Aspen Princess: Life is but a dream

Ali Margo
Aspen Princess

I have this zit on my face that won’t ever go away, and I’m worried it might be skin cancer.

So I just spent the past hour looking at all kinds of gross photos online and have really freaked myself out. I mean, hello, it says, “A pimple that doesn’t go away probably isn’t a pimple.” From what I can tell, I’m probably not going to die, but I might end up with a disfigured face.

The truth is, I’m terrified of being happy. Or let me put it this way: I’m terrified because I’m so damn happy.

I once had this yoga guru from India who liked to say, “When I am happy, I get very nervous because I know bad time coming soon. And when I am sad, I don’t worry because I know good time right around next corner.”

He had that Indian accent that made everything he said sound wise. He was so fun to listen to. Too bad he turned out to be a rapist. He was just sued by a bunch of women for sexual assault and had to pay out like $7 million. My mom always says, “You never know what goes on behind closed doors,” and that is her professional opinion after working as a shrink for over 30 years.

By the way, the “R” key on my keyboard has completely fallen off, so now every time I press that key there is this little nub that’s kind of sharp and is starting to make my fingertip feel raw — just so you know.

Anyway, my mom also would say, “People don’t get into trouble for no reason,” and so regardless, we can probably conclude that Mr. Yoga Guru Man probably is a sleazebag. Still, after listening to his rambling lectures, some of which would go on into the wee hours of the night, I did take away a few pearls of wisdom, and that is one of them, which is confusing.

Or maybe it just made me super-paranoid.

The point is, I have spent the majority of my life up to this point in angst over wanting the very things I have now.

Another thing the yoga perv said was, “It is very easy to achieve a goal. What is hard is to maintain it.”

Before I met Ryan, I was so driven to find what I was looking for, and so I had that goal. Everything felt so revved-up all the time. Of course it was as exciting as it was painful, the inevitable fall. Still, I went charging right for it, literally running for miles and miles, like a gerbil on a wheel. It was all adrenaline and ego and impulse and primal.

I got hurt a lot. I was rejected, humiliated and crazy. I loved hanging out with marginal types, people on the fringe, people in the shadows, people who didn’t follow the rules, people who loved life or maybe even mocked it because they were reckless and didn’t care. They drank too much and stayed up too late and slept around and did drugs, and from what I can tell on Facebook, they still do. And in Aspen, that’s not so unusual, to be pushing 50 and still partying, to be at every big event coiffed and dressed in tight jeans and a slinky, shiny top with a drink in your hand and a story to tell, stumbling and slurring your way into the next bad decision.

Ryan literally saved me in every way. He just showed up like some kind of apparition. The day we met, I thought, “Did one of my friends put you up to this?” It seemed too good to be true. I so badly wanted time to pass just to prove that this love at first sight was real, and it was.

Now that I had everything I wanted, I had everything to lose.

And now I feel the same way about my babes. I have to check on him to make sure he’s breathing. I have a very real fear that he just might stop for no reason. Sometimes he’s so still, and his breath is so small, that I have to wake him up just to be sure he’s still alive. I have to touch him to make sure he’s still real. After we put him to bed, I’ll press the monitor to my ear, and if that’s not good enough, I’ll tiptoe upstairs and go look at him to make sure his chest is rising and falling and that his skin is warm to the touch. It’s like the opposite of a nightmare: You never want to wake up from a dream.

It’s just that the world is an entirely different place with him in it, so amplified and beautiful. When we walk through the forest and his fat little dimpled hands reach out to grab a leaf, it’s no longer a tree but something miraculous. When he laughs, it’s not just a sound but an echo of joy that reverberates into my soul. When I wake up every morning to the sound of his coos, it’s not just another day but another opportunity to witness the miraculous unfolding of a human life. When his little arms wrap around my neck, my heart isn’t just anatomy; it’s a beacon for my love, so big it feels like it might pop right out of my chest, throbbing and pulsing and bleeding everywhere.

All you ever wanted is to be happy. And then you are, and it feels so delicate and light and precious, this life you created in your arms with impossibly soft cheeks and drool everywhere and musical laughter, it’s like you want to tiptoe so as not to disturb it. How can happiness be anything but fleeting? But for now it is here, in this moment.

The Aspen Princess is going to see the dermatologist pronto. Email your love to