ever have a connection with someone so profound and comfortable that it just felt right…but it ended all wrong? Whenever I’m in a show I think of this person. I haven’t seen him in decades, but I feel a part of his spirit is with me…or maybe a part of my spirit is caught up with him. …or a little fabric of his being is tucked in my breast, to be pulled out every now and then to be remembered and cherished. I don’t know. I have a memory of him that I can’t escape. I liked everything about him. He was cute, in a goofy way; talented as a character actor who was always on the money; liked by teachers and classmates alike. He was kind, funny and sweet. Kindof a young and silly Jimmy Stewart. He was a bit older and was fun, secure, sweet, exciting and safe.
I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.. I found out that he did at a party. There was a picture of her in his bedroom. A professional 8x10. she was pretty – a model, someone said. She was in New York doing work. That’s all I knew. I cared for him. I was falling for his goofy ways.
I have one very specific memory of him wearing goulashes and dancing in a huge water puddle in front of the drama department. I never got to see our relationship to a deeper level. His girlfriend could sense something in his voice and she knew she had to fly home or lose him. She flew home. I lost him. Maybe I never had him, but he sure had me – had my heart.
It wasn’t a fade to black; it was a crash and burn. She had to meet me - to see ‘the other woman’ (I was 18 and so naive, vulnerable and in the dark). I had no idea what I was getting into. I met her on the steps of the drama department (her call) and she pointed her finger at me and basically called me a whore for taking her man. I didn’t understand how I was so wrong, what I had done wrong - how I had hurt someone I didn’t believe existed. The rumors of her didn’t seem real, and when I mentioned her to him, what I heard in his words made it seem like she didn’t really exist. She was a thing beyond, in a distant, thick fog. Not real.
She belittled me in front of classmates. She had her revenge and I was a sacrificial lamb of sorts. The burnt offering from him to her. I was cut to the core. Humiliated. Shamed.
I still think of him sometimes. Whenever I’m in a play.