I met Peter when I was fifteen and he instantly became my world. He asked me, on our first date, to go steady. I said yes. Peter was the most gentlemanly man child I had ever met in my vast worldly fifteen years of life. Plus he was a great kisser! He was kind, funny, knowledgeable but mostly opinionated. Of course he had opinions about sports like most red-blooded eighteen year old boys but he also had thoughts of more importance. Thoughts on how our high school subjugated the weak, thoughts about why gold prices rose and fell. Thoughts on well EVERYTHING!
He would blather on about socialism, healthcare, how primary colors aren’t really primary. He had thoughts on any and everything. I listened, I listened to every educated word he said. I absorbed, I watched, I engaged. We debated, we laughed, we yelled.
I never felt I was his intellectual equal, sure I could read people, but HE was the smart one (please refer to my blog post “Dumb”). When he died I knew I would miss my best friend but I had no idea I would miss someone having an opinion about every single thing.
What became even more surprising was that I didn’t really have opinions of my own. If someone asked me a question my first response would be something that Peter would say. When did this happen to me? When, in a marriage, do you become of one mind? Does every married couple do this? Absorb their opinions into one?
I was recently watching the Miami Heat vs. The San Antonio Spurs on TV with a friend of mine, who happens to be a boy. The game was great, in fact I think it was the finals or some such. Anyway, Miami was losing and I was ecstatic. But I really didn’t know why until my friend yelled in excitement “LeBron is the best athlete alive!”
My forehead became warm and tingly. “What! LeBron is a punk-ass, self-important, dick bag!” Now do I even know what a dick bag is? No, but Peter did. Why do I care about LeBron? I don’t. Of course I know who Mr. James is but to call him a punk-ass dick bag. Hardly. This incident was hardly the first and I’m sure will not be the last.
So if we ever cross paths and you ask me a question, be prepared for long pauses and/or an opinion that may have belong to a 6’4” red headed white man.