Once in awhile, pleasant reminders of yesteryear will come to mind. Could be sparked by a song, a random reference to the 80's, or...in my case...a phlebotomist that cares for me at the hospital. And I don't know why I remembered this all of the sudden, or why I'm choosing to post it, but I'm gonna.
The morning of my hospital stay, I woke to, "good morning! I'm here to take your blood!" I seriously love nurse humor. I opened my eyes and thought...heeeeeeeeey, I know this guy. This is Chris, my junior-high-boyfriend-turned-high-school-and-college-BFF! I sat up like a shot! I then realized? My gown! Totally open. Cover it up, sister! I haven't seen Chris in nearly 20 years. This is NOT the way to reunite. Stickies and wires and "business", oh my!
I couldn't stop staring at his face. I think it made the accompanying nurse slightly uncomfortable, because she said something about how the female patients often swoon over him, saying that "he's the guy who comes in the night with the shaggy hair..." No no, honey...I'm not checking him out. I'm retro'ing! I'm heading to a place without lesions or abnormal EKGs! And you're in my memory. Step.
I thought about our long talks over the years and how we kept in touch despite my changing schools twice. We "cruised" in our cars. I loved to drag race any and everybody. Be it a tubbed out Camaro or K car, I didn't care. He'd yell for me to slow down and I'd ask exactly how he thought I'd win if I did something stupid like that? He reminded me that my father had "eyes" all over town and I'd get caught. Yep. That happened. He gave me my first motorcycle ride. I was terrified and screamed at him to SLOW DOWN! He informed me that he was doing 30mph and would end up laying the bike down if he went any slower. Going fast was great if I was driving. Always a control freak.
My mind then took me to senior week at the shore. I was there with a really fun group of girls, but ended up finding Chris out on the boardwalk. We decided to pull an all-nighter, sit out on the beach, and watch the sun come up. I had never experienced a sunrise and he said it was something I just had to see. So we passed the time laughing and talking, contemplating life and where it would lead us. We agreed it was scary growing up. He was going to Temple to be a pharmacist. I didn't know what I wanted to be and was split between 4 colleges, depending upon which would give me the most money to play sports. See? No focus or attention span in this girl.
We talked about the relationships we were in at the time. You know what it's like, you're 18 and so sure you're in love with that person. But not? We openly debated what love was if it had to be all o' that! I remember sharing a deep, dark secret. I was kind of intrigued by this guy I had recently met. He was shy, very sweet, and had the kindest eyes. Met him at the custom wheel shop. He held the door for me. I wasn't used to chivalry unless it came from Chris. I felt kinda like...cherished? Chris said something about how I shouldn't write that possibility off. I said something to the effect of...let's not get carried away. We wrote our names in the sand as the sun came up. He was right. It was truly a beautiful sight, seeing that sun come up over the water. Nothing else mattered. No fears, no pressures of college, just experiencing the beauty.
And here we were, 20yrs later. Him as a phlebotomist, me as a...patient. Blood draw was over, his name tag became visible. "Chris". Omg omg omg...what do I say? Lest I forget the unfortunate exposure just a few moments prior? Ugh, go for it.
me: "can I ask? I...I think I know you."
Chris: "oh no!" - insert nervous laughter on his part - "go ahead!"
me: "are you Chris (last name)"
Chris: "nope, I'm Chris (different last name)!"
me: "really? And you're sure about that?"
Chris: "ha ha! Yes, sorry!"
Oh, don't be:-) It sure did feel nice to escape that hospital bed if for just a few minutes in my own mind. I haven't been to the beach yet this year, so it was nice to find myself there, though circa 1990, freezing to death in the nighttime sea breeze, wearing one of those burlap-esque pullovers that were ridiculously uncomfortable. Underneath, a thermal shirt that changed colors when you put your hand on it. A pair of Oakleys flipped up on top of my head, because they were accessories by night, functional by day. Laying in the sand, staring at the sky, talking all night with my BFF, before the term became popular.
I was so hoping he was "the" Chris. I wanted to tell him that the guy I had met at the custom wheel shop? Shy, very sweet, kind eyes? I totally got carried away. I married him:-)