Classic girl

In one of their more obscure tracks, Jane’s Addiction sang “ They may say, those were the days, but in a way, you know for us these are the days, yes for us these are the days and you know your my girl.”  I was always jealous of that song. I wanted to feel what he felt when he wrote it, to experience the rawness in the video. (If you have a minute, click on the lyrics and watch the video, sorry for the ad before it)  I wanted to feel that union with a girl.

Of course, I’ve been in love before.  At a young age, I fell in love with love.  I have very fond memories of many of the girls I invented dreams and shared laughter with, but although I remember these times and experiences with warmth, I never had what Perry Farrell had when writing his song.  That was until I met Katherine.

People ask us how we met. In those days, clarity was not common for me, but this night was.  I was working at HT Grill right here in good old Redondo Beach. I had been there for four years and was spending my life between the beach and booze.  We were opening up the new HT across the street and were going from a wait staff of about ten to one of about 35.  What did this mean? you ask, my dear friends.  More waitresses.

My two best mates and I at the time were living in The Garden of Eden.  We worked in a bar, on a beach in California, and were constantly surrounded by girls.  If that wasn’t enough, we had another bar next to ours that only hired girls, by policy, which was awesome.  It was like shooting fish in a barrel, but I digress.

This evening was a typical week night in late spring and I was the opener for dinner at 4:30pm.  I was already pissed because opening dinner sucked. Not only did I have to leave the beach an hour earlier, but I had to cut the bread, make sure all the ramekins were stacked and all that stupid bullshit.  By this time I had been one of the top sellers at the restaurant for a year or two, so I was a natural pre-Madonna when it came to my schedule.  I strolled in around 4:29 p.m. and my good buddy Blake was closing out from his lunch shift.  He sat at this little table we had in the back of the restaurant near the line.  His tie was loosened, and he was enjoying his after-shift cocktail.

“What’s up dude? Lunch shift? Ouch,” I said with a mischievous grin.

“Yeah, I’m going to the Dodgers game tonight so I switched my shift.”

His father was the team doctor for the Dodgers so he always had some sick seats.  Now that I think of it, he hasn’t taken me to a game since the world-famous Philadelphia Phillies knocked them out of the playoffs two years in a row.

“Your training tonight though,” he said, returning my sarcastic grin.  He and I had been training so much, it was getting tiresome.

“Fuck that,” I said.  “I’m not training shit.  I’ve trained like four nights in a row. That girl on Tuesday had the IQ of a golf ball and threw off my mojo all night.  Shit, man, seriously, they’re giving me an extra gift certificate or something tonight.  This is bullshit,” I said and trailed off as my words followed his finger to the corner of the room.

She stood facing away from me.  The room was dark but I could make out her chestnut hair and her slender body.

“What?” I said.

“That’s her,” Blake replied.

The next thing I knew, I had this little delicious thing walking towards me.  Mental note: Church immediately to thank old JC. She approached with a smile and introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Katherine and I think you’re training me tonight.”

Blake almost spit out his drink seeing my attitude do about a 720.

“I am?” I said, spreading my wings for takeoff. “Now why would they have me train you when I do everything wrong?”

She giggled.

I proceeded that night to show her how to do things my way and then the right way.  She was beautiful and her eyes shone under the heat lamps — they sparkled with life.  We were new to each other.  Young and new.  We spent the whole night close together intentionally unintentionally rubbing arms or hands against each other.  She would take the plates of food and I would follow her closely whispering to her how I was staring at her butt.  I know, I know, I can’t believe my shit worked either.  Charm, though, has always been my strongest suit.  I proceeded to tell tables of strangers that she was my future wife, to which they would cheer and she would blush.

The hours were our introduction, the restaurant, our first meadow.  We served a lot of wine at this place and I invited her back to my place that night to “teach” her about the different wines.  She coyly declined the offer for the evening.  She had won the battle, but not the war.  I checked the schedule immediately.  Another girl was supposed to train her the next night.  I quickly called her the following day to switch shifts with her.

“Why Mike? You have the better shift, and I think I have to train?”

“I know, I know, but I’m helping paint my neighbor’s fence and I need the extra hour.”  Seriously, that’s what I told this girl.  For all my gifts of storytelling, I pulled out fucking Tom Sawyer?

The next evening, I arrived, late as usual, and was tying up my apron. Katherine approached me with her big beautiful smile.  “You again?” I said.  I looked over at my co-workers and they were glaring back with disgusted grimaces.

That summer we spent a lot of time together.  She had lived in California for most of her grade school and high school life and new all the secret spots.  We were like two butterflies that summer, laying in the fields, overlooking the ocean, hiking to the tops of the mountains, running down the beach at night.  I had been out here for six years and had not seen anything except bars, beaches and bedrooms.  She was opening my eyes again.  As summer closed, my mistress booze and her started to compete.  She was a teacher and my lifestyle could not co-exist with hers.  She told me it had been a lot of fun, but her life could not consist of that much alcohol.  She said goodbye.  Now this was new for me, a girl telling me to beat it?  If she didn’t have me before that, she had me now.

Been thinking about you, and there's no rest

Katherine and I have grown a lot over the past few years. I mean, let’s face it, she’s a saint.  Can you imagine living with me and my silly ass 24/7?  I am constantly on GO and somehow she deals with it.  One of our strongest bonds from the very beginning was traveling.  When her and I found out we both wanted to see everywhere, be everyone, taste everything, we were immediately hooked on each other.

The Italian Alps and her

She is an English teacher, which was perfect because I want to write yet I can’t spell or use punctuation properly.  She is soft and gentle, an idealist, while I am a little less smooth around the edges.  I said it when I met her, and I think most will agree, she has made me a better man.  Some of my favorite times with her, the times when I can really feel our love, is at night when we are lying down to sleep.  Something will come up, or I’ll say something and her and I will laugh uncontrollably for 15 minutes.  It’s like grade school when you can’t even look at the other person because you’ll just start dying again.  This is what I saw in that song, that video.  A true love of sharing your life with a girl.  I finally found it and the bear inside me sleeps.

I spent this past weekend with her at the Wine and Balloon Festival in Temecula California.  We had a brilliant time walking the festival, drinking wine. Candlebox and Third Eye Blind played.  I know, I know, Faster Pussycat and Candlebox in less than two months.  Can you say awesome?  I held her in front of me that night, her back snuggled against my chest, voices and music surrounding us, the summer pushing in. I held my arms around her tight and I felt alone with her and okay with being alone with just her.  Everything seemed as it should and I just kept thinking “They may say, those were the days, but in a way, you know for us these are the days, yes for us these are the days and you know you’re my girl, such a classic girl.”

My girl awaits for me in tender time

My girl is mine

She is the world

She is my girl



1 Response to “Classic girl”

  1. 1 Lisa Kaufman Howser
    June 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Absolutely stunning! The two of you are an amazing match. I wish the both of you the best that life has to give. What you have is a very rare and amazing gift. You are blessed to have found each other.

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