‘Til the world falls apart
I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you
That’s what I wanna do
Until they rip out my heart
I wanna be with you, I wanna be with you
Well that’s all I wanna do
Springsteen, I wanna be with you.
Fourth of July fever had gripped New Jersey by the time I arrived; stars and stripes as far as the eye could see. No one does this sort of thing like Americans. Every house, to varying degrees, seemed to be sporting the colours. Some were happy simply to put a flag above the door, others were clearly serial festooners and bedeckers. Forests of flags had sprouted in Jersey girl’s little township, it was quite a sight.
I confess there was a time in my life when I would have been decidedly uncomfortable with that level of rampant nationalism, but I guess I’m getting mellow in my old age, because now I simply saw it as exuberance and pageantry, not to mention a series of photo opportunities. Besides, this carnival of colour perfectly reflected my mood. I was back, back in Jersey, and back with my girl.
To celebrate my arrival, Jersey girl and I took the kids to Clinton. That was a little different to what we’d done the last time. That fall we’d taken ourselves off to lunch (sans kids) at a bizarre little roadside bar not far from home.
The place had been all sorts of wrong, but they did killer buffalo wings, the beer was good and, best of all, we’d had each other within reach again, what could be better than that?
I know it’s just possible I sing the praises of this woman a little too much, but at the risk of sounding repetitive, when I’m in her company I feel like the luckiest man alive. I’d just never believed, until her, that it was possible to find a fit like this.
I don’t know about you, faithful reader, but through all the other relationships of my miss spent past, I have always felt the need to hold a part of myself back*. There was ever a sense (perhaps an erroneous one) that, were the other person to know me completely, they would be sure to run. Perhaps this stemmed from being abandoned by my father at a tender age; who knows?
Seriously, do you know? I have no frickin’ idea.
Whatever the reason, I never gave fully of myself, and I think my partners always sensed that. It’s ironic I suppose that the method I chose to avoid abandonment is probably the very cause and reason why I was always ultimately abandoned.
This time, it could not be more different. It’s impossible to describe the mechanism which told us this, but both of us knew from the very beginning that we had met the person with whom we could safely share absolutely everything.
I hope that you, dear reader, have found that person in your own life. If so, you have my heartfelt congratulations, you have achieved something truly rare. Hold on to what you have with both hands, lest it slip away in some careless or distracted moment.
Those really were a magical couple of hours spent in the dim interior of that strange little bar. We laughed a lot over our buffalo wings. And the buzz we were enjoying was due to much more than the beers we were imbibing.
That’s what happiness is, a lazy afternoon spent with the love of your life after a months- long separation.
Frozen yogurts with the kids in Clinton was good too.
*I’ve spoken at length about the ‘glass partition’ in a previous post and I guess this is another aspect of that.
All images used in this post are my own.