Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Time Passes

Growing up a chubby child, I didn't have the same experiences as many of my classmates when it came to love. While they were "going steady" and having junior high love troubles, I was the one who played therapist to all of their woes. I learned a lot about human interaction, about love and desire, but from the outside.

The first boy to ever tell me that I was beautiful was the same boy who was my first kiss and would later be the first boy to tell me he loved me. Momentous occasions, all of them. We had known each other since we were 5. He had been my torturer throughout elementary and junior high. I, the good girl, was placed, year after year, next to him in a sad attempt by our teachers to make him behave. (It never worked.) After 8th grade, his family moved to Montana and from there, our friendship blossomed. We exchanged weekly letters and the occasional phone call. He knew me. I shared with him my sadness, my secrets, my dreams. When he would return for summer vacations, we would end up in some sort of romantic entanglement. For me, the pull was always strong.

When my father died, out of all my friends, I expected him to get what that would do to me. After all, I had invested years into our friendship and through our correspondence had opened up and shared with him the confusion, anger, shame and sorrow that accompany growing up with an alcoholic. He should have got it. He didn't. We didn't speak for 5 years.

When we saw one another again, I was much changed. Outwardly, I had dropped 50 pounds, cut my hair in a pixie style and bleached it blonde. Inside, I was still me and I still longed for his validation and his attention. Our foray into romance was somewhat matter of fact. His pragmatism and my idealism made for very different approaches to love. Whereas I am passionate and emotional, he is controlled and analytical. His Taurus bull and my Aries ram certainly butted heads. Hundreds of years of friendship couldn't have righted the wrong we were embarking on.

What could have been or should have been, after years of wondering and longing, the romance to end all romances, was more of a disappointment than anything. He was a distant lover and we never really connected in the way two people in love should. I suppose, we were never in love. I suppose, I was more in love with the idea of being in love with him than actually feeling those feelings. Don't get me wrong. I had loved him for many years but as my best friend and some sort of idealized dream man. Our attempt at being lovers backfired and that friendship/romance ended. Badly. With me, a 24 year old broken-hearted angry drama queen yelling at Mr. Coolcalmandcollected. We have not spoken in over 7 years.

But last night, we spoke. He is in Los Angeles on a fellowship and staying with a mutual friend. I have been invited to attend a BBQ this weekend in our old hometown, to see him and old classmates. Our conversation last night was brief and he never once asked me what I had been up to. As if 7 years of life were inconsequential to the fact that we are now talking again. He was always like that- able to pick up from a better place than where we left off. As much as I have forgiven what happened before and am curious about how I will feel upon seeing him, I am also wary. Some things are better left in the past. But it seems I usually figure that out after I have already gone and forged ahead. I am a bit confused by all this. I don't know what I will do, honestly.

Meanwhile, I am haunted by this line from a Poi Dog Pondering song: "The only thing that speaks the truth is the eloquence of passing time."


Jenny said...

somehow our lives keep circling back around, the opportunity to heal, make new experiences out of old tales. another bit of life to put in the coat pocket.

this made me have memories of seeing PDP at the Cactus Club where Frank sang "Into the Mystic", another bit of life to put in the coat pocket.

Sizzle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sizzle said...

I love that Poi Dog memory. Good times! And when Adam would sing "Thanksgiving"- swoon.

Bob Merrick said...

I can't stand him. He has been a thorn in my side for 15 years. He can go away now. He has always been bad news and will continue to always be bad news. I want him out of L.A. He can return to his barbaric white trash life wherever it is, but as of now, he needs to get out of my town.

In Love With Myself.

Sizzle said...

so, tomato, don't mince words- tell us how you really feel.


Anonymous said...

Wow what a walk down memory lane!
I always stayed out of the way with this 'friendship' through the years. I never understood it, still don't. I think you will always be 'the good girl who sits next to the bad boy to keep him out of trouble'. It didn't work then and I don't know how it can work now.
I say go say "hi to everyone,have a good ife" and be done with him!

Bob Merrick said...

No No No. Don't go. There is no reason.

MK What are you thinking????