Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opening The Vault: Part Fifteen

Whenever I have a conversation about my junior year abroad, I invariably find myself feeling more than a little nostalgic. My nine-month stint in London was one of the best times of my life -- and one of the hardest experiences to part with.

Upon returning from London in the summer of ‘94, I had a bad case of reentry shock, the letdown that accompanies returning to your home country following a long absence. Not only was I longing for England’s capital but I was preoccupied by affairs of the heart, specifically my budding long-distance romance with California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

Summer 1994: It wasn't all smiles when I returned to NYC after my year in London

Sparky was very much on my mind as I settled back into life as a New Yorker. Lacking the steady stream of male distractions that I had in London, I ended up dating Frank, a friend of my brother’s whose obsession with being vegan and self-help guru Tony Robbins did little to light my fire. But, as the saying goes, when you’re not near the one you love…

I now Open The Vault and take you back to July of ‘94.…

New York, NY
July 15, 1994

Dear Diary,

In 7 hours, I will join Frank in his hometown of Poughkeepsie for his sister’s wedding. I really do not want to go to this thing because I have no desire to pretend he’s Mr. Wonderful.

It just figures. He comes from a Norman Rockwell-esque family and he lives in the same city -- but I’m not in love with him. When Frank and I first hooked up on New Year’s Eve, I fancied him. But back then, I was looking for a distraction from last summer’s crush and Frank fit the bill.

Since then, though, the excitement factor with Frank has diminished considerably. He's all I’ve got here, though, so I feel like I might as well keep him around.

* * *

July 17, 1994

Spoke to Sparky a little while ago. It’s too bad he’s so far away. Meanwhile, Frank is getting on my last nerve. Then again, what can I expect from a man who order lasagna with no cheese?

* * *

July 30, 1994

I find myself getting irritated on a daily basis now with Mom and Dad. I didn’t have to deal with their comments, criticisms, etc. in London. I had so much freedom there. The kind of freedom that I wish with all my heart I could have again, especially this week. Because in just 9 short hours, I will be reunited with Sparky…

* * *

I was both excited and nervous about seeing Sparky. After our blissful week together in London, would we able to live up to the romantic precedent we’d set for ourselves? Would our chemistry be the same? Little did I know that many more complicated questions would arise when Sparky and I were finally face to face once again.

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