Tonite at the pizza place while picking up dinner, Jeffrey and I were talking about Daddy, and somehow it came up how DFM and I met. My four-year old was incredulous that Daddy and I had not always known each other, and had not always been Mama and Daddy, as I explained that we had met in a pizza place when I was a teenager. It got me thinking about our story, and how it’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet, but it’s a pretty good Love Story…
The pizza place I worked in was my first job, and I was almost 18. I was dating a guy that worked there too who was about 5 years older than me, and who probably should have left me alone, but I won’t go into that. He was a mistake, even I knew that, but my mom hated him, and at the time that was good enough for me. My parents had just divorced less than a year before, and I was running pretty fast and scared.
This particular pizza restaurant was (and is) a very popular place for sports teams and locals to hang out, and was always pretty busy. One night, it was unusually slow, and this big guy comes in and sits at the counter and begins talking with my boyfriend. It was obvious they were friends, but he didn’t look like the other (renegade) friends who regularly visited the boyfriend (b.f.), and I had never seen him before. I was washing glasses at the bar, and the b.f. asks me to come over and meet this guy. DFM and I recall this moment pretty much the same, but if you have ever seen the Godfather and remember when Al Pacino sees Apolonia for the first time… Well, that’s what happened, but I don’t look like Apolonia. DFM says it was love at first sight. For me, it was a little different- I remember all the details of how he looked and especially the look in his eyes and how startling it was to me…I just knew that this was someone very important to me, but I didn’t have the self-awareness to know what to call it. Nothing quite like it had ever happened to me before, and I just wanted to be near him, to breathe him in. It was so strange, but not a physical attraction- I knew how to deal with that- this was something else, something bigger. The b.f was babbling on about how everyone was intimidated by DFM because of how big his stature is, and blah blah blah… I snapped out of it and looked at him with confusion. What? Why would anyone be scared of this man? That is the first thing I said aloud. I could see him, and there was nothing but light drawing me in like an intrigued new moth.
That night the three of us hung out until long after the restaurant closed, and sat on the back steps talking late into the night. DFM had burned a pink candle on the doorstep while the three of us talked, and the wind blew it into crazy shapes. He gave it to me when we all got up to go our separate ways. I still have it, wrapped in a silk scarf in a box on my dresser, 16 years later.
Stay tuned for part 2, The Torture Years.