Once upon a love lost time…
There was a girl who lived in Lindenhurst, NY who, for a summer, had my heart in her grasp and I never intended that it be released. It took place in the mid to late 1970’s in that faraway place that I remember thinking was simultaneously glory, joy, utter bliss, and extreme ecstasy. It is a location that must be where the Rapture takes you. All that is good and kind is everywhere, and your soul, no; your very being is complete. A place like no other that might only be found in a specific set of eyes.
I am not able to access her name from the rapidly deteriorating hard drive between my ears. I can, fortuitously, rescue a memory of opulence in the orbs with which she observed me in my foolishness.
We met while we were gainfully employed as taxi drivers at a small cab stand at the Long Island Railroad station in Babylon, NY. The money was terrible and the hour’s even worse, but it sufficed to pay a weekly rent and allowed for enough to enable the noble search all young men required in their quest for female companionship and whatever mind altering, mood changing substance essential to the discovery of true love.
The particular advantage to my spirit that this unique lady offered is that there was no need to wander the pubs and beaches in the execution of the marvelous mission that is coital coupling. We got off at about 11:00 pm and the world was, literally, our oyster. Pub crawling was not necessary, and quite cumbersome to us as we crossed the threshold into the adventure of discerning if either of us might just be, THE ONE AND ONLY.
We would ride across the bridge spanning the Great South Bay parking out by the nearest beach. We would lie on the hood of her car while watching the sky and the surf. We would drink beer or wine and talk about grand ideals while listening to the FM station playing love songs. We would look deep into each other’s eyes before we embraced. We would skinny dip, but not get too close. We had promised to wait for the gift of intimacy until there was no doubt that we had, in fact, uncovered THE ONE AND ONLY.
This pausing in the exercise of release that most young people yearned for served as both a blessing, and a decided disadvantage. This was not something my Neanderthal mentality was properly adept at. I have visions of cavemen and the lack of romance required back in those glorious days prior to language or etiquette. I realize this is a racial memory, but in my misspent youth I was not the judicious and perceptive intellect you have all come to love and submit your time to. Today I can listen to “Here comes the Sun” by the Fab Four and reminisce of the women in my life I have loved. Back in the day, it was much more “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” by Meatloaf. So why agree to this absurd abstinence?
It was her eyes.
I would look in them and feel safe. I would wonder why the only thing I really wanted to do was see the shine in those sky blue near translucent orbs lit by the moonlight bouncing off the water, and hear her soft voice telling me things I had never heard before. I never found an answer to my speculation.
It seemed as if God had sent an angel to me. She would smile and tell me goodnight when she dropped me off closing the night with deep embraces. My heart would ache for the sight of her until I got to work the next day. Then, right at about 11:05, Shangri La would open and all else would evaporate in the face of the magnificent creature that God had allowed me to hang with.
The memory is still breathtaking, and it comes to me from time to time to, I believe, remind me that I am alive. There is much in life currently that is ugly, unpleasant, and foul. One thing that is not revolting is the memory of a love lost in time.
The reality of the time proved not as splendid as the memory. Summer turned into fall, and then winter. It became too cold to sit out by the beach unless we were extremely inebriated. An old boyfriend of hers moved back to town and wanted to rekindle old times. I picked up a decidedly exotic girl in my cab one night and discovered that adorable eyes existed in other woman. We drifted apart and marched on our individual ways. We never did discover the wonders of the flesh, but that was fine. Like I said…it was her eyes.