Colliding Stars

Posted: February 27, 2014 in journal, Women, Writing
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“When stars collide, like you and I, no shadow blocks the sun”-  The One by Elton John

Blue and White, 2007, graphite and ink on paper- variation of Correggio's "Jupiter and Io"

Blue and White, 2007, graphite and ink on paper- variation of Correggio’s “Jupiter and Io” —


An Aside to the Story………..

I have reached an age where I can look back over my shoulder and see with great clarity the illusions of the past.  Recounting the highs and lows of ones life is like skipping a stone across a deep, clear pond.  The ripples from the collision of stone on water are ever expanding across the depth of untold passions, ambitions, desires, driving ambitions and a myriad of emotions running the gambit of human sensibility.

Some of those deep pools were the men that traveled though my life.  They came and they went, some gentle rain showers others thundering storms, none stayed very long, all of them wanted to control me, to harness the magic.  None understood what I needed but I cared for them and loved them all with great passion, and they loved me. Perhaps I was too complicated, too different; perhaps because I never formed a strong attachment or perhaps I used them as much as they used me.

All of them except for Barry.

He was an engineer on a British Schooner called the Golden Cachalot.  A hundred-foot beauty with a crew of 25 dashing young, bare chested Brits and 25 passengers looking for adventure.  The day she sailed into Santa Cruz Bay everything changed; for she was the opening door allowing larger vessels, more tourist which in turn changed the islands and its inhabitants.

We met by chance, both of us unloading shipments from the monthly cargo ship.  It was a bit of magic from the start, an instantaneous attraction, an all-consuming passion. My year-long relationship with Barry was something out of a corset-buster romance novel, glorified onto a Cecil B de Mille production.   Two stars headed on a karmic collision course, which would rip both our hearts to shreds.

When it was time for the Golden Cachalot to head back to England for re-fit, Barry looked for a way to stay in the islands or in Ecuador. Many jobs were offered to him, but in the end he decided to go back with the ship and return on the next tour.  I was wickedly in love and bravely waved him off, my heat aching at his leaving but secure in the knowledge he would return.

Life has a way of changing the course of every river and mine was no different. When the Golden Cachalot returned, he was not onboard. He had sent a letter with one of the crew, explaining how it was all just an “island romance” and how he made a mistake and he was moving on with his life.  At least he wrote me a letter, more than most would have done, and left no other choice I no longer looked to the horizon for sails.

Six months later another British passenger brought me a letter from Barry. This one was very different; this was the letter girls dream about receiving. This letter begged me to come to England, said he could not live without me, said he loved me, said he was a fool…….

In the days before Internet as we now know it, I sent a cable with the date and time my plane would arrive; I would go and see if his words were real.  Before I left, just about everyone on the island gave me money and their personal shopping list, so I left with minimum clothes and empty suitcases. I planned to be gone a week.

Landing in London two weeks after I sent the cable, he was there to meet me… wonderful.  He took me to his parent’s home where I would be staying; they welcomed me with open arms.  He would be staying at his apartment on the other end of town, as it was nearer to work.  I thought it was a bit strange but perhaps this was the proper way to do things.  I arrived on a Friday and we spent a glorious weekend together. Monday morning arrived and his parents left saying they were going to visit a friend and would be back the next day. Barry came around noon and I fixed us lunch.  He then began to tell me his story and I thought this is how it feels to buried alive.

He had made the biggest mistake of his life sending me that letter.  He did not have the courage to tell me not to come when he got the cable. His mates had convinced him I was just after a British citizenship and nothing else, that I was not of his class, I was too good for him, I would be miserable, that I really did not love him.  He had met another woman who looked a lot like me and knew I would love her, she was living with him for 6 moths now and they were planning on getting married. Seeing me again he said make him realize deep in his heart he truly loved me, but there was nothing he could do, nothing he could change, things had gone too far and he begged me for my forgiveness.

And then he cried.

If my heart was broken with his words, my soul was ripped apart with his wretched tears, and all we could do was hold each other, for when stars collide there is nothing left but a bit of fairy dust.

I did my shopping and returned to islands ahead of time without any stories to tell, diving back into my work, my life. To this day I remember him with great love, pain, and an occasional tear for another life, another path that might have been.

  1. Brenda says:

    I think my heart broke a little, too.


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