Friday, July 8, 2011

I was nineteen...

When I was nineteen, there was a man.  I knew he was not THE man, but just a man.  He made me laugh as I was doing my homework late at night at one of the booths in the restaurant we both worked in.  He told me dirty jokes, and did magic tricks with paper napkins, and he created a little niche in my heart where I would allow him to reside.

When my roommate and I had arguments, this man would invite me over to his place to spend the night.  We would curl up next to each other in his big bed, fully clothed.  Watch television.  Talk.  He told me that he cared too much about me to just have sex with me.  So we didn't. 

This man and I would talk about our dreams.  We would share secrets that I had never shared with anyone before.  I wrote poems about him, and hid my face embarrassed when I would give them to him to read.  My sweet, dark eyed man.  We kept our friendship mostly a secret.  Not on purpose, but I felt that if everyone knew about it, it would somehow become less real. 

When I was nineteen, there was a man.  I knew he wasn't THE man, but I cared enough about him to let him live in a little place in my heart where I would dream about him.  This man would occasionally disappear. 

He would stop answering phone calls, not answer his door, and for a month or two at a time completely forget that I even existed.  I would see him out around town, and I would be invisible to him.  Then a few weeks or months after being invisible, he would show up completely out of the blue at my apartment door at ten o'clock at night begging me to forgive him.  Crying in my arms about some atrocity that had befallen him, and I held him and pulled him into my bed, and let him lay there until he could breathe again.

There was a man, when I was nineteen, who I would run to any time he called.  He would disappear without a word, and resurface later, only after the little hole in my heart had time to heal up and become one piece again without him.

March 8th, he called me.  I only remember this date because I have kept such good journal records that I am able to look back and know with certainty that was the day.  I drove an hour north, and we took up residence in a little camper.  I was nineteen.

He bought beer, and we drank into all hours of the night.  He was kind, and funny, and gentle.  Even though I hadn't seen him the two months previous, I forgave him for all of that.  I trusted his words and his intentions, when I was nineteen.

Nine months later, and I held my crying son for the first time.  He looked up at me with those sweet, dark eyes.

When I was nineteen, there was a man.  He was not THE man.

He gave me the little boy who will someday become a man, so much better than his father.