So to set the scene I recommend listening to “Blinding Lights” by Loi. It’s probably the best version of the song and the tone of it completely encapsulates the memory I’m going to share.
The first thing my husband ever said to me was through an instant message on AOL. He let me know that he and Diego were still together and not knowing who he was (and being the annoying teenager I was) I continued on the conversation as if I knew him and what he was talking about. I finally dropped my charade and asked him who he was and it was then that I added him to my buddy list, cchuck77383. From then on I would message him whenever he came online because I just knew things with him and Diego were on the way out.
This all happened at the very end of September 2003 after an abrupt break-up with my third boyfriend. (Who has since passed of stage 4 cancer.)
I was taken by him (my husband) because he happened to share that my ex wanted him, but my husband was not even remotely interested. This made cchuck77383 immediately attractive to me.
I wasn’t a good person then and I know that now… but regardless of what got me to meet with this man doesn’t matter now. I am still here.
After things with Diego fizzled out he agreed to meet me one late night at a Denny’s.
I put on “sleeping beauty” in my bedroom, snuck out my window, and drove across town to meet this stranger I had only ever spoke with online.
He didn’t tell me what he drove, but I knew he had arrived the moment his white mustang drove past me. For the next hour or so we sat in a booth talking, while I watched him nervously spin his silver Motorola flip phone, twitch his nose, and run his index knuckle up his phantom mustache.
For whatever reason he liked me and invited me over to his apartment downtown to watch a movie.
The first thing we ever watched together was Philadelphia. Which, if you don’t know, is the story about a man dying of AIDS. He swears now he had never seen it, but I remember him telling me it was a good one to watch. However he had also just started collecting DVDs at the time and it is highly likely that he hadn’t. I tend to rely to heavily on my own memory. And I am (at times) wrong.
That early morning, when the movie had ended, he walked me to my car and kissed me, wishing me good night. I drove away thinking I would never see him again, feeling satisfied that I got to make-out with the guy my ex wanted but couldn’t have.
Little did I know that this dude would then call me every subsequent day and talk my ear off. There isn’t a day since that he hasn’t. It kills me most to know that his disease will eventually take that from me. I have spoken with him at length ever since then and to think I will have to face a day where I don’t just cuts my gut.