Thursday, October 09, 2008

Here Goes a High Dive

Dear All: I know I've been lax lately. Haven't meant to be, just been fantastically busy. For my alternative weekly, the last month has seen me write a dozen or so short bits for the Best Of Fort Worth issue, a cover story, an inside news story, a short news piece and a food review. For my regular Skunk Mag gig I've written my column and a feature; for a business magazine I wrote a cover story and for Cannabis Culture I've been working on a feature that I'll turn in before the end of the month. I've also been working on a new cover and new news feature for the alternative. Plus, I rewrote several small stories as stand-alones for a new book, and then wrote that long piece Ayahuasca and the Glory that so many of you commented on. Thanks.
Whew! No wonder I have not had a lot of time to sit here and chat with you.
Well, that's all part of the story. There's another part.
About a month ago I got in touch with my high school sweetheart. She's single now, and so it was one of those serendipidous things. We began to write each other asking how the last 35-40 years have been. And we got along. And we got excited. And now tomorrow I'm headed out to visit her for the weekend. And if you don't think that's got me wound up like a New York City pretzel, then you have no idea who I am. I am as excited as if I were going to do a month of real exploration in the Amazon, but much less afraid of the snakes and caiman I might meet there than I am of meeting this woman. She was the absolute love of my life for a few years. And now she still sounds the same on the phone and has the same rapier wit in her emails that she used to have in person. But the thing is that I'm not 17 or 18 or 19 anymore. I'm 57-years old!!!! I'm heavier than I want to be to see her. I'm balder and grayer than I want to be. I'm OLDER than I want to be. I'm not some handsome kid anymore. I'm just me. I've beat up time a little bit; time's beaten me up a little bit, but all those scars show like pimples on a teen and my teeth are yellow and need fixing and while I'm trying my best I will probably still have some damned hair growing out of my ear and she'll still be so beautiful because no matter what she'll be beautiful to me.
And though necking was as far as I ever got with her you've got to know I'd love to try that again. What a kisser she was when I last kissed her. But it's been a long time since I kissed anybody and I don't even know if my lips work anymore, or if I'll know how to breathe if she even gives me the chance.
I think certain things freeze us in time. I'm a very responsible, decent man. I drink too much whiskey, but only after the work is done and after I've kissed the kids. I smoke too many cigarettes but that's my deal with the devil. I help whom I can, I try to be honest and giving and grown up and think I've been a good dad and hope I'm a better one tomorrow and all that jazz. But when it comes to visiting this girl--woman now--I'm just 17-years old again and full of nervousness that I won't be accepted, full of wondering if my face is going to break out, or if my pants are going to look too corny. Hell, I bought a damned jacket this week, just in case she wants me to have one. And I look like I weigh 400 pounds in it, with shoulders bigger than a football players. And I'm not that bad but that's how I'm seeing myself.
Now you know why I haven't been writing. I've been all caught up in work and this. And the work is hard but doable. This is freaking impossible. I hope my eyes don't pop from the pressure before I get on the plane.
So wish me luck and know that I know most of you are jealous, but probably in a good way. I'm very lucky to be able to see this woman again after all these years. I'm looking forward to it with short breaths. And as scary as it is, I wouldn't trade me tomorrow for anyone.
So wish me me luck. Personally, I'm hoping to get some good kissing in before I leave, though if she reads this I'll probably have blown any chance.
Thanks for listening.
PS: Madeleina thinks this woman did good by giving me the boot 40 years ago and thinks that this time around she ought to just beat me with a stick, "because you're acting like a teenager, dad. And we all know teenagers are idiots who should be smacked."
Then she hit me on the shoulder. Hard. About 10 times.
That's my Madeleina. That's my baby. You keep it all in perspective for me, girl.


Arbol said...

I hope you have a great time Peter. I can't imagine what meeting an old flame would be like, kinda scary, like you say jumping off the high dive. Peace my friend. Enjoy what life sets in front of us.

Unknown said...

Hah, I reconnected w/ my high school sweetheart after my 20 year reunion. She's married, with three kids, but otherwise is EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY. Those old flames, they burn as brightly as the day the first sparks erupted into fire.

The Grudge said...

Best of luck Peter! You are funny, charming, and a great person.

Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Dear Mr. Gorman,

Be quiet! You are nervous because...

(does it really matters?)

because... due to...

the psychological war that goes on your society. The government has a black-op on you, thus... you feel nervous.

Just pretend that you are ok and be a little paranoid about her real identity. Speak as little as you can. Be aware.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

You are just doing good : )
Best of luck