She was, as if, forcing the earth down repeatedly with the palms of her hands,”This is hell and when we leave here we go to Heaven”, and she flicked her wrists upward. Obviously a church goer and when your girlfriend makes a serious statement you should probably listen. When you both leave the Louvre and barely acknowledge the existence of, the most diagnosed painting in human history, the Mona Lisa, your probably in love. Those moment’s of happiness I wish too longevity are lost, never to be replaced in intensity and my memories are shadows I attempt to resurrect, through words. Mankind (excuse my Christianity) by way of painting, music and dance, statues and structures, according to the second woman I loved, has been trying to produce great works here in hell for a long time. Therefore the study of history and therefore something to keep ourselves busy with, while were hanging around waiting to go, to God knows where, next. Damn it, it’s just one never ending roller coaster ride. Blessed are they (could have been us) who can feel so much and peacefully surrender to eternity. More sensible than doing a “Romeo and Juliet”. So I ask myself, how could I be so stupid? Stupidity and ignorance is probably how I got there. Probably how anyone ever gets anywhere.
Problem with love is you’re having such a good time, you forget to know you’re in it. Better that. That’s perfect love. The savouring ends, the pain begins. Your with the illusion, this is a normal state of being, that you’ve only finally just come to discover and later it will be like candy, whereby, you can just pick it up, any old time. Boy is it fleeting. It’s not as if you’re in that long drawn out process of sitting there debating is she good for me, or am I good for her, or this and that and all those other things that mean, your not. That’s why I’m fond of the word ‘oblivious’. It’s always been my rarely attainable, favourite state and I’m not talking with support of drug inducement. The natural unaware kind. Maintaining oblivion here in hell is impossible but it allows for us to suspect heaven is a possibility. If we have momentary senses of euphoria (before our, recent clinical understanding of why) would there be place for it’s constant? Well we have hope, that other fantastic human emotion that in earthly form transforms into ambition. The groundwork for all of man’s endeavour to secure fulfillment and forever, but all we have here is common trivial tangible raunchy pleasure. Our physical form that cultivates sustenance for our brain, from where all of our speculation finds construction, research and information by way of observation, conversation and community.
Deborah was part of a group of four girls who were classmates and close friends, of which, one of them, I was head over heels for, from the age of fifteen. They grew in influence by osmosis, during my deserving and unrelenting adoration for my first female, have to have, which I shan’t mention in name, at this time. These things still bite. Only as recollection. As gratefully they should. Contact exponentially grew upon legal eligibility to chauffeur, as I immediately made myself valid. So coincidentally activity accelerated, with before or after school pick-ups, lunch venues and as we moved into our late teens, there were parties, movies and events. I was participant to many, a small talk and question’s, inside the front door foyers with the parent’s, as they investigated if I was a trustworthy accompaniment to their daughters adventures. “What’s your father do”? “Mechanic”. “Your mother”? “Housewife”. “What school do you go to”? “O’Conner”. “You”re Christian”? “Catholic”. “We’re expecting you won’t be later than midnight”. “Definitely”. Everything was generally smooth and uneventful because they were all aware it wasn’t their daughter’s I was chasing but were nevertheless curious, to see the potential smitten interest, of one of their children’s friend’s. As always, I did better with father’s and brother’s, in particular if they were straight up guy, type of guys.
Deborah began dating, I suspect her high school sweetheart, earlier than the rest of us. Her best friend, “Janis”, was next. He was noticeably older and already a successful architect. Their relationship was traditional, whereby, marriage, plus four children, including a permanent move to California as a corporate partner, was an outcome. Victoria, herself became an architect and met her future husband inside her university program. By casual semi-interested interaction my impression was they were all decent men. My focus, my thought’s, my beliefs and intentions always included the feelings of the one, I believed would become my significant other. The peripheral relationships by extension I protected, as a course to this happy to be, anticipated inevitability. “The best laid plans of mice and men”. For the outspoken, opinionated person I tend to be, I reflected much of my time with the girls as listener. I felt fortunate to have perspective included in my repertoire that wasn’t so Julius Caeser and Alexander the Great oriented, which made up most of my neighbourhood friends. I loved the disco era as I loved dancing but when I was out with the girls the reprieve from machoism was a welcome change. They were primarily Anglo and I loved all things that touched on Western Europe. The girls were bright, smart and fun to be with. I was one lucky guy, to be keeping their company.
