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    Day 10, Letter 10

    Tina
    It’s two weeks before Thanksgiving. Kit ordered a turkey for me to pick up, gave me a grocery list. Everyone is coming here for dinner. Even James and his girlfriend. I think he is going to propose soon. He has that look about it. You know the look. I am overwhelmed with a sense of dread, the holidays bearing down like a train on a fast track, barreling towards some unknown destination. I started meditation at the suggestion of my yoga instructor. You would like her, she is in her sixties and has this cool, hippy vibe that makes me want to sit in a forest with her and learn the language of the trees. I like the trees; they don’t talk back even when I scream at them. We hike sometimes. There is a five mile hike not far from the house that overlooks the valley. It is beautiful and very peaceful. I miss you.
    Bette

    10

    The morning after the limo ride passed silently, without anyone stirring in the Porter Kennard house. They had been up late, the ride lasting until well after midnight. Tina slept deeply, on her back, Bette snuggled up next to her with her head on the blonde’s chest also deeply asleep. Neither heard the passing cars as traffic picked up, their cell phones announcing text messages and email notifications in the kitchen where they were left to charge.

    Rain fell, a quiet, persistent drenching that offered a peaceful backdrop to the slumbering couple, but this too was unnoticed. Their breathing was in sync, the rise and fall of their chests barely perceptible so deep was their rest.

    It was Bette who shifted slightly, her head moving to press into Tina’s breasts, her eyes still closed. Tina responded immediately, rolling towards the brunette, adjusting her position so that Bette’s head was cradled on her chest as they faced each other, one arm going around Bette’s waist, her hand rubbing the brunette’s back then dropping as she succumbed to sleep once again, Bette soothed and right behind her.

    Tina woke first, hours later. Her eyes opening slowly, blinking before taking stock of the cloudy day through the blinds, the warmth of the blankets and the woman next to her chasing away any chill in the room. She marveled, as she often did, how complete Bette felt laying next to her, how right. Bette’s legs were just the right length to line up with her own, just the right weight to fit comfortably within hers without feeling heavy. And waking up with the smell of Bette’s hair in her nostrils, the softness of it on her throat… well that was pure heaven.

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    Comments

    1. Closer and closer to the intersect. Can just picture Bette hiking in the woods learning the language of the trees. This chapter really highlights how they are coming together as friends, and lovers, and true partners. Each one totally respectful and appreciative and in complete awe of the other. They not only love each other, but they genuinely like each other as well. So essential in a successful relationship. I really like this passage and it is so spot on as to yet another example of what the GQ writers got wrong: “Whether it was a board room or a gala event or a cafeteria for homeless mothers, she owns her space. When all the clients had been served and it was time to clean up, Tina went to talk to the Director.” This Tina understands and appreciates Bette for who she really is and Bette recognizes Tina’s genuine kindness and desire to do good works. Yes, Bette does own her space! Yes, she absolutely does, Tina. Just as you own yours. And you also share a very important space, as well. Remember that, Tina in the years to come!!

      I admit that I am one who typically gets mad at Kit and thinks she is too hard on Bette. Found her to be hypocritical and preachy. But in this instance I get it. Own your choices, Bette. It really is that simple. It is so healthy that Bette shared that with Tina and Tina’s response was to reciprocate and own hers as well.

      Love this story so very much. Sad to know it is coming to an end. But I’m not going to think about that right now. We have two more days of Christmas letters and loving to experience. Can I just put in a request for a peach pie? The girls will love it. Thank you. Well done, Bk. So original. So absolutely amazing!!

    2. Good, Good …Good….. Kit emphasizing that Bette needed to own her choices is good. Even though she did say it was her doings and her choices the night before. Regardless of the motivation, we are all responsible for our own actions and our own choices. There is always a choice…. no matter what happens, there is always a choice. Tina had a choice in her responses to Bette. Bette had a choice on whether to cheat or not. And once the choice is made, you have to own it. But, it one is truly regrets one’s actions and truly wants to avoid that choice again, you have to admit that you made a mistake and stop rationalizing that the mistake was the correct one in any way your mind will accept.

      I like this story and these two characters…. I like them because they are not competing with each other as to who is the best or the most or the greatest at any aspect of their lives. They are merely enjoying and appreciating each other for who they are – accepting and forgiving and the desire to move on together in love.

      Thank you for this story….

    3. In a strong way, this chapter was about Kit. She appeared to be going thru the motions of a 12-step AA program with “mandated” requirements of community service, but is was far more than that.

