One of those days my life changed. The day my first love broke up with me. I was just rummaging through my things in preparation for leaving the country and shipping all my stuff to my current girlfriend and I found the journal where I chronicled my searing pain. It's really good to keep a journal. Reading this particular volume put me right back where I was almost ten years ago.

When I reread this event in my journal, I'm always surprised how well I was handling it at first. I holed up in my room at the Chateau student co-op in Berkeley for two days straight, leaving only to get food and water, licking my wounds. Then I began preparing for a trip to New Mexico, where I had never been but which was calling to me in a big way. I got to blow wads of cash on camping equipment (much of which I still have), and I ended up meeting a huge number of cool people once there, including an older woman who wanted to take my virginity (why didn't I let her? WHY).

New Mexico didn't quite heal me the way I wanted, though, nor was I handling the breakup as well as I thought. My subsequent series of desperate and embarrassing letters caused her to (rightly, in my current opinion) sever contact with me for a while. And my love for her stayed on my emotional stage for a long time. In fact, it was just recently that I achieved the kind of closure I've been waiting for. Perhaps that sounds incredibly desperate and sad, considering we were only together for a month and a half, but I made peace with not being with her years ago -- recently was a different kind of closure... kind of scrubbing away the bitter residue in honor of my departure.

But the ten year anniversary of our relationship is coming up on Tax Day. I look back and it's like I'm on top of an Alpine mountain. People who climb mountains like that must look down miles and miles into misty valleys and say, "Damn, I covered all that ground with these arms, this back and these legs." That was one hell of a ten years. I'm so glad I made it.