So it was, the girls at varying times, accepted part time jobs at a local upscale restaurant, amongst a collage of other jobs and locations they collectively spun as opportunities for each other. I happened in on one of these cycles as a busboy and when after a few weeks was asked to become a waiter I turned it into full time employment. Janis one evening while hostess, referenced that Deborah and she were planning to work in Europe for a year and I had been having thoughts of similar purpose, whereupon on our return, we intended to pursue our studies. So a few weeks later when they asked if I’d like to D-Day with them the first week in London, I happily latched on to this launch point for the European Continent. We departed sometime close to the beginning of the school year as is still habit today for these types of potential transitioning students.
Together we allowed for a minimum of a full week at a charming hotel and room, that captured the essences of London’s character. The girls to my advantage, by way of their admirable ability to organize had us well placed, safe and comfortable, to explore a thoroughly interesting and entertaining city. I loved London. What you see is what you got. My anticipations were accentuated as evidenced by my relentless desire to forgo any kind of sleep. During the day the three of us were prototypical tourists and my love for history and all English was absorbing. Come nightfall the girls were always in readiness, to turn in. The first evening, as I departed for music, dance and exploration, I left thinking they were tired and rejuvenating. By the third night I assessed this was becoming a pattern of security, likely initiated by the parent’s. Ultra attractive women they are, but 1980 London for me was well demarcated in it’s potential dangers. I never had a situation or witnessed a confrontation. Today, I don’t know. Paris on the other hand necessitates extra care because the corruption is hidden with sophisticated manners and the dangerous are disguised with fine clothing. Figures the French are notorious for perfume. By the fifth or sixth night I was freaking, “Are you kidding? You’re not going to party while we’re here! “Couldn’t get them out, couldn’t believe it. I’d roll in at 5 or 6 every morning for a power nap and there they’d be, anticipating my arrival, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. “I’ll catch you up, for breakfast”, I said. My friend’s and I had a wonderful time.
We said our goodbye’s as I boarded a train for Dover and on reaching the port I casually asked a women seated across, why everyone simultaneously, seemed to be preparing to disembark. “Where are you going”? “Through Italy to Yugoslavia”. “Well you have to take the ferry”. “Ferry”? “You must be an American”. I didn’t say it, well I did say, “Canadian”, but to myself, ‘I need a vacation from this vacation’. But of course I like taller than me, German Blond’s, so I chatted her up, until we separated east and south, some twelve hours later and exchanged possibilities.
I remember thinking that I should prepare to stay awake as the train was soon to pass through the city of Milan and surrounding area. Of course, I slept during my given name and hours passed, when daylight at the border, startled to the sight of communist soldier’s, machine-guns and a tall watch-tower. Upon entering my province/state of Slovenia, I immediately began having problems with authorities, related to insignificant issues, as an obvious opportunity for bribery. To be short, my third luggage check was apparently needed because I was on a fast train with slow ticket. Questionable tactics. The normal civilized procedure of upgrading wasn’t available, as the hand-gun carrying ticket attendant rifled through my stuff, he slowed to a stop on Miss September. Smut, the harder the better, in Christian territory, is a cheap and effective way to deflect yourself through some marginal situations, if your basically innocent. I said to him, “Vzami vse te knjige, ze sem jih precital”. “Take all these books I’ve already read them”. He left me with the Economist and Time magazine but he also left me with a teaching moment. Cash bribes can turn hostile in a hurry. I always made a point to carry the American glossy stuff if I could get my hands on it. They’re good for bartering, especially if your product is scarce. Almost instant gratification is a money saver, or maker.
After a few weeks of this kind of Marxist mentality and cultural extortion, had me seeking alternatives. The pace of mountain and farm life was snail like, so when a cousins friend offered shared transport to Germany, I headed north in search of tall, surrendering to a promised return at Christmas. Bettina was a student at the University of Tubingen, a place I frequently visited, as I unexpectedly showed at her residence, to be reacquainted. Things with her went splendidly and I decided that the Stuttgart, Reutlingen corridor would serve nicely as a temporary base. A few days later I scored employment by way of black market, as a carpenter in a cement factory. There I plied my new trade and lived the life of an undocumented immigrant. My smart, with height, bonus rich, blonde, was of course sceptical of some guy parachuting into her life but none the less, simultaneously fascinated with my enamour. The months I lived there we never consummated, however she was a superlative host as she opened up the flavours of her nation to a suspicious guest. As an aside, shockingly, she wrote me in Canada four years later, lamenting our lost opportunity. “C’est la vie”. Is any full life without the experience of regret? Get over it.
