Back in the early 80s I went to orchestra camp where one year I fell in love with a girl named Ginny. It was the most true of a love a 14 year old could have. After I returned home, I listened endlessly to Air Supply’s Greatest Hits. The emotions the songs on that album stirred up spoke to me and called to my soul. For a year, those melodies gave my life deeper meaning and even a higher calling. The songs on that album helped me better define who I was.
Now, if I hear those songs, they remind me of that time, way back 25 years ago. But that was a long time ago and I’d have to realy, really dig to recall those same feelings I had for Ginny. I remember having them but they obviously don’t affect me quite the same way. But I recognize and remember their pull; the emotions they stir are very familiar.
All over the house I have pictures of my sweetheart. Each picture is a moment frozen in time. And with each picture, I feel the pull of a familiar emotion. But it seems like a dream ago, a lifetime ago. I can look at each picture and, with little effort, be swept away. At the same time, each moment seems so long ago like it was a dream I was living and now I’ve woken up and the dream is gone. Just like “Every Women in the World” can stir up long-forgotten memories, each picture tells its own story. One picture of us on my kitchen counter reminds me of so many things: the way she used to jump on my back with a giggle, the way her hair used to get caught in my face, her smile (oh, how I miss her wonderful smile), the feel of her calves against my hands, her smell, the familiar weight of her body… Lost in a picture. It’s so, so easy to do. Each picture reminds me of a time that seems like a dream ago, almost like the past is not real. The picture I refer to with her riding piggy-back was taken when we first started dating, way back in 1999. In it, she has a glorious smile and her hair was as it was when we first met, down nearly to the middle of her back. We were on 6th street, no doubt with her softball team goofing off. I don’t even recall the night when it was taken but the moment is so familiar it might have been yesterday. And yet at the same time the memory is so… dream like.
It’s been years since her long hair got tangled up in my days old beard. I honestly can’t tell you the last time she had the energy to jump into my arms like she used to. And her smell, well, that was one of the first things that changed. I’m not even sure I’d recognize what it used to be. Sad, since that’s such an intimate part of a person, of being a couple.
The absence of intimacy where it once was leaves a big hole that seems to slowly close. I recognize that it’s not there anymore but I’m not so sure I know what it feels like. Oh, I can tell when it’s not there. But, damn it, what did it used to feel like? I don’t know. But I have pictures of what it looks like all over the house.