Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A memory of a memory

OK, I can't get this out of mind. So I guess I should wrestle with it a minute. Toss it around. Try to make some sense of it.

A few days ago, I wrote about finding a book in the Fountain City library written by one of my professors from UT.Well, I finished it last night. The final story, about his father dying on Good Friday one year, struck a chord.

No, that's not quite true. It wasn't the story, it was something Robert Drake says in it.

He says that to love sometimes means you die. And what I think he means by that is when you give your heart to someone, you're not sure of getting it back in return. Or maybe you will for awhile and then it goes away. Or maybe you just get laughed at.

Drake says the risk is always there, but what do you do? He seems to think you just keep on loving. You take the risk. And I agree.

I'm the last person on earth who should ever act like he knows anything about affairs of the heart. But I do know this, cause Dale Murphy told me so: You can't hit the home run without stepping up to the plate.

Yes, you may strike out. But you might just clear the bases. Whatever the case, you'll come up to bat again in another inning or two.

Time has taught me a couple of things. One is that there never are any guarantees, save death and taxes. The perfect love will turn out to be anything but that. There ain't no perfect anything in this life.

And the other thing? No matter how much your heart gets broken, you get over it. Usually you learn something, too -- most of the time about yourself.

Let me tell you two stories.

I adored this girl once. Thought she hung the moon. I was nuts about her, I tell ya. Got goosebumps whenever I saw her. Felt my heart get stuck in my throat every time she came within 50 feet.

But guess what? I never told her. Kept my mouth shut. Was scared of, well, God knows what, whatever an awkward skinny teenager is scared of.

Now, this other girl -- totally different scenario. I went hog wild at first glance. Threw caution to the wind and made a promise to myself that for once I was just going to follow my heart. Tilt windmills a la Don Quixote. Didn't worry about anything, just went for it. After awhile, it turned out neither she nor I were where we needed to be.

Which one of those was worse? Well, both hurt, for different reasons. But I don't think I have to tell you which one was worse.

Put it like this. I came to grips with the one situation and, to quote Jed Bartlett, moved on and said, "What's next?"

But darned if I don't still think about that one girl. Fourteen years and a lifetime later, I still think about her. Ain't that funny?

Here's my point. There are no guarantees, especially when it involves giving your heart away. Maybe it is like dying, when you're heart aches, and you try to make it stop, and you sit and think awhile, wondering if there's something you could have done or said, or whether it's even worth it.

But do you remember that feeling? You know, the one when the night is right, and the song is perfect and the sun is setting just so and you never want it to end? Oh, yeah. You'd never trade it. No matter what came or didn't come later, you'd take no amount of money, nothing in the world in fact, for that moment.

That's why you throw yourself out there. That's why you risk it all.

Besides, it beats being haunted by a memory of a memory any day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So few people live that, sadly...but thank you for being one of them.

11:12 PM  

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