Thursday, March 03, 2011

Day 3-Your first love

From Singles 2011

First loves are special. They become the yardstick by which we measure next loves. And, the loves after that. I am constructed so that first loves linger. I still wear a shirt I bought for a trip to NYC in 1979. I still revisit my childhood security blanket. I'm ready to name our son after my first dog love. First loves change me forever. Maybe that is true for everyone. I have only been me.

My childhood crushes were atypical: No boy bands. No pop stars. (Those are really the same, aren't they?) Yogi Bear. Captain Kirk. (I offer no explanations. You'll remember, I'm not that kind of psychologist.)

I loved my parents. I told them I didn't want to grow up. I wanted to stay with them. (I'm sure that frightened them. See above.)

My first almost grown-up love was Fritz the Wondercar. Fritz was a Ford Fiesta. Four speed. Lightweight and zippy. I borrowed it from my parents in High School. I taught countless friends to drive a stick.
From Singles 2011
In college a couple friends and I drove it to Florida for spring break.

When I graduated from college my parents gave me the car.
From Singles 2011
I took it with me to Durham. White car. Black plastic interior. No air conditioning. Lots of brake problems. Still, we traveled back and forth between Ohio and North Carolina many times. Springs and Falls the back would be filled with my fold up furniture and clothes and books and art for my walls. (Back then I could hang things on the walls of my rented homes.)

I started to write a fable about Fritz the Wondercar. I never got further than the opening line... "Once upon a time, where east met west and north met south there lived a car."

Eventually, Fritz died of old age. He rusted through the floor, so like the Flintstones you could see my feet on the road. I carried him around as long as I could until my landlord told me I had to dispose of him. Scrap metal.

While I've had several very useful, utilitarian, reliable, even attractive cars since, I've never named another. I've never given one my heart.

This essay could have featured several other "first loves". What's the most important thing about any discussion of my loves is this: I'm very, very, very lucky to have had a first love come back to my life.

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