I had to see it's face. It had been long enough. I had been haunted for decades by a lonesome memory that was bearable most of the time, especially in the light,but at night it often reached to me and would throw me of balance.
It was an old romance, my only one ever. I wasn't a boy looking for love. It was never something that interested me. I have had hundreds of friends that only think of one thing,,,,romance. I guess maybe when I got gobsmacked by it, the fact I never wanted it made it even more impactful. We were broken kids with substance abuse problems and it ended with me fleeing Houston Texas in the middle of the night with some bruises and a nose with teeth marks and scabs forming on it. It was at the end of a night of bar hopping and I really can't tell you what it was about. Even as broken as I was, hitting me was a deal breaker, as if the deal weren't broken enough.
So, nearly 30 years later i have never wanted to be in "love", but whatever that was swept me up and out like a tsunami decades ago as a college freshman haunted me. It wanted me to remember what it was like when the mention of his name made me go numb. For thirty years people have asked me why I never partnered up, frankly it's because no one has ever made me feel that way, not even close not even thread of tingle.
So I wrote this guy who lives not more than 50 miles from me and made some excuse to stop by and see him when I was passing through. He called and left a message and when I was free I called him back. I won't go into the details, but by the time I got off the phone with him, I saw things entirely differently. I think I needed to hear that he wasn't that 18 year old anymore and I got everything I needed. I had confronted this emotional monster that gave me fitful dreams that spilled into the waking day.
I talked to my friend and adviser and when I mentioned the dope smoking, wine drinking my only "lover" had been doing the whole time we were on the phone, he said he hoped I was done with the whole thing. I laughed and said "Done"
5 minutes after I said I was done, I knew with all cells and fibers it wasn't over for me yet. I needed to see his face. I don't know why, but I had to see his face. I was so angry at my spirit because I knew it would never be over unless I saw his face. So without telling anyone, I got up the next morning and went to where he worked.
I saw him briefly and hurriedly got in my car. I felt nothing, I didn't laugh, I didn't cry. I just drove. I thought at least I would feel a charge for staring down this emotional monster that came to toy with me when I was down or lonely. I just kind of felt sad. I felt sad because this once beautiful kid who took my breath away was now a middle aged man too. The joy that used to explode from his spirit is shut down and roughened. I felt sad that if I only got to have that feeling time once, I would really never prefer never to have known what i missed.
I told my sponsor, imagine you had the best experience from the best drug in the world, but you could only have it once. Would you take it? You can't unring a bell and I can't untake that drug.
Two days after I heard the song by Martina McBride called "Independence Day" on the radio and I thought how many young girls I'd see try to sing that song at the little country shows I sang at. They hit the notes but they didn't have the emotional depth to really touch hearts when they sing them. There are songs kids can sing and hit the notes but fail register real feeling with them that makes them look even more like kids singing grown up songs. A ten year old singing "Stand By Your Man" is cute but no one buys it. Since I was 18 years old, I had the real heartbreak that let me sell a ballad. This broken heart , massive in size has helped me help others with their failed romance. It gave me an emotional depth that I wouldn't have gotten any other way. It was in every essence my credential to understand the human condition of "HURT".
That was my first benefit of seeing the face of the specter than followed me for nearly 30 years. The second came just now as I began typing. All this time it wasn't him that I was longing for, it was the feeling. I have been wanting love all this time but was terribly confused about where it needed to come from. Oh shit, I'm that kind of human after all. It wasn't him.
I would have spent the rest of my life confused had I not listened to the urging of spirit telling me it was time to face this monster. The hour long phone call could have been enough I suppose, but I knew, I had to see his face and for some reason I needed him to see mine. I just reached over on my desk and picked up a red Sharpie. Without thinking I colored a little red heart and wrote the word "love" underneath it on my upper thigh. It is a statement of intention. It is with only a small amount of embarrassment that I make the declaration, on the 7th day of my 47 year, I, Clinton Rolen Gandy have joined the circle of sappy friends and thousand of people I will never meet, for i am in search of GROWN UP LOVE.
The block in the channel has been forced out and I literally can feel life flow where it hasn't in decades. So, my advice is face your monsters and let what happens happen. I have found yet another level of freedom and it excites me to no end.
I work with boys some of which are exactly one year younger than me when this thing when down in the middle 80's. I was just as broken as the lost boys I work with and I can't imagine any of them falling in love and trying to live out this crazy fantasy of what love was suppose to look like from the tv and the movies.
I'm so humbled when my understanding of things is reframed and I see everything clearer and more precisely. I won't be painting sad clowns or kittens, but as of today, I am going to find someone to share myself with who is just as curious as me about the whole thing and hopefully just as grateful as I am. I am grateful to have gotten this far and I know when you put hope and action together you create possibility. I am mastering the possibilities.
There is a huge amount of ego that says to never share this piece, It is my story and it couldn't be truer, and when I am honest I feel better. Don't judge me to harshly if you need to judge just know, that I so believe in being free, I saw this through when it would have been easier to find a shortcut or pretend it didn't happen all together.