I was 17 when we met. A small-town girl in the thick of the Heartland who was sick of the patriarchy, although I didn’t even know that word existed in 1988. David would be 18 and graduate from high school in a few months. And he was unlike any boy or man I’d ever met: Calm, curious, clever, well-read and wise beyond his years.
Night after night, I’d stretch the phone card to its breaking point, lie on my back, feet up the wall, and talk. And talk. And listen. And it was a conversation that would last, well, 25 years. So far.
A recent conversation says a lot about who were were – and are. Now 50.
Me: What are you doing?
D: Nothing. The kids are wondering what I’m doing hanging around.
Me: They don’t want to be with you?
D: Not really.
Me: I mean, you only gave them the best years of your life.
Me: You know, there’s one person who has always wanted you around.
Who has always loved you.
D: Ahhh. And what does she get for all or her troubles?