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Love, Especially First

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At 22 years old, I met Steve Hadley. I loved him like going home. Like I’d loved my uncle Steve at eight years old. My uncle was a blue Jean jacket wearing, long-haired, motorcycle riding teen from Antlers, Oklahoma who loved his mother and died - blood on the mattress, supposedly his heart - at 17 years old. I was too young to understand death.

Steve Hadley loved me. And then, unexpectedly, in about three months time he left me and I spent five years trying to understand how someone could love you then stop. I knew on some level that it was about something larger. We had only known each other such a short time. I thought it was about the rejection by my father. Maybe. But mostly I thought it was about this man I loved with all the innocence and ease and completeness, so much like my uncle but mine. And now, both gone.

Steve and I were drummers although my band, Speaker Death, was art, not music. His band, Acetone released an album of music from those five years during and after he was my boyfriend. The song in this film is from that album. I just found out that Steve has a fear of snakes.

My boyfriend of ten years, John, frankly, looks somewhat like my beloved uncle (as did Steve). John also has the fresh, full of life presence that made my uncle fascinating as he passed the old wood house and came up the driveway and beloved because he would stop to talk to my cousin and I on the porch swing. Two scrawny little girls he could have been too busy for. And John knows what love is. Not just staying, but being forever available to look directly at the Real together. I dedicate this to him into the perfect, terrible luck at ever having loved so completely - much less three times.

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