Shall I describe for you disappointment? What it feels like? Have you ever been disappointed? I could say it is sadness, but that's not quite right. It is a variation on a sadness. It's a shade of sadness colored with let down, darkened in along the edges with a missing. It is tinted in the furrows of the brow with some wistful. The eyes are painted with "I wish it would have been different". The heart gains the feeling of a few more ounces, while the shoulders dip in resignation. The mouth utters a sigh.
I had a crush on this one boy (eons ago it feels). He came to mind last night. I have not thought of him in over 25 years. The town he used to live in flashed across the news channel, and boom, there was his name in my mind. This boy, I thought, was like a tanned Adonis. I was 14, I think, at the time of this crush. He played soccer. I was very much obsessed with soccer at this age, the same age as burgeoning hormones and crushes. I didn't just play soccer, I lived and breathed it. I went through the training and became a referee as well. I had heard somewhere that he was a lifeguard during the summer in his town by the shore.
So anyway, here was this tan, sun-bleached blonde specimen about my age with legs perfectly sculpted from the sport. Two obsessions were combined in one perfect body. I volunteered to travel to games where I knew he would be playing in. I ran the lines with yellow flags, just to catch a glimpse of this boy who played with such skill. I never expected him to notice me. He did, once. He was just as obsessed with the sport as I. He also became a referee. One game, a younger state semi-final game, we both ended up at. I almost fainted when he smiled at me, in recognition. "Hey, I know you, you did a lot of my games". He had the most beautiful smile. The crush lasted about two summers. I never came up with the guts to say anything about said crush. Too shy.
At any rate, his name comes back to mind, and so for kicks and giggles, I search him online, to see what he's been up to. He continued his soccer career in college, did quite well. He settled in the state of his college. I saw a picture of him with that same smile, but he has aged. Crinkle lines around his eyes, laugh lines around his mouth. But what got to me was that he was convicted of forgery. Forgery. This boy who I thought was the sun and the moon and the stars (for a period of two summers) had apparently become, a bad boy . I should have left the memory alone. It is like my childhood fairy tale has now been tarnished. Another childhood fantasy with black squiggles smeared across the pages of time. Disappointing.
Today, also, I felt this. I have favorites. We all have favorites. I discovered one of my favorite e2 author's, yossarian, has only three pieces left posted. One of them I recommended for an earlier podcast . And another, Work within the limitations of the medium, I have submitted to Lost Gems of Yesteryear. You see, I like to dig into my favorites, go back again and again to reread words. It's like never growing tired of favorite movies. You could watch them again and again. It's like hearing your favorite bedtime story as a child. "Just ONE more time, Mama! Pleeeeeease?" And now they aren't here.
It doesn't matter the reason, I don't have to be understanding, because disappointment isn't about understanding, it's about a feeling, which is not a logical thing. There are all sorts of reasons for a why, but any of those reasons do not lessen the actual feeling. It is what it is. So today, I am colored in shades of sadness, because I no longer have some of my favorite stories to go back to again and again just to breathe in the feelings evoked. I have only the wisps of once upon a time. Think on it as how an alzheimer patient might feel if she were aware of each memory slipping away one by one. It is something she may have an inkling that should be there, but now it is not. It is out of her grasp. It is something beyond her control. Nonetheless, it is loss. This is what it feels like to me.
I urge you to go read the remaining yossarian pieces. It will be well worth your time.