Well I remember that he was handsome, cute at first, even plain, and later, remarkably handsome. He had a tattoo that was just peeking out from his shirt collar and I wasn’t one for tattoos, but it didn’t bother me. That’s what stands out the most about our first meeting… It didn’t bother me. Maybe it was because he was captivating on some unconscious level that left me open and without judgment. I did ask if he’d show me, wow only two minutes into meeting this stranger at a diner and I’m asking him about his tattoo, (I’m bold that way) saying it looks very yogic, though all I can see is a lick of fire shooting out through his sable chest hair. He smiled a very shy but confident smile and unbuttoned three buttons slowly and showed me. Yup, it was Hindu, painting the five elements in very subtle and beautiful colors and at the center of his chest was a purple lotus flower all open and vulnerable. Maybe that is when he had me, maybe that is when I should have left. Open and vulnerable, I could relate to that. “will it hurt?...” a young girls voice whispers to me, but I push her away. Somewhere deep within I could see the darkness at the end and even tried to warn my older self.
I almost don’t want to mention the next part, but it is the most interesting part of our meeting. I had a guru at the time and as I bantered the way I tend to banter, I mentioned that I taught yoga and that his tattoo reminded me of my guru. She was Hindu and I....he cut in, “Your guru?...” his eyebrows lifting in a hopeful and curious way. “Yeah I know, sounds crazy, a Main Line mom with a guru. Her name is Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, I’ve been studying meditation and I found her through a healer friend of mine… wow, it is possible for me to sound even flakier.” He stared at me as if I had to be kidding. “She’s my guru too, in fact. I’m leaving in six weeks to live at the Ashram and do philanthropic work for Prasad.” He beamed. Well, you can imagine the conversation at that point. A few days later we had our first date which didn’t end until sunrise and me crawling into my bed and offering him a guest bed. Really.
A week later we were living together, and five weeks after that, he left for the Ashram with both of us in tears; him coming home on Thursday nights only to leave at 5 a.m. Monday mornings. The passion was non-stop and the love letters were several and daily since that first night in the diner. Yes, I got love letters while he was living with me. He left me love notes everywhere and we made love several times a day and all night long. At this point I was toast. I’ll admit in the beginning I wasn’t sure this was going to work. Maybe he needed me too much or maybe I was growing away from the guru stuff as he was just headed more deeply into it. Either way, we were at a turning point and I couldn’t bear his coming and going every week anymore, mostly his going. We agreed that he would leave Prasad August 1st and come home to begin teaching at La Salle again and live with me. My Birthday is August 6th, and on that day he took the kids and I to Valley Green and proposed on bended knee. I was tingling, happy beyond all of my sad years of longing for this kind of love to come into my life again, and I was the girl that those big brown eyes were staring into and so in love with. By Christmas he was gone.
It took me three years to get over him….three very rough, tear- filled, Ativan- filled years. What happened…does it matter? Not really. He was two years younger, I had 3 kids and he wasn’t ready for real life beyond young love…that and some more. So a few days before Christmas, he packed up, left us and moved into an apartment in Manayunk. I wish I could tell you I didn’t call and cry, begging him to come home, but I did. I hung on for fixes like some crazed love junky for over a year, until I begged God to take him far away from me because I wasn’t strong enough to save myself. He had more than broken my heart, it felt as if he’d actually taken it from me, leaving me some hollow achy version of my heart, a void, an amputation of soul, and I was willing to do anything to have him love me again. Yes, I had become that girl. I’d never been her before, but I knew what she looked like and I was now her. God finally took him to Maui and freed me. The withdrawal was an abyss of his smell, taste, touch and countless nights crying in the dark, wondering at what precise moment he stopped loving me, when he treated me as if I had meant less than a stranger to him. When all of the words had no meaning and all of the sacredness now mocked me.
I have been in love, deep amazing passionate love, six times in my life since I was 17. I cherish all that I have lived through and all that I have savored. Do I wish I’d never met him? I can’t say. I’ve stopped asking that question. I am in love now… he is a poet and a father; he is wonderful, beautiful, smart, sexy and filled with a childlike honesty about life that intrigues me endlessly. I don’t know if we’ll marry, that is another story, marriage, still I wonder as he and I fall asleep in each other’s arms, limbs wrapped around one another….his smell pressed into my soul already, his taste and warmth, all a part of me now. Will he one day be another memory…I pray not. Love does not last evidently, not all love anyway. I’ve held friends as they’ve rocked in pain of such great proportion over a lost lover and I’ve had to tell them what I’ve come to know, not something one can even fathom at that moment… “You will get over him one day, I whisper gently, you will be happy again, I promise.” Time wounds all heals as far as love goes and therein lies the risk… ah, but what a delicious ride.