Clarifying yesterday's post for those who don't know this story... I lost a dear friend to a motorcycle wreck nearly 21 years ago. Paul would be turning 40 this year, but instead he ended at age 19.
We had parted ways a year before that (a little thing in Bartlesviille talked him into to calling me on Valentine's Day to break up - he was easily swayed - I dented the wall in my apartment throwing the phone at it that night), but he was still dear to my heart anyway. Many boys flitted in and out of my life back then, but he was youngest guy I ever dated, four years my junior, and full of sunshine and life, a summery tanned blonde, very much unlike my usual taste.
He was the only guy to ever jump in my convertible with the door still closed. And he did it all the time, hand on the door, vaulting over the side.
We had a tumultuous on again, off again romance for a couple years during the time I worked at Casa Bonita, but despite our distractions with other people, we continued back and forth as friends or lovers, never becoming completely estranged.
Before I moved away to Washington State, we took our final goodbyes. I visited his apartment in Bartlesville - he was proud to have his own place, staying there to finish his senior year although his mom had moved back to Tulsa, transferring for her job. He helped me pack my things away that I was leaving here in Oklahoma. He kissed me goodbye in the back driveway of this very house, leaning on his white Firebird with his maddenly charming good looks and summer-boy grin, and with a smile he said he knew he'd never see me again.
It seemed melodramatic and untrue at the time, and I laughed it off then, but sometimes shit happens. He died the next year. May 17, 1991.
My husband is very sweet about my grief and encourages and comforts me when it hits - he was there for me when it happened, although I was thousands of miles away and did not get to attend the funeral. I haven't been able to find out yet if Paul has a memorial somewhere. It seems I will have to order the death certificate if I really want to find out. Maybe I will so I can see about getting to visit him. If there is no memorial, maybe I should plant a shrub in the back here, put a bench back there somewhere for sitting and talking to loved ones that have crossed over.