Monday, November 26, 2007

Walking in my footsteps…

There are times when this blog is more My Side than One Path. I’ve actually been tempted to reboot My Side but I think I’ve long since lost my login information, even the email address. It’s a thought I play around with and… maybe… later… I might… but not today. For today, just accept this entry as a slice of My Side. I say this because it’s not about my life with Vicky so much; it’s just a Ken thing.

I was with Vicky but, for a few moments, I stepped outside of myself… to remember…

And it was in remembering that I came to realize something I’d rather not admit. But I kind of have to – after all, what is a blog if not existential exhibitionism?

Vicky and I spent Saturday evening in Laguna beach and it was our first trip to Laguna outside of those times we were checking out wedding locations – our first date there, if you will. And I’ve been on plenty of dates there. It’s hard not to walk those streets without bumping into myself with someone else.

So many times, Rosa and I used to walk through those shops and eat in those restaurants. I don’t know why this is – call it age, say I’m different now, attribute it to the relationship I have with Vicky – but those trips back then were such a chore for me. I’d grumble and make a fuss about “having to go” with her. There were so many other places I’d rather be, things I’d rather do. It was difficult to have fun and I certainly didn’t help.

Deanna and I had been down there on a few occasions. As Vicky and I passed the park that went out to the beach, I could see Deanna and I walking out there with a blanket. I’d actually forgotten all about this, though the scene made it into my play, Athiests, almost verbatim. She laid out the blanket and we sat down together and when I tried to kiss her, she said something like, “Why would you want to ruin the beauty of the evening with meaningless necking?” I could think of a few reasons.

Vicky and I were going to a place called French 75 for dinner. It wasn’t my first time there. Sherryl and I had gone back in 2002. We’d gone as friends, celebrating (if you will) our mutual loneliness brought on by our divorces. She had paid, taking me for my birthday, and I had gotten a little drunk. (I think it was the evening I had “discovered” my love for martinis.) I’d never been to a French restaurant before and hadn’t realized how much those places charged. In fact, I wasn’t truly educated until Saturday night, over five years later!

Vicky and I went with a $100 gift card. We had martinis and a small appetizer, main course which I had with a glass of wine, and soufflé and coffees and ended up spending another hundred on top of the gift card!

We walked out of there, past the remnants of the Boom Boom Room and down a set of stairs that overlooked the beach. Vicky told me about a garden with rocks that hold the names of people who have died of AIDS but I wasn’t really there. I was, if for but a moment, like a spirit flying above the city, watching my younger selves. I’ve been incredibly lucky and I don’t always recognize that at the time. I’ve had people in my life who have gone out of there way for me, spent their time with me, and even entertained me. Things are often not as bad as we think and better than we imagine.

And it was with this thought in mind that I returned from my brief remembrance to my lovely bride. And I held her and kissed her and told her how much I love her.

Perspective is a rotten thing; it never shows us as good as we’d like to be seen. In my case, I realized how those dark years before Vicky weren’t as dark as I had thought at the time. There was plenty of goodness and companionship and goofiness even if it took several years to really notice it. I’m not blessed because I found Vicky after so many dark years. I am blessed because of how fortunate I’ve been all along. I don’t know if I deserve it but it’s true. I am a lucky guy.

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