Friday, March 27, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Thirty

When a relationship is unraveling, trying to hold onto it invariably precedes letting go. I was holding on for dear life as my romance with long-distance love Mark (a.k.a Sparky) came apart.

Like every encounter before it, my post-graduation visit to see Sparky in L.A. started out joyfully. As we headed to Sin City, it almost felt like we could keep our growing differences at bay. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995...

June 5th, 1995
Las Vegas, NV

Dear Diary,

This morning, Mark shared his latest communication with his nutty ex-girlfriend. She called him to bail her out of jail and he ended up going down to the station with her father.

He asked me what I thought about this. I flatly said I didn’t feel he should have anything to do with her, and resented this umpteenth reference to his ex. The green-eyed monster of jealousy can be pretty fierce sometimes.

* * *

The five-hour drive to Las Vegas was fun. Sparky impressed me with his knowledge about California history and geography, and I was relieved that we weren’t driving each other crazy.

The Mirage: Sparky and I stayed here during our ill-fated trip to Vegas

At one point, Mark cued up the soundtrack from “Somewhere In Time,” which he worked on as a sound producer. We were both silent, absorbed in the music. I looked out the window, remembering tearfully the time we’d listened to it when Sparky came to see me in London. I thought about the obstacles facing us, fearing there was trouble ahead.

* * *

While we were checking into the Mirage, Mark said the $5 tip I gave our bellman was too generous. I was more than a little peeved -- especially because Mark had gotten on my case earlier about $30 I spent (also of my own money) at the drugstore.

* * *

Up in our room, with strawberry Snapple and vodka cocktails in hand, I put on a little Gloria Estefan and we danced real close, falling onto the bed as the alcohol went to our heads.

Not wanting to miss the afternoon sun, we went down to the hot tub. Sparky talked at length about the geography of our situation. He said he’s not going to get attached to anyone else. Caught up in his love, I said--

“You know -- I could stay.”

“Not yet,” he answered warmly, “It’s too soon,” whereupon he said he’s in no hurry and that he can wait.

We hugged and kissed. Swimming in thoughts of both our potential future and joyful present, I looked up at the sky. Every inch of me felt at peace.

* * *

My peace was short lived, as the difficulties of our situation and 16-year age difference began to escalate. Sparky and I would soon discover that our love was no longer enough to get past it all.

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