Muse’s post yesterday about favorite summer songs stirred up a lot of old memories for me, and I promised her a story about The Boys of Summer, but I’m not ready to write abou that yet as I’m still sorting some things out there. But today I heard Another Nail for my Heart by Squeeze and it got me to thinking about the summer of 1980 and a certain young man I had a mostly physical relationship with off and on for several years, starting in 1980. He was my college anatomy & physiology lab instructor (how’s that for kismet?) and the attraction was both immediate and intense. We were both in other relationships at the time – he with the woman would he would eventually marry and father 3 children with many, many years later, and I with my 2nd husband. We were both in “open” relationships (all the rage at the time) – which I do not recommend for a number of reasons that are not pertinent to this post, so I’ll not dwell on them here. Suffice to say, we dated each other with the full knowledge and consent of our respective mates, but couldn’t very well go to each other’s home and say “oh by the way, we’re going to be having sex in the spare bedroom,” so we had a lot of sex in our cars. This is something all of us have probably done at least a time or two, and it’s not usually the best situation, but I can attest that a lot of very good, toe-curling sex happened in backseats that summer.
The soundtrack was Squeeze and The Cars and Elvis Costello and Blondie. It felt like the color crimson and tasted like a hot flame. He was, at once, gentle and difficult, brilliant and obtuse, attentive and indifferent. A maddening person – the type of man I found myself attracted to with a vengence, over and over throughout my life. I loved him and hated him, but mostly I loved the elusiveness of him and the push/pull of emotions he ruled me with. I attempted to stop my obsession with him in the fall, but it actually took many years for it to be completely over for us. A chance encounter would lead to another several-week festival of physicality, then our paths would verge off again and we would lose contact again, sometimes for months or years. Each time, it got easier to walk away and not look back.
The last time I saw him, we met for lunch to say goodbye for the last time. I was moving away and we both knew I wouldn’t contact him when I came back for visits. I sat across the table from him, and while he talked nonstop about himself, I had a chance to really see him clearly for the first time in my life. It was over for me. It was finally over.