I'm not big on nostalgia, as everyone knows; I don't get weepy or wax poetic and yearn. But these few days - in the here and now - made me stop and think as they are very poignant days in my life and history.
It was 30 years ago yesterday - a Friday - that I met a young woman who would go on to be my partner for the following seven-plus years. That we went our separate ways 22 years ago isn't the point; that she left this world a little over a year ago is. In a word, I wish she was still here. She had so much more to do. But oddly enough, I can remember most of that day and night with some sense of clarity. I was 21; she was on the cusp of 18 - we talked about possibly seeing The Monkees together on their 20th Anniversary tour (!); we had a great deal in common and it was clear there was a strong connection. Plus, it seemed we were fated to meet as she was the younger sister of a friend of mine and we'd talked before when I would call their house. Nonetheless, that night changed my life completely. It was a time of youthful joy and learning an infinite amount of lessons - both as a couple and as individuals. I will never forget her nor that moment and 30 years later, it's still just as fresh - though no longer a painful memory - in my mind.
It was 30 years ago tomorrow that by sheer fate or I-don't-know-what that I was inspired to give the band their name, The Punch Line. It goes something like this: the new girlfriend called; as we were talking, she asked me if I'd come up with a name for the band yet. As I was about to answer, I turned my head to sneeze and when I opened my eyes, I glanced at my parents' dining table, which had a pile of my albums on it and atop that pile was the debut album by The Minutemen - "The Punch Line". So I answered Sue - "yeah, I did. The Punch Line". She said "that's great" - and I said "I know. I have to call Marc." To which I did - saying "it's The Punch Line". A very easy thing, really but that was an another major event in a weekend of life changers.
Bittersweet - joyful - sad - wonderful - call them any number of mixed emotions. How I feel right now at 51 doesn't change the beauty of the reality in those moments, at that time. It was one of the greatest times of my life and I'll always hold those particulars sacred.