My other half is half my age, twice my size and monogamous—not with me, but with his boyfriend.
He’s brilliantly creative, silently supportive and totally reliable.
He is stoic, terse and intense.
He is warm, witty and just the right amount of weird.
This is not a story about unrequited love, women with commitment issues, or gay men and the women they attract. It’s about finding the one person who complements and even completes you professionally, or in my case, creatively. It’s about waking up one morning (that would be this morning) and realizing, “Oh shit, I need this other person, and it terrifies me.”
Truth is, I am very comfortable as one. I have been earning a living as a writer for more than three decades, so I have spent an awful lot of time thriving in creative solitude. Yet now I realize I am so much stronger when I collaborate with Matt. His photographs bring my concepts to life. Where there was once a blank piece of paper staring at me at the start of a deadline, there is now a beautiful image.
Will I ever be the same?
We became a creative pair quite by accident. I met Matt about two years ago, around the same time I was asked to produce a website for a CrossFit affiliate. I nearly turned down the project because I am a writer, not a web designer or programmer. Yet I had this vision in my mind of what this website would be. I had seen Matt’s photos on another gym’s website and was enthralled.
They were so different among the sea of sameness that defined CrossFit gym marketing. They evoked real emotion, a striking blend of strength and beauty. These were not the usual military, tough-guy images that had become a CrossFit cliché.
I had no idea who this man was and had no intention of tracking him down. Then one day I realized he was working out alongside me at another gym.
Without hesitation, I introduced myself, and we got right to work.
We have been collaborating since, and now work on a number of satisfying projects that promote local businesses and community. He occupies the space in my basement when he needs a quiet place to retreat, edit photos, and hang out with a couple of cats we seem to share. We spent a lot of time together at first, starting a freelance marketing business. I never gave much thought to how things were evolving. It just kind of happened. Now we are so busy we barely have time to talk. We communicate by email and text, as if we lived on the opposite ends of the earth.
The space we occupy together is not physical. It never really was.
There’s something intriguing and mysterious about the inner world of famous creative pairs like Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hart. It seems so elusive and unobtainable—something that only happens when genius collides.
What I have discovered is that random couplings of creative individuals can happen at any time and place, among the most ordinary of circumstances and everyday folks.
I have unleashed the “Power of Two” by remaining true to my world of one. I cannot survive in any relationship that is exclusive. But I can grow in one that respects my individuality, challenges my weaknesses and inspires me to work twice as hard to enhance the work of my better half.
Author: Gail Rose
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: author’s own and Wrote/Flickr