December 3, 2013

Old Love Refurbished. ~ Kim Mackay

As he strode towards me with that loping gait, in boots and cowboy hat, I felt the old familiar flutter.

25 years had come and gone, four babies between them, a few degrees, and one broken marriage. John had traveled the globe pursing his music career and I had become the lawyer I dreamed about when LA Law was still on the air. And there he was, large as life, in a generic airport far from both their homes. A chance meeting? Or fate?

The feelings we carry with us for our first true love are rarely replicated. The innocence, the heartache, it’s all amplified like a Walkman on bust. But in our mid-forties, the old heart is a lot tougher, shellacked from overuse, misuse, and at times, from underuse.

When you have that chemistry with someone does it ever die, or just get buried under misunderstandings and broken promises? Can it be resuscitated or is it better left alone?

“No, this trick won’t work… How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? ” ~ Albert Einstein.

When we reconnect with our first love, the nostalgia can be overwhelming.

We laugh and we cry of a time that was simpler and oh so scary. Uncharted waters. That first dance, sweaty palms, and that first kiss had the power to send us to the moon and back. I think we all crave a little piece of that innocence and that’s why our first love will always be special.

But when you add in the stretch marks, the bald patch, and the tired, cynical organ we call a heart, is any of it sustainable beyond the initial flutter we feel when reunited?

As we sat in that airport together during our unexpected reunion, the companionable rhythm of our conversations quickly resurfaced. Like family, we instinctively knew what the other was thinking. And the laughter bubbled to the surface. From a distance, I imagine we had an aura around us that few could penetrate. Imagining we could walk out into the world together and cast off our daily troubles seemed like an easy leap of faith, somersaulting through the mayhem that would inevitably ensue.

Bob Dylan said: “The future for me is already a thing of the past. You were my first love and you will be my last”.

Bottom line, I don’t know what the future will hold.

But he still makes me laugh. And he cuts through all my mental crap. Who do I want next to me when I’m sitting in a wheelchair and all the parts stop working…except my heart…it’s him.

He was the first.


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Editor: Dana Gornall

Photo Credit: Pixoto

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Kim Mackay