[When this post first appeared, I failed to give proper attribution for the photographs. That omission is hereby corrected. Many thanks to Katja.]
This week I'm getting estimates from movers for my upcoming move to San Francisco, which should be completed within the next two or three weeks. I'm looking forward to spending more time with my son - who's ten and a half now, and who lives with his mom (my ex) in SF - and to catching up with some very old and dear friends who live in The City. But my most immediate reason is a relationship with a woman I've known since we were in high school - and who was my sister's best friend. Here's the story.
My sister and I grew up in a liberal, intellectual family in suburban Connecticut. Stephanie was a year and a half younger than me, and extremely gifted as a writer of poetry and prose. We were very close and hung out with a group of nerdy friends.
Among Stephanie's friends was a girl named Georgianne, who was Stephanie's age and attended school in the neighboring town. They graduated in 1982. I never really got to know Georgianne but I secretly had a mad crush on her. She and Stephanie soon became best friends, and were roommates in San Francisco from 1985 until Stephanie's death in 1992. (A brief chronology of Stephanie's life may be found here.)
Last Thanksgiving weekend, Georgianne - who's now making a living as an artist in San Francisco - contacted me about an idea I'd mentioned to her a couple of years earlier, that is, getting together to do a tribute site for Stephanie. We did, and Stephanie Online is the result.
But the new site wasn't the only result. As we got to know each other, we hit it off and found we had a lot in common. In a moment of romantic abandon last April, I threw caution to the wind and penned an old-fashioned love letter. And the result of that, dear reader, is that we are now lovers.
So now you know, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. I won't bore you with any more details, but I can tell you that this wonderful woman was worth the wait.
Here are a couple of pictures of us on my most recent visit to San Francisco. Thanks to Katja Leibenath for these wonderful photos. (The pretty one is Georgianne. I'm the one with facial hair.)
It's been fifteen years since Stephanie left us. Georgianne and I talk of her often; I like to think her spirit is still present with us now.
I am ridiculously happy.