Monday, April 03, 2006

Love and Happiness
D and J are a couple I've known for about 20 years, though I knew D before he met and married J. D was a stellar editor -- probably the first truly great one I ever worked for, a guy who could make chicken salad out of chicken shit for a weekend section based on nothing more than an vague idea like ''We should write something about martinis. Yeah, maybe martinis and Al Green."
They showed up in Hong Kong this weekend. D, who now works for a major news organization on their website side, was wrapping up a two week 17 or 18,000 mile business trip that began in Mexico City and bounced to Tokyo, Beijing, back to Tokyo and then to Hong Kong. J, the online editor for a US old time leftist publication whose politics she mostly favors but whose political correctness makes her wince and laugh, joined him here for the trip back to New York where they both live in the Village.
I hadn't seen them since the end of 1999 when they were working for MSNBC in Redmond, Washington and they kindly put me and my son up for an evening as he and I waited out a seemingly eternal layover for a flight to Homer, Alaska where we were going to ring in 2000 with an old high school friend who also happened to be Jewel's aunt. Somewhere in a box in someone's garage in Boulder rests a unplayed copy of Apocalypse Now that I ''borrowed'' from D that night and had vowed to mail back promptly.
It was the first visit from truly close, old friends I'd had since jumping here and after two days of extraordinary dining, drinking, nostalgia and thinking about roads not taken and the many missteps that eventually led me here, I found myself crying alone a little when I got back to my apartment Monday night.
''Do you realize it's been 19 years since you flew to Bellingham (Wash.) for our wedding?'' they asked after several martinis - a constant in our relationship - and listening to Sunny Afternoon on a jukebox in the Globe bar.
Damn. Hit the Way-Back Machine, Sherman. I was still married then, soon to be divorced from my first wife. My son was 2. I'd begun courting my second wife and I used a little to much force, I'm afraid, though it had good run for awhile until I grievously, unforgiveably screwed it up. My second wife and I had used the vows from D and J's wedding as a template for ours, but the juju just didn't take.
Theirs did though. World travelers, grandchildren, fairly prestigious jobs and a solid marriage that's weathered a few strains as all the best ones do.
I envy them, though they said they admired the blind leap I'd made and said they couldn't believe that 19 years later we three would be looking out a 56 floor window of the Conrad hotel as the sun set on a freakishly mostly clear and lovely Hong Kong Monday evening.
I've built a pretty good life here -- tenuous and shaky as it is at times -- but for that moment and for sometime later later my only wish was that it had been we four.
No one will be with you...
In case anyone is interested in who this "anonymous" is, her name is Yoko Terada and she is a Japanese stalker who lives in Tokyo. I'll be posting her address and phone number tomorrow for anyone who might be interested in looking her up if they are in Tokyo.
Except for being a stalker and someone who believes ''the Holy Spirit'' fills her with "electricity" she's otherwise normal. That is if you define "normal" as someone who is over 50 and has lived with their parents their entire life.
I have to admit that I'm curious as to how you attracted Ms. Terada's attention. I sense a story here, but I don't want to pry.
Oh yes, Brian. Your instincts are correct. Therein lies a tale. But not for public consumption at the moment.
I'm a different Anonymous. I just want you to know, I know the pain and fear of losing.

But in the days afterwards, though you may look back and wince, remember, that what gets you out of bed in the morning isn't your job, or the thought of fine dining or a great view of the water. IT's you. You will always have it in you, man.

It keeps you breathing. Embrace it, don't hold too tightly, and use it.
Great, a personal stalker!? Why does this never happen to me ohhh why?? Am I not stalk-worthy? Am I not beautiful... Am I not special?

Hmm... or maybe I am just blessed. :-)
Believe me, Peter you are blessed not to be stalk-worthy. She was a nightmare. No boiled bunnies but the potential was definitely there.
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