Contact Info (2) … Should I?

This is a followup to my post about receiving the contact info of a very long ago girlfriend, Amy. You can read the first post here.

You knew, of course, thoughtful Reader that I would contact her. But how would I open it? We are talking 4 decades since any type of contact.  Rachel asked in the last post if I had tried to find her on Facebook. I had, of course, many years ago. Google searches in the past revealed a bit of her professional life, but nothing significant on a personal level.

And let’s remember, she had never tried to contact me, and my online profile while not outlandlishly extensive, is not hidden either.  So she obviously had never felt the need to initiate any sort of contact.

I stared at the sheet with all the contact information.

I thought.

I tried to be logical.

Did I WANT to contact her?

Yes.

What was I expecting in response?

Unknown. At minimum a friendly “hello” and perhaps a brief email catching up after all these years. At maximum? BIG unknown. I’d just go with the flow.

What if she doesn’t answer?

Well, that would be an answer, wouldn’t it?

If I heard nothing back within a week or 10 days, would I try again?

No!

I started writing the email. The first line was extremely lame.

“Hello Amy! Perhaps you might remember me. But then again, perhaps not.”

Lame in so many ways … most glaringly in the fact that I knew full well she would remember me.  But I hoped she would take it in the vein it was intended … jocularly.

The rest of the email was rather nondescript … mentioning that her contact info had been given me by my friend who encountered her by chance in a hospital emergency ward. And I hoped the years had been kind.

I sent it off.

Then I relaxed a bit. And wondered how long I would wait for a response. If even there would be one.

 

 

 

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Contact Info

I’ve been staring at it for 10 days. Off and on. And not every day. But sometimes for an unusually long time. The paper sits mixed among the scattered piles of paper on my (to the untrained eye) very messy desk.  Right there underneath a recent P&L statement I was looking at, next to an outline of a project I am grappling with, and shielding me from some invoices I need to pay.

When I first saw it, I recognized the penmanship of course, even though I haven’t seen it in almost 50 years. Neat, tight, and clear, as I imagine it always has been. Name (including nickname back then) in block letters. Home telephone number. Mobile number. Email address with a ” * ” beside it. Then another email contact point. Finally, a long rural home address printed neatly in block letters.

“It” was given to me by one of my closest friends after we had said our final goodbyes to another. He filled me in on the chance encounter. They both had been in the emergency department of a rural hospital, and despite the travails causing each of them to be there, the serendipity of their crossing paths didn’t escape them. Our home town was hundreds of miles away and eons in the past.

I was so different then. I often chuckle at the innocence and most surprisingly at the timidity I exhibited as a teenager. I know we all mature and grow, but we do so in various ways and to different degrees.  There is much of me that is vastly different to when I was 17. I’m certain we all can say that, of course,

We dated. Quite a bit. But Amy was one of the most popular girls in her year. Beautiful and tiny. Long dark hair down her back, with sparkling green eyes. She and her two siblings were near-certified geniuses, too. She had a long line of suitors from not only our school, but several other schools throughout the city. All better looking than me I felt, most more athletic. She liked me, of course. Heck she wouldn’t have spent so much time with me, given all her choices, if she didn’t. But I wasn’t confident enough then to push and pursue.  And I dated several others, too. We saw each other a few times while we attended different colleges, 500 miles apart. But that never works and it didn’t.

I’m still staring. What will I do? Well, dear Reader, you and I both know what I will do. But when? What will I say? And will she answer?

 

Limits

We were the 7.

Wild, strong, talented, smart, gifted.

There were no limits apparently. Or so most of us believed. Were we wrong?

He wasn’t the smartest, the best looking, nor the most physically talented. But he still saw no limits. Because he never cared about limits. They were irrelevant. He just was. And did. No matter the outcome.

He has reached his limit.

Now we are the 6.

And It Lives Yet

Today is a gorgeous, sunny day in my village. You’re gonna get a real Marty today.

And just because I feel like it, I’m wearing my Che Guevara t-shirt for the first time this spring.

Now don’t get me wrong … I’m no commie-loving, burn-all-the-bridges revolutionary.  Almost … but not quite.

As I strode up the stairs in a small office building a man close enough to my age descended.

“He’s dead, you know,” he said.

“Huh? Who’s dead?” I answered, not thinking.

“The guy on your chest,” he retorted, obviously an ultra conservative right leaning fascist pig. Heh he.

“Oh no he’s not! Che lives forever,” I instinctively blurted back.

Once I reached the top of the stairway I stopped. And thought. Yes, I’m right, Che does live forever. Not Che the man, but what we immortalized around him. How we adopted his image to represent our own beliefs. “We” as in my generation. Nothing saddens me more than to see those of my time who have assumed the identities of those we despised during the sixties, morally bankrupt, intellectually bereft, complacent..

Now, I’m not a prisoner of my past, I’m a pretty modern guy after all. But neither do I disown it. Certainly I’ve mellowed, but not capitulated. Never. I still am ready to damn the torpedoes and fight for what I think is right and just.

As SBW said to me this morning a propos another subject (actually two subjects)  ” … you never quit.”

No, I don’t.

Robert

He was a gentle man. You might not guess that at first meeting. But he was. And a gentleman to boot. A gentle man, who took no bullshit. But he’d laugh it off without a lingering thought, and just move on, whereas my grumblings would linger.

He taught me much in our short times together over the years. We were young men when we met in the midwest that October day. It struck me recently that I do, indeed, miss him. We weren’t that close, except when we were together. Then we were inseparable, almost identical roguish twins from different mothers. The rogue part I mean. We didn’t look at all alike, even in our younger days. Robert had wild, longish hair and a bushy mustache. Me, clean shaven, short hair, more buttoned-down looking.

But he was the sophisticated rogue. Six fluent European languages and a good European education meant he was unmatched. I was the junior, more inept one. He was a classical music fanatic. Me? Well I was pretty good at British Invasion musical trivia. He taught me so much.  Mostly, he gave me an example of how to approach, and appreciate life.

And he showed me his easy sophistication. He taught me how to buy jewelry from a private Swiss jeweler in Bern.  The best quiet bars in Zermatt.  The just perfect French phrasing to use on a snotty Paris hotel doorman. But I got even when they mistook me for a French count for that whole week at the Palace in St. Moritz. It was moi who got us the prime table every evening in the discotheque, bypassing the long lineup of mere multimillionaires.

We used to get into trouble. Robert always had the perfect plan for our evening fun. Luckily I was always that one beer behind at 3am, to have the wits to be able to get us out of that perfect plan when something went wrong.

And then would come the laugh. From deep inside of him. That moved all the way up to the squinting, laughing brown eyes. It was forever there when we sped back to the hotel when we inevitably managed to escape whatever fix we were in. Or when we met at the bar waiting for the other’s long flight to arrive.

He lived his life to the fullest measure I could ever imagine. He was his own man to the end. Wouldn’t let his condition get him down, interfere with the full measure.

I miss you Robert. I have yet much to learn.