A year of travel is an arbitrary number, an approximate timetable, of anticipated event’s, wherein the wherewithal to survive an unknown distant land, adjustment to the beliefs of foreign opinions, an investigation of yourself through a mirror of uncommon perspectives and an eyeopening, raw examination of evil and how it functions politically without the self preserving protection of your family. After six months I was fortunate to be alive and situations were still in the process of playing out and would need to, as conclusions are a dynamic of my personality. However, the end game began from beyond, with first contact, after these significant months, from my friends in Paris and an arrangement to get together. I rented a car and leaving work early on a Friday, made the long drive from Metzingen to the “City of Lights”, the birthplace of The Age Of Enlightenment. In the evening, along the way, a suspect array of isolated fires and from the periphery of the city Nancy a cathedral burned like inferno, as flames touched and lapped at the black night sky. Omens?
I had suggested a three in the morning rendezvous, at, of course, the Eiffel Tower. To my chagrin, upon arrival, I couldn’t find hide nor hair nor security personnel. Who knew. A landmark of iconic proportions, in my imagination, would have to be a none stop circus of activity. My disappointment was only deterred by my worry, for corralling the girls to meet me in a secluded spot. No people, no washrooms, claim to fame, use one of the Eiffel legs as a fire hydrant. We all want to leave a mark before we leave the world stage. We greeted without incident, enjoyed our weekend in each others company and caught up on our, on goings. When I departed, I was without harbinger of returning to Paris, as I had projected our next hook up, back at home in Toronto and although we were together on our trip for brief period’s, an underlying sense of our common mission, was bonding.
Upon receiving an unanticipated message a couple of weeks yonder, stating one had suddenly lost her employment causing the other to also terminate and together they had decided to move on from France. I casually suggested they come and stay with me in Germany for the few weeks prior to spring as I knew they expected to visit relatives in Spain and England in the warming months. Voila, I once again rented a slightly larger automobile, as I promised to retrieve the girls with luggage but last minute my co-worker and friend changed his plans to fly home for the weekend and asked to join in my return, on the road to Paris again. This factored.
It had never crossed my mind, in any form, or in any part of my active imagination that I would have the strongest affection and desire of my life, in the coming hours, for Deborah. Again with gusto, not an inclination or anticipation or intuition. Overwhelming was my passion and adoration for her and of course these feelings can only be enhanced if they feel reciprocal. I still believe that an occurrence of this nature can only manifest if it isn’t contrived. It’s as if miracle. Do I believe that our love was, more or less, than the love’s of others? Of course not. It just feels that way. When logic doesn’t ask for satisfaction.
In the ensuing forty-eight hours, Deborah and I were already hot and heavy, checking out Paris with a final look and were now standing, the girls and all their belongings, strewn around the car, preparing to leave. You know that visual. Dilemma. Nick my buddy barely knows the girls, Janis was already on the road to matrimony, the luggage is of course shockingly, I say shockingly substantial than contemplated, for the car I’ve rented. Deborah and I had been without remorse, shamelessly, pawing each other as if on an island in the Pacific, somewhere before the current advent of evolution, never to need see the face of humanity and civilization. The garden of Eden was close to finding itself appleless. But God prodded us forward, as if rushing us with his approval. Anyway to remove the intrusiveness of calculations, I allow you to draw your own conclusions. Nick drove, Janis sat in the passenger seat behind the driver with some number of suitcases and other bags squeezing her firm, to the corner. The trunk of course was so full it had displaced all the oxygen. Naturally, Deborah had to sit the journey to Germany in my lap. Needless to say, by the time we voyaged the hours to my place, we were both toast. The jaws of life would be unable to separate us.
