Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Miles and Years

When I was young, I thought I would be a lawyer one day. It wasn't really a driving passion though. It was something I thought would be neat and that I would be good at. I'm pretty sure The Paper Chase was my inspiration, but it could have just as easily been the fact that lawyers wore nice suits and made a lot of money.

Nancy had the drive and desire to become a lawyer. Her parents let her have a phone in her room. It had a number that was just hers. The last four numbers spelled out ATTY - short for attorney. It wasn't an accident either.

I met Nancy at youth symphony practice. I played bass. She played violin. That reveals a lot about both of us. Regardless, we got to know each other a bit and I started to actually look forward to going to rehearsals at California Lutheran College once a week.We practiced, got better, gave a concert, and that was that. I lived in Thousand Oaks and she lived in Simi Valley. Less than an inch appart on the map I used to look at in my room, but a world away without a car or a license.

Then we met again at a summer theatre program. We were doing Finian's Rainbow.. I was doing sound - setting up and running the microphones. She was in the orchestra.

 I finally got up the nerve and asked her out. She said yes,

It was summer - the kind of summer that can only exist in southern California when you're sixteen. I finally had my driver's license. I'm sure it took some pleading every time I used my parent's car, but I don't really remember.

I do remember going to Nancy's house one time that summer. We went swimming. Somehow, we ended up facing each other over a small blow-up raft, trying to accidentally lean closer to each other. Our legs dangled and slowly kicked in the water under us. The feel of our legs brushing together under the raft is as clear today as it was then. We kissed across the raft, but to be honest, it's the feel of our legs touching in the warm water of the pool that I remember most.

The world got a little bigger that summer and smaller. I discovered that life is big and the world is small. I never became a lawyer. Nancy did. She went to Princeton, became an attorney, and then became a wife and mother.

It's summer again, but now I'm in Wisconsin - miles and years away from that southern California summer.. And now I think that maybe life is not big enough and the world is enormous.


dbackdad said...

Nice story Shawn. You really should wander over here more often

Shawn said...

I'll try my bestest.