Sunday, February 14, 2010

'Love? Baby, you were a minefield..."

Love is a rose.

Love is a rose but you better not pick it,

only grows when its on the vine,

hand full of thorns and you know you've missed it,

(Lose your love when you say the word mine.)

Neil Young

"…And if my Romeo should die,

Cut him into little stars,

And he shall make the face of

Heaven so fine,

That all the world

will fall in love with night;

And pay no attention to the garish sun."

William Shakespeare

"Greater love hath no man

Than that he lay down his

Life for his brethren."

St John the Revelator

"Love means never having to say you are sorry."

Eric Segal, 'Love Story'

"Love is patient, love is kind…"

St Paul

Love, soft as an easy chair,

Love, fresh as the morning air,

Love, that is found by two,

I have found in you…

Barbra Streisand, From 'The Way We Were'

"Love can build a bridge,

between your heart and mine,

love can build a bridge,

don't you think its time…

don't you think its time?

The Judds

"I loved you in the morning,

Your kisses deep and warm,

Your head upon the pillow

Like a sleepy golden storm."

Leonard Cohen

"I've seen love go by my door,

never been so close before,

never seemed so easy or so slow,

I've been movin' in the dark to long,

When somethin's not right its wrong,

You're gonna make me lonesome

When you go…"

Bob Dylan

"You're cheating heart,

Will pine some day,

You'll crave the love,

You threw away,

There'll come a time,

When you'll be blue,

You're cheating heart,

Will tell on you…"

Hank Williams

"Lovin' her was easier than anything I'll ever do again…"

Kris Kristofferson

"Pain don't hurt…"

Patrick Swayze, 'Roadhouse'

I threw the 'Roadhouse' quote in just because I love it and because I miss ole Patrick. Well, what can be said about love that hasn't been said before? I remember once, years ago, I was asked to sing the song, 'Tammy' at a wedding because the bride's name was Tammy. It was a beautiful wedding, except for that song, which got a butcherin' unlike any song that ever felt the cleaver before, at my hand. Still, no one really noticed but me.

I've come to the conclusion that I may not know as much about love as I thought I did.

Its easy to do, not knowing, I mean. I'm convinced that I have this little dog to teach me about unconditional love. I don't have children, so this dog will have to do as I make my way once again through love's maze.

As I reflect on love tonight, what I do remember is the vivid flush of love in its infancy. I remember my first love, Linda _______, whom I thought I would love forever. I was all of sixteen years old, and we were caught in that 'Romeo and Juliet' juggernaut, the one where her parents hated me with as much passion as Linda and I had for each other. There is nothing like the love that a teenager has, the world stops as it stops.

Two trains, one wreck…" excerpt from 'Blue Baby, A Memoir'

LINDA

He had this truck with the devil’s pitchfork trick painted on the hood. He had this wild ass hair that went everyway. His clothes were torn and ripped. His arms were lean and strong from hanging on—and get this, rough out boots, Tony Llamas, that’s the only kind he would wear. Sometimes he wore hats, when he was drinking, which was most of the time. I fell in love with him at a desert party. We were both on acid. I loved it as much as he did.

JAMES

You were supposed to slow me down.

LINDA

Like I was cut out for that kind of work.

JAMES

She was Czechoslovakian. Brown sparkling eyes and this crazy laugh that scared women and little children—and she had a body, a sensuous, deep, dark brown body that could make me cry when I was cornered. We recognized each other in the beginning from our clothes. Ripped it up, didn’t we baby?

LINDA

Oh, we were ripped all right.

JAMES

We were in love, so in love—baby—

LINDA

Like two trains, one wreck…

JAMES

Like fallen angels with waxed lips.

LINDA

Like the moon exploding and bleeding…

JAMES

Like an upside down candle…

LINDA

Like those little hearts on Valentine's Day. Mine said, 'forget me not', yours said, 'bail me out'.

JAMES

Her parents hated me, called me 'Satan'.

LINDA

What would you have thought if you were my parents? You standin’ there at the door lookin’ like you had just walked off the Spahn Movie Ranch with Charles Manson.

JAMES

I was harmless.

LINDA

Baby, you were a minefield.

JAMES

I couldn’t even pick her up at her house. I had to go to her friend’s house.

LINDA

It was—all of it—a tragedy—

JAMES

I loved you so much it hurt—all the time—

LINDA

After I got pregnant, it hurt all the time—

JAMES

Her mother found the papers—back then they called it an extraction—they flew you to California.

LINDA

Our relationship was never the same after—

JAMES

There was something missing—after that—

LINDA

And it’s still missing—It will be missing forever—

JAMES

I can still recognize me in you—

LINDA

I know, why don’t you come and get yourself, that way I don’t have to carry you around—

JAMES

I’m still attracted to you—

LINDA

You’re still trying to kill yourself.

JAMES

I’d give all that up if we could try it one more time.

LINDA

You’d give all that up for me?

JAMES

Heartaches be gone.

LINDA

I’m going to have to pass on that one. Goodbye, again—

JAMES

Never say goodbye, say so long—hasta la vista, Baby—you were my first love—

It's still hard to read these lines without a fresh rush of wild feelings. I was in so much trouble then, in every way. It could have been so much worse, I could have never found her, and then I probably wouldn't be here. So much to say here, so many years have passed and I still remember this flush of young love perfectly. Even then, while we were in love, it was the kind of love that hurt all the time, even on the good days. Of course, in 1973 the world was not exactly in a state of warm and fuzzy love, 1969 was over, baby, over.

I suppose if one's first love starts out as a minefield it stands to reason that it doesn't exactly create a good model for how relationships will evolve after that, I only know that tonight, at sixteen years old, I loved a young woman with a depth that seems almost impossible to ever achieve again. We loved as Rome was burning, as the war raged, as our hormones raged. We loved against her parents wishes, we loved deep into the night. Our love was really like a merry-go-round, with all the laughter, the bright colors, the dizziness, the golden ring, the horses blazing along—the sea on the horizon, the tragedy as the ride was over and so was childhood. We loved until there was nothing left but a burned up swath in the middle of the desert.

First Love.

3 comments:

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

What a wild smattering on love!
I was touched by your first love
and all the resulting pain. Living on the edge...

DB said...

There was a Linda for me back then. She was a Philipino. White boys didn't date Philipine girls back then. The Montegues and the Capulets surronded us. We found love and passion. I knew everything about love back then. Now I know nothing about it.

Cheryl said...

It's so hard to remember first love, especially when Linda is your daughter.