I met Wei in college.
We actually got together in 1976 when we had just turned 20, but he pursued me for a couple of years before that, and I have a flashbulb memory of him from 1973, when we had Theater 101 together.
This was freshman year, and I was supposed to be a Theater Tech major, but the idiot registrar had assumed that costume design would be in the art department, and had put me down as a painting major. I was taking every theater class that allowed non majors so I could switch, including this survey course of famous plays.
I ended up not switching because I discovered that I really hated theater people. (Isn retrospect I realize what I hated were freshman actors. I remember them as an amorphous mass each attempting to outdo his neighbor in ironic quirkiness.)
Except I remember Wei.
I did not meet him then. I met him sophomore year, after I'd put theater behind me. He walked into Chorus and I thought oh crap the theater people are following me.
And they were, at least that one was. And he kept following me. For almost 38 years.
Until 6 weeks ago.
Two days before Valentine's Day Wei told me was leaving. No discussion, no excuses, no passing Go and collecting $200. We had not been fighting, or sharing unhappiness. He was Just. Done.
Yesterday he moved out.
And that is that. Thirty-eight years gone in six weeks. It's like having your skin peeled off layer by layer, slowly. I don't know if Wei is feeling this as well, because he won't talk to me. A very wise friend has interpreted this as a kind of emotional intelligence-- easier just to cut it off sometimes, to leave the game.
I think it could have been saved. But two people make a marriage. When one of them stops following the other, the game is over.