April 27, 2008

The Search

Assuming that I don't make any major changes this section follows Redemption.

"Last night, I said goodbye
Now--it seems year
I’m back in the city
Where nothing is clear
But thoughts of me --holding you
Bringing us near

And tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again

Time in new england
Took me away
To long rocky beaches
--and you, by the bay
We started a story
Whose end must now wait

And, tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again

I feel the change comin’
--i feel the wind blow
I feel brave and daring!
I feel my blood flow
With you
I can bring out
All the love, that I have
--with you there’s a heaven
So earth ain’t so bad

And tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again"
Weekend In New England

Euphoria, that was the word. That was what I was feeling, euphoria, I was euphoric. I kind of liked that word. It is so bubbly and upbeat. And after having spent so much time suffering through life I felt like I had been given a second chance at life.

I'd like to say that this was enough to make me change who I had become, but that would be a lie. I had spent far too long acting like a miserable wretch to lose all of the baggage that came along with that. I still was drinking far too much, just not as often. The demon inside was more easily controlled, acts of uncontrolled rage took place with less frequency.

In some ways the hardest part was letting myself feel again. I know that it sounds like some kind of new age bullshit, but I started looking inwards. I began to try to and understand what I was, who I had become and how I could get beyond it all again.

That meant that I had to let myself feel the pain of the loss. I had to admit that not having her hurt. There was a gaping hole inside me that just ached for her. A few times I just broke down in tears. I cried because I had lost my love. I cried because I was ashamed of who I had become and I cried because I felt like I might be able to fall in love again.

"Time in new england
Took me away
To long rocky beaches
--and you, by the bay
We started a story
Whose end must now wait."
And thus began the search for her. I was terrified that I might actually find her and that she might actually take me back and I was terrified that she might not or that I couldn't find her. Just thinking about her made my pulse race and my heart pound.

I was so very afraid that the dream was nothing more than that. We didn't end things because we weren't in love anymore. For that matter, we didn't really end anything. We just kind of imploded or maybe exploded was a better term.

It is not easy to think about those last few moments. She tried so hard to reach me and I tried so hard to be cold and unfeeling. I won't forget the pain in her eyes and how I forced myself to laugh at her tears. Neither will I forget how the love in her voice turned to anger.

She told me that she knew me. She told me that no one would ever take better care of me and I remained silent. Perhaps she knew me better than I realized because she told me that I'd regret that moment and I have.

Reminiscing has its moments. You can get caught up in the good and the bad moments. It is almost easier to lock yourself in nostalgia than to deal with reality. But the time had come for me to leave the comfort of what I knew and venture out into the world.

And thus the search for her began. Armed with a yellow pad of paper and a phone book I began to copy down the listings of people with her name. It took me a week to gather up enough courage to start calling.

The first half dozen numbers were a complete bust. None of them were here. When I finished the last call I breathed out a heavy sigh of relief and leaned my head back on the couch and turned on my iPod and set it to shuffle.

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers came on and I began to sing along with him:
"You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sitting at the table.
There'll be time enough for counting when the dealings done."
It was a goofy moment and I felt more than a little silly, but I was desperate to find a way to hold it all together. So I took it as a sign that I was doing the right thing and just closed my eyes.

Alone with my thoughts I imagined what I would say when she answered the phone and pictured different scenarios based upon her reaction. What would I do if I found out that she was married. Would I just congratulate her and fade off into the sunset or would I push on.

Inside my mind I saw myself dressed like a cowboy, but I was wearing a black hat. I don't care if the movies always show the good guy in white, it makes me look like a milkman and that is just not cool. The last thing I wanted to was to reappear in her life looking like that. I needed to be cool, had to be cool. It couldn't be any other way.

The music made it hard for me not to imagine myself dressed like a cowboy riding a train or hanging out in some saloon. The Marlboro Man crept into my mind. He had died of cancer, but he was pretty damn masculine.

And I needed to present myself that way, cool and masculine. Ok, I can do that. I can be that guy.

The song ended and I opened my eyes. I was drained. The search for my girl was mentally and emotionally exhausting. It was time to take a break and do something else. For a short while I puttered around the house, but I couldn't make myself relax.

Finally I went back to my desk and grabbed the yellow pad. It was too late to make more phone calls, but it was definitely time to develop a better plan than just calling out of the blue to beg forgiveness.

It was time to put together my plan.

1 comment:

V-Grrrl said...

I don't think people ever stop wondering about the one who got away, the one we think made us somehow better than we are.

The soundtrack to this story appeals to me. When I was a freshman in high school, I fell in love with a senior while slow dancing to Weekend in New England. A few months later, he finally asked me out on a real date, and we dated for two years. We wrote to one another for six years after we split and then lost touch.

Last year he found my blog and contacted me for the first time in 20 years. And if you want to know the Rest of the Story, you'll have to e-mail me, Jack. I *might* just tell you what happened. ;)