meditation 3a: seventeen my next posts, 3a, 3b, 3c,

28 May

meditation 3a: seventeen

my next posts, 3a, 3b, 3c, will be about my being seventeen

I married at 17. It was 1972. Barbara and I were the same age, but different races and cultures. It was NYC, 1972, our first year at City College of New York. She was a nursing student; I an artist. From the moment she placed her foot on my chest at Cathy Richardson’s holiday party, I was taken. Barbara worked in Bloomingdale’s, wore fashionable clothes (at employees’ discount) and waited on the likes of young Robert Redford. Her light amber skin and mouth were attractive in ways I could not understand. Taken in, I lived in each moment with her. A strawberry sweater was matched by her strawberry lipstick. And the more friends and family said we were: too different; too young; too much in love for us to work, the more we lived in, for and with each other.  

12 August 1972 was the day we married. Barbara’s intelligence, beauty was in her desire to be seen. Once, she told me, a client said to her: Leave this country. Go to Europe. You would be idolized there. It’s different there. She didn’ t leave.

In L. P. Hartley’s novel, “The Go-Between” Leo says, “The past is a different country: they do things differently there.” I agree. But Barbara and I are the same there. That is part of our tragedy.


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