Friday, April 17, 2009

Make Mine Mel

Recently, out of the blue, my cell phone rang, I answered it (stunning in and of itself, as I was in my studio working), and it was a voice, telling me a name, asking me if I remembered him. Well, YEA! (see photo) In the last half of my senior year of high school, when My Lovely Mother and I stayed in rural Nebraska [my grandmother was ill with and dying from uterine cancer], when my parents were divorcing and my dad and younger bros were in Phoenix, when I went from a Washington, D.C. high school with a graduating class of over 500 to a rural school with an entire K-12 population of under 80 ... there was Dan. The Mel Gibson of that rural town's senior class, leaving trails of melted females of every age group wherever he walked or went. Dan was in love with Deb. Deb's family moved to Texas about March of that year. Every female in a 300 mile radius lined up, hoping to become a glimmer in Dan's eye.

Dan glimmered MY way, if you can believe that. I didn't, but I'm not stupid now and I wasn't stupid then -- I stepped right up. I knew (again, not being stoopid) that I was filler, distraction, for him in the few weeks left before graduation. Once he graduated, that boy was torpedoing to Texas, and to Deb, and I knew it. But he needed distraction, and I needed distraction, and we distracted together pretty well I think. And get your little hinckty minds out of the gutter -- we mostly did a lot of car cruising and tipping back of brewskies, trying to put miles between us and our demons, or drown them out, talking. Ok, ok -- so there was some happy tussling in the car seat and a little window foggage. And once, at a dance up at the school, a slow dance with him wherein I was so blissed out I didn't give a shite who was watching, who being (literally) everybody in the junior and senior classes, all 23 of 'em. But Dan was one of the two people in that place whose faces and voices and presences and interactions penetrated what was pretty much otherwise a black hole of time in my life. To hear from him again whistled all that goodness back up and out of my memory yard.

Yesterday when I got home, a card from Dan, including this photo, was waiting for me. See, I'd told him as we talked that night how hot he was, what a heart breaker, how vital he'd been to me -- I told him I wanted a photo of him, then. And he sent it! That's the kind of guy he was, and clearly still IS. And now we can be in touch going forward, which is truly coming full circle. Life is so crazy-cool!

[Editor's Note: No, he did not marry Deb. He married DAWN (woot!) No, I don't, yet, know Dawn, but Deb wasn't high on my list o'favorites, ya know? Come May 1979, that wench diminished my distraction options completely.]

7 comments:

Samantha said...

I just love that story Toni, and love it when things like that happen ~ a little breeze of joy wafting in from the past. You enjoy it for all that it's worth, girlie!!
Perhaps I'll tell you my story about the guy from my 6 months in Tasmania, and how we hooked up on Facebook last year after 12 years had passed. Sweet memories.

Alison said...

A great story. I would have stepped right up too, believe me! Indeed, I did my fair share of stepping up. And like you, it was mstly just fogged up car windows! Lol. And so, did he marry Deb?

beth said...

you can send me the real juicy details in an email...wink wink !

Holly said...

I'm with Sam, sometimes when we need to be reminded that we are living right, small joys that make our tummy and heart flutter come back for a visit. You deserve it. I deserve...Hell all of us deserve it.

"Seattle" Heather said...

I hope to find my long lost love from High School someday...but he has disappeared. :(
What a great story!

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

Stoopid, Deb...

And, I reconnected online via Facebook (just signed on for it yesterday) with my high school love. We exchanged pleasant hellos and some laughs. I am looking forward to hearing about his life now.

It does feel full circle.

LostLuggage said...

I love stories like this, Toni...so exciting to hear from someone from a different period of your life..and to know they are still cool now..awesome!