This picture brought up all sorts of emotions. it was half a lifetime ago, but I’m not sure I ever truly got over–not him–but the relationship. It wasn’t picture-perfect
My sister asked if he was the love of my life. I had to think which means he probably wasn’t but I don’t know who was.
In dreams I’m 30 again but live alone or with somebody not him. Somebody who thinks the best is yet to come. Somebody who wants to grab life and shout “I’m here! I’m young and willing to do whatever it takes to make it.”
In dreams I’m not worshiped but loved for who I am. Imperfections and all. In dreams the boy is more stable than I am, and understands that my work is important to me. That my tantrums are truly meaningless–and hell, if he wasn’t so miserable would I have been?
In dreams the boy is as funny or funnier than he was and definitely as funny or funnier than I could be. In dreams he could check my sarcasm at the door. I’m so embarrassed when I remember how sarcastic I was an how much people loved that trait.
In dreams I do my 20’s and 30’s over. I loved them so much but see all the mistakes I made now. I wish we had second chances but we only have the present and hopefully the future.
In dreams I wasn’t perfect; I was me but whoever the guy was he loved me anyway.
Jeffrey is the person I called Zachary. We met at that bar–Folk City’s–not that day–I know from my clothes. Jeff Ampolsk–that was his name, only I called him Jeffrey–will go down in “history” for telling his friend Lucinda Williams to submit a demo to Moses Asch of Folkways. I found a tape of traditional songs Lucinda made in 1978. I don’t have a tape player and have never been sure what to do with it. Jeffrey lives on in the Smithsonian Folkways collection. It makes me laugh to think I had a boyfriend who ended up somewhat akin to Archie Bunker’s chair–it too is in the Smithsonian–always my favorite museum(s).
He had two albums out, on Folkways before he was 25. At 27 he thought he was a failure. I was always trying to pull him up. To make him understand that we had a long life ahead of us. In many ways I’m the eternal optomist who believes so, or too, hard in tomorrow. I couldn’t make him see joy in life, and stopped trying.
I wish we had known what our problems were. I suspected what his were. He refused to believe he had any. I’m sure he knew under the bravado. Once he made me apply for a MacArthur Award for him. I was totally embarrassed but…He thought the world owed him much so I worked to support us. Then I woke up….
There’s much more but I sound like such a damn shrew. And there was so much wonderful about him but it’s so hard to remember the good because forever after I couldn’t love with the same innocence or joy. And there was a time I loved him very much and our life was filled with happiness.