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Keep on Dreaming – Final Blog

(Originally written 26 September 2016 after having returned from California)

I was at a Fast Food Outlet at Minneapolis International Airport on my way from the West Coast of the USA to Denmark, while I met a young woman working her shift.

“Do you like your job?” I asked in a very Western Way, which I tried to do while in India, but was sadly disappointed when doing so. Like and Job didn’t fit together in that instance, while I probably should have asked, “Isn’t it great having a job, or Nice place to work, you are lucky”.

This young woman was happy with her job, because it gave her the opportunity to meet new people while doing so.

Next question: “Do you have a passport?”

The answer was “No”, but she wanted to get one eventually.

Next question: “If you had a passport, and the money to travel, where would you go?”

She thought a bit before answering. “To the jungle”, she said.

I answered a bit facetious: “Los Angeles, perhaps?”

“No, the rain forest”, she replied without blinking. “Or better yet, Japan”.

Hmm. They did have those Snow Monkeys in Japan, I thought.

“Keep your dreams alive, save your money, and go” – That was my advice. I told her how I was living in Denmark, speaking the language on a daily basis, and so on.

She then asked: “How long before you were fluent?”

Funny thing, but I don’t even consider myself fluent today, even though 25 years have gone by.

My reply: “Youth and interest play a bit part in learning anything new. Put your mind to it, and you can learn anything!”

Her face beamed with the expression of joy and wonderment. I imagined that I made a difference in her dreams, and that she too would take up my challenge to someday journey outside of USA’s borders, and experience something different and foreign.

I ended with telling her, that a number of Danes could travel to the usual tourist destinations, and feel safe knowing that someone there could speak Danish, and that the signs at restaurants and hotels, would be in Danish as well.

I thought that Japan was a good choice. Let yourself experience something so foreign, that you might just lose yourself, or get yourself lost in all of that foreignness. Try something different for a change, and see how the rest of the world lives.

My path led me away from that Fast Food Counter and onward to the next Gate and the next Plane……………


Wonder what ever happened to Wonder Dog? Or what about Linda? Those were things that I used early on, but disappeared over time.

As an added treat, here is a rare photo of Wonder Dog, enjoying his first ever Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie in Yosemite National Park

18058035_1812005709127012_8555756993224563475_n

Seeing as how he is a teenager and all, and not always sure about being my son, when I act other than he expects me to, I have not included his photo in this blog. This being the last one, however, I felt that he deserved at least a short mention, as well as receiving my thanks for a great trip, and his much appreciated photographic talents!

Linda has faded into the shadows of Northern Michigan, which is how all former “loves” tend to be, with them liking that distinction, or not?

I thought of continuing this blog with any number of additional photos, but that would only prolong its existence.

For all of you who shared my trip, I extend an appreciation for your reads and likes along the way.  I felt that this was a fitting point in time to end this blog, so as to remain credible within the confines of my 3-week trip last year.

Happy Traveling……Down your own Inner Ear…….

Just Why Did You Leave California?

You know what? I get that question all the time. And you might be able to guess, what the next question is…

Yes. Some of you might have guessed it already.

“Was it Because of Linda?”

You see, how those things just seem to fit together? Linda this, and Linda that. Well, there is a reason for all of that Linda business, and that is one of the greatest stories of my life – The Linda Chronicles.

Some of you might think that she just faded away to someplace like Albania? Or perhaps decided to become a nun at a mountain top monastery, well the answer is both yes and no. Our relationship demanded such action when we finally had to part ways, that it was almost a religious experience for the both of us.

California had been our home for the start of our lives, but the time that we spent together, ruined any possibility for us to continue living there, especially without each other. It would be like living a lie, and that fact made us take the drastic steps that still affect us today.

Linda moved out East, and though she was gone from sight and sound, I entertained the idea of finding her again someday. I watcher her movements for a while, just continuing a bit farther, to Denmark actually, but I never stopped thinking about her.

You never know, I might even have passed by her house on my journey across the USA?

“Why are you staring out of the window?”, she might have been asked, not knowing what she was looking at. “Oh, just a feeling, I had. That’s all.”

