The Beginnings

It all started when the first guy I ever loved, John, died in a car accident in January. I felt like the ground under me had been lifted, and I still don’t know if I’ve been put down again, or if I ever will be.

People told me how beautifully I was handling myself, and to tell the truth, I was amazed with my composure too. It seemed that the wealth of support from my friends who knew me so well, so long ago, when my concept of “love” was an early Beatles’ song – it seemed that their support somehow made me feel more whole, more complete than I had been in a long time.

But then I returned to New York, where John’s death didn’t happen, where the memories I have of our time here fade in and out, sometimes so clear when “Let it Be ” comes on my iPod as I’m walking past Simone’s, sometimes murky when I pass the Crooked Tree creperie and a clash of other memories pop into my mind.

It was here, in the city that is my home, where I live alone and have slowly learned to love it and the thinking that comes with solitude, that I knew that John’s death would hit me the hardest.

So I decided to start from the beginning. From the journals that were filled with cliches galore, the champagne bubbles of my first encounter with romance, the song lyrics that I would write down in an effort to capture, to name this experience.

It was in these journals that I discovered I had named John my soul mate. I never defined what a soul mate was to me in the journals. Apparently I thought I would “just know,” when I read back on them.

I don’t have a clear definition of the term “soul mate.” At least not right now. But I had used it so freely to define John back then, and I wondered what it had meant to me. And I wondered what it meant to me now. And I wondered how I had journeyed from point A to B without even knowing it.

So I embarked on this project, an oral history and pop culture recounting (with a dash of academic roots) of what a soul mate is. And so began the questions…


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