GhostsSometimes, in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath
and yet, untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet
Along the walls; in shadowed rafters
Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres
Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep
Lost in love and found in reason
Questions that the mind can find no answers for
Ghostly eyes conspire treason
As they gather just outside the door ...
One of my favorite Dan Fogelberg songs ... one that is haunting me today, and probably will for the next few weeks.
This is SO FREAKING ridiculous! I woke up this morning crying ... I had been in that ether-world between sleep and awake and my mind wandered into places I had thought were long forgotten. It's been three damned years! Why can I not exorcise this ghost???
Three years ago, and then some, I had gone out one evening with friends to a trendy little nightclub. Drinks, dancing and some laughs. We noticed a lady sitting by herself at the bar, looking thoroughly bored in between fending off occasional dudes trying to put a hit on her. We invited her over to join us.
Denise told us she was there with her brother and he was over playing pool. The hell with him, we said ... c'mon, we're having some fun over here. So she did, and had a lovely time.
Then brother came around. Denise introduced us. The first words out of his mouth were, "Hey ... do you like Dan Fogelberg?"
"Oh my God yes! I LOVE Dan Fogelberg! I have adored him since I was in my teens!" I gushed breathlessly.
"Would you like to go see him in concert tomorrow night? In Atlanta? I have tickets."
Uhhh ... yeah. But it's kinda like, I don't know you, dude. What kind of crazy woman meets a man one night then toddles off with him 200 miles away to see a concert, Dan Fogelberg notwithstanding?
A crazy woman like me, is who. And we had a marvelous time. Dinner at one of those little Italian restaurants with the bottle of chianti on the table, red-checkered tablecloths and the strolling violin. The concert was fantastic ... it was at the Chastain Park amphitheater. Jim was a perfect gentleman. My interest perked. When we got back, he gave me a very nice kiss and said he would call. And he did.
The rest is history. Joyful and tragic ... bittersweet. The time we had together was like a dream come true. He plays guitar beautifully, and also sings rather well. Wednesday nights, he had a little gig in a little bar, attended mostly by friends and co-workers, plus the random bored traveler stuck in that hotel. He had a motorcycle. I hate motorcycles. I trusted him enough to go for a ride with him one beautiful fall day. He is funny ... he made me laugh. He stole my heart. Lock, stock and barrel ... right down to the last quivering cardiac nerve cell. It was his.
One Wednesday evening, in early November, I went to the little bar to hear him sing. And so did a friend of a friend. She also played guitar and was wanting to learn from him, having heard how good he was from their mutual friend.
I watched in horror as they shared the microphone on that little stage, having fun, laughing, clearly enjoying each other. I berated myself for feeling that way. Surely he wouldn't ... no, he was too good, too honest, too kind! NO!!!
His sister Denise was there. She read my thoughts, saw the look on my face. She told another of Jim's friends to go intercede. But it was too late.
The friend of a friend (I can't remember her name ... one of those mental blocks, I guess) left shortly after that. Jim was his usual self with me then ... loving, kind, affectionate. I convinced myself that I was being foolish.
But that weekend, his expected call never came. I waited. And waited. I sent him an email, no response. Finally, on Sunday I called him. I got his answering machine. I left a message and I know it sounded stupid ... "Hey, just calling to see how you are. Talk to you later!"
Then I got the email. Not from Jim, but from his sister Denise. And she didn't mean to. He had written to her, she replied to him, then wrote to me and apparently used the same email that she had sent the reply to him. His message to her was at the bottom. I almost didn't see it.
He told her that he and the friend of a friend had spent the weekend together.
To say that I was devastated is the understatement of the century. I must have sat at my desk, staring at that email for over an hour. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I could not breathe, I could not think. My world had imploded around me.
Over the next few days, I worked hard at cleansing my life, my home, my existence of every item that was connected with him. He had given me several really nice gifts, including a 4-CD Dan Fogelberg compilation. I had started buying Christmas gifts for him. All were packed in a box and left on his doorstep. I threw away the bed sheets we had slept on.
I deleted all the emails we had ever exchanged, I removed him from my address book and the quick dial on my phone. I refused to listen to the artists who's songs he played most ... Dan Fogelberg and James Taylor especially.
Most of all, I wanted to erase his memory from my mind. I would mentally scream at myself anytime I dared to even think about him. I focused solely on my work, my kids, anything but Jim. But my heart I had no control over. It mourned, it wept, it ached ... for many months I would awaken to a damp pillow case where I had cried in my sleep. Even now, as I type this, my eyes are misting and I have that about-to-cry ache in my ears.
So here I am three years later ... still missing what I had with Jim and mourning what it became. I feel like a damned fool ...
Every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there
To keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days
That we left behind
Posted by LissaKay on 10/06/03 at 03:46 AM in Matters of the HeartCommenting is not available in this channel entry.
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