July 24, 2019:

I don't know why she wanted me. But, she did, and she was cute, and she was fun, and I was a pig to her and she was a mooch and we broke up.

It was about eighteen months.

Whether coincidentally or not, that was absolutely unquestionably the happiest, most productive period of my life. Why? Because of her?

No. A little. Not directly.

Largely it's because freedom from that other one, the vampire, who manipulated me and left me exhausted. That one I loved, who I thought of as my best friend.

While the cute little fun mooch flattered, fed my self-confidence, encouraged my dreams. Things the vampire did her level best to undermine.

So that it's more the absence of one than the presence of the other which fueled that productivity. Brought to crashing, crippling end when the vampire reappeared, to do her thing.