Thursday, December 4, 2008

Inspiring Words: First Love

Me and Tim Summer 1976

I remember he smelled of wood smoke. His old kitchen had a wood stove which was often deemed necessary even in the summer, for he lived by the sea and the cold and damp morning air was relentless, making the floors frigid. Shirts hung on the backs of chairs, damp, and matches were made limp. I knew that because he smoked, a nasty habit for which I forgave him, because my love was that deep. Somedays, he smelled of cologne, Brut, to be exact, an aroma which would assail my postman for the next year as he would send me Brut-laden love letters. Almost daily they came at first. Poems and longing, clippings and drawings would arrive. My world soared or fell on the basis of this. They came less often, and then even less often, a small trickle of joy. Then one day, they stopped.

I remember we would drive in his father's old car to the lighthouse and stare at the bay, the bay of my childhood summers, the bay we would one day cross in his father's sailboat, doomed to a low placement in a Buzzard's Bay crossing race because of a snapped line.

The First Time was on a bay window love-seat looking out over the yard and a full moon. On Thanksgiving. And, for the first time in my life I fully understood what it was like to deeply share yourself with someone you loved profoundly.

One intersection, one crossing, one thread in my tapestry. Life goes on, you know, and Things Change. Ways of Being change, and What You Think You Know about Love changes. But, for me, there will always be a touchstone in that memory, that First Love, that innocent fire of alchemy.