Here's the background info on the 4,000 Questions posts.
Question #7: Who was your unrequited love?
This one is in honor of Valentine's Day!
Are you out there Eddie Evjan? I first met Eddie, and his friend Ronnie Richardson, when I was at my 91C phase one training as a Medic in the Army. We were at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas and I had just turned 18.
Eddie and Ronnie were in my unit, and we usually ended up near each other in formation. Units like ours were often "assigned" to military ceremonies at the parade grounds. We seldom knew what the ceremony was for or who was being honored, but a show of troops, well trained in drill & ceremony and looking spiffy, was needed for effect. As we stood through these ceremonies, standing ramrod straight and listening to the drone of the speakers, we would often chat in quiet voices, moving only our lips.
During these chats, Eddie, Ronnie and I became fast friends and often hung around together in our off-time. At this point in my life, I had to wear black "Clark Kents" - military issue glasses; personal frames were not permitted. I also had a short and unflattering haircut and didn't know too much about makeup. And I was thin and wiry. Eddie and Ronnie liked our three-musketeer friendship, but I don't think Eddie ever felt anything more than that for me.
For me, it was a different story. Eddie was in my dreams and he was all I thought about as I learned how to fill syringes, give shots, and create and maintain a sterile field. He had black spiky hair and a mustache, and as I recall, he was Norwegian. He was a little older, maybe in his 20s. To most of us, he was an "older guy."
In my naivete, I began to display signs of liking him as more than a friend - unskilled flirtatiousness, "accidentally" bumping into him or brushing against him, constantly trying to be around him. The poor guy. I was just so smitten.
One night, we were walking back to the barracks together on a cool November Texas evening - the sky was wide and dark and full of stars that time of year. He was gently explaining to me that he really thought of me as a friend, but not more than that. My heart was broken, even as I knew this moment would have to come - I had sensed that my love was unrequited.
We stopped for a moment, standing on the sidewalk outside our buildings in the chilly darkness, with only a few street lamps for light and no one around. Somehow - I really can't recall how it was initiated - Eddie agreed to give me just one kiss. My god, he gave me the kiss of my life. It was long and soft and the world went away. I think he took care to make it extra special for me. Then we went our separate ways, and we didn't hang around as buddies anymore - I think he didn't want to lead me on.
I remember Eddie every now and then, and think of that kiss...that kiss...