At work. Perhaps a mundane setting, but it was turning point for me. Life-determining to our daughters.
April, 1991. My first day on the job at a commercial editing house. I had been introduced to maybe thirty people that day. Then Randy walked in and gave me this direct and honest smile. He was the most handsome and kind and considerate person I had met that day. Uh-oh, I know what that means.
I asked my new friend Katie: “Is Randy gay?”
“He’s had a girlfriend for the past seven years.”
So I waited. Dated other people. Applied to graduate school. Thrilled at any chance encounter with him. Then came the morning in the office when Terry Comer asked, “Where’s Randy?” He was normally the most dependable of the assistant editors. There was a rush of phone calls; the whole story emerged later that he had broken up with his girlfriend, got loaded at a Prince concert the night before and slept through the alarm.
Yeah!! A bad boy! Edgy, tortured and tragic – just my type!! Who commits for years!
I confided my crush to Terry. The next time Randy wandered into our office, Terry asked, “Randy, are you driving to Kansas for Easter to see your folks? Cindy is going to Kansas City - why don’t you share a ride?”
Randy still gives me shit about this. He claims I got him hooked under false pretences. Claims I would rarely drive home for Easter. True. All’s fair.
It was our eight-hour road trips there and back that clinched it. I didn’t ever want to get home. He ate the strawberries I brought. I told him about the amazing Cormac McCarthy book I had just read, with its hard nail scene of one cowboy shoving another's dislocated shoulder back in place. Randy told me about his own shoulder, popped out at a Sonic Youth Public Enemy concert. We stopped to look at hillbilly souvenirs, walnut bowls and corncob pipes. We took Polaroids. We traded family stories and, I think, felt some amazement and gratitude when our harrowing tales didn't scare the other one off. I fell in love.
It took until May Day and then he became my comrade. Now he’s the father of my girls. Loving, patient and fun. Just my type.