The Torture Years, Part 1
So DFM and I basically became best friends. We spent a lot of time together, but we were never romantically involved with each other. He lived over at the coast in a little beachside village, and about this time, I had to move out of my mother’s place. He rented a room in an old Victorian house, and I remember loving it the first time I saw it. He painted the entire place white, and then burned incense while the paint was drying, so the room had a warm, spicy scent embedded in the walls.
I found an apartment to rent right across the street from him in a renovated building, and one crazy roommate. I was still dating the guy from the pizza place, but spent a great deal of my time with DFM. We would walk the cold, foggy streets of our little village, talking about everything under the sun and moon. In the summer, the village was a tourist Mecca, but during the winter it was basically deserted, and we had empty streets and quiet beaches to hang out on. There was a railroad tressle that went through town, and we would grab some ice cream or hot falafel in the village, then hike up and sit on the tressle looking out at the ocean and talking. I never did things like that with the b.f., and DFM became more and more dear to me. He moved back to the city, and the b.f moved into the special room in the Victorian, but it was never as special to me.
Looking back, (especially now that we are married, and he never lets me forget it!) I can see how perfect we were for each other, and how much we already loved each other, but for some reason, I could not see it at the time. I am 5 1/2 years younger than DFM, and maybe it was my youth and naivete, but I just did not want to chance messing up the best relationship I had ever had by making it romantic. All of my previous relationships had ended badly, and I was still only 18.
In the spring of that year, I applied for college in Seattle. When I was accepted for the fall term, it was bye-bye beach town, and hello cold, rainy city. The b.f. decided to go with me. We rented a small apartment on Capitol Hill because it was cheap and we didn’t know any better. It was also pretty close to school. I missed DFM with a heartache I had never known- he had stayed in California. We talked on the phone, and wrote some, but in the age of pre-email, I felt very cut-off from him.
On Christmas Eve-eve, the b.f. and I got a call that Dan and DFM were coming up to visit. At least that is what I thought they said. That evening they showed up with DFM’s pickup truck loaded with all their stuff, I learned they were moving in. They were here to stay. So there were four of us living in a little one-bedroom apartment, and I was in heaven, because HE was there, finally. Things were not perfect, but all in all, looking back we both have some pretty good memories of those times.
Dan and DFM managed to rent a studio in the same building after they got jobs. The first time I ever remember looking on him as something other than my best friend happened in that building, and I was so startled by it, I didn’t know what to do. I was coming in from school, per normal, went up to their apartment to see if they were home, and no one was. I headed back downstairs, when Dan and DFM came around the corner, both in winter coats and boots, and DFM had on this old, black bowler hat. My heart stopped in my chest when I saw him, and I ran all the way down the hall and jumped on him. What happened after that, I have no idea, but that memory is burnt in my mind. I was 19.
We all left Seattle the following year and headed back to the same area of California. The group of friends we had all kind of played muscial couches, and someone was usually on your couch if you had one. DFM lived with the b.f and I for a while, and at various other place, but we were never far from each other. If friends were looking for him, they often called me, because I almost always knew where he was. The b.f and I split up shortly before my 21st birthday. Which brings me to the true torture years.
Stay tuned to see what happens to our hero… will the dumb damsel ever realize what she has? Only time will tell!