It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...
(Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities)
Ahhh... the summer of 1969.
Was there ever any summer sweeter than that one?
His name was Jack... and he was my first love.
Not that I ever told him that... but to tell you the truth, I've spent the last 40 years regretting that I never said those words out loud.
Oh, I think he knew it, just like I knew how he felt.
But back in those days, it was all emotion between us... and maybe the actual words weren't even necessary, after all.
It was a summer love, and I guess in some ways, it was the truest, most innocent and the most touchingly beautiful relationship of my life.
Jack was the standard by which all future boys and men were judged... and to tell you the truth, most of them were found wanting.
I spent years looking for the same honesty, integrity and decency - not to mention heart-stopping good looks - in other boys, and later on in my life, men.
But I never found it again.
Oh, eventually, I found a couple of 'good guys' and my life moved on, and it was good...
But as the years went by, I still checked phonebooks, or when I heard anyone who claimed to be from his town, I just had to ask, "Do you know Jack?"
I was never able to join any computer site like classmates.com or Reunion or even face book, without typing in his name.
And I always came up empty handed.
And empty hearted.
But then on Monday night, I received a message through one of those school sites, from a guy who claimed to be from my graduating class.
Only he wasn't.
It was him.
It was the him that I've been looking for and thinking of for these last 40 years.
And I discovered that he had been searching for me as well.
Wow... the memories have always been there, ya know?
But they came flooding back with an intensity that was almost painful.
Dreams and hopes, and nights where we would sit and watch the lake and talk until the sun came up.
Days upon days spent together, holding hands everywhere we went... and just 'being' together.
Oh, nothings changed or is going to change...
The past is the past.
He's happily married now, I'm in a permanent relationship with the Old Guy... and neither one of us have any desire for anything to rekindle or change.
But the memories... you know what I mean?
How sweet it was...