The porch swing trembled a bit, as if a breeze had just caught it unaware, and forced it from its quiet state of dreaming. Linda gazed outside, wanting to go out of the front door, wanting to meet her fate. She might have hesitated a moment before sighing, and turning her back on her destiny. “It was just the breeze, that’s all”, she said to no one important. Just someone she ended up with, instead of someone else.

I moved onward toward my “new” destiny. I hesitated, before continuing on to the next town, the next State. “Why did you stop, in that last town?” I was asked by the woman of my choice. Her name was not Linda, but it might have been, if our destinies had traveled along the same path.

“Oh, nothing. Just a feeling, I had. That’s all.”

I drove on, feeling as if there was something else to be said in that town, just not to the woman by my side. There had been another, you see. Linda was her name, and it all began back in……………

We’ll Always Have Paris

Right. Nicely said by Ingrid Bergman, but honestly. I don’t believe a word of it!

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In Paris before the Nazis marched in. Living and loving. Then they meet again years later. She is in Casablanca with her husband, but she still has eyes for Humphrey.

That’s how it was with Linda and I. No regrets. Give us a kiss, then we won’t see each other again. It was fun while it lasted. We didn’t mean that much to each other. Sound familiar? It’s Humphrey and Ingrid all over again.

I wrote to her the other day about the past. “Do you have any regrets? Was there anything you would have changed about, how it all turned out?”

Dooley Wilson was getting the piano warmed up, and the Nazis were, well, they were doing what Nazis usually did in movies, making lives miserable for the other actors on that back lot in Hollywood.

I waited for her answer. She seemed to hesitate, before answering. Then it came. “Regrets?” “No, I don’t have any regrets, because our lives were fated to be apart”.

Claude Rains wouldn’t have believed her anymore, than he believed Ingrid Bergman. Humphrey Bogart would be fencing with the Nazis. “Why did you come to Casablanca?” Major Strasser asks. “I came for the waters” says Humphrey Bogart. “The waters? Why, we are in a desert” replies Major Strasser. “I was misinformed” says Humphrey¬† Bogart, without any expression of surprise on his face.

Linda could have asked me for anything, at this stage of the game. “Join me in Michigan, and let us continue where we left off!”

But she didn’t say that. She didn’t, and Ingrid Bergman didn’t say that as well.

“We’ll always have Montebello”, she said, as if anyone other than me would have gotten that connection?

Montebello, I said crushing my imaginary cigarette against my shoe. I would rather be looking up Linda’s old address, but that choice was not mine to make.

Humphrey Bogart turns to Claude Rains and says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”, and they walk away into the fog on the landing bane.

“It’s still the same old story. The fight for love and glory. A case of do or die. The world will always welcome lovers. As time goes by………………”

Source: http://www.reelclassics.com/Movies/Casablanca/astimegoesby-lyrics.htm

 

Linda This, and Linda That

Why has the Travel gone out of this blog? Why has Linda become more important, than what I had experienced in California?

Hard questions to answer. I guess, it’s time to combine the two, and tell about the time, when we went to the Desert together. Just her and I, enjoying each others company, not expecting the wrong person to show up and put our love to the ultimate test.

“Which her and I”, you might ask? From time to time, I asked myself that same question. It seemed to get confusing after a while, with the one best friend, or the other.

My mother would just have shaken her head in dismay, if she only knew the truth about us. “Why not the one, instead of the other?” “Why not get it over with, and tell the wrong one, who the right one really is?”

Mom usually didn’t usually involve herself with “matters of love”. She knew better than that. She tried to point me in the right direction, leaving it up to me to take the wrong turn, or U-turn as it were?

Linda’s mother was the same way. She used to sigh, when she opened the front screen door and saw me there, with flowers in my hand, waiting anxiously for Linda to show up and make my day. She used to crane her neck and look over my shoulder, as if she expected Linda’s best friend to be on the way over, wielding a baseball bat, or a Saturday Night Special. She feared for Linda’s life, what with our forbidden love on the one side, and a jealous best friend on the other. She too tried to tell Linda to “make up her mind, before…”, but Linda was determined to see this to the bitter end, cost what it will.

