I scooted just a bit closer to him.
It was March of 1997. And I was in love. I mean, really and truly in love. With someone who actually loved me back. That may be a bizarre thing to say but given my history up to that point, this was a notable change of pace.
It was a damp, chilly night in Vancouver. We had settled into his favourite coffee shop, Miles of Bean (I believe was the name, I could be making that up but I’m pretty sure I’m right). That night a female, string based trio was performing and they did an amazing cover of “I Told Him My Dog Wouldn’t Run” by Patty Larkin. The song broke my heart wide open. I didn’t know Patty Larkin at that point and I had never heard that song before and it would be over a year before I would hear it again in an auditorium in an elementary school in Hightstown, NJ.
I remember the feeling of that night so well. I really and truly believed that this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. But as many a long distance relationship unfolds, we were not meant to be. I wonder where he is and if he is happy from time to time. I know he lives in Nova Scotia and I think of him a great deal when I visit my family’s home there but I won’t do more than wonder. I broke his heart and he asked simply that I let him be so I have honored that for over 15 years.
This song came back to me during the fall of 2012. Those were the days when I cry on my drive to work and on my drive home. I would get out all of the sadness and frustration and hopelessness in my car and then I would put on the happy face at work and at home so as to not tip the scales and up-end the apple cart. Sometimes though there would be a crack and I’d find myself in the bathroom, singing the following verse in my mind, head in my hands, knees on my legs until I bruised from the pressure.
He was laughing but I didn't get the joke
He was dying to light up a smoke
And I wanted to cry
In the florescent light of the restaurant
I smiled and I got up to go
I was hoping for a goodbye to hold
But it was kinda like touching a ghost
So I ran when I walked out
I have been processing a lot as of late. A year ago today I flew to Grand Rapids for training. The only good part of that trip was seeing some of my favourite women. Otherwise it was an exercise in losing my driver’s license in an airport, wondering if I had made a huge career mistake and pondering just how to pick myself up from the lowest of lows to move forward.
I created a number of ridiculous scenarios in my head that week – came up with some theories that made so much sense but now I realize are just ridiculous. I tried to piece back together some relationships that were falling apart and I set off some nuclear bombs in other relationships.
There are a few ghosts in my life that I wish I could speak with. Get answers, make amends. Whatever it may be, I have figured out that once I have worked through things in my head, the kindest thing to do for myself is to look ahead and not behind. No matter how much time is spent in the past….my time machine is broken and I just can’t change a thing.
*”I Told Him My Dog Wouldn’t Run” – Patty Larkin