We know that the uses of information that you read here are all flexible. Trying to read my pain is like trying to piece it together with information that you've experienced, and that if I give you enough information about me you take that information into your own experience, and, where our pieces of information are common, a true story develops in your mind; but, if the information is outside of your experience, you read information on a computer screen, and accept it at face value, or struggle to capture my meaning, which is like trying to catch the wind.
The information today is a story from my past. It's my wife and I as students falling slowly and gently into love. We were and still are very different people, the types that are unlikely partners. We courted for 5 years. We were friends before becoming lovers, but were like polar opposites of magnets, coming together from a great distance. This distance is so great that I still feel that while we're drawing ever nearer, will always be separated by the gap which all great love never fully bridges. This feeling gives me comfort.
My wife was forbidden by her parents to see me. Many nights I would take her home from school on the E or F train into Queens, where her parents lived. We'd walk, holding hands from the final subway stop to her folk's house in Rego Park. It was about a mile through a good neighborhood.
There was a streetlight outside her house and we'd stand there, awkwardly in the beginning of our relationship, then kissing as our relationship grew. We looked at the lighted windows in her house. After a good-night that poked me in the heart, I'd watch her climb the steps and enter her house. I went back to Manhattan alone.
This continued for a few years. I hadn't met her parents at that time, but I was forbidden fruit; she is Jewish, pretty observant at that, and I am a Catholic. My wife's level of observence meant this: Kosher, no mixing of meat and dairy, so cheeseburgers were out (my wife has still never had one). Separate dishes, one set for meat, one for dairy, but never at the same meal. No working or writing on Saturday. No mixed marriage. No using electricity on Saturday. So how to cook? Her mother might put a gigantic pot on the stove Friday night before the sun went down, bring it to a low boil, and take from it what she needed over the course of Saturday, replacing what she had taken with cold water. No AC. No elevators. It's a bit of a shock when you've never experienced this before.
Time passed and I finally met her parents after years of courtship. Several arguments later, it had been settled that we'd marry. On a Thursday. After work. In a Rabbi's office. And have dinner at her parents ( our reception).
My fondest memory of my wedding day was Karen in her wedding gown, climbing into a yellow cab (our limo) in front of the Temple and speeding-off to the roar of a surprised sidewalk scene to her parent's apartment.
My second fondest memory was the Birds and Bees chat between her father and I that evening. But that's for another time.
On bad pain days, I think about these things and am grateful to God for giving me this woman, this life. God bless, Colin