Here we have a song that I did in fact listen to often during this period that also fits the story. Cue the Music and Go! Prove My Love
From November 1990 to some time after March 1991 I was on the roller coaster. I was hopelessly in love with Kim. Looking back, I seem like a cartoon character play acting at love, but man I was sincere and really felt that strongly and followed my heart with reckless abandon.
Kim did break up with the boyfriend, but did not start dating me. We continued to have some long talks and I began spending more time at her house with her and her family – or sometimes just her family. We watched TV and had long talks among the 5 of us. Her sister thrashed me in checkers and I think we played some other board type games but I can’t recall. I really bonded with her mom and we spent loads of time talking about all sorts of things – not just Kim. In what proved to be the start of a potentially creepy tradition, I started leaving Kim little gifts with no notes. Often this was a strawberry Fribble on the hood or roof of her car or front doorstep. I was not averse to the occasional flower either. And there were also the letters.
While I did become good friends with her family, she started to grow more distant from me and she dated a few other guys during this time. I thought about her constantly. I wrote about her near constantly. I named my journal Kim. It was not pretty. But I could not stop. I knew we were meant for each other. I was starting to be able to understand a little bit about what made life so hard for her and I knew I could help.
It is difficult to recall other details when I am in the fog of remembering Kim, but I know me at that time and I would imagine that I “dated” some other girls. I remember two very clearly and that will need to be dealt with later. For now, all I can say is, “I am so sorry and it was totally not you!”
I would apologize to my friends for the endless hours they had to listen to me talk about this for YEARS, but that would be disingenuous. For my friends this was training camp because I did not get any better at this relationship thing for a long time. I am probably still just as hapless and inept, but it is harder to recognize because I have had so few, they are so far apart, and with one exception, so brief.
In unstoppable form, I persisted. I did not relent and I made some progress. The Merchant of Venice production in the early Spring definitely helped. We had much more shared stage time as Antonio and Shylock than we had during Les Mis. I still remember the performance in the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. I remember the Trial scene. I was on my knees when she opened my shirt with the knife raised. She pulled hard and buttons flew from the fabric. When she thrust down at my chest – while she did pull back, it looked and felt real and we were in the zone. I can definitely imagine what might have happened if we had been alone at that moment.
We started to talk about what it would be like to start “dating”. We spent a little time fantasizing about what life could be like together, and then one day, we did it. We cast off the labels and restrictions of mere “friendship” and decided to start “dating”. It was a school night and she did not really feel like getting into mischief in any case, so our first and only date was simple. I went to her house and we watched tv in the living room holding hands. I imagine her folks and her sister were there, but I don’t think I stopped feeling awesome and staring at Kim long enough to notice. We said goodnight on her front porch after an hour or two and I went home on a magic road. Thousands of tiny fairies carried my car through the air and every traffic signal was green.
Cue Next Track and Go. Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
And folks, I kid you not, she did not speak to me again for a really really long time. In my somewhat foolish romantic heart, I believe that she actually never spoke to me again at all. It is possible that it is the writer inside making my honest pain seem or sound even more epic and tragic than it already is, but I don’t think so. I think that was the last time until the advent of the Facebooks.
Probably more important for the larger issues I am trying to work on is that I have believed that she never spoke to me again for lo these past 22 years. We certainly were never close or friends again. Some of the broken-hearted creepy behavior continued and escalated. I left more random gifts. I called quite a bit. I stopped by the house often. She was home but would not come out of her room or talk with me. I stayed and talked with her mom who was very sympathetic and comforting, but encouraged me to try to find a way to move on.
My friends were ready to kill me. I roadied whenever possible for my friend Woody’s band, Whirlwind. He told me about a new song that they wrote for me called “What You Don’t Know” and that it was about Kim. I listened to those lyrics and was moved. Maybe 21 years later, this past summer when I visited with Woody, he told me that he wrote that song about a girl in his life and that telling me that it was about Kim was a diversionary tactic. I completely understand. I didn’t want to hang out with me and listen to all that stuff any more either, I just didn’t have a choice.