Ronald May

Remembering One Night

One of the joys of tracking back through a life is discovering a gem of a moment that has passed and realizing how wonderful it truly was. Asking yourself ‘why did I forget about that?’. A few month’s ago I stumbled upon an amazing twenty four hours that I spent with the only woman I feel who ever really loved me.

Love is really complex and it has a ton of gradients but in doing my self evaluation of love; who loved me and whom I loved, I find that out of three long term relationships I have only been honestly loved by one woman. So, that means I discount the other two as having not really loved me? Yes and no. The first woman I ever loved with intensity was also the first I was ever intimate with. I was a late bloomer okay? At that time love was misunderstood by me and so I handled it poorly. The third time I was in love the depth of my feelings toward this woman were the most fathomable I had felt in my life, so I thought.

My fears and my lack of introspection however brought it’s own unique pain to my life. So for instance when the relationship ended my heart broke so profoundly I begged once, on my knees no less, for her not to leave me. This is and was pathetic and at it’s nasty root, illusory. My first love was P and the third B. In both cases of these women I felt I could scarcely bear the anguish when it ended. The best comparrison from literature is found in Dickens, Great Expectations. The moment when Ms. Havisham tells Pip that the girl he has loved since he was a child is marrying another. She see’s the heart break in him and say’s “isnt it excuisite” my god yes!

The pain we have all felt when we lose that special person. It really does feel like you just cannot go on. Because I loved P and B so much during my three years and six years respectively with them, I felt all of those things and more. To this day, they each come into my dreams and give positive feelings in various way’s during the dreaming and to some degree I question why they still flit around my subconcious, but that is another blog perhaps.

The point of this posting is about the second woman I fell for. The only one out of all of them so far in my adult life that I thought I could never get. R was someone I liked from the moment I saw her and I really thought she was unattainable for a schmuck like me. But, long story short, I managed to get the girl and as it turned out, to really like me as well. The long term problem with our time together was that I was ignorant and arrogant of my place in the whole of the world. I did things that in retrospect I would never want done to me.

If you look back in my postings she is the one who if I could go back to one single moment it would be that early January morning in 98.

She agreed to marry me in 96 and for awhile all was good, but I had screwed it up royally by the turn of the century. So, now you have some precedence with which to judge me by. I admit openly and with all the sincerity of my heart as it is today, I did not know how stupid I was being, well, I did, but perhaps you understand the broader scope of my meaning.

I am so dense that it took me twelve long years of my life to even realize the love we had and the hurt I caused when I demolished our relationship. I was into my fifth month in “The Hole” when it just hit me. What I did and how I hurt her and ahhh, how could I do that? What kind of a person does that?!!! Of course I am leaving out allot to explain so just think of it genericaly and accept that I know I am a complete yutz for hurting someone I professed love. Love is hard and sometimes it only comes once, got it? Good.

This gem of a moment in life came about like so many of the best of them do, spontaneously. The setting is this, I was still stuck in Phoenix and I had made up my mind to leave as soon as I could but I had to work two jobs to make that happen. I got a position schucking ground beans and water for a base wage and tips at a Minor League Baseball Park-this was during the coffee cart revolution of the mid nineties. I also worked the cafe the owners had when needed. It was pretty swanky. Set in the heart of Scottsdale near the Art Galleries and Boutiques.

So one night I work the Park but the Cafe is shorthanded so, double shift, kinda. I needed to keep the place open till eleven and cleaned by midnight. R and I had travel plans in the morning to drive to the nortwest part of Arizona. The temps had been hitting 120 that June, no lie! So we wanted to go someplace cooler at least for a few hours. I called her at home and explained and told her to come over at ten or so if she felt like hanging out with me. By ten the people had really thinned out and so I had the lights down low and the jazz up a bit making sure the few patrons left did not mind.

Even after nine months of being in the relationship I was always excited to see her and so when she walked in I got her an iced hazelnut latte while she read. Now, it is hard to describe all the atmospherics but think of it this way. On three sides of the cafe are hip to twenty foot ceiling windows. The heat of the day is past and the warm night energizes those out in it. The air near the door and outside seating is cooled further by an incrimental mist spray; like produce on the shelf just a finer mist. The sound of a saxophone peaks every now and again and the mood is mellow.

The last customer leaves at eleven fifteen, no reason to kick anyone out as I have to clean up anyway and so I close up for another day and finish the tasks to perform. By twelve thirty I am done but I sit down with R and say “ya know, if we leave now we could probably be in Sedona by Sunrise.” which was kind of the point. I still have some music playing softly in the background and she say’s “well if your up for it I can take first shift”. So, a little more coffee for the drive and we are on our way.

Night driving is my favorite thing, you see so much with or without a big bright moon and I enjoy how the desert slips away as you climb out of the Phoenix area. The stars are better and you feel a sense of conectivity to everything in the darkness.

Almost as good is seeing the sun come rising out of the east pouring crazy clear light all over the red rocks of Sedona AZ. while you feel a slight buzz from a lack of sleep and an anxiousness to get out of the car. The coolest spot, literally, is down inside Oak Creek Canyon so we parked and found a secluded enough spot to get away with an early morning skinny dip and some together time away from prying eyes. Hey! It was the 90’s okay, people did stuff like that!!

By one the sun is centered over the Canyon and people are everywhere so we climbed out and walked the open markets they had and checked out a few galleries, there is amazing art in that neck of the woods for sure. By half past three it was time to go, you dread the drive back into the blast furnace known as Phoenix.

We slept well that night, and the catch to this story is this. Prior to that day I had been to Sedona ten or so times. As fate would have it I have never been back. I write all this mostly to remind myself of an amazing night spent with a great friend. I was on my way in that time period of my life but I lost direction because I forgot who I was supposed to become. In contemplative moments here in Prison, it is necessary to look at the great moments when I did not even know I was being so great and figure out how I can get back to the person I was going to be.

I challenge you to find the gems in your life my friends. Find them and relive them often because they are damned hard to come by.

Ronald May
DOC #359444

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