I don’t know why we worked. Adam and I were, in many ways, quite opposite.
I was an L.A. Valley girl. He was a small-town Nebraska boy who once worked de-tassling corn. I used to call him my “juvenile delinquent.”
I grew up loving sports. I WAS sports. I wanted to work in sports. I WAS working in sports when we met. Adam once held the high school pole vault record in Central City and did gymnastics as a youngster, but he was an artist at heart. He was a singer, a musician, a sketcher, a potter, a designer. I always said “of course he likes sports, he just likes hippie sports: boarding, hiking, frisbee, hacky sack.” I think I got him to like sports … we became Olympic junkies, he was starting to appreciate the beauty of baseball (but NEVER basketball), and he was becoming a soccer groupie sort of.
I was goal-driven, ambitious, knew what I wanted; I ticked off my accomplishments one by one. Adam was a free spirit. He buckled under bureaucracy and flow charts, where I thrived. He liked to be his own boss. I preferred working in the office environment. He searched for meaning, what he wanted to do; I had it all planned out.
He loved lizards and snakes and all reptiles. I was ambivalent, but thankfully not terrified.
I remember he invited me to a party at his place before our official first date. This is where I meet this incredible group of friends (many who visited in the hospital and have guided me through this grief) … they were all totally unlike me, it seemed. They had long hair, smoked pot … they were just SO COOL. I showed up from an Air Force volleyball game with a ponytail and bangs, wearing a windbreaker with a plate of brownies (just the normal kind!). I felt so out of place.
Adam had on his red jeans (did I ever love those!); he was the long-haired artist I was fascinated with… earrings in both ears, a tattoo (!) and an eyebrow ring. This was not me.
Later, it was just the two of us, and we talked for hours. I said goodnight at the door to his apartment, and he awkwardly said “I would kiss you, but I’ve had a cold, so uh…” and he shook my hand. He would kill me for publicizing that story. But he stole my heart forever with that.
I used to be irritated with people who would insinuate that I “wore the pants” in the relationship. I felt that to be a misunderstanding of our relationship and what worked for the two of us. I was just the “out there, demanding, difficult” person (Cal Poly softball friends would call this “moody, snippy and opinionated”). Adam went with the flow. I was not in charge of the relationship nor of him. I wish I had been because maybe I wouldn’t be here writing this.
Adam loved music. He was way more hip than I could ever hope to be. He loved the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl (he was thrilled I went to see the Foo with him last year!). About two years ago I surprised him with tickets to Fitz and the Tantrums in Breckenridge. I didn’t know anything about them; I just knew he would want to go. I listen to 80s music, the Monkees, Garth Brooks and Broadway musicals – he could name all the modern, cool bands.
He’s the one who got me to try sushi and ethnic food of all kind, though a bean and cheese burrito is still my No. 1; he introduced me to beer beyond Bud, he convinced me to watch Starship Troopers, which is the ultimate cult bad movie. He got me on skis and a snowboard, though I never got the hang of it. He got me to love car camping and hiking, even though more than three days without a shower was too much for me.
He introduced me to so much … and I miss him more than I can say.
3 thoughts on “Why did we work?”
Thank you, Laura, for sharing snapshots of the vivid tapestry that you and Adam created together. While the details vary, anyone that knows, or has known, real and authentic love can relate to your sentiments here. The beauty in this kind of love is that it tethered together with a rich thread of mystery. I’m happy to have a glimpse of yours. Keep writing. Please.
I miss him more than I have been able to write or speak. I have a poem in my head that won’t yet come out. I fear to talk with you dear Laura for fear my tears will make you sadder yet. I weep today as I must spend my first holiday with neither of my children or you, Laura. These next few weeks will be tough and I know I can’t stop the tears. People hug me and I cry. Store clerks hug me and I cry. I will continue to look at pictures and I will continue to try and write some prose for I want to remember the sweet wonderful boy who turned into such an incredible man who loved deeply, was smart and talented, loved art and music and whom I can still hear say, Hi Mom”. Love you adam!! MOM
Love this! Love that you can share your stories!