on the carpet when you come back in,” and that was that. I just had to accept that you loved me for what I was and that meant I would have to love you for what you were, and that was a whole ‘nother shock. I had to love you the way you were, with all your quirks and secrets and stupid ways of doing things that drive me mad? And then I said, what the hell, it was too much trouble keeping track of all your quirks and secrets and stupid ways of doing things that drive me mad. So I stopped being mad and just loved you the way you were, and that is when I found out that loving you the way you were meant loving me the way I was, because that was what you were doing, and that was quite a shock, for I realized that I didn’t love myself even though I pretended to to get everybody off my back, not that they were fooled or anything. And you said, “Why don’t you just sit down and tell me your sorrows,” and I said, “No thanks”, and then I got to thinking about it and I thought, “Why the hell not? It couldn’t get any worse. She loves me the way I am and I suppose I will just have to get used to it, this show isn’t going anywhere else.” So then I told you some of my sorrows and you listened and you didn’t get mad at me or run away like you used to at the first hint of anything remotely resembling my emotional issues. Yes, you did, you were too damned pig-headed to even listen, you really just didn’t even want to know that I was broken-hearted over my marriage and etc. Well, actually, you did want to know so you knew to run the other way, for you thought it meant that you were meddling in something that wasn’t your business, and it wasn’t, it was mine, and I finally had to realize that. That I was trying to manipulate you by using my emotional issues to make you get rid of me so I could be abandoned again and everything would be okay. Only then I felt abandoned because you didn’t give a damn and it wasn’t okay. So when you asked me about my sorrows I was kind of stunned. You mean, you really cared, and weren’t going to run away because you were so pig-headed that you thought it meant I didn’t love you? And then I decided, “What the hell,” so I told you some of my sorrows and you listened and comforted me and we made love and nothing more ever came of it. And then you asked if we could be friends like you thought we were supposed to be in the beginning, and that is when I realized that yes, that is what I had really wanted, too. A friend. Someone to talk to. Okay, a friend with benefits, but a true friend. Someone who wasn’t trying to change me, someone who didn’t want me to be something other than I was. And yes, I know, I screwed that one up big when you just wanted to be my friend and I lied to you and you said, “If you’re my friend, why would you lie to me? You must not be my friend.” And finally you said, “Okay, maybe I will be your lover, kinda, but it’s too bad we couldn’t have been friends the way I thought it was in the beginning.” And then I saw that you really needed a friend, and you really had thought I was going to be your friend, nothing special, just two people who met and found they had a lot in common and decided to hang out and comfort each other and help each other grow. And then I realized that I had wanted that, too, and didn’t even know it. I was just too stupid to know that a woman could be my friend. In fact, I was too stupid to know that anyone could be my friend. I just thought people existed so I could get them to do my bidding. Then I realized that you really did want to be my friend and that it made you happy to just be friends and not have to be so special to each other that we were constantly on edge trying to figure it out, when all we ever wanted was to be friends in the first place. So then I agreed to be friends and here we are. Still friends, I trust, you and me. Still friends and also lovers and that is cool because I didn’t know you could be both to the same person. I didn’t know, I thought that when the sex was gone the love was gone and the friendship never even came into the picture. I didn’t know you could love your friends. I thought you just kinda hung around together because you didn’t have anybody else who would put up with you. And yes, I see that now, I was a bigger dope than Bill was, for he at least figured out that you needed friends, not asshole friends like me, but friends that cared about you. I was so busy pissing everyone off that I thought this was the way it was supposed to be, you pissed people off, and then you sorta woed them back into your good graces, and then you pissed them off again. And that worked for awhile, and then it didn’t work for awhile, and then it worked for awhile, and then it didn’t work at all. I ended up alone. I was so very very alone because that was the way I had played it, almost all of my life. Alone. I played it for my own stupid egotistical desires and nothing else. I didn’t even know what love was if you want to know the truth. Oh, I admired people and respected a few and I coaxed some to do my bidding and I seduced a few, but I never really got it, that it was just allowing people to be who they were and being who you were and saying “I love you” to everyone you love every day. I thought there had to be more to the secret, but I couldn’t find it, and then you came along and I wasn’t so alone anymore but I still didn’t understand what love was even though you kept showing me that love was letting me be whatever I wanted to be and go wherever I wanted to go, and I thought it just meant you didn’t care, and then I’d throw some kind of stupid tantrum or something to get your attention, and then I just didn’t care either. I disappeared and you didn’t really care, you went on with your life and you just kept doing what you did. Then one day you said, “Hey, I wonder what ever happened to that guy, Steve, the one that I wrote a book about.” And I said, “Hmm, maybe she does really care,” and then you said, “I don’t really care, I was just wondering,” and then I said, “She doesn’t really care, she was just wondering, so how can I make her care? I know, I’ll hurt her. Everyone cares about being hurt. So then I hurt you and you cried and were heartbroken and I just said “Well what the fuck did she expect when you care about a mother-fucker like me?” And you were so heart-broken I started to feel kind of bad and so I said,”Well, maybe I should see if there is something I can do,” and I tried, but I was such a stupid mother-fucker that I fucked things all up and you cried some more, and then I didn’t know what to do but just let you go so you could find some peace, and that is when you had to go through your own painful journey to realize that you loved me anyway, and then you called out for me to come and comfort you, and I did, and you remembered how much you loved me, and I remembered how much I loved you, and then you know the rest of the story. Except there’s lots more but that’s enough for now.

Steph: Wow, that was one long sentence

[At this point, Steve and I looked at each other and totally cracked up over this story, but you can’t see that. Ah. Friendship. That’s what happens when you’re the best of friends. You see how stupid you are and you don’t really care, it only makes you remember why you’re friends in the first place, because you love each other no matter how fucked up you are.]

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