what does it say about a man who at 15 met a girl and positively identified her as his life love
who can remember the exact moment 33 years later, delicious details intact
who wrote frequent long letters after she’d moved far away, dreams & desires gush across handwritten pages colored with odd drawings, who jumped at every opportunity to be with her even though separated by more than a hundred miles
what does it say about a man who recognized early the unattainable reality, but refused to accept it and resigned himself to quiet longing and absurd optimism
what does it say about a man who expressed his intention to love her while still teenagers, depth and breadth full, and though she convincingly announced her insatiable appetite to explore and experiment, declaring her utter lack of interest in commitment, his love for her endured, evolved and amplified
what does it say about a man who was well aware that the motive behind her summertime visit was to meet a lover who wasn’t that into her, and that she’s here now because it’s convenient while she’s working it out, and it hurts like hell but he does it anyway to spend moments with her
what does it say about a man who eagerly lurched at every opportunity to be with her, even when it was just to watch her go into a back room at a party at an unknown address with some guy to snort coke. He was never invited, and wasn’t considered until a ride was needed at the end.
what does it say about a man who had girlfriends, but thought of her constantly.
what does it say about a man who thinks he finally has a chance, elated at the prospect that she’s finally moving back, who searches the newspapers and drives the streets looking for a place for her near him, who believes that she’s finally coming around, after an eternity, who wrote him that it was possible, but “we’d have to take it slow”, so he plans for her and helps her move. Who makes a date on a Saturday night after work, who shows up at the designated time, who walks into a party and asks where she is, who is directed upstairs and climbs up a dropdown ladder leading to the loft with hope and smiles and when the bedsheet covering the hatch is removed finds her naked with Bob, a guy he knew in high school. An image burned so excruciatingly deep in his memory it depresses him today (not a figurative today – today actually – you pick the day)
Who stumbled out weeping and swore never, never again..
What does it say about a man who years later, is haunted by dreams of her silky black hair, smile that outshines the sun and sensual supple skin that melts his hand. Who begins shaking uncontrollably and breaks out in a cold sweat believing he sees her in line at a grocery store.
Not her…still had to sit.. for a minute.
What does it say about a man who hears her voice on his answering machine late at night, she’s alive in San Diego but doesn’t leave a number, so he strikes out, tearing into a city of millions hoping, needing, believing that somehow he’ll find her with only enduring true love to guide him
A hapless year dwindles and dies…
What does it say about a man who is engaged to his girlfriend of 7 years, who answers an alcohol and drug inspired phone call at 4am and knows from the sweet air he sucks through the phone line a hundred miles away that his life is irrevocably modified forever…again.
Whose heart inflates, spilling through orifices, but doesn’t bleed
Who drops life and speeds to her rescue, unapologetic and with an epic voracious thirst
What does it say about a man who in a blink walks away from everything he knows to build a life with a woman he hasn’t seen in years, but believes in
Who actually physically floated for months after his long lost love, his heart, his reason to be, finally held him and kissed his lips.
What does it say about a man who changed his dream to care for her, to support her through victorious battles with addiction, mania, illness and self-loathing
Who went where she wanted to go, because she had to
Who understands, cherishes and exults the greatest gift possible that she bestowed upon him – the gift of human life
Who cries today in gratitude for the family she gave him – who is grateful every breath, every day
What does it say about a man who recognized the limitations of his career choice, who did the math, wanted more for the future of his family and began actively pursuing that goal, sacrificing precious time to serve a long range greater good
Who struggled with his own demons in the pursuit, but kept his eye on the prize
Whose sole motivation was to gain an advantage for those who depend on him
Who was walking gingerly along the tightrope of life when suddenly the ends unraveled and the world came crashing up, crushing his feet and confidence.
What does it say about a man whose rudder was abruptly grotesquely ripped from the stern of his life, who needed support but was too proud, or too stupid to verbalize it, and instead sank the boat
What do you do?
Do you dig in and help out or do you run like hell?