Working on these blog posts has been a bit of a strain to accomplish, but for me it has been a personal trip through my youth. I am remembering things I have not thought of for many years. I feel like I am mining for treasure, sometimes I find junk, and other times gemstones. Okay, they are all gemstones for me.
The morning after our first night together was full of both junk and gems. Despite her hangover, Natalie had to work at her grandparents' real estate office that day. She convinced me to get up and go with her. I made her stop and picked up breakfast for us. I bought two tomato juices and made her drink them both to help her feel better. She dutifully did and told me it did help ease her hangover. I don't really know if the tomato juice did make her better or she said it to make me feel like I being helpful.
The real estate office was a small one room building in the parking lot of the Dutch Barn, a themed restaurant at Cuba, MO. Work there for Natalie meant she answered the phone, which rarely rang, and took water bill payments. Neither duty was particularly demanding, so she spent most of the day reading in a chair that chair now resides in our home. However, this day she sat in that chair and read very little. Instead she sat on the couch with me punch drunk from lack of sleep and giddy from the afterglow of our night together. I was exhausted and was staying awake on pure force of will, but I did not want to look away from this beautiful woman who kept looking intently in my eyes. We sat close together, but almost painfully did not touch in case someone came by the office.
Once the wall of Natalie's reserved had been breached, she wanted to tell me all her secrets. Her admissions of her past experiences was overwhelming in my sleep starved state. She said she had always liked women, but we had to be careful. When her mother had discovered her first relationship with another girl she had been sent to live with her grandparents in Cuba, MO. The story about her first relationship was heartbreaking. Knowing about her past only deepened my feelings for her.
Remembering that day, is like remembering a dream. I was so tired I kept tripping over the same spot in the carpet every time I got up to go to the restroom. Yet, I remember very clearly she kept saying to me, "I am ready to get back on that roller coaster."
I was so naïve, I had to ask, "What roller coaster?"
After a few times of this exchanges, she told me, "Love." In my exhausted mind I knew I was in love with her too.
Before our marriage in 2011, domestic partnership in 2003, and commitment ceremony in 1992, Natalie bound us together that day in 1985. She was right it has been a roller coaster with all that entails. There have been times when both of us have tried to get out off the track, but still we come back and know this is the ride we are suppose to be on.