It’s weird how things happen. Something had reminded me of this guy from eons ago that lived with me briefly. I was real young, still had a lot of maturing to do, still skittish around men. I don’t know what reminded me of him. Maybe it was Christmas. He gave me Jethro Tull “Thick as a Brick” for Christmas that year. We were sharing a bed but not sleeping together. This was because of a few things. One, I only knew him briefly from being a patron at the bar I worked in. He offered to help me move into my first house, which was a shack. He drove me out in the country to a place he’d been living until the couple and him all moved because he knew there were some old pots and pans out there. I still have the Teflon omelet pan nearly four decades later and still use it.
So he helped me move in — and then he never left. Being a hippie chick, this didn’t particularly daunt me. Two years before, I’d lived at a communal estate, pink mansion, pink driveway, pink bathroom fixtures, cisterne with real bats, 10 acres, with feds watching us from every nearby rooftop. Me and my two friends (and dozens of transients) were relegated to the garage apartment (also pink) partly because I was youngest and the only virgin in residence but also because I liked to listen to LOUD Alice Cooper while I was tripping.
So he stuck around for a few months. It was a lot of fun. Thing is I had an already-in-progress wicked crush on another guy I’d also met at the same bar, a devastatingly handsome artist with miles of attitude, a crush which continues to this day. While Brad (not his real name) was at work and I was alone with my own stoned thoughts, I spent a lot of very weird time having visions about what may have been a past life with the crush (we’ll call him Blue), so vivid and detailed were the visions.
During this time I wore a silver antique heart on a short chain around my belt loop. You can just barely see it in this picture, taken the summer before. Over the next few years, I happened upon a couple more small hearts, one a natural rock. Once I stopped wearing the heart on my hip (probably because the chain broke) I kept it with the other small hearts in a jar on the antique etegere that was my first piece of furniture I would purchase, too large to even fit into my shack and stored until I moved into my next home. The hearts shared space with some magic feathers that had to do with Blue, a sign I received over four days’ time, a message in my ear from a spirit telling me to visit a zoo one day, where I would find two people I knew, one being Blue, the other being the head of the commune.
The hearts stayed in the jar until maybe a decade ago when they went missing. I imagine I lost them during a move or something. I have searched especially for the silver heart because it means something to me, seems so symbolic of who I was at that time, a girl who wore her heart on her hip.
Well, today, something reminded me of Brad, probably Christmas, and then as I was looking for a place to hang a particularly beautiful Christmas ornament on my black etegere that I have drug around for decades, I moved a fossil out of a small pewter wine glass — and there were my hearts! I just polished the silver one with silver polish and will go buy a thin long chain and wear it around my neck now. I have put the others back in the feather jar, and when the silver one is not being worn, it will live there again too.
So this is my Christmas present this year. I found my hearts. I hope Brad and Blue are warm and safe and, if they think of me at all, think of me fondly.