About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

25 years to dwell in an old hell

Ever so often I think about her, even though I am happily married to the love of my life.

I was working this morning (yup, I actually have a job, even though it is only a temp one that ends in about a month) and it hit me that about 25 years ago this summer I met her.  It was a lot of firsts for me.  It was the first time I was with someone and didn't even THINK about another woman.  It was my first intterracial relationship (1st of 3, with #3 being my wife for 15 years).  It was someone that if I met her a year or two earlier I wouldn't have even bothered to pay attention to (wait, I wouldn't say that; I wouldn't be romantically attracted to, but I'd least be friendly).

I was between junior and senior years in college, and I had to make up a math course (never my strongest subject) so I could graduate on time (NOTE: ended up flunking another course so took another summer school class just to get my degree, even though I was allowed to walk with my classmates.  Sigh).  My school in a tiny town of Upstate NY let HS grads who were extra smart get a jump on their classes by taking a course or two for some 6 weeks that summer of 1990.  I, being someone who liked to meet new people, walked around their floor (other upper classmen were there as well, and the freshman-to-be lived on the 1st floor) walked around to introduce myself.

Then there she was.

A redhead, pretty but not gorgeous, approachable and had a lovely smile.  I just knocked on the door (it was open), and as she said hello I simply walked in and hopped on one of the desks.

I think that she was taken aback by my boldness, but she smiled and we chatted for about 45 minutes that day.  There was an instant connection between her and I, and we quickly ended up dating.

Oh damn, I forgot to mention an irrelevant point.

She was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down.

It truly was one of the few perfect times I had in my life (the otther was the 3 days before I married my wife.  I know, I bet you are thinking I am piling on the compliments so that my wife doesn't get mad because I am talking about an ex, but continue to read...believe me, the story does NOT have a happy ending).

I remember one time when we went to see "Ghost" (y'all remember that movie, don't you?) and then we went somewhere on the grounds to be alone.  She kissed me that night, and I won't lie, it was like the movies in a way.

The whole heart went a flutter type of thing.

Anyway, that summer was the bomb, truly the best of my life.  Summer school ended, and I knew that I'd see her in a couple of week.

Man, you ever saved up for something you really wanted and you couldn't wait till you got it?  That is how I felt as I waited for the school year to start.  Finally the time came, and as soon as she arrived I made a beeline to her room.

At that moment, I felt like I had won the lottery that 25 years later I've yet to win the cash version.

Then her brother came to visit her about 2 weeks into the school year.  I didn't see her the weekend he came up, figuring she wanted to spend time with family.  I stopped by her dorm room Sunday night after they left.

There was a different look on her face when she saw me.  Her eyes were teary, and she drew away from my kiss.

I asked her what was wrong, and she didn't mince words with me.

"We have to break up." she said.

I just looked at her, stunned more than anything.  She rolled her chair next to me as I sat down on her bed, and using her arms, she sat down next to me, put her head on my shoulder and cried uncontrollably.

Her brother earlier in that day lookeed out of her window and saw students going back and forth for dinner, and said the following:

"There are too many niggers on this caampus."

The rest of the night and the next couple of days were an absolute fog, my mind and vision clouded by the shock and the tears I shed that day.  Didn't go to class, didn't eat, basically I was all kinds of f'd up.

The few friends I had were concerned for me, afraid that I would do something foolish (that would come a couple months later).  Finally I left my dorm, showered and tried to head for class.  As I opened my door, there was a letter stuck between those erasable message boards students used in my day.  I opened it and it was a letter from her.  She mentioned how much she cared for me, and was heartbroken that she had to break up with me (to this day, the only girl who has ever done that).  She mentioned track from a CD she gave me, "Chicago’s Greatest Hits 1981-1989' she gave to me, asking me to play it and think of her.

The letter hit me like a Mike Tyson left hook, and I dropped to my knees in my dorm room, reading the letter over and over again.

I truly felt like someone I loved just died.

The rest of my senior year did not go well.  I barely passed classes, obsessed with somehow getting her back.  My mind a mess, I ended up having a rebound physical fling with a transfer student who for some strange reason thought I was hot.  Like an idiot in love (since there was a chance opening up that we might have gotten back together) I told her about it.

Not one of the smartest things I’ve done.

The remaining months of my college career was full of her revenge, even though when I was sleeping with the other girl we were quite broken up.  She used me whenever she was lonely, then cruelly rejected me when I was done.

Basically,  I got an idea how a lot of women are treated by men.

Mind screwed, I tried to get with the other girl, but she had her fun with my penis and moved on.

Sent me off the deep end, and I tried to swallow rubbing alcohol with some medication.

Luckily for me I was too much of a wuss to truly go through it…and my former sexual partner, realizing what I was doing, stopped me from going through with it.

I guess I have to give her credit for that.

So here I sit, 25 years later, in a state that I am not fond of, with a moody teen, a special needs kid with violent tendencies, barely holding onto my house and a wife who cannot sleep because she subconsciously worries about everything.

But I wouldn’t trade my life for anything…well, I’d keep the kids and wife and be a millionaire, but you get my drift.

I think about that time often, especially when I play that CD (I had to get another copy; in one of her truly bitchy moments, that “great love of my youth” nailed the decapitated head of a teddy bear I gave her to my dorm room; in a rage, I flung the cd against the wall, shattering it into a million pieces).  A few years ago on a social networking site, I found her.  She was married, living in the DC area with a couple of kids.  Was married and all.  I tried to be friendly, congratulated her on her success, career and finding love…she quickly blocked all communication.

I don’t know why I reached out to her; she thought that due to my behavior (and I can’t blame her; I was truly obsessed back then) she probably still thinks I am psychotic.  I guess I wanted a little closure, even after more than 2 decades.  I honestly feel that that even affected me so negatively, it messes with my life a tad today.  No, not in the way that I don’t love my wife and kids….god knows that I do.  But I feel a little less; I 98% believe in love and happy ever afters instead of the 110% I used to.

Not trying to bullshit myself out of that one.

But on the other hand, that racist comment that sent me into some multi-year tailspin of self-hatred and bad luck was actually a blessing.  For 19 years, my dear wife Carla has been my partner in slime (smile); yeah we are barely hanging on, but we’re hanging.  I believe that event shaped my positive parts as well.  My confidence is better, even though it still needs work.  I experienced my first true tastes of racism, and have spent every moment since to try to eradicate it, one person at a time.  While I may not be the romantic I used to be, I see love now as something that crosses all borders: race, religion, sexual orientation, whatever.  I just see a little better these days, even as those dark clouds in the past were quite painful to go through.

Today, even as if parts of my personal life are painful (my parent’s illnesses), I guess that while at times I am down, I am a little hopeful that perhaps one day I and my family will finally win one.  Not a small victory, mind you, but a kick ass one.

So, wherever the former Stacy Beaumont is, I wish you continued luck and joy, even as I still seek mine.

No regrets.

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