In The Rapids

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She was going under.

She was put together not by a makeup artist for Paramount Pictures, but by God Himself. I was meeting my Waterloo, I know now. I was gobsmacked. This was an emergency.

Of course she was married. Not only married but a mother of three. What was I thinking? Shake it off, Dave! Get real!

She arrived late to our first appointment on Hemphill Park to see a duplex for sale. I worked furiously to keep my cool. I had my current girlfriend in tow. My imagination was on fire.

Over thirty-five years later, that fire still burns in a different universe. My atoms still love her atoms, they can’t help it. It must be one of God’s secrets how that kind of thing is real, how elemental it is, how hyperbole can’t come close to it.

I got lucky is all I can say.

What I didn’t know was she was caught in the rushing rapids of life and she was going under if things didn’t change radically. It took several years for that to play out, during which time I was biting my tongue and pretending to be a “friend.”

No, I could never be a “friend,” thank you very much. I could never be anything but a lover in this lifetime.

We’re very different, though. We look at the world very differently. I don’t know why, but our life together has had more than the common dose of adventures. Few people we know have gone off and done the kind of things we have, things that form a person’s vision of life.

In spite of being such a naturally practical-minded person, she is a full partner in our peripatetic lifestyle. Even with children, we traveled, lived abroad, had beautiful adventures. Even now, we keep making it up, improvising, imagining.

Travel, that inadequate word, points to one of the energies we share.

We also love ambiences, of places big or small, we love creation of things beautiful and unexpected, we love animals and children, we love cuisines and wines, we love ideas and making them manifest, we love art and literature, we love the larger selves we are together.

It’s a love story, and a true one.

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