This musical is of course brilliant. But it’s also a kind of marker in my life.
For one, it’s a marker because I saw this film as a child with the family in the theater when it first came out. But it’s al so a marker because it’s one of the musical scores that my darling Aileen played professionally as a cellist when she was younger. I mean, she was in the orchestra here in Cleveland, and in, I think, one other city, when the show was done locally. And, it’s also a marker, because, while she was alive, Aileen, because she had played he score professionally, not only knew all the music from the production by heart. But she also knew all the words in all the songs. And what’s more, something that many people might not have known was that my darling Aileen had something that is called “perfect pitch”. Meaning that she could sing any song, and any note from any song, and do so, with perfect pitch. Meaning that as she would sing she would do so and her voice would have ‘perfect pitch’ to the actual note, and notes of the song.
So, it’s one of the movies I have recorded on my DVR that I sometimes go to sleep to. And tonight, with it being labor day weekend, it’s the perfect movie to slumber back and remember. Remember that just once in my life, against all odds. Just once I found something truly perfect. Something so perfect that, for me, I knew it was that single moment. That single moment in my life that all the years before had led up to. That single moment when I looked into her eyes on November 27th 1993, at 8:45pm. And in that spit second, that single instant, my perfect moment was found. It was found as I looked into her eyes and I knew. I just knew. I knew I had finally found that one single second in my life that I had searched for, all of my life.
So when people think I should just ‘get over it’, about losing Aileen. They don’t understand. I didn’t just lose the other part of my heart. I didn’t just lose my other heartbeat. I didn’t just lose my helpmate, or my wife, or my best girl, or my true love. I lost that perfect moment. That one single second in my life. In all the years, the hours and the minutes and seconds. That one. That one single second. That one tick of the clock. That perfect second. That perfect moment. And so while people lose their husbands and wives all the time. With all the hundreds and hundreds of people I have talked to since Aileen died. In all those conversations, Only a few have understood or agreed with me. That when they lost their husband or wife, that they too had lost that single second. That perfect moment. And when they say that. When they say those words. We both become quiet. Because we then both realize that it’s true. Because we didn’t just lose our husband or our wife, or our true love. We lost that single instant in our lives. That single moment. That perfect second. That single instant, when everything suddenly made sense. And then, as we are standing there, or talking on the phone, as I said, we both become quiet. Because we know it’s true. That it’s absolutely true. That we lost so much more than just our husband or our wife. our true love. We lost that single second. That instant. That perfect second, when, with all that our lives had put us through. With all that we had lived through. With all that we had seen in our lives. With all the friends made and lost. We lost so much more when they died. When our true love died. We lost that single moment.
And then, Well, then, regardless of whether we know each other very well or not, if we are talking in person, we just look into each other’s eyes. And we then know, that there is someone who understands. That here is someone who knows what it means to lose that single second in time. And, regardless of whether it is a man or a woman that I am speaking with. When our eyes meet an we both understand what we lost, we just put our arms around each other and give each other a hug. Because it feels so good that someone, at least someone in this world filled with hatred and strife, understands. That in this world filled with guns and war and hatred. That someone really does understand what the “perfect moment” is. Because when you lose that. When you lose that single second in your life. It lease the rest of you clock always ticking out of sequence. And you might hear the hourly chime. But when you do, it always sounds different. Because that one second is missing.That one single second. That one single second when time stopped. When life stopped. When you suddenly didn’t hear anything. You felt nothing. Everything just stopped. And you knew you had found that single second you had been searching for all your life. That perfect second.
So today, while family celebrations happen here in America. While families gather for picnics and being together. My clocks, the ones in my home and in my heart, just don’t tick the same way they used to. Because my clocks are missing that one single tick. That one single second. Because it’s gone. My Leen.
Aileen’s sister might suffer deep loss. Her brother might think I’m a shit. And might miss Aileen. But I’ve lost something so much more. So much more. Because Aileen wasn’t just my other heartbeat, or my true love. My consort, or my best girl, or my beloved. She was, and always shall be that perfect second. That single second, in my heart and in my life. That single second that when she died, vanished and left all the clocks of my life and my heart ticking differently, for the rest of my life. Always missing that one tick. That one second. That one instant, when our eyes met, and we knew. We both knew, that everything suddenly made perfect sense. That single moment. That perfect second.
If you are lucky enough in your life to find that single second. that single instant. Do not be afraid of it. Do not clutch at it like it’s a prize for it is not. It far more than that. Because if you find that single second in your life, that instant when it all makes sense, you know that clutching it is not what you do. For when you find it. You just stop. Everything stops. And you just know. Everything inside of you knows, that all that you have lived through. All that you have experienced and all that your life has put you through led you right to that single tick of the clock. That single second. So if you are lucky enough to find that single second. You’ll just know what to do. Because you’ll do exactly what I did. Because what happened to me will happen to you. Everything will just suddenly stop. For just an instant, that seems so much longer, everything will suddenly just stop… and you’ll know… that in all your life, you finally found that one single tick of the clock. That one single moment when everything, when absolutely everything in the entire world made perfect sense. That perfect second.
Most people see me as so many different things. So many see me and see just about anything one could imagine. But some. Some people, whether it’s on the phone or in person. Some see me, and just know. They know that in their own life, they have met someone who really was lucky enough to find that perfect second. That single tick of the clock. And those people. Well, as I said, if they have found it also, we both just our arms around each other and hug each other, whether we know each other or not. Because we know that because we both had found that single second, that for the rest of our lives we will be always bonded together, as brothers and sisters or brothers and brothers. For no matter where we may go or if we meet or never meet again, we shall always be bonded together, as two friends who met on the road of life, who both had found and then lost that single tick in their own clock. That single second.
So losing my Leen was not just losing my loved one. My consort, my best girl. My wife. My true love. My beloved. For me, it was losing that single tick of the clock. That single second.
And so, I live quietly here in my home, away from the things outside, with the guns and the hatred and the violence in the world. And I step back at times like this. And I remember that these years I have left are very much like my journey in my life. My journey to find my way home. Home to my Leen. Home to my Mom. But home to where my clock will once again tick with all of it’s seconds. Because I will have finally found again, and made part of my clock. That single second.
Godspeed my darling Leen. My perfect and single second. Godspeed.