The Past as Prologue: Darklady’s Long-Lost High School Sweetheart
Memories confuse me. I don’t seem to experience them the same way that other people do. Although I sometimes remember specific instances with crystal clarity, mostly I remember emotions. I often find that my dreams are more vivid and feel more real than my memories. Perhaps that’s what happens when times are simply too painful to remember clearly.
For the second time this year I have been reunited with someone from my youthful past – and it has once again stirred up the silt that accompanies my floating memories. I didn’t even realize that I had a Long Lost High School Sweetheart until we stumbled across one another online near the end of summer. My high school years were a battlefield sown with physical and emotional landmines, so it’s hardly a surprise that I’d want to excise the particulars from my mind. But during the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of things and have remembered others. In having done so, I have found that connecting the dots of hindsight has spelled love.
I recall no overtly romantic or sexual past with this man – although I am assured that there are innocent memories that have remained veiled to me for some reason. For instance, I don’t remember our first kiss in his mother’s basement on the last night that we were together. I only vaguely remember our hours of verbal sparring. I distinctly remember the flock of male and female admirers that he reluctantly attracted. And, with surprisingly immediacy, I remember sitting in the passenger seat of his 1953 powder blue Bel Air and silently yearning for him to kiss me, wishing desperately that he would like me, respect me, admire me, desire me. I was wild about him. Infuriated by him. Intimidated by him. Deeply attracted to him. I wanted to tell him how I felt. Instead, I told him that I loved his car. Or so he tells me now. I don’t remember. But I do know that every time I’ve seen a 1950s era Bel Air I’ve had a strong emotional reaction. Perhaps now I know why.
Thanks to an unexpected and rather traumatic left turn in my personal life combined with the wonders of the Internet, an idle and mildly disdainful visit to Classmates.com has resulted in the reunion of two cynical sweethearts that had never even confessed their mutual affection. We have crossed 4000 miles and two decades in order to take up where we left off so long ago. Looking back, it’s painfully obvious that we were acutely self-conscious, overly bright, singularly unique, distressingly intense children who shared our favors with those who did not appreciate them – and were too afraid to offer them to the only ones who could. Ironic that in our wanderings through life in search of one another, the further we traveled, the further from our destination we became. Looking back, I can see that every wonderful man that I have loved – and many that I have trysted with — have been sideways reflections of the aloof, deliciously arrogant boy that I had watched from the corners of my eyes, that I had argued fine logic points with, that I had chastised, that I had secretly desired.
What’s most amazing, however, is not that we have overcome so many obstacles to get back to where we started – but that having arrived back home, it’s like we never left. Except, of course, that now we’ve made it abundantly clear that we’re excessively fond of one another, there’s no more chastisement – and there’s a lot more sex.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –