Friday, September 11, 2009

the first touch

listening to Bryan Adams this morning, and this line stood out for me:

"I remember the first touch"

(and I just went and googled it and lo and behold that phrase doesn't appear in the song - I've cobbled bits of two phrases together)


I thought - do I ? do I remember the first touch?

Steinbach Manitoba, March 1979, living in residence at SBI.

I'm in grade 12, Brad's in his first year of Bible School. Brad and I have been circling around each other for weeks, possibly even months. I always seem to be stuck at the main school building while Brad does supper dishes (if by "stuck" you mean "languishing on the stairs pretending to be reading, waiting for him") and we walk back to the dorm together. Every evening. We get to the small porch (also called the Smooch Hut, but we never used it for that) at the double dorm doors - one door leads up to the girls dorm, one leads down to the boys dorm, and we talk. And we talk and laugh and talk and laugh and talk and laugh and the mandatory study period, from 7 till 9 pm is almost over before we dash inside, drop our unfinished homework in our rooms, and wander back to the main building to kill the hour before lights out.
It's nearing the end of the Bible School year (they left at the end of April, high schoolers had to wait until the end of June) and I am quite literally jumping out of my skin at the thought that he. will. leave. forever. without asking me out. Other people seem to think he likes me - I don't like myself well enough to see that he wouldn't spend most of every evening hanging out with me if he didn't.
There's a banquet one night, for the Bible School students, and the high school students serve dinner. The high school students get nothing to eat, so after the banquet, Brad asks me if I'd like to wander down to Sonny's and get something to eat. So we wander down there, and we're wandering back in the soft spring night and I'm chattering away and Brad reaches down and takes my hand.
The night goes silent, and then, in my typical way, I gather up some big words and whisper into the night.

"Wow." I say.

"Yeah. Wow." he says back.

"There goes my inner equilibrium." I say, and even that doesn't spoil the moment and for the rest of the walk the whole world centres on the place where my hand is in his, at long long last, and my nose itches but I don't scratch it because my purse is in one hand and my life is blossoming in my other hand and I know that if I let go of his hand I will never ever get it back and I cannot stand the thought.

We walk up the road to the dorm, past classmates who have been waiting for this almost as long as we have, and into the smooch hut and into our separate dorm rooms and I wander down the hall and lie awake on my bed all night, smiling at the ceiling.

And I'm smiling almost as hard, now, remembering.


Heather Plett said...


Kay Day said...

I'm smiling, too. Especially at the equilibrium comment.

Anonymous said...

ah ...................... Bonnie

darien said...

and i'm smiling with you.

bhb said...


Anonymous said...

Me? A little choked up.

(Apparently so much so that I can't REMEMBER MY PASSWORD!) Grr.


Colleen Taylor said...


Koala Bear Writer said...

Beautiful. Definately smiling. Brings back memories of my own first touch... :)

CA said...

And I'm eagerly awaiting another "first touch" in my life when I get to hold him again in heaven...ahhhh the anticipation is overwhelming I tell you!!

Slow'n'Steady said...

cantilevered resonance