Keeping The Faith -- Billy Joel
If it seems like I've been lost
In let's remember
If you think I'm feelin older
And missing my younger days
Oh, then you should have known
Me much better
Cause my past is something that never
Got in my way
I am lost in "let's remember". It's 1982, 1983. It's California, La Habra, La Mirada, Bellflower, Long Beach.
I've just moved there, started grad school. I hook up with an old acquaintance and we start going out.
The days fly by. Joy is everywhere. Such freedom. Such discovery. Living truly on my own. Being an adult.
Dinner, a walk in Belmont. Hamburger Henry's for Marua Burgers. Cheesecake at Grandmas Sugarplums. Walks through the art gallery.
The movies. The music. The long late talks. Her hair, her scent. Her soft touch on the back of my hand.
Thank God we don't see the future. Thank God we walk forward with hope, with confidence.
Looking back I see that just 6 months later it had evaporated. The realities of marriage and what I know now were her sickness made the very same places seem like dry sawdust, not the sweet fruit of the so-recent days.
I looked up. I looked around. All I saw was fear. Choking, abandoning fear. Raging in my mind. Seeming to have lost all the joy.
How did joy disappear so suddenly? Eventually I forgot that the joy evaporated like a minute's rain in the desert. But it did. It left me parched, aching, fearful. Feelings I learned to live with but never understood, never identified again til so much later.
Joy disappeared suddenly because all was an illusion. Carefully crafted to make it seem like there was life. I had my hand in that too.
The past never got in my way. But these days, it looms, lurks, hulks.
I don't wish her back. But I ache for the joy that was. Or seemed to be.
I ache for the man I was. I ache for the dreams, shredded.