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Friday, February 29, 2008

Old lover. Google. Wow.

Last night, I Googled a man that I hadn't seen or spoken to in 30 years. A man that I remember once loving - so much that though he wouldn't believe this, he has been indelibly etched in my consciousness since the last day I saw him. In 1979. I still have one old photo of us together and after all these years I knew right where to find it too. Third footlocker to the left, under the Christmas decorations and old paint cans. I found it in 30 seconds.

A look at that photo brought back to memory a beautiful, soulful brilliant, BRILLIANT, older man whom I was so smitten with, I could hardly speak in his presence. I remember lying in his bed, behind french doors with billowy curtains and a handwritten sign that said: Impasse. I talked a good hello but she talked an even better goodbye, while he read beat poet Richard Brautigan books and kissed me and stroked my hair and totally got under my skin. He was so cool. And I recall he broke it off with me, because I got too old for him at the ancient age of 21.

By his recollection I was a skinny, neurotic, emotionally unavailable and real emotional girl whom he slept with a few times and who maybe typed a few letters in his office now and then. He did remember reading poetry books but he also remembered me as the girl who wouldn't go to Ohio for the holidays to meet his family and the girl who didn't appreciate the gorgeous expensive dresses he thoughtfully picked out 'specially for me. And he recalls that I was mean to him and broke it off, and maybe even hurt him a little.

How do I know this is what he recalls?

Because true to my investigative nature, I Googled him, found him, chucked all caution to the wind, picked up the phone at 9:30 PM (after midnight his time) and called Poling Music in Nashville TN.

I was just trying to see if I could find his voicemail, listen to his voice and see if it really was him. I thought I was calling his office but he answered! When he picked up live, all I could say (remember, I could hardly speak in his presence) was "Oh my gawd... Tom Poling! Oh my gawd, do you remember me? Oh my gawd..." I can't remember what else I said in those first few minutes, but I will tell you that we talked for 4 hours, maybe more and he told me stories and read poetry to me over the phone. Richard Brautigan, Rumi and Tom Poling, m.d. originals. My heart soared, I thanked him for making me really happy.

And he thanked me for calling him, and told me that somehow with my middle of the night phone call, I had snuck into his basement in Nashville TN. and relit his pilot light.


4 comments:

just jamie said...

Oh, so sweet the powers of Google.

Does he want to re light *your* pilot light?

baby~amore' said...

very sweet - he looks liek a guy I ahd a secret flame for , for a long time - no kidding !

I tried to Google him but nada !

So when is the next call ?

Cheri said...

Elvis is alive! Maybe it is just the old picture from the bottom of the footlocker under the Christmas decorations and paint cans scanned and posted. But he is in TN, right?

jamie~I think her pilot light is self-igniting, but will he build her house with a wood-burning fireplace and two cats in the yard?

Trish~Get on a plane. But take jamie and me.

Tracy said...

Trish, what a fantastic story, and beautifully written too. Made me smile! :-)