How difficult it is to believe that ten years have passed since Mila and I were married. We count ourselves as being so, so very fortunate in our lives and in our marriage, though there is no doubt that a happy marriage (and indeed a happy life) is more than luck. I credit much of what we have to Mila's even-temper and non-judgmental nature, and I like to think that I add to the equation, too.
I first saw Mila at Congress Junior High School in Denton back in the very early 80s. She was in 7th grade and I was in 9th. It wasn't until we started dating and were looking at each other's yearbooks (among other things) and I saw her 7th grade picture that the memory of her then hit me. She is a lovely woman now, who takes after her mother's German side quite a bit. The addition of her father's Czech heritage makes for a striking combination indeed-- and one that is quite memorable. Even as a 7th grader she had a certain look.
Later, we were in highschool band together and I remember enjoying watching her dance to "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" out on the football field. She was a flag and I was a tuba-- and the band just stood there in formation playing the song while the flags did their routine. Lucky for me her dance area was right in front of me (thank you, God!). I thought she was sexy and liked watching her dance like a cat.
After I graduated I saw her every now and then-- maybe 2 or 3 times per year-- after football games or at bandling parties, such as they were. We had mutual friends, and her bigtime highschool beau was a good friend of some of my good friends.
When she graduated and moved to UT, we saw each other even more, though I would not remember many of these occasions that well if not for my journal. We were, after all, just friends at this point. A few occasions I do remember were these-- Oct. 4, 1986 at a party at my apartment on Enfield. Also in attendance, as fate would have it, were all four future-members of the Dentones. I remember going to a restaurant called Beans (?) with Mila and another friend. Another night included drunken cigarette-smoking and bowling on the UT campus. And finally, and this one is really whacky, in late winter 1987 Mila came over to hang out for the evening. We shared a bottle of white wine and sat on my sofa and talked and talked. I still vaguely remember looking at the bottle's tan label when it was empty or almost empty. The phone rang. It was my new love-interest Alison. She was also, as happenstance would have it, the girlfriend of a rather slacker-like fellow from Colorado named Brian. And she also lived with Brian. But, for some reason, I thought all of this was just bad luck and it didn't reflect on her at all (or me, for that matter) and that we were meant to be together... and all that.
For the record, I am not sure this was the first time Alison's boyfriends overlapped. But I am quite sure it was not the last.
So, back to that night with the white wine and Mila. Alison had FINALLY broken up with her boyfriend and had taken her things to stay at a girl friend's house (that lasted all of 1 hour) and was full of tears and remorse and the need to be comforted. Mila split, and Alison came over and stayed in my life for years. And years.
I slept on the floor that night. Hmmm...right now I cannot think of a way to comment about that particular move.
So, back to the one that matters. Mila and I continued to see each other every few months-- just as friends-- throughout the early 90s. When she bought a new red Tercel in about 1992 she came over to my place to show me.
I always thought she was kind of on the wild side (that's really not true, by the way, either that or she calmed down a lot!) and it made me feel a bit daring-do to hang out with her. There was one particular trip to Wurstfest that really ended up being a bit daring-do! Woo-hoo!
In May of 1996 I was over at Big A's, sitting at his vintage 50s kitchen table, and I asked him if he had talked to Mila lately. He hadn't. I gave her a call a few days later, and we talked for a long time. Not sure how many telephone conversations we had. Maybe just one. Probably more. But we did talk about getting together to do something. She was soon to leave the country, though, to bury her grandfather's ashes back in Bohemia, and just before she was due back in the States I would fly out to NC for a weeks-long visit with my family there.
Taking a bit of a breath here. Lots of writing, and not quite in the direction I had originally intended. Deleting it would be a shame, and my Newkie-B tells me not to try editing it at the moment. So I'll just let it stand. The four people who actually read this blog are not likely to chase me down and chastise me for the efforts you see here.