Memories of Our Love ~~ Matt Koymasky
Each day, I feel such a sense of great joy and happiness, and I feel so fortunate and so blessed to have found my Andrej. But how should I begin to describe this love that is burning inside me? I feel like a child who is yet to learn to speak, because I am totally speechless in front of this powerful love that fills every corner of my universe. Just whispering his name, calling him "my man" fills my heart with such incredible sweetness and happiness. Yes, I know I am madly in love, as the smile on my face is the witness of this love. I am and will always be grateful to God, for letting me meet Andrej, for giving me this incredible love, more beautiful than anything I have ever known, anything I have ever dreamed of...
In October, Andrej is coming to the States to see me, and this time, he will be able to stay for a few months. Even one day will be like heaven to me! Andrej had given up his teaching position in Japan, something that he loves very much, so that he can come here and be with me. We are stilling struggling to find a better way for him to stay permanently in the States, but I am already thankful for the days that we will be spending together. The days are passing, but for me, they are never fast enough...
Looking at the dream catcher on the wall, my heart and my entire being are filled with such intense love for him. Even after all this time, the beauty and intensity of this love never diminishes one bit, on the contrary, it is even stronger, more beautiful, and more intense than ever before. Each day in my life is totally and completely filled with thoughts of my Andrej, filled with love of him, and love for him, in the union that binds us in heart and soul. I can only feel tears run down my cheeks when my words are so inadequate to describe the love I feel inside, but I really don' need any words, because at this very moment, as I kiss the ring on my finger, a symbol of our love, I can feel his hands reaching out for me, touching me and caressing me with all his love....
So how did it all begin? How did we meet? Well, now that you have seen our Web site, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise to you that we met on the Internet. Andrej and I were just talking about this the other day, what if We lived in the last century or even in the sixties or seventies when the Internet and the Web was not readily available and accessible as it is today?
An exchange of letters could take days or even months! Where would we be then? Anyway, just another thing to be thankful for that we have taken for granted.
One of the things I like to do on the Net is to read short stories posted by various authors. And one of my favorite sites to go to is Nifty's Archive. One day, on Nifty, I came across a story titled "Star's Shadow" and it immediately grabbed my attention. A unique title, I wondered what the story would be like. As I started reading, it kept my interest, and I couldn't leave my computer desk until after I had finished reading the story.
I loved the story very much, and it was quite different than any other stories I had read up to that point. What moved me was that the story was not just about "sex sex sex" like many other stories on Nifty (even though I had enjoyed reading them); it had some very unique and fascinating characters. And for the first time, I felt something inside me that I had never felt before when I was reading a story. Through the words in the story, I felt a very powerful and very beautiful emotion - LOVE. I was hungry for more after reading the story, so I did a search on Nifty and started reading other stories posted by the author with the strange name, "Andrej Koymasky."
When I was reading Black Clover and Dear Eugenio, I almost stayed up all night reading them; I just could not put them down or stop reading them until they were finished. Each story was completely different, yet each one made me feel more and more of that wonderful feeling. Each story was like a window to me, opening to a new world, a world so realistic that it is almost within reach, yet at the same time, it is more beautiful than anything that I could have imagined. I felt compelled to write to the author to tell him what I had felt. And to me, that was really a first. Although I had read a lot of stories by a lot of authors, I had never for once felt compelled to write to the author. So on 8/29 of last year, I wrote an email to Andrej. And he responded back the next day with a very warm message. And from there, our email "relationship" started.
Of course, at first, neither of us was in love with the other. I loved Andrej's stories, but that did not transform into love for him for a quite a while. Thinking back, neither of us was able to pinpoint the exact moment or incident that could tell us exactly how and when it happened, but it just happened, gradually. One thing worth noting is that I had never been a "social" person my entire life. I hated writing, and I hate being in front of a crowd. And since I hated writing, all my emails to friends or business associates are usually very brief, a line or two, at most. And my first email to Andrej was actually an entire paragraph (more than 10 lines)! I know that doesn't sound like much, but at that time, that's probably the longest email I had written to any one, not to mention it was to a complete stranger that I didn't even know.
At first, our emails were strictly about his stories. We wrote to each other about once a week, and the emails are usually not very long. Occasionally, we would ask a few personal questions about each other, but nothing more serious than "How are you" and "Where do you live" and so on. I remember saying once that I'd like to send him a hug if his lover didn't mind, and he replied that he didn't have a lover. But at that time, it never occurred to me that I would or could one day become his lover! Yes, at that time, I was definitely not looking for a lover. Perhaps I never wanted to look for another lover in the first place, but it just happened. Andrej wanted to have a lover, but he was not actually looking or hoping to find one either. Later I came to know that after he and his last lover of over eight years separated, he had given up the thought of ever finding a lover.
