“Bliss”: A Romantic Story
When I was 13, in the eighth grade at St. Margaret Mary’s around 1961 in San Antonio, we all lived for the party for the coming weekend. The nuns were so repressive that we couldn’t keep our desire to dance, love, kiss, hold and cuddle bottled up more than five days at a time. On one of these party nights, a girl who I adored (but was too afraid to let her know as she was the knockout of the school) threw a party at her house.
The night didn’t start particularly well. When I arrived, Alice was out at curbside talking to some older guys (high school) in a Corvette convertible. She was obviously more advanced than I. The party was in a mostly dark garage with only one dim, blue light bulb overhead. A song came on called “Sleepwalk” by Santo and Johnny. It is one of the most romantic instrumentals ever penned.
I somehow found myself dancing with a girl who did not go to our school. I had never met her or seen her before. The music transported us and we kissed the entire song. That was the first time I knew bliss. We were wrapped in each other and she melted into my body. I was absolutely in orbit. The party ended shortly thereafter. She vanished into the dark and I never knew who she was or how to find her. It made me crazy for a long, long time.
Some years later, someone said, “Oh that was Molly Chance’s sister, Francis (head cheerleader at Highlands High where I would eventually graduate from high school). I’m not sure if someone actually said this to me or if I somehow conjured it up or dreamed it. About 2008 I met Francis at a high school reunion. I told her this story. She said she knew some kids from St. Margaret Mary’s but that was about all she remembered. Then, our old high school rock band The Cave Dwellers started playing “Sleepwalk”. I turned in her direction to ask her to dance. Before I made it one stride another woman grabbed my hand and pulled me on to the dance floor. I saw Francis standing 15’ away. The song ended, the moment passed and that was that. I loved talking to Francis a bit that evening but felt no heart pangs for her. It was probably someone else all along.
Can you imagine coming face to face with the ultimate only to have it vanish in the fog of time and life? Infatuations come and go rarely. It is not the same by any stretch of the imagination. Not sure a 13 year old knows the ultimate in love. Still, it put an ember in my soul that awakened me to the dream of bliss with the “one” waiting for me and me for her. There is something far greater than what we think of as love. It is truly the deepest part of the soul that has been touched by a human being – touched in a way that must eclipse any concept of heaven or the ever after and our understanding of it.