It’s Valentine’s Day and I was hoping to sign a card for June W. before she got here to drop off some financials, but she came early. I was in the middle of training a new co-worker when she arrived and I think the confusion was mutual.
Alison M. is an eager student of photo lab who has taken advantage of the opportunity of missing team member to fill in and cross-train. Why she wants to learn this complex work-center is beyond my grasp, nor question. She, like many other young students of photography, has showed an interest in learning the working technique. They want to know how it actually works.
June showed up unexpectedly. Since I don’t have a checking account, nor deserve one, June has been cashing my paychecks. She has decided to make out a cashier’s check to my old/new landlord so I can move back in to the efficiency apartment that I was evicted from; you know, the one I love with the BLT. This solves a lot of happiness problems: expecting coffee, creamer, clean sink, lost food, ice cream, to be there normally, not to mention broken cups, people falsely accusing you of steeling, etc. Am I bitching?
However, today this eager student has mistaken my interest in June as a training lesson in customer service. Little does she know how much I really would love to service June on this Valentine’s Day, both horizontally and vertically, landscape and portrait. Alison stays close as I’m talking to June until she realizes its personal, then she gives us a little distance, as much as she can in this little lab.
June has this look about her this afternoon that sort of reminds me of the first time we fell into wicked love back in El Toro, CA, when I glanced at her passion after a wonderful Japanese meal. It invokes a feeling deep inside me that will never be forgotten and, I’m afraid, can never be buried.
The ‘Magic’ I used to spell over June is long gone. I’ve decided to move out of the sober house I’m living in. June has unwittingly decided to help once again in my, what will become fifth or so homeless move, in one year. None of these times has she invited me to simply move back in with her, share the rent, forgive all, do the smart thing, yada, yada, yada, etc. I guess my blue eyes have faded. I can’t put on the charm I used to.
I fear that June’s key to happiness is simply financial security. After the tech bubble burst in 1999, she felt Wax was waning. Although I have a technological advantage over most people to understand machines, she’s not sure how it translates to dollars. So, after fifteen years of love making, two short years of marriage, a tech bubble burst, an embedded alcoholic addiction, and her inherent need to fix everything that’s broken, she’s given up on this piece of shit hopeless romantic. She fell deeply in love with me once, and I fear she will never fall in love with anyone as deeply, me or anyone else, ever again. I’ve cursed her for life.
The added benefit of anyone else ever falling in love with her is merely selfish. After the massive damage I’ve done to her, I wouldn’t blame her for falling in love with the right man.
But she hasn’t...yet.
It is hard. Like many steps in recovery, there are chips in the pavement along the way. I became strong enough to develop the two-dozen rolls of film taken when...I don’t remember. There were a lot of memories; a lot were fun, a lot were drinking, a lot were wild. There is an infamous photo of me passed out on the floor. June had decided that she had to capture this moment in time. She does that. She’s more journalistic than artistic in her photography.
So, I’m torn. She needs financial help, yet she doesn’t want me to move back in. I guess she doesn’t love me that much any more. I need to move out. This place – this sober house – is dysfunctional. She’s short on money and I could pay her rent while we patch things up (a dream state). I think her pride is stopping her from entertaining the idea.
It sucks! I can’t feel anything for anyone else. I don’t want to. Girls and ladies are asking and I just don’t feel like it’s the right time, nor right thing, to do anything about it. However, June doesn’t want me back. She’d rather me find some other woman.
What she doesn’t understand – and what I don’t understand – is why we can’t fall back in love. When someone falls deeply in love with you, and they’re a good guy, don’t blow them off. I am deeply in love with June. I guess I’m not a good guy.
I wish I was younger so I could convince a younger June of our future together. Just like the view of this photo, everything is a little esker.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day on that thought!