      Kit owned her shit for ALL the mis-timed, hardheaded, choices that SHE used to cover abuses (alcohol, drugs, sex, food, name your poison) of all sorts. She had true understanding that the SCREED of those unsolicited, cruel, deplorables would be as loud as possible demanding her affection. Her victories would be day to day at best.

      This raw, bold truth was the best gift she could ever share with Bette.

      Because now Kit was being washed in the “shower of appreciation” in response to her genuine love to share talents, AND to serve her ever-growing family of friends. They loved the Kit, giiirrrlll … because she was now her true self.

      Kit challenged Bette to go deeper.

      She wasn’t trying to put down Bettes self-revaluations of “I was so lost . . . . I needed to feel wanted”. In other words there will always come the seductive temptress that “can make you feel wanted”. Bette’s whole personality was one that “drew” people to her whether by true admiration or sexual energy.

      Hear Kit’s words again:

      “Kit was quiet”.
      “You’re not saying anything, Kit.”

      “Well, look. I wasn’t around much when you dabbled in that mess. But I call bullshit, Baby Girl. You knew what you was doing. Trouble came knocking and you opened the door. You made that choice all on your own, nobody made you feel anything. Own it.”

      Bette was hurt, Kit’s words like a cold splash of water on her face.

      “Hey now, I am not trying to cause problems where none exist. Own it, move on. That’s all.

      You have so much love in your life, hold on to it…”

      T H I S statement was the whole lesson in a nutshell. Learn this Bette and you will slap the face to temptations and evil schemes mighty blows!!! YOU. H A V E. . . . So MUCH L O V E in your life….

      • DT. WOW. I agree with Billy, this is super duper deep stuff. What great insight, seriously. Of course Kit would feel like she needed to set Bette on the right path, she herself was in the middle (or end) of a journey of self discovery where her actions were front and center. Own you shit. Go deeper. She knew Bette was only scratching the surface and that true growth comes from being uncomfortable with one’s own actions. Really excellent comment, DT. Is there a lightbulb emoji for this a-ha moment?
        Thank you x100
        BK

        • Just seems to me that when the “light bulb” of revelation comes on, if we don’t STAY open of deeper insight, we ultimately end up falling into the SAME trap later on. The next test in that same arena ends up being “same song, second verse”.

          Kit was pressing Bette to understand that they will be another “decisive, strong-willed, skilled person come along that this time may also be understanding & patient with soft hands and a gently touch. Will she jerk your head around Bette???

    4. I love how this series has blossomed and I equally love to read the comments as they so often echo my own thoughts of the original Show.
      Anyway I love this Bette and Tina and I’m sticking with them although it is a shame there’s only a couple of days left, Perhaps it will evolve into a new story?

      Thanks for the post
      SG

      • Yes, I love the comments too, they are so wonderful. I read them several times. It will not evolve into a new story, I have neglected the river and the pirates long enough. But maybe we can check in on them for Valentines Day….

    5. Awesome, BK. At the end of the chapter I felt like I could finally exhale. The C-factor was presented at the middle of the table, looked at, talked about: done, now put it on the memory shelf and file it under “historic, disused”.

      Thank you for Kit, thanks for Bette not dismissing Kit’s words but reflecting on them. Surprising herself when she no longer thinks of herself as a victim of circumstances. Great!
      Loved this: “We aren’t doing that anymore, Honey. Remember? We talk about things now.” Tina’s reaction tells how much she learned as well. They really are in a very good place now. I have to use the picture of a bubble, a force field again. T + B now have so much trust between them.

      BK, this already feels like a Christmas present to me. Thank you, Santa!

      cheers
      KP

      • Yes, as I have said, I sometimes get a little ticked off at Kit but she is perfection in this chapter. Should not be surprised with BK’s writing and storytelling ability but yes, this is the sister Bette needs.

      • KP, I always planned for the C conversation to be a two chapter discussion but your comment yesterday resonated with me. Bette’s explanation, while perfectly plausible and understandable, still felt a little hallow to me. It needed fixing, it needed her to dig deeper as DT said. File under historic, disused AND done. A force field is a good description, these kind of conversations create an unshakable foundation. Merry Christmas my kiwi friend, more tomorrow

    6. I think it is absolutely a testament to your writing that one little Thanksgiving story has blossomed into something that has elicited such deep comments. Bette and Tina/ Tina and Bette. We all just want to fix them right now. Thanks for this gift!

      • Thank you Billy. I think it is a testament to this merry band of readers, who bring such insight and knowledge to the table. Imagine if this group was sitting around the writers table! If we could take our eyes off JB and LH long enough to speak, we could make GQ a smash hit. We all want to fix them right now – so true. Thank YOU

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