“You’re a candle in the window on a cold, dark winter’s night….”
It’s been thirty-two years and the words to REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” still resonates with memories when I hear it. Memories of crazy older “kids” falling in love. I heard the song this morning as I walked alone around the lake at Lookup. Physically alone but not ever really alone. I smiled thinking of the woman I married thirty-two years ago…. “The most interesting woman in the world” to hijack the words of a beer commercial. My smile became broader as I thought of her.
“Oh, I can’t fight this feeling any longer and yet I’m still afraid to let it flow. What started out this friendship has grown stronger. I only wish I had the strength to let it show.”
I had no intention of getting married again. I had no intention of falling into love again. The previous memories were too painful…but Providence would intervene. I had no intention of meeting my bride on top of a football stadium’s press box or later with an inflatable pumpkin perched upon her head. Serendipity would intervene in the form of a hazel eyed, dark-haired sprite who would torment my thoughts, inappropriate thoughts because she was dating my roommate. Destiny would intervene when they broke up.
“I tell myself that I can’t hold out forever, I said there is no reason for my fear, ’cause I feel so secure when we’re together….”
We go to family gatherings, get together with friends, the occasional party…I find myself close by…preferring to talk with her than anyone else…close enough to touch and whisper in her ear. I’m not being snobbish, I would just rather talk to her.
I can’t comprehend her not being around, it’s as if she has been around forever. “Dear God, please take us together or take me first….”
“And I can’t fight this feeling anymore, I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for. It’s time to bring this ship into the shore and throw away the oars, forever.”
I did fight it…even after she and my roommate broke their ties. Often my loyalty is misplaced, and I was never going to fall in love again. We danced around the issue…maybe…maybe I danced around the issue.
We found ourselves at school and athletic functions, enjoying each other’s company. She actually laughed at my stupid jokes. I found her captivating, intoxicating and any other ‘ating’ one might think of except ‘dating.’ I couldn’t quite pull the trigger and ask her out…finally she tired of my dance and asked me out. I’m slow but I’m not stupid.
She is my anchor and I am her storm-tossed, rudderless ship…except when we reverse our roles.
“My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you. I’ve been running around in circles in my mind.”
We are more like leaves caught in a whirlwind…blown where ever our whims and chance send us. I remember an early anniversary when we decided to drive to the coast the weekend after our June 29th. wedding celebration. Our decision was an impulse masquerading as a great idea…a romantic idea. I’m sure it was her idea.
As we rolled into Georgetown it dawned upon us the weekend after our wedding anniversary was the Fourth of July weekend. There were no rooms in the inn and we weren’t Mary and Joseph. Once again happenstance saved us in the form of the Chamber of Commerce. One bed and breakfast with a room was available. According to Otto von Bismarck, “A special Providence takes care of fools, drunkards, and the United States.” I don’t know about the drunks and the US but for thirty-two years Providence has taken a liking to two fools in love.
I wish I had met her sooner…had fallen in love with her sooner…but then we weren’t the people we would become. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been ready to “to crawl upon the floor, come crashing through (her) door.” Perhaps she wouldn’t have been ready to be my “candle in the window.” No, I’ll keep things as they are.
Linda Gail, I love you and would do it all over again a thousand times. To my best friend, my lover, my wife…mother of my beautiful, blind puppies, I love you.
Thanks to REO Speedwagon “Can’t Fight This Feeling”
Album: Wheels Are Turnin’
Songwriter: Kevin Cronin
Recorded: August 1984
Don Miller’s author’s page https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B018IT38GM?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true