Torn between my love for Sparky and the pain of living 3,000 miles apart, I knew that --after more than a year together -- this was make or break time for us. I now open the vault and take you back to the summer of 1995...
June 6th, 1995
Las Vegas, NV
Went to Circus Circus today with Mark’s sister and her boyfriend. While we were waiting for the car, I threw a coin in the fountain outside the Mirage.
When I threw a coin in the fountain, Mark asked what I’d wished for. I put my arms around him and said--
“What could I possibly wish for?”
“That’s right,” he said snidely, “What could you wish for that you don’t already have?"
The Mirage Hotel: An uncomfortable moment by one of the fountains here exemplified the growing tension between Mark and me (photo Courtesy: IgoUgo.com)
I was incensed -- even though I knew I had indirectly provoked Mark’s nasty comment. When I tossed my coin, I told him that in Rome, the tradition goes -- throw one in to return and two to get married. When asked how many I’d just tossed, I looked at Mark intently and said--
I guess on some level I wanted to hurt him, I wanted him to feel the pain I’d been drowning in all day.
On our way to Circus Circus, we spotted a tall space needle, disagreeing on whether it was the world’s highest structure. It felt like we couldn’t find enough reasons to argue.
I gave Mark one of my pouty looks, and he did the most unexpected thing, putting his hand on my knee as he said
“God, I love her to death!”
What is it about these three little words that make all problems suddenly melt away?
June 7th, 1995
Granada Hills, CA
After heading back to L.A., Mark admitted he’d found a growth on his stomach. Given his history of cancer, we were both worried. He wanted to have the pimple extracted the next day, apologizing needlessly for having to alter our travel plans.
June 8th, 1995
While Mark was having the procedure done, I felt very restless -- and not just because of concern for his health.
I was completely overwhelmed by everything that had happened. The tumultuous trip to Vegas, bickering on the way back, and now, this cancer scare. All I kept thinking was that my relationship with Mark was rapidly becoming more than I could -- or even wanted to -- handle.
In desperate need of some comforting, I called Mom. Upon telling her my unhappiness, she said--
“You have to ask yourself if this is what you want to be committed to at this stage of your life.”
As if she already knew the answer, Mom went on about the people I would meet now that I’ve graduated and moved back to NY.
“You’re coming home to a new life,” she said.
And in those words, my eyes were opened to the only choice -- breaking up with Sparky.
The decision to end it with Sparky came in the middle of my trip. With my departure still three days away, I had no idea know when (or how) to tell him. The answer came soon enough, during an unexpected jaunt to San Diego.