Not long ago, I acquired some mail enhancement: I became a member of Facebook. I must admit, it's been an interesting experience so far. I currently have 172 friends, a fact that I've now added to my current resume.
One of the facets of my experience has been reconnecting with people from high school, many whom I haven't seen since we graduated in that very good year of 1985. Of the people I've reconnected with, some of them have been females, and of those females, some of them were girls that made concentrating on things like algebra or history rather difficult, if not entirely impossible. Human anatomy was a different matter, but I digress. I'm quite sure some of these girls knew I had a teenage crush on them; some of them didn't know I existed. Regardless of how conscious they were of me, they captured a place in my young heart; I felt affection for them, for they affected me. Make sense?
As I've seen their faces on Facebook and read snippets about their lives, I've been surprised to feel that old familiar pain (Dan Fogelberg). Evidently, they still hold places in my almost 42 yr old heart. I thought I had moved on. But, as another guy named Blaise said, the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
One of these girls-now-ladies mentioned something in a Facebook comment about the difficult times she was going through during those days. She was one of the ladies-then-girls that I thought was just beautiful. But when I knew her, I always believed she was hurting; in the language I now use as a 42 year old - she fought a lot of demons. When she mentioned this reality in her comment, it was a strange confirmation; somehow I had been able to really see her when others would not, could not. And it pained that small, but viable place that she had so long ago captured in my heart. I wished I'd of followed my heart's hunches and at least been a better friend to her, maybe even gathered up the courage to tell her I thought she was a vision on legs. It might've made a difference. Then again, maybe not.
In the interest of open communication in my current marital status, I mentioned this to my wife. She'd had the same sensation at being be-friended by someone who had shown her young heart attention years ago. The weight of his memory had surprised her; he'd had an affect on her. We, as husband and wife, had a good little face to face about feelings like this. We finished our brief conversation (because the Beagle was eating somebody's Polly Pocket) being reminded, yet again, that the heart is a mysterious thing indeed and that being an alive, large-hearted person means having room for many people and memories and being able to be moved by them all. Those feelings could generate jealousy, but they need not.
I realize there's a smidgen of a chance that Facebook chatting with old girlfriends like this could lead to a Motel 6 rendezvous in Amarillo by morning, with forty-something year old bodies going at it like, well, forty year olds. But that's not where my feelings were leading me. Besides, my '97 Stratus would never make it to Amarillo. No, my feelings were a good indication, I believe, that my 42 year old heart is still in pretty good shape. It can still feel like a 15 yr old. It's good to remember those places...(helluva segue, eh?)
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all