05 June 2012

Time is the Beauty of the Road Being Long

current state of mind: nostalgic

I know that now you feel no consolation
But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud
I say this without fear of hesitation
I can honestly tell you that you make me proud
~ “Just Wait” by Blues Traveler

Firstly, for the record, I was a virgin until my 20s.

I am not sure if some time in the past I have written a post with the same title as this one. It is my favourite line from one of my favourite songs on one of my Top Five Essential Albums that I must have with me if I am ever trapped on a desert island. This concept assumes my music provider is solar powered and I am not dead from whatever calamity trapped me on the island in the first place.

When I was 19, I went to Ireland. Anyone who is close to me knows that on that trip I met the last person I would love with the intensity and blind devotion that only a person who had once been a teenage girl could understand. He was the last person to break my heart before I understood adult trials, adult tribulations, and the tentative love that remains after all the obstacles have been identified, laid out, and prioritized. In other words, I loved him before I realized that grown-up relationships are based upon value assessments and mutual goals. The driving forces of mutual adoration and passion are forced to abdicate their thrones to logic and statistical analysis.

While going through some boxes of books yesterday, I happened upon my leather Eddie Bauer Travel Journal. The first entry was written on January 05, 1996, while I was on a plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The last entry was written May 25, 1996. It took me 5 months to fill the journal. As I flipped through the pages, I sought a specific entry – the only entry in the journal that I didn’t write. The two-page January 20, 1996 entry written by someone else’s hand was easy to locate. I sat in my front yard, surrounded by boxes of books, and traced my fingers across the blue ink. These words are the only tangible evidence that what I experienced really happened – and they symbolize the defining moment when I began the transition from fairy tale dreams to pragmatic lucidity. 
Love is . . . . . . ? ? ?
 If I knew the answer to this question then I could say for sure whether or not we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives together. But unfortunately I can’t be 100% sure of the answer but can only speculate as to what I think it may be.
 Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake of my life by letting you walk out of my life, or maybe some things are just supposed to happen and are not supposed to continue. I guess we’ll find out. But right now with you lying beside me on this bed in a hotel in Galway, everything seems so perfect.
 I will never forget the short time we spent together as long as I live.
 Always loving you,
I never saw him again. I wrote him a dozen letters which I never actually mailed. I cried enough tears of heartbreak to fill the Irish Sea.  - We spoke on the phone a few times; the first conversation, shortly after I returned to the U.S., was filled with the ideals of Trans-Atlantic flights, immigration laws, and how our love would prevail.  The last time I spoke with him was in October 1997 when he rang to let me know he had received the only letter I ever actually mailed him; the one where I told him I was engaged to be married. I remember leaning against the doorway in my kitchen as he told me that he was marrying a girl named L-. His voice carried the soft lilt for which the Irish are famous. He sounded sincere when he told me that he wished me all the happiness the world could bring me. I hope I sounded as sincere when I returned the sentiment. After I hung up the phone I glanced at my fiancĂ© who was staring at me with concern.

“Who was that?” he asked.
“R-,” I responded. “He rang to congratulate us on our engagement.”
“Are you okay?” my fiancĂ© asked.
“Yes. It was just strange hearing his voice and feeling nothing.”
“Yeah, the whole conversation had to have been rather uncomfortable,” he agreed.

We never discussed it again; any of it. Since that day, I have lived a life filled with ups and downs – like everyone else. I don’t know that I miss the 22 year old man I met on the Emerald Isle. I only knew him for a fleeting moment. I do know, however, that I miss the idealism and innocence which made logic-defying love possible.

Lastly, for the record, I did feel something when I heard his voice. I just didn’t believe it mattered.

PERSONAL NOTE: Happy birthday week to Z-Face’s little brother.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: The fact that I reacted is far less interesting than the fact that you wanted me to react.

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.