Once upon a time there was a girl who thought that things should be a certain way. And she believed that because she thought they should be, that they would be. [We forgive this girl certain sillinesses because she was in her twenties…] This girl was sort of a late bloomer into the girlie ways of things but it was okay, by the time she hit her twenties she had a boyfriend, which seemed to be the point of all things at that juncture for some reason.
So, she was successful. Things were as they should be.
But then she got a little bit bored. A big transition was approaching: she was graduating from college and would be heading to Europe for a while, and then off to unknown, but certainly thrilling and impressive and amazing things, that should be. She decided to remedy this feeling of moderate angst by taking a road trip and seeing a Show, as she did. She would meet her friends and hang out and smile and dance and laugh, as you should. And there would also be this other rather interesting individual there who she had met at another Show long before… sleeping on the floor in a crowded hotel room in Northern California… was it the Ramada? Who knows, but she certainly remembered the boy on the floor.
After being deposited at a very specific entrance to the Show she met her friends and the boy was there. And it was nice. She believed this was now how it should be.
And so it was.
She graduated a month later, spent the summer playing in the Southern California surf and then headed home for a week before heading off off to the Mediterranean where obvious adventures awaited. While biding time in Northern California she turned 23 and went to see Peter Gabriel with the boy from the floor who made her smile and tickled her brain.
Then she went to Europe, because travel is what she wanted to do. More than anything: to travel and to take pictures. Many years later she would forget that this had always been what she wanted to do, but right then she knew, as you should.
While she was in Europe she listened to very specific music: and though now it seems too obvious a ploy to name the music as the boy, who is now a man, might read this story but let us anyways. The Grateful Dead; The Stereo MCs; Peter Gabriel. Over and over and over again.
When she came back from Europe she was very disoriented and amiss. She took this out on the boy who stood by her all the while. As he should have. She talked about all the things she would do one day. All places she would go. When she met his family, he told her later that they liked her a lot, but that they worried.
Because they think you want something you can’t have. Here.
She couldn’t imagine that he wouldn’t be able to give her everything that she wanted. That was how she thought it should be. So that is how it would be. But she never really asked him. And then it happened: she decided that she had to do something else and she didn’t ask him and it made him angry and confused. As it would have, and of course, as it should have.
Twelve years later, she found him on an insidious internet social network and she dared to say: Is it you? She had looked for him before but it was now that she found him because it was now that she could, so she would. Yes. It. Is.
Now can we be friends?
He has made a beautiful life for himself… a beautiful family and a beautiful wife. He is happy and peaceful. And they talked and said what they should have said a long time ago. I am sorry. And she looked at his life with a bit of benevolent envy and so he gave her the gift of a lifetime:
He said: You are doing what you always said you wanted to do, remember?
And then she did.
And she smiled right where she was.