Karen had a birthday recently. I haven’t seen here since the creation of the Universe, but I always think of her on her birthday.
Karen was my girlfriend when we were adolescents slowly becoming adults. At the time I would not have said so, but looking back it was puppy love. Although we never buried any bones, we spent a lot of time digging and chewing.
Karen was the oldest of six children. Her mother had survived an abusive relationship with the children’s father. He was also an alcoholic. She was raising the children on her own and did a damn good job.
Karen and I carried on for several years until her mother decided to move to another province where she would be closer to her relatives and have better financial opportunities. My relationship with Karen continued after she moved. We wrote love letters to each other. I flew out to see her several times and my arms would get sore, but the pain was worth it.
The second last time I saw her she had met another guy and said, “I didn’t think it was possible to be in love with two men at the same time.” The last time I saw her was at her wedding. I proposed a toast to her and her husband. I was sad, but accepting of fate and happy for Karen.
So so every July, and other times, too, I think about Karen. Fate spared our relationship the reality of domestic drudgery which often happens after people marry and take each other for granted. Our love remains forever pure, and forever innocent. But being a puppy love, it occasionally gets fleas.