Thursday, August 04, 2005

Two women...

... have come unexpectedly, and delightfully, back into my life.

The first emailed me earlier this week---Amy, a high school classmate upon whom I had a considerable crush which took the shape of constant teasing and general harassment. She knew it then, I think, though we never dated (which pretty much sums up my love life, or lack thereof, in high school). There may have been a real opportunity at a friend's party a year or two after graduation, perhaps, but who knows really? Hindsight and speculation make interesting bedfellows. Amy and I talked on the phone this morning---the first time in 16 years. Her older daughter is now the same age Amy and I were when we met: 14. If hindsight and speculation make interesting bedfellows, then time is the flitting mistress outside the window.

I emailed the second woman, after Googling her, prompted in part by Amy contacting me---a kind of a chain of the important women in my life, it seems now. Sandee was the first woman I loved, I mean really, spiritually, psychically and physically absolutely loved. We dated for far too short a time at Auburn. We stopped seeing each other because she was deeply religious and I was not---or rather, I was not Christian. I still am not, though I consider myself then and now a reasonably spiritual person, and perhaps more importantly a good, compassionate person. It would be false to say a part of me doesn't still love her, or at least love who she was and may still be. So we've been emailing back and forth these last two days. I'm grateful to continue our electronic conversation. I'm grateful also to hear that both Amy and Sandee are doing well.

It's important to note that getting back in touch with these women does not take away from my current and, as far as I'm concerned, infinite love for and relationship with my wife, Billie. I knew I would marry Billie the first time I kissed her. We were friends for a year before we ever dated, when I was a senior at Auburn. She completes me in more ways than I can explain, more certainly than I know. And we have two wonderful daughters, who even---when you're full to the brim with life and its varied emotions---complete you that much more. Beyond words and expressions and into the realm, I can only say, of poetry.

Thank you, ladies, all of you, for being such an integral part of my life, then and now. In the course of my short life (I'm only 36, after all), there is no doubt that women have (with only two exceptions: my first poetry teacher, R.T. Smith, and my friend Jason Reese) influenced me well beyond men, and I say that having many male friends.

Which reminds me: On one visit from my father---my parents were divorced when I was two---when I was in high school, he said, "You're problem is that you are around women too much." I knew what he meant, but the collection of electric and apparently misfiring hormones I was couldn't think of a better problem to have! In the end, however, the problem wasn't with me, but rather with my father---that he wasn't around women enough.

Now, it's been almost a year since the first woman of my life, my mother, passed away. That loss for me---though I know it is a much happier journey for her now, with her favorite person, her grandmother, welcoming her in all the comforting light we imagine---makes me appreciate the women who remain in my life even more. If they can't all complete me, then at least they help define me. And that's no problem at all.

1 comment:

Pearl said...

A lovely touching set of tributes.