I may be wrong, but it seems as if most of us have “the one who got away.” Many of us have someone in our lives who held our hopes and dreams in their hands only to slip through our own fingers. The lucky ones find their person and hold on, or find that right partner later when they weren’t looking. It’s usually the way of the world.
For me, I’ve met significant others when least expected and sometimes when I really didn’t want to. Partners is a generous term to apply, but for whatever reason I’ve always felt the term “boyfriend” was on the juvenile side. I think I had a “boyfriend” for a week in middle school once. It’s also possible I simply don’t like the term because I don’t want a boyfriend. I want a partner, a best friend, a travel buddy and a true companion.
When it comes to true companions, I have stellar examples in my parents. Their meshability (not a word? it is now!) impresses and astounds me, yet it’s created somewhat lofty goals for me in a relationship. After all, it took them a while to find each other. But shouldn’t we all be so lucky and deserve that level of partnership?
My one that got away often feels like a dream. A dream, oddly enough, I had just the other night out of nowhere. He hadn’t crossed my mind in quite some time and then *POOF* there he was right smack dead center in my dream. Not just a cameo, but a starring role to sweep me off my feet all over again and have me living in Nostalgia Town for days since. He was gorgeous when we first met (and I’m sure he still is). That increase in heart rate hit me hard when he first smiled at me. I may have loved the food at this restaurant once, but then I became hooked on the noodles (and my waiter). He loved travel and language and music. For a long time after, after I moved away, after we lost touch, after we reconnected and lost touch again… I still feel like a part of my soul recognized his and I have yet to meet anyone that resonates so deeply with me.
James Taylor and Marc Cohn and Angie Stone serenaded us in our relationship even long distance. At the time I was working on recording my album, and music was a big shiny arrow straight to my heart. It didn’t hurt that my mom adored him. He was literary, passionate. All the things that I was, loved, admired, and have subsequently strayed from in rejoining this suburban american culture.
He was someone who, when I would wax philosophically about the dimensions of self and how easy it was for me to feel alone in a crowd, would quote William Upski-Wimsatt so perfectly to summarize precisely how I felt. This was someone who saw me as completely as my closest family, and often better than I could see myself. I am yet to meet another man who sees me clearly, or makes me feel seen and heard if nothing else.
There are so many parts and pieces to each of us that it may be impossible for any one person to see all the facets of our person. It would be foolish to think any one person could complete us and that we could then need nothing and no one else. Not only is that unrealistic but it is an enormous burden to place on anyone. Yet… there’s that hope. Some of the best songs I have ever written have gushed from the swirling emotions left behind by his absence and the hope of finding him or that depth. Some of my darker moments have seen me wondering if I imagined it all or if it was all just me.
I don’t know if I ever really got all of me back and I have parts of me with deep impressions of him. Part of me will always mourn the absence of him from my life and yearn for that connection again. And I will always wonder and hope that while there is a burning influence he left on me, maybe a part of me stays with him too.