As for me, it's actually much more complicated. I am happily married, but I did not discover my true sexuality until after I got married. I had always thought of myself as a straight guy through high school and college and I dated quite a few girls. The woman I married loves me very much, and we have two beautiful kids together, so overall, I have a quite happy marriage. I only became aware that I was more and more attracted to guys a few years after we got married. But I never wanted to do anything about it, and the thought of finding another guy or cheating on my wife just never occurred to me, because I was happy with my marriage, and my wife and I have a good relationship together. The Web helped me to relieve some of the tensions that I felt, because I could read stories and browse pictures on the Net. And that was enough for me to satisfy the "other side" of my sexuality, and I knew that meeting a guy or having sex with a guy would just always be a fantasy in the back of mind that I would never be able to realize, and quite frankly, I never wanted to realize that fantasy either.
Another thing was that I never realized just how powerful true love can be, and that I could actually fall in love with a man! Before reading Andrej's stories, I never thought true love was possible between two men. I had always thought that all gay guys cared about and did was fucking. And most of the stories I read on Nifty did not help me in that regard either. When my email relationship with Andrej started, my view was already changing, after having read some of Andrej's wonderful gay love stories.
How much did Andrej's stories help me as a person, I could not even begin to articulate that in words. His stories often moved me to tears, and touched me in ways that nothing else had touched me before. I felt something was awakening inside me, and I began to discover a new me, a more passionate side of me that is capable of and craves for deep emotions and love. In a sense, Andrej's stories freed my mind and spirit and uplifted me, made me understand that true love does not have limitations and knows no boundaries, and I really believe all that has made me a better person. It is not to say I was just a cocky and insensitive bastard before, but I became more compassionate towards other people around me. But perhaps I was still not in love with Andrej at that time, at least I didn't think so.
About one month into our email relationship, I started to help Andrej revise the translation of one of his stories. Even though I had never had any story editing experience, I was more than willing to help Andrej in any way that I could to bring more of his beautiful love stories to other readers like myself. So the translation work on "His Foot In Too Many Shoes" began. In order to revise the translation of the story, I had to read the story many times in great detail. Then I began to notice something special about this particular story. I had a feeling, perhaps just pure suspicion, that Andrej was actually writing about himself in the story.
I didn't ask him about that at first, but my suspicion was growing stronger and stronger, and at the same time, I became more and more absorbed in the story. For the first time in my life, I had the desire to be inside a story, to become one of the characters, just so that I could give "Dad" a hug, a kiss, and perhaps to fall in love with him. Finally when I asked him about it, he told me that it was the only true story he had ever written. In fact, it was entirely his diary for a certain period, and he only changed a few names, and altered a few small parts. By that time, I think I was already in love with "Dad." But was I in love with Andrej then? I cannot be sure, but it is not that important anyway.
The story was finished right before Christmas. And for Christmas, I wanted to send Andrej a Christmas present, something from the States, but since I knew very little about him at that time, I asked him if there was anything in the States that I could get him. He told me he would like to have an authentic dream catcher. I didn't know what a dream catcher was at first, so I did some research and found out more about it. It was quite fascinating. Then I tried to find one. Some local stores sold them, but they were the kinds for tourists and I didn't think they were good enough so I wrote to several Native Indians' organizations and asked for more information, and finally I found this old lady in New Mexico and she agreed to hand made two dream catchers for me. This way, Andrej and I could each have one.
The first one arrived a week before Christmas, and when I first received it, I almost could not believe how beautiful it was -- pure white feathers, on a large hand-knit frame. It felt very special. I sent it to Andrej right away, and by the time he received it, I also got mine. So now, each day, we can look at our dream catchers and think about how it all happened. Perhaps the dream catcher symbolized the transformation of our friendship into something more, and it certainly caught our dreams, and united them in a special way that's beyond explanation. Before that, although Andrej sensed and felt that maybe I was gradually falling in love with him, he tried to "cool me down," knowing my marriage situation and the physical distance between us. But after he received the dream catcher, something not less than a miracle happened, and he started to open up himself to me more and more, and the fire of love started to inflame, until finally one day I consciously realized that I had fallen madly in love with him, and he not only fully accepted it but also returned his love for me without any reservation.