2016-10-25 - 11:13 p.m.

So, yeah. Lita Ford is in concert tonight in Kalamazoo. This is all a kind of weirdness of coincidence for me.

Going into my ninth grade year, I had a consuming crush on one Gary W. He worked at the local grocery store. I would obsessively go there every single day and buy something, anything, just to go through the line where he might be bagging groceries. My future step-mother (jesus fucking god) was a cashier there and was dating my father. She gave me little trivias about him. I knew his favorite bands and passions. I bought a pair of white sneakers and decorated them with lyrics of songs and big INXS written on the heel. I knew he loved Lita Ford, that she was his "dream woman". Eventually he asked me out. He was five years older than I was. He had just graduated high school. I was completely in love with him. My parents were somehow very OK with this situation. Our first date was somehow very unchaperoned and he picked me up at my house where I had George Michael playing on the tape deck. We went to a very scary movie and we went to buy the new release of Duran Duran's Big Thing at Crossroads mall. We held hands, a lot. He never let go of my hand. Ever. I had just started high school. I was dating someone who had already graduated. I had boys closer to my age trying to date me. One of them, Greg B., had pretty good luck because my best friend was in love with his best friend so he was always over at her house. I liked him. I started to ignore Gary. Homecoming came around and I was kind of dating Greg, kind of still talking to Gary. Gary was the DJ at our homecoming dance. He turned on "Careless Whisper" and turned the booth over to his friend and came out to dance with me. Later he walked me out to the parking lot to wait for my ride and he put his leather coat over my shoulders. I stopped talking to Greg B. I'm not exactly sure when Gary and I stopped dating. But, by spring he was dead. He got in a motorcycle accident on one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world. I went to the funeral alone and Greg B. went alone and silently sat behind me with his hand on my shoulder.

I think of Gary often. I still have this one scrap of fabric that I had doused in his cologne way back in 1988. It's sealed within the pages of a scrapbook I had way back then. Every five years or so I get the urge to open it up and smell it and it takes me back to that cold fall and winter when he would hold my hand and pull me close. I had three boyfriends die before I was twenty. Gary was the first.

Anyway. Recently Greg B. professed his undying love for me. It is strange and awkward and brought up a lot of sad memories for me. I had been thinking about Gary a lot. And thinking about the path that entire year had set me on. And then, out of the blue, Greg B. announces that he has never loved any other person like he had loved me. And I feel awful for having put someone through 20 some years of that. On top of this awful guilt I have about my marriage and my current situation.

Anyway. Lita Ford. If Gary had survived our youth, he would have been there tonight.


In other news. I'm not keeping up. I have writerly things going through my head again. But I have yet to have the courage to actually sit down and do something about it. It's nothing but euphoria for me, though, to have those thoughts again.

Summer was fantastic. I was on the water more often than I have been since I was sixteen. I read more than I have read since I was twenty five.I ate more fried pickles than I have in my entire life and drank a lifetimes worth of Two Hearted Ale. I saw the ocean. I put boats in the water for the season and I took them out. There were highlights of my season...the day I spent in my favorite robe, reading a feminist novel on a dock while the wind whipped around me. Cedar Point. Being anchored to a sandbar in the middle of Higgins Lake, utterly alone with a book. Driving home from Higgins Lake on a Sunday in the middle of my five day trip there because my cat sitter couldn't get there. It was five hours on the road just to give medicine to my cats. I made a salad and took a shower and drove back. And it was perfect. Visiting the farm where the peppers I planted from seeds ended up. Pool days (I had a blow up kiddy pool this year) at home.

I did things this summer. And now I'm glad for the fall and winter so I can stop going for a minute. Someone needs to gather their thoughts.


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