Love Story

I took this photo with a disposable camera 16 years ago, about 5 minutes after meeting that girl in the center. I didn’t ask permission. It was rude I know, and at the time I couldn’t say why I did it. We were in Fairbanks Alaska, where she lived. I was passing through. On tour. Playing music. Seeing the spongy tundra for the first time.
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I’ve carried this photo in journals and tucked it in sun visors in about 6 different cars and for the longest time I just wondered about that girl. Where she was, what she was doing. I didn’t have her info. When we met by chance at SXSW years later - literally bumped into each other in a crowd of 1000 people - I couldn’t believe my luck. That she was beautiful was obvious, but what came out more slowly, subtly, was how funny she was, how thoughtful, intelligent.
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When I moved to Nashville 11 years ago, she was with me in the car. It was an amazing week. I took her to a festival called Merlefest, then to a Snake Handling church in West Virginia, and several BBQ joints in between. She was down for all of it. We went and saw Patty Griffin at the Ryman, sat next to Jim Lauderdale, who hit on her (love you Jim😆).
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She flew home the next day.
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We didn’t see each other for 7 years. Living different lives, different relationships.
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Then one day I got a postcard. She was at large. In New Zealand? San Francisco? I couldn’t tell. But it was clear she was on the move, was unsure what next. We arranged to meet in New Orleans. She was with me again. I like to think I talked her into moving to Nashville. “I’m going to grad school,” she told everyone. Told me. That was 4 years ago. A lifetime again.
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So many things have happened. I’ve learned a lot. Namely, if you are lucky enough to find a human being who inspires you, forgives you, believes in you, and loves you even if you have a bad show, you hold on to that person no matter what.
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I love her all the way through. So I asked her to marry me. The best part is, she said yes. My partner, my person, my co-captain. Blaque.