Sometimes a song can take us to a place we would rather not go
A Time and a Place
“Change the song; it's making me weep.” I thought but didn’t say.
There are some songs that pull you back to a time and place, and sometimes that place is the last place you want to go.
I was in my favorite pub sitting at the bar when it came on the ‘oldies’ juke box which was one of its big attraction for a lot of its patrons. I had my usual scotch in front of me, my second, my usual quota.
Rose the bartender was walking my way, glancing around the bar at the other spattering of regulars.
I finished the drink in one long pull and patted the rim to tell her I wanted another double. She gave me a look, and one carefully sculpted eyebrow rose as she poured another into the glass. I shook my head slightly telling her I didn’t want to talk to her about it. She shrugged wisely and placing scotch back on its shelf and moved off.
It had been a long time ago and of course it had been my fault.
She had been so beautiful and so young. It made my heart ache to see her sitting on the shabby old couch in her tiny apartment. We had been talking and listening to a stack of L.P.s on her stereo the first time I had kissed her.
The couple we had been waiting for knocked at the apartment door at that moment and off we went.
We had fun that night. When we were dropped off at her place by the others she gave me a quick kiss at the end of the night. She told me she had to be at work in six hours and had to get as much sleep as possible.
If she wanted slow I could do slow, I decided, and went on home.
Twice we ran into each other at parties we both had dropped into after work. It had been fun.
She was smart and funny. She had a way of asking the most interesting questions, and when she was asked one would have some thoughtful answer.
She had long straight hair, and honey colored skin. Her eyes were bottomless brown where I could get lost at times. Her quick smiles had a kind of sad hesitation at times, but it passed quickly.
I walked her back to her place and when we got there she stopped me when I moved to kiss her.
“You don’t understand,” she said her eyes lowered, pushing me back gently, ”I’m not the right for you. I like you a lot, but you deserve better,” she said, turning to the steps.
“Don’t I get a say in this?” I asked catching her hand, and stepping up to her step and kissing her. She let out a low sigh and led me up the steps.
She went to the kitchen and came back with a bottle of wine and glasses. I turned on the stereo.
We sat again on her same couch and had a glass of wine. She was behaving more shyly than before.
“If you honestly want me to just go, tell me,” I said taking her hand, but not getting up.
She looked at me for a long moment as the music played. Her eyes shone with unshed tears.
“It never works for me,” she said, “I have tried before, things never work out. It always goes wrong.”
“Isn’t that what everybody fears about being in love?” I asked, my own eyes burning, “love is about taking that risk isn’t it?”
She gave me that shy almost sad smile and moved into my arms. We kissed and that same song was playing. We swayed a bit, a long wonderful kiss.
“You have to be sure,” she said to me pushing back, tears in her eyes.
“I’m sure,” I answered kissing the tears on each cheek, “we can make it work.”
The night was marvelous, and just before the sun rose, she rose to her feet drawing on a robe. She sat down on the edge of the bed and gave me a gentle kiss on the forehead.
“Now,” she said, “things are not the same forever. You know our lives may change and we may move apart.”
“I’m a big boy,” I kissing the hand she was holding at arms length, “I’m willing to risk it, I’ve cried before.”
“Alright,” she sighed and kissed me.
She walked around the room closing the heavy drapes. She was amazingly beautiful and strong and wise. When we embraced there in the near blackness of the room she took me in her arms. She was almost desperate, wild to biting and scratching.
I felt odd when we got up just after sunset, a bit off kilter. When I told her we needed to run over to my place, so I could at least get a change of clothes. I had to work the next morning.
She gave me that sad, shy smile, and shook her head.
“No,” she said softly, “we need to talk about some things first.’
I shrugged and we sat down.
“Most of the time things are simple,” she said quietly, “love is dangerous for me because it’s the only thing that can change that.”
“Well, most -” I started.
She put her hand up again, “No, you don’t understand. Love is the only thing that can make me turn somebody, otherwise you‘d just be dead.”
“You are a vampire like me now.”
She had been right too, after thirty or so years we grew apart. It’s the hunting all the time I guess. Love is dangerous for us.
I finished the drink and rose. I agreed with her now, love forever for us really meant forever. Not growing old together, having children all the things the mortals have in common, we can never have those things.
But like the song says “Only Love Can Break your Heart.”