On looking back at the entire volume of my life, and the privilege of insight, with an extraordinary level of personal interaction, amongst a significant variety of people, I’m sure that I could have fallen for any number of great women. Some I did and they never knew. Minus the nitty-gritty and responsibility. The degree of contrast in respect to character amongst my female friends, was relatively speaking, insignificant, as their mutual similarities were more importantly pronounced. The aside, of unique individual historical circumstance and the severity of some of their singular realities, would be prominent influential variable’s when applied to alternative viewpoints amongst themselves. If Deborah was a compassionate, understanding, sensitive, loyal, loving, considerate, motherly, sensual, natural person, with a ruthless will to survive, how truly unalike could friend’s in each other’s orbit possibly be and in turn, a large portion of the female population that I personally tend to find attractive and gravitate. That we surrendered our inner emotional selves to each other and shared intimacy was the factor of cardinal significance. That I later betrayed these feelings and the events of which my resulting culminating actions produced, can still bring to me, a cringe. And the details of which are stored away in the filing cabinet of my mind under the heading “Shame”, never to see the light of day. I wish to apologize for harming the fraternity of womanhood, whereupon they bestowed to me a gem and I failed to appreciate there blessing. Well thankfully I can blame my immaturity, it’s the one useless crutch I can hang on to, while I lament and be despondent. In the end it’s all good. Stage right, enter, ‘cliche’, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.
So it wouldn’t be a stretch for my dreams to be soothed by romance films, of which I have several favourites. None can match, or emotionally correspond as succinctly, with the exacting psychological detail and of riveting character’s, for me, as ‘Casablanca”. In my imagination, which of course omits my weaknesses and I’m not as handsome and debonair, never the less I am much like Humphrey Bogart, and Deborah is as valiant and as stunning as Ingrid Bergman. In the climactic conclusion, the summation is an apropos of my love life. She plane’s away with another man to save the world, while I get stuck with the French Resistance Captain and a life of booze, gambling and women of the night. Life is fraught with missteps and unanticipated happenings but in the end, “We’ll always have Paris”. Plus a few extra picturesque weeks of European locations.
I had already put too torch our relationship, prior to Deborah’s return to Toronto. I made overtures and attempts at reconciliation after my far late realizations, even as she mercilessly rejected me and frustratingly, with elegant kindness, as was expected, of one I should love, so. I simply failed to recognize how rare these feelings were and that I needed to thoughtfully protect them, for both our sake’s. Of course I’ve had many substantial failure’s but this was far and away, my best work at destruction. We all eventually moved on from each other and as is common, snippets of information of each others lives somehow intermittently through the years, finds you. Nothing unusual to detail. The last time I looked into the beautiful face of Deborah is probably about thirty-seven years asunder. She is always my inspiration.
Irony, came out to play, as always unexpectedly, early in the year 2015. as a concept I conceived for reviving the life of a historical building, had in it’s infancy, received considerable support amongst a small group of building and financial professionals. I had hunted down Victoria’s phone # in New York by way of my father’s consistent friendship with her father. I had known that as a final arbitrator on the feasibility of a major structural project of this nature, it was easily within her purview of architectural experience to make a judgement. If information needed to be extracted for definition she and her surrounding group of peers had the means to make a final determination. On my initial call she had marvelled at the grandiose of potential, and ended our call, likening me to Santa Claus as in bringing her a gift. Nothing surprises me anymore.
I waited some weeks, as I had a preplanned stratagem in place that was going to suffer pace and had hoped for an unsolicited return call, supporting my internal conclusions. It never came, so I forced myself against my nature, to interrupt Victoria’s life a second time in an attempt to retrieve a bonafide answer, based on her initial positive response. Lo and behold, she answer’s and identifies her location as street level close to her abode, just around the corner from the 9/11 buildings and for me, as if knowingly, to guess who was with her, visiting. “No, who”? I asked. “Deborah”! Even to my heart-pounding surprise, with light-speed, it left from me, “Tell her I still love her”, and I immediately returned to the subject of my call. I found it strange that I couldn’t extract an answer from Victoria that would satisfy me one way or another. Can this building physically withstand the pressure necessary to become a viable, functioning again, structure? And Deborah, is a woman I should have married, of course if she had wanted to say yes. But that would have needed a mountain of forgiving. If you come to bliss, treasure it, once finding heaven here on earth, if rejected, it will be lost until you leave the human form.
Scorpions———-Holiday The Hollies—All I Need Is The Air That I Breath
Puccini: “O mio babbino caro”/Fleming . Marin . Berliner Philharmoniker
Buzzcocks—Ever Fallen in Love Sade———No Ordinary Love
Diana Ross——-Love Hangover Ruth Etting—–Love Me Or Leave Me
Serenade Enrico Toselli. Violin and Piano Natalia Walewska and Tomaz Zajac
Rolling Stones—–Angie David Bowie——Hero’s