Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Another Day

We remember.

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine, II

Love Her Madly

Musashi-Koganei (Tokyo) December, 1975. Late, late at Night

At least I think it was December. It could have been November but I don’t think so. Too early.

The room is quiet. All I can really hear are the sounds of our breathing although I’m sure there are other sounds coming from outside the room, this is Tokyo, after all. At this time of night, however, the trains have stopped running, the buses too, and traffic is very light. Tokyo, unlike New York or many other cities, actually sleeps. Life sorta stops when the trains do.

We’re snug in her futon, the covers pulled up tight around us, our bodies intertwined. It’s chilly in the room; there’s no central heat. But we’re oh-so-warm in afterglow, our faces touching. I kiss her forehead. And then…

I say, perhaps too quietly, “I think I love you.”

I wait for her response. Fearfully. This moment can mark either a beginning or an end. I so want it to be a beginning, because I mean what I’ve just said with all my heart. There it is. I’m exposed. Naked. Reciprocation or rejection. Joy or…pain.

“Me, too.”

And my heart literally leaps. It pounds. My eyes tear up. Can this be real? Is it really, really, true? I think it is.

We talk late into the night. I sense a beginning of incredible import. Life will never be the same, ever again.

In the morning I walk to the train station light-headed, full of hope, full of joy. I can’t wait for the day to end just to be with her once more.

And so it begins.

Fast-forward 23 years. Rochester, New York. November, 1998.

The moving van pulled away from the curb not five minutes ago, loaded with baby furniture, guest room furniture, her piano, a few odds and ends, those possessions she deemed worthy enough to retain. All in all, not much.

I slam the door behind her as she and her friend walk to her truck. I’m blinded by tears. A love that spanned three continents and nearly half my life is over.

And so it ends.

The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were married 32 years ago today.


  1. Words can heal, words can hurt, words can be eloquent, words can be crude.

    And sometimes life just sucks.

    What does the movie line say -- The one who cares the least in the relationship is the one with the most power.

  2. I remember this post.

    It's beautiful, in its way.

    On the other side of the page -- you have an awesome road trip coming up!!!!!!!!

  3. We all have those memories - little moments that stick out in our minds like finding love and ending love. But somewhere in there was the moment someone hardened their heart, chose not to forgive, held on to some hurt, etc. That was the beginning of the end, but maybe we missed it at the time. Yet, it played a big role.

  4. God bless, Buck. If I had better words, I'd give them to you.

  5. Oh Buck...I've got nothing else for you because there are some pains that even the words of friends can't alleviate.

  6. Thank you all. Some day I'll grow up and quit cryin' over spilt milk, eh? ;-)

    Seriously, tho: I appreciate your kind thoughts, all of them. My words of thanks are trite and don't convey the fact I'm grateful that all y'all even read this crap, let alone take the time to commiserate with me. You're the best.

  7. Buck, Two comments:

    1. IMHO, it ain't exactly spilt milk.

    2. This is one of the best written pieces I've seen on the blogs in a looong time. W.B. Yeats says of writing, "Cast a cold eye on life, death. Horseman, pass on by." (That's prbly not an exact quote but close.) What he's talking about is a kind of detachment that is necessary when writing about terrible things. Your writing here achieves that objectivity brilliantly. And knowing you are writing about a most painful personal experience makes that achievement all the more powerful.

    Hope I didn't bore you with my English Prof schtick, but this was so well written it stoked those old fires again.

  8. Wow, Dan. That's some powerful stuff you just laid on me. And coming from you... with your professional background and all... it pleases and humbles me to no end. Thank you SO much.

  9. Speechless hon.
    Beautifully written.
    Said it all, no real reply needed.



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