Friday, November 21, 2008

Opening The Vault: Part Sixteen

When you’re in the throes of new romance, life’s trials and tribulations invariably feel much more manageable. During the summer of 1994, my budding romance with California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) offered a much-needed distraction from the letdown that accompanied returning to New York after my junior year in London.

My reunion with Sparky in NYC following our blissful week together in England’s capital confirmed absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Despite three months apart, the chemistry between us was palpable, as we enjoyed local delights ranging from dessert at the Plaza Hotel to corn dogs and rides at Coney Island.

Romance at Astroland: Sparky took this picture of me during our visit to Coney Island, August 1994

There was no questioning our feelings for each other. Other doubts, however, began to surface during our first summer rendez-vous. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘94...

New York, NY
July 31st, 1994

Dear Diary,

Today was divine -- one of the best days I’ve had since my tumultuous return home. Things between Sparky and me are more wonderful than ever, and now I have the added security of knowing that my family really likes him too.

One thing concerns me, though, and that is the intensity of Sparky’s feelings for me. He’s so certain that I’m the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. I love him too, but I’m very far away from being ready to settle down.

* * *

August 1st, 1994

I came to a difficult conclusion today -- I don’t think Sparky is the one for me. We come from two different worlds. This realization is one of the reasons tonight was such a downer (that, and the fact that Sparky didn’t wear a tie to dinner).

This whole thing with Sparky is so overwhelming. The week we had in London was essentially a honeymoon. During this second go-round, the circumstances are different. Our lives have witnessed a lot of changes since those carefree seven days in May and so, we’re suddenly having to confront issues that seemed much more peripheral a few months ago.

“That’s what a real relationship is,” Sparky told me back in London, when the subject of weathering up’s and down’s as a couple first came up.

Until he came along, I never really knew what a real relationship was.

* * *

August 6th, 1994

Well, he left yesterday and so far, I’ve thought of him every other minute…I never thought I could have such a complete, fulfilling bond with a man so early on in my adult life.

I don’t know what the future has in store for Sparky and I, but of this much I am sure -- I’m going to hold on and enjoy the ride with all my heart while it lasts.

* * *
The roller coaster of long-distance love was just beginning for me and Sparky. And after our reunion in NYC, I was determined not to let another three months pass before we were together again. Before that could happen, though, I would have to overcome some formidable opposition from two important people -- my parents.

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