Saturday, March 14, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Twenty Eight

It is often said that when you’re not with the one you love, love the one you’re with. That’s exactly what I did during my senior year of college.

Senior Ball: All gussied up for a big night on campus with local beau Dave, April 1995

As my long distance relationship with California-based Mark (a.k.a Sparky) hit choppy waters, I enjoyed a local romance with DJ and pre-med student hunk Dave. Dave was refreshingly uncomplicated and a much-needed departure from the drama with Sparky…especially on one fateful night that provided enough drama by itself.

I now Open The Vault to Volume #58 and take you back to the spring of 1995...

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
April 13, 1995

Dear Diary,

It’s been an eventful week. I totaled my car, ended up spending the night at Dave’s as a result, and received rejection letters from every grad school that I applied to.

The other night, I was on my way to Dave’s and, in keeping with my unfortunate sense of direction, got lost. I ended up on a very dark, very winding road. Doing nearly 60 mph (in a 35 zone), I veered too quickly around a right-hand bend.

Suddenly, I lost control of the wheel and the car skidded off the road, over a small hill and crashed into a tree. Glass from the side windows blew out and the windshield cracked.

Miraculously, I was okay because I was wearing my seat belt. When I think about how crushed the front end of my Nissan was, I can’t believe I survived with only minor cuts and bruises.

* * *

April 15, 1995

Dave and I spent another night together. Objectively speaking, it was fun. The physical chemistry between us is good, and he’s very considerate and sweet. But, he’s not enough for me. In a word, he’s not Sparky.

…I miss him. Despite his infuriating quirks and bad habits, I love him. I know how lucky I am to be alive and to have the full life that I do, but I feel a void without him.

* * *

April 18, 1995

Sparky and I just had the most wonderful phone conversation.

“I wish things were different,” he said. “I wish we could have a normal relationship, for a little while at least.”

He added that if I knew the things he tells his colleagues about me, I’d be on the floor. When I pressed him for specifics, he said he’s told them--

“She’s the one I would marry.”

Sparky was quick to add that he knows I’m not ready. Still, he said--

“I’m waiting.”

* * *

For all of Sparky’s heartfelt declarations, and my willingness to play along with the fantasy of us ending up together, I knew that we were approaching a fork in the road. That we couldn’t continue doing the long distance routine much longer. A new chapter in my life --and a tumultuous trip to Sin City -- would be the catalysts for deciding our fate as a couple.

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