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?