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First Person Personal

My personal views on a variety of matters ranging from popular culture to quantum physics to religion to politics to history to bushido to ... well, whatever I feel like, really. Warning: we all have agendas. Trust no one totally, myself most specifically included. Email me at wbrerwolf at gmail.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

For All the Girls I've Loved Before - Remedial Humanity

I was on a group camping trip during my remedial humanity period when I met E. About midnight the skies opened up and my tent flooded. I was outside with an entrenching tool in my soaking wet underwear digging a trench around my tent when J came up and introduced his kid sister E to me.

As best I can figure, J thought that it was a good joke on both of us.

The funny thing is that E and I really hit it off.

E was very possibly the smartest person that I have ever met. I have remarked before that I am extremely intelligent. I would have to describe E as being unbelievably intelligent. In addition, she was interested in a lot of the same things that interested me at the time: computers, science, science fiction, fantasy fiction, comic books, animated films, regular films, role playing games, etc, etc. Finally, E was the younger sister of J while I was the older brother to my own sister: we instinctively fit into the same cultural dynamic.

Mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually, we were a perfect match.

But.

Physically, we had some problems. Firstly, I was about eight years older than E. Really, this was all to the good because I needed eight extra years of experience to keep up with her fantastic mind. More importantly, E was, like C, five foot nothing with her shoes on and weighed in at perhaps one hundred and ten pounds. This alone would have caused some serious problems in my head.

However, C looked like a woman, admittedly a small woman, but still an adult.

E looked like she was about thirteen.

Pedophilia is not one of my perversions.

If E hadn’t liked me a lot and been very persistent, our relationship would have gone nowhere.
As things stood, by the time E graduated from college we were somewhere between being engaged and going steady. I would have to call it being pre-engaged. After being with her for five minutes, I preferred her company to that of any other woman. However, if we were separated for any great length of time, I would be sometimes be attracted to women of more mature physical characteristics and would occasionally make passes at them.

This last bothered me a lot. I did not want to marry someone and then cheat on her. Most particularly, I did not wish to hurt E in any way, shape or form.

So I had a considerable amount of ambiguity about our relationship when E left to join the Navy. E came from a military family and it seemed only reasonable to all of them that she pay for college by agreeing to serve in the Navy upon graduation.

If I had had the brains God gave a guppy, I would have followed her and married her. I thought that we had time to make sure that we were right for each other. After all, a failed relationship is better than a failed marriage.

So we agreed to postpone the subject until she was out of the Navy and back in the South.

One of the high points of my life during that period was picking up the phone and calling her, spending hours talking about everything and nothing. I considered it to be quite possible that she would meet someone else and dump me, but in the meantime I was content, even happy.

E was posted in Monterey, California for the bulk of her service. About a year into her hitch we decided to get together a crew and go to the World Science Fiction Convention, which would be held in Anaheim, California in a year or so. This would be the first time we had seen each other in about two years, although we talked very regularly. E put off some surgery until after the Con, loaned me three hundred bucks and I got a membership to the World Con and made my travel arrangements. About ten of us, E and her mother and myself included, crammed into the most expensive hotel room I had ever been in. To say that we were well chaperoned does not even come close to it. We spent the bulk of the Convention together, but I was very uncertain about my feelings. I even went so far as to make a pass at another woman at the Con.

E herself was very cranky, and was a bit under the weather. I desperately wanted her to go to a civilian doctor, but she felt that the free medical care she got through the military was sufficient for this problem. I argued that military doctors were great for people who had gotten shot, blown up, stabbed, etc, but had some noticeable defects as regards more ordinary care. She disagreed and we parted on that note.

On the trip home, I decided to move to Atlanta to be with E when she got out of the Navy, always assuming that she would have me.

We had a few more phone calls before the surgery. E’s mother M promised to call me the moment E came out of surgery and she did.

The news was a devastating surprise: someone had screwed up in the recovery room and E’s heart had been stopped for over six minutes. E was now in an irreversible coma, a state she remained in until her death about two years later.

While I had accepted the possibility that E might dump me, I had never considered the possibility that I would outlive her. She was, after all, female, of a long-lived family and nearly eight years younger: all of the odds said that she would bury me, and it just seemed so unfair that I was going to bury her instead. She was one of perhaps a half-dozen people that I considered more worthy of continued life than myself. If I could have swapped myself for her, I would have done it.

But she was gone and I was here and there was not a damned thing I could do about it.

It was as if some sort of circuit breaker popped in my head. For the next few years, I simply stopped giving a damn about anything. I wasn’t suicidal, exactly. I just didn’t care whether I lived or died. The only thing I could think of was to amuse myself with matters of no significance whatsoever until the Reaper came for me as well.

I was dead in my heart and soul while she was dead in her brain and, eventually, her body.

Overall, I would have to consider this to be the greatest loss of my life to date; but even in this, there were lessons that would serve me well in later life.

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