December, 1985. Was back in Philly for Christmas with my
Mom and Dad. Stopped at Goody's Record Store in Ardmore
to thumb through the racks of vinyl. Dad was always difficult to
buy for, but he had an affection for jazz piano, so I was looking
at George Shearing's latest, when I glanced up......and my heart
stopped. Two aisles over was my first true high school love and
my first true heart break. Now, fifteen+ years had passed and
I was well and truly over the hurt. We had managed to stay
friends and, for a few years after, occasionally got together for
a drink or two. But, by this winter's day, it had probably been
seven or eight years since our last contact. As nonchalantly as
one can when one's heart has stopped, I ambled over and tugged
at her sleeve. After a few seconds time delay, as she processed
who was tugging at her sleeve, I got a big hug. I was totally
unprepared for my body's reaction. My heart started beating
again but my lungs and brain stopped functioning. I just
couldn't breath and struggled for coherency. I suspect it wasn't
all that different from the first time I asked her for a date in the
fall of 1968. Before I passed out from oxygen deprivation,
I invited her over to Mom and Dad's for a drink, she said yes,
and I fled from the scene. Very strange, these bodies of ours.
Anyway, she came over and the four of us spent a fun hour of
catching up and reminiscing. My conclusion: the past is best
left in the past.
Saw the news that Dan Fogelburg would have turned 60 today.
It was a sad day when he died. A few of his songs rate regular
turns as the ipod shuffles. This one, however, takes me back
to "that old familiar pain."