By David "Drizz" Aydt © 2009
Many people sport a scar.
That scar could be four inch gash on their face from that bad car accident when your buddy had the great idea that shooting Irish car bombs until two a.m. with the townies at the local VFW, well after the softball team took off for their awaiting families, and ended with turning your 1999 Honda Prelude into the letter U on I-494 with a trooper shaking his perfectly starched hat at your stupidity.
Holding a firecracker long enough to qualify for a Darwin Award. Caught mounting the high school junior next door neighbor listening to Blink 182 when the wife came home early from the gym working off her mid-section to get back into bikini shape after producing your second offspring, and she applied a Ginsu to your back while trying to go a second round with the young three-sport academic star on her back.
Other scars are not seen on the skin. In my life, the proclamation of having one and only one regret rings true, and the reminder of that scar burns with every trip to the office. My scar is buried under six feet of solid Nordic dirt and ice, among the mass headstones there’s a grave marked with her name that has not been seen by these eyes.
Not getting the balls to take a simple right on 85th Ave. into the small plot of land for the dead to let 17 years of regret spill out onto her grave.
Survivor questions have pelted me since the day a letter from her mother arrived at the ASU campus with a Denver Post clipping with her face down on the pavement as a result of an attempt to recreate a Hawaiian cliffdiver’s form off a five story parking ramp.
Often there’s a dream of falling with her in slow-motion, questions of why are you here in the Mile High city, why did you do it, and were you coming to see me. The dream resulting in waking up on the couch right before kissing asphalt while Verne Lundquist is calmly describing Mickelson’s miraculous sand save on the 17th and his subsequent two foot putt for par to stay tied with Tiger Woods. Those questions are ones that without the help of Haley Joel Osment, or $1.99/hour on the psychic network, I’ll have to live without knowing their answers.
Most of that college freshman year, after receiving her death notice, was spent with an asshole 21 year old freshman from New York who enjoyed fucking his flavor of the week, or jamming horrible grunge lyrics into my skull with me in the room trying to decide nightly if doing a similar dive off the yuppie priced dorm room would be my way to release the pain of hating myself for breathing. Daily walks to class, and spending two hours solving for x passed the time and eventually woke me up to landed me with better company in the form of a speckled pothead from Philly who enjoyed dishing out his deep supply to Greek lettered ladies in exchange for cash, blow, or conversation. It made the time pass, made living flow, made for a way to escape inside of a one-hitter instead of looking for ways to give-up or listening to the NYC dickhead’s 2am bad karaoke version of “Jeremy”.
It took many years of self-hatred to realize she died for reasons unrelated to myself. No more daily queries like “should I have called when she broke it off for the fourth and final time?”. Easier now then to speculate as an 18 year old who’s head and body hasn’t lived life. Selfishness ruled, as getting laid and smashed daily seemed more important than securing a piece of paper which would assure you and your wife will enjoy financial freedom in Sun City, Arizona in those later years while your kids enjoy learning the history of Jamestown while doing tequila shooters off the school’s cheerleaders perfectly flat abs.
Still, sitting 17 years later, older, wiser, having life experiences of deaths to loved one and potential offspring, I still laminate on my first love (or lust?) while incased in a new family I would gladly die for. When will her ghost leave? Am I stuck to relive memories of pretending to go to the homecoming game in our sophomore year to get a first feel of sticking two fingers inside a girl while receiving my first ten-second blowjob? The sexually awkward next day in the hallways between class, and subsequent dinner-and-movie dates leading to our first break-up a few months later when someone else caught her eye are just a few memories that fade as I sit next to my seed playing with his new special edition transformers.
Letting go these in these fatherhood days of fun fruit, kindergarten, and level two swimming classes is easier, the dream doesn’t come around as much, but there’s still no closure. Finally taking that turn into the cemetery may not appease my 17 year old self wrapped with insecurity and acne as to why the brush off before prom, but looking down at her last name etched in stone as a father of two could finally give the present me the chance to at last say good-bye.
David "Drizz" Aydt is a writer from Minnesota.