Oh, What A Night
By Peggy Phillips
OH, WHAT A NIGHT!
(a secret admirer)
We met again last night. All day, I’d been excitedly looking forward to the next time we’d see each other. Just a few more hours! Doing small chores around the house, I found myself playing “our” music for accompaniment. Like most music I love, it swept me away in waves of thought and memories of other times, other places where I’d heard the music before. Enthralled, my heart swelled with each crescendo and as I swept the kitchen floor a small smile crossed my face.
“What are you thinking about,” my husband asked.
“Oh…nothing,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t notice as I felt my face flush and my heart beat a little faster.
I was excited, thrilled that he’d remembered to meet me again this year. Each time had been a little different, adding variety, although we’d always met at the same place. It had become a “Same Time, Next Year” affair. Actually, as I think of it now, our first meeting had been somewhere else, at a crowded, impersonal gathering. I’d admired him from afar, this lovely, elegant man who just exuded such joy. You could see it even from a distance – the way he laughed, the way he engaged with other people. This was a man who completely loved his life and was in love with the world. And, I, was in love with him.
Our second meeting was more intimate, there were fewer people around. It was a warm Indian summer evening, typical of September in the Bay Area. Didn’t know what to expect. I was anticipating wonderful things filled with deep emotion, but as we hardly knew each other, there was a lot of unknown as well, and that contributed to my joyful excitement. As it turned out, it was better than I ever imagined! He had a few friends with him, which made it even more interesting. They were so different from him, some almost cowboy-like, rough as opposed to his more suave, cosmopolitan, and debonair demeanor. But watching as he joked with them, told stories with them, and, again, just emitted such a radiance that reflected his total love of life, I was made even more enamored. It was an amazing night. I was ecstatic! Yet, almost afraid, I wished for more.
He was alone for our third meeting. Just him and me. Now as I remember the full moon on that late summer evening, the still air without a chill, his laughter, the music – I swoon in delight. It was a night I’ll always remember. So personal, so special, so very tender. Seeing him alone, I could sense his vulnerabilities, but I know that he is a master of his universe and what truly made me love him that night was, as in the past, his unbridled joy. It spills out of him, like water from a bubbling fountain, onto everyone and everything around him. I am a happier person in his presence. I wish I could gather up some of that joy in a jar, like fireflies, and keep it with me to inspire me during his absences.
I’m so happy, however, that he remembers to come back and see me each year. It’s a long, lonely time between our meetings. It warms my heart each time I know he’s coming. So, yesterday was very special. Since I would be seeing him in the evening, I waited until late in the afternoon to shower and begin to get ready. I washed my hair and blew it dry, hoping it wouldn’t frizz in the night time fog, put my makeup on with extra care. Should I use my special occasion eyeliner or was mascara alone enough? What color lipstick would he like? I chose my clothes carefully. It was warm as I dressed, but could be chilly later on and we’d be outdoors. Better to dress in layers. I picked a long sleeved top that always garnered compliments. It would be good before the wind picked up and the fog rolled in. I needed something for later, too. My down jacket? (I like the color with my hair but maybe it would be too warm) or the cranberry one? (a little worn, but probably just the right weight for the weather). I went for the best color. He’d be sure to notice me and I wanted to look perfect, even with my jacket on. I added my favorite gold earrings and a simple necklace. I wanted to match his elegance.
So, off we went. Yes, “we.” My husband came, too, but it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t change a thing. Over the years, he’d grown comfortable with this other man in my life, sometimes even encouraging me to see him again and I appreciated his understanding of my needs and feelings. I was practically skipping in the 40 minutes it took to walk to our rendezvous and I was tingling with excitement as we settled into out seats and the lights dimmed. Out of the darkness he appeared. As he reached for his instrument, his eyes found mine and I could feel he knew me.
There he was! There I was! At last!
Just Yo-Yo and me.
Almost alone at the Greek Theater.
Be still my heart!