Saturday, July 2, 2005

...tryin' to lose those awkward teenage blues ... (that's) the way we were ...

Bonnie is the musically aware half of our relationship, but somewhere in the corridors of my mind is a door which is identified by a picture of a reel of audiotape imprinted with a blue note, and that door has opened nearly every time I have sat down to compose a journal entry, as I'm certain you've noticed. The spindles of the ol' reel-to-reel begin to revolve, and a theme fills the air. Sometimes I hear more than one song at a time ...

Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy

Out in the backseat of my '60s Chevy

Workin' on mysteries without any clues

Workin' on our night moves

Tryin'to make some front page drive-in news

Workin' on our night moves

In the summertime

In the sweet summertime


Ain't it funny how the night moves

When you just don't seem to have as much to lose

Strange how the night moves

With autumn closing in


Scattered pictures,

Of the smiles we left behind

Smiles we gave to one another

For the way we were


My comrade Albert has prevailed upon me to tell the story of how Bonnie and I met; I will put aside my discomfort at resurrecting teenage anguish and relate the tale. If you find it boring, you know whom to blame; truck on over to ALBERT'S WORLD OF ARTSY FUN-HOUSE and voice your displeasure at his ill-considered audacity (joke, Albert, joke.)

We grew up in the same town, but it was a quite large town, and we lived miles from each other, so we didn't meet until we entered Junior High, where students from all over town were mingled together. As is probably the case in any town, we tended to hang with the crowd we grew up with, and only gradually became aware of the other, unknown, students. The first memory I have of Bonnie is quite prosaic in its way; I remember sitting in the school library studying something or other, and watching as a young woman entered, paused at the desk to speak to the librarian, then made her way to a table across the room. Completely forgetting whatever it was that I was supposed to be studying, I partially raised the book I was holding and used the cover to hide behind while surreptitiously studying the intriguing young lady whom I had never before seen (at least I was studying something.)

As young heterosexual men will, I paid particular attention to her attributes, such as how well she filled out the snug, short-sleeved, pale pink pullover she was wearing, and how prettily her sunshine-blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders. She was taller than many of the girls at school, and I liked that about her. Her best feature was her hazel eyes, which were of that fugitive nature such that their color was constantly changing, depending upon how the light struck them.

I was unattached to anyone at the time; my mother had managed to inculcate in me a wariness of women (a story for perhaps another time), and I was a shy and reserved young man by nature, so at that point, although I was interested, I made no advances, naturally assuming that she already had a boyfriend.

We saw each other in the halls nearly every day, and students that she grew up with were friends with students that I grew up with, so we did interact occasionally when the two groups would meet, but it went no further than that. I didn't know at the time that I was apparently quite as intriguing to her as she was to me (well, that's what she tells me, anyway), and neither of us made the moves necessary to bring us closer together.

We eventually graduated from school, never having attended a single class together, each involved with someone else, and it took a mutual acquaintance to get us together. Ironically, the mutual acquaintance was my girlfriend of the moment (and of her I will say no more, no matter how much you may beg.) Bonnie was having difficulty with her boyfriend, and for some reason my girlfriend thought that I would make a good advisor for Bonnie on the topic of men (I also suspect she was beginning to tire of me, and this may have been her way of sparking my interest in someone else.) So, not long after our graduation, on a hot summer night in 1967, with the moon hanging low in the sky and katydids and crickets churring desultorily away, we sat across from each other at a picnic table in my girlfriend's back yard and talked far into the morning, finally meeting and learning to know one another.

It wasn't quite that easy, of course. We each had to disentangle ourselves from our current relationships (I never inquired of Bonnie how it went for her, but my freedom was gained in a ridiculously easy fashion and, looking back, I am so glad.) For a while, I just enjoyed being unencumbered, acquiring my first real job and learning how to become an adult. Later, in the fall, out of the blue, Bonnie called me and invited me on a hayride (in those days, our town still retained its bucolic character, and, as a teenager, I had actually earned part of my money haying for local farmers. It was a most miserable job, but when you're young, it doesn't matter so much, and the farmers' wives could cook.) I was, to put it mildly, surprised; I truly had no idea that I could be considered possible dating material by anyone, especially after my first disastrous experience. I said yes, I'd like that, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, Albert, you have heard the story of those two young people and their first true romance. I hope you have enjoyed it.

(If you would form a picture of those youngsters, Bonnie at that time bore more than a passing resemblance to Natalee Holloway, the teenager missing in Aruba, and I was told by relatives that I resembled Paul Petersen, a young actor appearing on the Donna Reed Show at the time. There may have been some slight scintilla of truth in what my relatives said, but bear in mind, they were relatives, and you know how they are. Nowadays, of course, Bonnie is still the ravishing beauty that she has always been, while I now resemble a cross between a drug-crazed biker, a thoroughly debauched Rob Reiner, and the Unabomber.)






sistercdr said...

I am so glad you shared this story, that you two found each other and that y'all have had the gift of loving each other for all these years.

lamove04 said...

Wonderfully told, thank you Malcom.  I can't believe you two met in Junior High, I was still figuring out how to coordinate my pants with my shirts at that time!  (I guess that the gay learning curve is somewhat different)  It sounds like you two were truly meant for each other.  And hayrides and pink pullovers and Bob Seger, all very sweet.

I also appreciated the little sprinkle of Color in here!  ;-) Comrade Albert

aynetal3 said...

Oh man!  This is just wonderful!!! I'm so glad you shared this in a journal.  I was in agony though over the part where I thought you were going to be ships passing in the dark.  Pshwoo ... we aren't going to say much for your all assertiveness back in the day!  But, such a wonderful, wonderful, life ever after story.  Just tickled to pieces! xoxoox Ayn

sunnyside46 said...

no, I had never read this. I think it is so cool that you can recal exactly how she looked adn I think the unabomber is a hot guy ( to use Caitlin's terminology) LOL

gdireneoe said...

Ok...STILL no bad boy-ism here...;)  C.