Separations, Naturally

Sarah left Acapulco the day before I did. I spent the last day on the beach and hitting some stores to buy some things for my siblings. I walked to, “Carlos and Charlies” and bought several t-shirts. Of course I had already purchased a couple of t-shirts from Babyo’s, how could I resist?

Back in Brooklyn I started my post high school life by working in the family business. I was planning on going to Brooklyn College that following semester. In the meantime I would be able to save some money and possibly buy a car.

I had Sarah’s phone number in Mexico and I called her the next day after I got back home. A lady answered and told me that she was not home. This happened several times until I just gave up calling.

I sent her a letter and she responded two weeks later. Apparently her mother did not want her staying in touch with me because of the long distance between us. Something made me feel that wasn’t the case and that it was her decision to stop being in touch. The reasons, I thought to myself, the long distance was too hard for her or she simply wasn’t that interested in me.

Time passed, I was able to buy a used car with money I had saved from working and from my bar mitzvah. So I was l hanging around every night with my social circle. I had a couple of girl friends during that time, which helped take Sarah off my mind.

The first was a girl I met while I was working. She was smart and even liked Bob Dylan. I had never known any girl at that time who knew the words to, “Tangled up in blue”, and that was very cool. She also would wear my scarf, my sweat jacket and would return them with her scent. I loved that.

We would park my car by Manhattan Beach and we would get to know each other. We would be kissing, laughing, and talking. We really got to know each other but she didn’t want to be totally revealed, so we found different ways to exhale.

Because we spoke so much it wasn’t a complete shock when she told me she couldn’t see me anymore.

“Is it something I did?”

“No, not at all. There is this man my parents wanted me to go on a date with. I did.”

“When was this?”

“Three months ago.”

“We’ve been together during that time.”

“I know, I just love to be with you, Freddy. But this guy, he is very sweet and my parents really like him.”

“What about you?”

“What about me what?”

“Do you like him?”

She hesitated. “Yes I do and I am going to be getting engaged to him very soon.”

“Wow – OK, you know I am always here for you and I-“

“I really like you and the reason I waited so long to tell you is because I didn’t want to stop seeing you before I had to.” She gave me a kiss and lingered for several seconds. “I have to go.”

“OK,” I smiled. “I hope we can still be friends.”

“Always.” I opened the door to her car and walked towards my house. I felt sad about losing her, she was a very warm and loving person. But, I wasn’t ready to get married yet – no even close.

Later on, during the summer, I went to her engagement party. She smiled when she saw me and I smiled back.

Another girl I spent time with, was from Port Washington. She had just started college and was hoping to go to Law School. She was very intelligent and had been around the block a time or two.

We flew away to Miami for spring break in 1987 and spent two weeks in her family’s apartment. No one was there and it was across the street from the beach – we both knew we were just having fun together and never took it seriously. We did things together we would probably not ever think we would do in our future. Some bucket list items before I even knew what that was.

We went to beaches where clothing was an option. We swam in the ocean and publicly consummated our friendship and drank sangria throughout the night and into the morning hours.

We went dancing one evening and we met up with a friend of hers. We danced in the club, on the beach and in a private room we took for the night.

Suntanned, feeling unstoppable and all powerful, I took the flight back home alone, Long Island girl stayed in Florida back for a while longer.

As I was looking out the window of the plane, I thought about my future and I began to shake. I made it home but I realized there was something wrong.

I went to a doctor for a check up and all was fine. I was referred to a psychiatrist and apparently all was not that great. So I began to go weekly and found out I had issues facing the feelings I had. Apparently I had a habit of making jokes to distract myself about the true feelings I had. The fears, the sadness, feeling of being alone even when in a crowd. Along with feelings of insecurity about myself and my appearance.

The years flew on past, I went to college for a week and dropped out when I realized I just did not want to sit in a classroom anymore. The psychiatrist I was seeing said that I had something called, “attention deficit hyperactive disorder” which at first scared me but once he explained it to me, it made sense. He said there was a pill I could take to help, I did not want to take a pill because I equated that with weakness.

I worked in the family business and made some good money. I leased a new car and I was acting in plays in my community center. I loved being on stage and being part of a group of similar people as myself. I felt comfortable and at home in that environment. It was then I met Anna.

On April 1st 1989, Anna and I married, and we moved to Manhattan.

Into our first year of marriage, she began to cry to me that I should stop seeing my psychiatrist.

“Why can’t you just talk to me?”

“Because that’s not how it works.”

“Can I go with you?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes why are you so defensive?”

“Defensive? I’ll talk to Dr K and see what he says.”

Needless to say, our marriage made it until June of 1990 when I decided to call it quits.

“I think we should talk about-“

“Having children!” She said.

“What? No, no, no. Anna, we haven’t had sex in three weeks, we barely talk three minutes without arguing and to be honest I feel claustrophobic when I am with you.”

“Do you even love me?”

“I don’t know, I’m sorry. I know I once loved you and our wedding was amazing. But I think we are just not compatible anymore. It’s me, and I am sorry. “

“I kissed David.” She blurted out.


“That night you went with your friends for Vico’s Bachelor party? David called looking for you and he ended up coming over and having dinner with me. We were both a little tipsy and-“

“Are you saying this to piss me off?”

“Partially, but it did happen. It was just a kiss which lasted for several seconds. I didn’t want to but he told me that he was in love with me and had been since before we got engaged. I felt bad.”

“What a dick.”

“Are you mad?”

“At David? Yes. You? No. This just confirms my decision on our marriage. I am staying in this apartment, you move out. I was going to leave and let you stay, but now that you told me about David, fuck you and leave.”

I drank heavily for the next six months or so. It was New Years Eve 1992 heading into 1993 when the shit hit the fan.