I Met My Old Lover In The Street


Last night.

I met my old lover in the aisle at Rainbow Foods tonight.

He startled me, he was not in the aisle he normally is in.

He works at Rainbow.

I used to avoid days that he worked there.  I was embarrassed for breaking it off with him.  Some times I flirt with the idea of hooking up with him again.  We had fun.  He was great in bed, a good dancer, we liked the same music, and he could kiss like a maniac.

But…

You know there’s always a but…

It was not going anywhere and I decided I wanted children and marriage and all that implies.

How funny it is then to bump into some one and see that four years later you are not married and you don’t have children and he looks good.

But….

It would end the same and I don’t need to play that song again.

When I run into some one like that I reflect on what is different in my life and where it has gone and how funny some things change and some things just do not.

I also have had many a moment of retrospection and internal reorganization of my self.

Most of this has to do with the writing and the blogging and the getting up early and working on submissions and where do I go next with this.  I have been working on a proposal for City Lights and I realized at one point that I should dig up the letter of recommendation that Alan Kaufman wrote for me.

I stumbled upon a chapter of my book Baby Girl that I ended up cutting from the book as superfluous to the story.  I still feel that the material in the chapter, “Challenges,” is fairly pertinent information to my life story.  To my life in general, and to the period of time that I got to have in a relationship with a significant player in my early romantic life.

John, John Morgan.  He was probably my first real love and my first real relationship.  I ended up breaking up with him to follow Elliot, his room-mate, out of Madison to South Florida, where most of the action for my memoir Baby Girl takes place.

I think about John once in a while and I wonder whatever happened to him.  I think I owe him an apology and then realize nope, my motives are ass.  I just would like to see him and there is the old played out story in there as well, he was the one.

No he wasn’t.  He was just who he was.  He was, however, the first compassionate and truly kind man I dated.  He was always a gentleman and he was always sweet.  He helped me out of a lot of scraps, more than a few involving my crazy sister, her baby daddy, and numerous other hooligans in my life, my mom, my dad, the crazy room-mates I lived with.

God, the first time John met my mom she got us all stoned and we played Monopoly.

Welcome to my family.

I actually do owe John an amends, now that I think about it, and funny, haha, now I am not so interested in getting back in touch with him.  I owe him $500 for convincing him to give my sister’s boyfriend, said baby daddy, bail money.  And then I left him holding the bag while the baby daddy and my sister bounced.

I knew they were going to bounce and so I bounced too.  I left poor John in a dormitory room on the eighth floor of Ogg Hall wondering what the hell happened and fled Madison with Elliot in his two door Datsun Z.

Ah, memory lane, you are such good fun.

Never the less, I am also remembering something that Kaufman told me when I read aloud a chapter to the next piece that I worked on for the class, and ultimately for the book that was to become my second major work, The Iowa Waltz.

He said, “Carmen,” shaking his head in complete astonishment, “there are writers who would kill, kill, to have the material that you have been given”.

I was not in the mood to hear that.  I was both flattered and annoyed.  And more than a little scared.  Kaufman spoke so glowingly about my writing and my abilities, it freaked me out.

Hell, it still freaks me out, but I can’t sit in it any more.  I am using his words as fuel for the submissions fire.  There are more recommendations that he wrote for me that I have filed away and have not used more than once, perhaps twice.

Alan and I had a falling out.  Then we had a quiet cooling off period, then, well, I won’t say we are buddies, I barely see him anymore.  But when I do, a hug, a smile, a quiet acknowledgement.

I owe him a lot.  I owe myself a lot as well.  I owe the woman he invested time and energy into encouraging a talent.

One of the best pieces of advice that he gave me was to the effect of this: “Stop with the creative writing crap, so you can write pretty stuff, who cares?  Action and dialogue, action and dialogue, and then this happened and then this happened.  Fill in the details later, action and dialogue”.

I took that advice and I ran hard with it.  The majority of the work that I did was all action and dialogue.  It feels like I am watching a movie when I read it now.  It feels like a movie when I write sometimes too.

Terese Taylor just came on my stereo shuffle play list.  A song from off Good Luck Investigationship.  The Universe smiles on my writing.

Terese was my writing partner.  It was such a privilege to work with her.  I have not seen her in years, but I know she is playing her guitar some where, breaking hearts and cracking open souls.

Always looking for a reason to cry, blink and smile, water damn your eyes, be sure and whisper the anwser when you die

Ah Terese, you were good to me.

All that time spent in cafes, all those old lovers, always looking for a reason to cry.

Dirty hands mine, you’ve gone and given me a reason to cry

I have memory.  I have a place to utilize my experiences.  I have fodder for my grist writing mill.

Tomorrow I will arise and write and submit again.

I will forget the old lovers, I will forget the old wounds, I will forget the reasons why, and I will just watch the film and dictate what I see as it flows across the screen of my mind.  I am lucky.  I am blessed.  I have a fortune of inexhaustible stories and experiences to write about.

And write I shall.

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