Dream a Little Dream of Me
Hugh was not the first love of my life. Shocking, I know, but true, nevertheless.
Last night I dreamed about The Boy. The one who first stole my heart and it took me back to a time when the most important things in my life were The Boy, my friends, my wardrobe, my cassette collection and my family. Pretty much in that order.
Because, hell, yes; I was shallow.
And young, sixteen going on seventeen. The Boy, for his part, was four days shy of his eighteenth birthday, which at the time seemed so mature to me. Now, technically, I had known him for years and years; it was, after all, a small town and we attended the same schools. I would have to have been dead not to be aware of who he was, but for romantic purposes, let us just say that we met the fateful autumn of 1985. Ok? Great.
The Boy had taken notice of me that fall (most likely due to the short nature of my cheerleading skirt although he always denied it) and had wrangled a date with me through mutual friends. You know the drill, my best friend was dating his best friend and, if The Boy and I dated we would fall in love and get married and we would all buy houses next door to each other and raise our babies together and we would all be 2gether 4ever!
Or something like that.
However, while The Boy was a looker, my sights were already set on a boy from the rival school, so I had little interest in dating “one of my own”. I only agreed to the date for my friend’s sake, and, ok, because I wanted to make the other boy jealous.
This didn’t work, by the way. I am sure he was gay. How else could he have escaped the charms of my little cheerleading skirt?
And, I digress.
Our first date was on September 14, 1985. If you are having trouble believing that I can remember the exact date; you will really have a hard time believing that I can remember exactly what I was wearing. But, I do.
On the date, we accompanied our mutual best friends to a school dance where they unceremoniously dumped us to have sex in the car. So, it should have been awkward, but it wasn’t. It was, in fact, the most comfortable evening of my life (all sixteen years of it). We danced that night and there was no hesitation in the steps, no ripple in the fluidity in which we moved, I felt graceful that night on that gym floor, like I had never felt graceful before.
Little did I know when he walked me home that night; that I was writing a chapter in the book of my life. But, how could I have known?
We talked on my parent’s front porch that night until way past our curfews. We talked about everything and anything; I suspected, even then, that we were trying to post-pone the inevitable moment when we would have to part. Funny, the things that I remember from that night.
The moon was full, a harvest moon. It got quite cool as we stood there and he put his varsity athlete’s jacket around my shoulders to keep away the chill. We could have gone inside but I remember not wanting to. I did not want to share him, to share that moment in time with my parents or my sisters. I wanted it to myself. And I didn’t even know what it was yet. Not then.
The hours flew by. I was thoroughly entertained by him; The Boy was smart. He was funny. He was sweet and he was handsome. And he smelled so damn good; like clothing dried in the sunshine.
When he left, I missed him. I denied it, though. I told my friend that the date had been “ok”. I was still determined to catch the other boy.
My mind was set. Totally set.
My heart overruled.
After that first night, The Boy and I were inseparable.
Months later, on a cold winter night, in the front seat of his Ford pick-up; he told me that he loved me. My head laughed at his boyish declaration; it was too early, we were too young. This was crazy talk.
But, my heart. My heart swelled to three times its normal size; cutting off oxygen to my head until it saw reason. My heart knew.
My heart kicks ass and takes names.
I loved him. And, I continued to love him for the next six years so, overall; I would say that first date went pretty well.
Last night, he was smiling in my dream; he smelled like sunshine.
I love my husband and my children. I love the life that I have chosen. I love the person that I have become; I am not perfect, I have flaws, but they are my flaws and I embrace them.
My head recognizes that The Boy wrote part of the history of me; the lessons he taught me were invaluable and, for that, there can be no regrets.
And, sometimes, my heart misses The Boy.
The man that The Boy grew up to be isn’t someone that I know well. In fact, I don’t know him at all so, when my mom called me yesterday to tell me that he had suffered an aneurysm and was not doing well, I was surprised at how sad it made me and, obviously; that is why I dreamt about him last night.
If you are of the praying sort, please say a prayer for the man who was The Boy and for his family. As you may recall, they lost his brother in May and I cannot imagine the heartache that another loss of this magnitude would mean for his parents and siblings, not to mention for his own two young sons.
I really can't.
On that note, remember when this blog used to be funny? Yeah, me neither.