Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

Here’s a filmic image: one rainy night in Donostia in the Basque country, we found the frame of an umbrella tossed in the trash outside a bar called Uda Berri Berri, opened it up, and walked around the whole town arm in arm slowly, and talking, as if the umbrella were keeping us dry. People rushing to get out of the rain kept stopping/staring or laughing at us. Then we sat under a bridge and smoked hash. We were, after all, in Spain. My love of him exists outside of time, as in a utopia. It is both the most and the least real. —AS

Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

He invited me over for dinner; I said I couldn’t, I had to go to the public library after work that night. He said, “Well, when you get there, look up the book you’re currently reading in the Library of Congress listings.” I asked, “Why,” etc., and he insisted that I just do it. Later that night, upon arriving at the library I did as I was told, and sandwiched in the page where my book was listed (it was Middlemarch, by George Eliot, in case you are wondering), I found a note. It suggested that I find a certain piece of music in the Music Room, by a certain composer part of whose last name is the Latin word for LIFE. Upon locating the music room I looked up Vita in the card catalog and happened across Vivaldi. I searched out the recording on its shelf, and hidden behind it was a mixed tape of music, a note, and a short story, all very beautiful, and all made and left for me. These things really do happen. —AS

Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

The complexity of his arcane philosophical concepts became all the more compelling when viewed against the simplicity of his beliefs about love. I worried that he and I had gotten together too soon after my break-up, that people would suspect foul play, despite my having done everything “in the right order.” All he said—and he only said it once—was, “But you’re with me now, Anne.” And he meant it elementally. You. Are. With. Me. Now. Anne. —AS

Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

My self-confidence was such at that time that I never thought he would consider me. In fact I thought he thought me quite silly. I found out years later that one of my favorites from among his poems was about his disappointment that I would not consider him. Sometimes when we think we know most we know least. —AS

Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

We are friends now and we have never “officially” been lovers but he has said some life-transforming things to me like, in a whirl of people, a moment of absolute quiet pulled out of the loudness of the surroundings: “You melt me.” On another occasion he said: “Don’t you see that no one can stop looking at you?” It wasn’t true, but he thought it was, and that meant everything. —AS

Past Loves, A Series in no particular Order

He said, “Do you want to just disappear with me right now?” And I did. It was a beginning. —AS