04 September 2009

Wine, Women and Song

Red hair and green eyes will be the death of me yet. One or the other will turn me into a stammering idiot (according to the wife that's my normal state anyway) but the two of them together means trainwreck for sure.

The first little girl I fell for, way back in the first grade, was a redhead that barely acknowledged my existence at all. She was my classmate all the way up through high school. I never told her.

My first serious girlfriend was also a redhead. She hated being called a redhead, she preferred "strawberry blond." She's gone now, taken from us way too soon at twenty eight years old. I wish I could talk to her just one more time.

The green eyes come in right after high school. My first wife was green eyed, she broke my heart around 1988. Suffice it to say that I was in the Navy, she didn't like it, she figured out before I did that I was going to do 20, she found a way out. It took a while, but twenty years later I can look at it objectively and without regret.

Soon after that I met a green-eyed goddess. She was the friend of a friend's girlfriend, and I first saw her a mere two weeks following my separation from the first wife. I didn't say anything, mostly due to the aforementioned stuttering idiot problem, but I did remark to my friend that the only thing she would have to do to be absolutely perfect would be to dye her hair red.

I put it right out of my mind after that, after all she was an honest to goodness beauty queen (well, runner up anyway) and I was just an ugly little spud. The next time I saw her, about a month later, she was sporting a mane of auburn locks.

I was still self-absorbed, wrapped in my own little cocoon of self-pity, and I wasn't as good to her as I should have been. Still, she lifted me back onto my feet and proved to me that life wasn't over, that there was still plenty of life to be found out there.

Then, as soon as she was there, she was gone. I still miss her sometimes, and I'm a better man for having known her. I just wish I could have told her so.

In the book "The Great Hunt" Thom Merrilin tells Rand Al'Thor that one of the women he meets at a party "would give you an education such as every young man should have at least once in his life, if he can live through it."

My education came about at the age of 24. She was in her early 40's, recently divorced, her husband had left her for a woman about my age and she was feeling alone, unloved and unlovely. It was my task to prove that even though she may be alone, she was not unlovely. In that, I did for her what my beauty queen had done for me, and the education I received was well worth any price of admission. Happily I lived through it, although at times it was certainly a close thing.

She later married a wonderful man who took proper care of her until the time of her death, once again too soon. She died surrounded by those who loved her, in the company of a man who thought her lovely, and her final days were filled with happiness. I will always remember the sparkle in her deep green eyes.

I met my current wife about sixteen years ago. Red of head, red of temper, she kicked holes in my sandcastle walls and took me completely by storm. Before I knew it I was completely overwhelmed, and life just hasn't been the same since.

TROUBLE - Travis Tritt

Tonight as I crack open a few beers and listen to Bob Seger sing "Those are the memories / that give me a wealthy soul" I remember them.


Brigid said...

Yes, red of hair, red of temper. It blows up fierce, but it blows up fair and square, not without reason, and not without deep emotion. You will remember, for when the winds die down, the anger passed, that emotion presents itself in other ways that leaves you breathless, dampness on your skin, your heart pounding, like any good strong storm.

You've lived, loved and learned, and she will be the better for you having lived that life. Best to you both.

Larry said...

No, that's not it at all, she's completely unreasonable ;-)

Sounds like you know her. I don't know what life would have been like without her, but I do know it wouldn't have been as good.

Thanks for dropping by Brigid!

cmblake6 said...

Damn, Larry. That was a deep and introspective post with many good tunes illustrating the emotions! Outstanding.

Larry said...

Ah yes, I've spent many dollars on wine, women and song.
The rest I've mostly just wasted.
Thanks for dropping by Clam!