I suggested some time alone for the two of us to spend some quality time together, before making any rash decisions. She agreed and told her mother, or they told their mothers, that a short trip to the desert was warranted, and they would be home in a few days.

They traveled together in the Ford Mustang owned by Linda’s best friend. She had affectionately named it “Trenton”, which was to be the name of our first born child, after of course we were married in the Catholic Church and at least 9 months had passed. I didn’t have the nerve to tell her, that her choice of religion gave me the willies, and that I preferred to experience God in all living things. She told me that sounded like a way to escape the inevitable, and suggested a pause in our relationship to get our priorities right!

I can see now that this “Travel Blog” has out stepped its boundaries and is traveling into the unknown!

Linda and her best friend will just have to wait for the next blog, but I do have a portion of a photo that Linda gave me, those many years ago, to keep your interest intact.

lindas-arm

I’m afraid, if I show you anymore of her at this point in time, you too will feel the raw passion that this woman possesses!

 

Looking for Love

I still remember Linda and the songs, she loved best. I was really into Rock and Roll, but I tried to like the same things that she did.

It’s funny, but a few of those songs really described what was going on between the two of us. She used to put on her favorite Cowboy Hat, and put this 45rpm on her stereo:

Country Music and Linda were synonymous, which caused me to hum her songs, unconsciously, even when I was together with her best friend!

“It’s funny” her friend told me one day. “You and Linda seem to have the same taste in music, even liking the same songs”.

Yes. It was funny, but Linda wasn’t smiling when I told her about that comment.”It’s not like I’m humming “Radar Love”, when I visit her! You are playing with fire, not giving that habit of yours a second thought, when you are together with her! Maybe you want her to find out about us?”

She didn’t need to do that, especially with it almost being an “oldie” at that time in our lives.

Maybe I did want her to find out about “us”. Come on. Let’s bring this out in the open, so we can get on with our lives!

It was no good. I couldn’t convince Linda that this really was a good thing, so I had to accept the music of her best friend, humming that instead.

“Do you remember, back then?, when our favorite song was on the radio:”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth. That song drove me up the wall, but that isn’t what she wanted to hear. She wanted to believe that song typified our relationship, and that was that!

I wanted to melt into the background and groove on something that I liked, but that is not what relationships are really about. They are about giving and taking. Accepting each others differences, and finding the best things in the both of us!

That’s why I swallowed my pride and went on smiling when she played that song. Ours was something indeed to be cherished, and kept pure as the driven snow!

On my way home, I turned my thoughts back to Linda. I admit to straying from the chosen path, while humming the following song:

And I wasn’t thinking about her best friend……………………………

The Linda, I Once Knew

If you had only known Linda, like I did….

I can’t say why Linda has begun to fascinate my memory again, after all these years? I guess, if you only had known her as I did, then it would be obvious why.

My memories tend to be a bit grainy over the ensuing years. I only have a few remaining photographs of that mysterious woman, from my past.

Here is another one:

linda-in-the-snow

She was concentrating on something, God only knows what?

If you asked me, I’d say it had to do with her best friend, and the conflict that was raging in her thoughts back then.

Why was she walking through the snow? What was in her hands? Why was this photo the turning point in our untold story about unrequited love?

Why indeed?

What If?

Things have been strangely silent between Linda and me. Way too silent.

The last thing that Linda wrote to me was, “What if?”. What if my old girlfriend read about what Linda and I could have had together. What if she found out about our secret after all these years? What if that, was the real reason for her disappearance on Facebook?

There are just too many unanswered questions. Linda might just say, that it was better that I never chose to visit her house in Southern California. She might also say, that it was better to leave well enough alone, lest it go wrong. Way wrong….

What if it had been Linda, all those years ago? What if I was still living in the USA, lying in the arms of Linda, never thinking back to her best friend, and how it could have ended?

I don’t know, if I can take another message from Linda on Messenger. I’m not sure what feelings, deep down inside of me will be awakened, like a mighty sleeping love beast, that has waited years to raise its head and break free of its bonds!

What if?

It’s only Linda that has the answer to that.

Only Linda…………….