This is a true story -- my story. My analyst suggested I write it. She said it would help me "release", whatever the hell that means. This is not an erotic story, nor a drama story, nor humor. It is simply the truth as seen through one man's eyes about a life -- a life of mistakes, a life of successes, just a regular life. My life told in a thousand words.
Young men may find words of wisdom or not, old men may laugh or weep as a personal distant memory is brought to mind. Women may see life from a simple man's experiences and thoughts.
Can anyone tell the exact second their marriage went into the dumper? I mean the exact moment that it was over and done. Not the moment that a divorce was asked for by one or the other parties, but the moment that the relationship began to sour and spiral into the ground.
I know the exact moment. It was the day I married my now ex-wife -- my second wife that is.
We'd dated for five years and lived together for four of the five. During that time, we learned to live together, became use to each others little idiosyncrasies, learned to give and take, and loved being together.
Then, we married. Before the echo of the "I do" had died away, the relationship changed. The loner exerted his dominance.
But to know what I mean, you must first know who I am and how I got this way.
I've always been a loner. I don't mean a hermit hiding in a cave. I mean someone who could never open up, express feelings, nor share personal problems. It just is not in my makeup. How did I get this way? I wasn't born this way.
My father was extremely outgoing and always helping his fellow man. My mother was not as outgoing but never said bad word about anyone. Even though I have a sister, she was born ten years after I was, so basically I was an only child. Later, after my sister's arrival, I became a built-in babysitter when the folks had to go out.
My first memories are of living in a farmhouse with no other people within a quarter mile. I had no one to play with and pretty much made my own play world with imaginary friends.
In those days there was no pre-K or Kindergarten in country school systems. You showed up at school for your first day of first grade and for the first time in your life you had to interact with other kids.
Many of the kids lived in the small town down the road and they all knew each other. So you start off as the outsider and have to work like hell to just be accepted. I did my bit and actually had a good friend or two (but I'm sorry, I can't remember their names now). You see, at the end of the second grade, my folks moved to another county and I had to start all over again. Again I was the outsider and had to work like hell to make new friends.
The friends I had were the standard neighborhood kids. Even though we still lived in the country, we had a gathering of maybe half a dozen homes within a couple of hundred yards. In those homes were kids! None were in my grade, but at least some kids were around! My best buddy was Reggie. He was three years older than me. He went in the Navy and we kind of drifted apart. He later shot himself. I never figured out why.
My two best friends at school (from the third grade until my junior year in high school) were John and Roger. But they were more competitors than friends. We didn't tell each other secrets, nor share adventures. Our families and teachers pitted us against each other in all forms of academics.
One would win one contest; another would win the next and so on. John and I had a tug-of-war over a girl named Linda. Neither of us won her but she certainly had a good time playing us against each other.
I did have my first in a lifetime love at this time. Her name was Carol. I dated her a long time in high school and we would make out and cuddle. She was the first girl I ever touched as a "girl". It happened at the movie theater and I was scared shitless. Once I got my arm around her, I didn't know what else to do and left it there so long my arm was numb when the movie was over.
To show what a naïve kid I was back then, I wrote this god awful poem about my love for her. It was probably the worst writing of my entire life. It's a wonder she didn't vomit reading it.
I remember one night we went to the drive-in and somewhere in our making out, her belt broke. No — I never had sex with her. She was too special for me for that. Anyway, I was scared to death what her folks would think when she walked in with that broken belt. Was I some kind of animal that attacked their daughter? But nothing ever was said. I guess they knew I was just an innocent kid and would never hurt her.
I can't remember now why we broke up. I think it was pressure from parents and peers, but I guess I'll never know for sure. Maybe it was just that I was an immature ass, but I think it was because I had the pedestal problem and didn't know how to deal with it. There'll be more on the pedestal problem later!
At the end of my junior year of high school, my parents moved again. I had to start all over again to make friends. In this endeavor, I finally struck gold. I found my best friend, Ray. To this day I consider him my best friend.
What makes a best friend? It is a person you can tell absolutely anything to and they never judge you. They accept you for you and would do anything they could to help you. To this day I feel that Ray is that kind of friend.
We could always talk to each other and enjoyed many shared adventures. Like the night his rusted out '57 Plymouth finally had part of the floor give way -- the front seat fell backward as we watched the road rolling by under our feet.
After high school, we kind of went different ways. I went into the Air Force and Ray, being a year behind me in school, joined a year later. We went to two different parts of the world and lost contact with each other. I think more from laziness than lack if interest.
To this day, one of my biggest sorrows and mistakes was not keeping in contact and close with my best friend. We should have exchanged phone calls weekly.
We did team up for a summer after I got out of the service. I started dating his sister, Cindy. By the end the summer, she had me wrapped around her little finger. I was totally taken with her. I joined a major computer company and was sent away for a twelve week training class.
I never called or wrote her the entire time. I just assumed she would still be there when I got back from school. I was stunned to find out she had moved to the west coast while I'd been away.
Immaturity made me never even think of simply asking how to get in touch with her. She'd left with no word or message for me. It wasn't until years later that it struck me. I'd left her the same way and done it first. I hadn't deserved any goodbye note or message.
Looking back now, I know I should have told her before I left for training that I wanted to see if there was any chance that we could form a relationship that might go somewhere. But instead, I let my immaturity and fear of rejection override the once in a life time chance at maybe something wonderful happening.
I remember one morning. Ray and I had double dated the night before. I'd been with Cindy and Ray was with a preacher's daughter from a town a few miles away. It was late when we got home because of a real bad storm that caused us to pull over and wait for the rain to let up. I'd slept on their couch.
I laid there under the blanket luxuriating in the feeling of a youthful refreshing night's sleep. I heard Cindy come out of her room and the quiet pad of her bare feet as she headed toward the kitchen. She slowed and tousled my hair with her hand as she walked by. To this day, I remember that touch.