Gary Rinsem

BB Hunt For Tami

The last time that I had hope, of ever again seeing Tami...

It's been a long time without getting the letter from Tami and I mentioned it to BB. That was a while ago but I've been too busy to write it down. We woke up together in a hotel room in San Francisco. I was in a quiet mood which gives me away immediately if I'm bothered by anything. They both knew something was bothering me and it had gotten worse by being that much closer to where I think Tami is. I've been worried that she sent the letter but since I didn't get it she thinks I don't care enough about her enough anymore to even reply. I was so short on the phone that I could have given her that impression, causing her to never even mail a letter in the first place. Nothing could be further from the truth, I haven't seen her in years but I love her as much as I love BB. So BB started making phone calls to directory assistance. I only remembered the area code but BB wanted me to find her. We spent a couple hours in that room just laughing. Some of the things people said were so funny when BB called them, but they were even funnier to the people they called. We checked out of the hotel and rented a car. It seemed like a really long drive but I slept in the back seat because BB had more time off, they were both rested and I wasn't. When we got there we had no idea why we were there. I was only half asleep and listening to them talking about me. Everything they said was so loving and they kept looking back to check on me, or wake me up to ask if I wanted to stop for something to eat.

It was dark when we got there, the three of us sat in a parking lot on the hood of the car, each drinking one beer and laughing at ourselves. Three drunk sailors about to be arrested for drinking beer in public. The cop asked me first for my ID and I handed him military ID, it gets more respect from cops. He took me aside and started asking questions, he thought I was with two hookers. I led him on and gave vague answers about BB as if I didn't really know them. I picked them up down the street, etc. When he talked to BB and they both handed him military ID I thought he was going to fall on the ground laughing. They had been teasing him from a distance and playing the part of hookers. They really are good at that. Fortunately we didn't get arrested because there was a hotel across the street and the cop was sympathetic to three sailors. He kept telling us how the military wasn't the same as he remembered it. I think BB made an impression on him. We always have fun together. We grabbed our sea bags from the trunk and stumbled across the street to the hotel.

There was no way we could find Tami but BB wanted to meet her and they wanted for me to see her. I can't impress on BB that unless she had seriously changed she would be shocked by our family, no way she would even consider joining us. BB just assume all women are available until they're firmly told no. Since the girls have all read about Tami and the details of our relationship, they just keep assuming she will come around and join us if they find her. I can't impress on them that I was much younger and Tami was 2 1/2 years younger than me. Our relationship was open and loving but not nearly to the same degree. Tami has probably not developed in the same way unless she found someone who was already on the way and wanted to explore himself as much as he wanted to explore women. They don't get it, eternal optimism, they want her in the family. Anyway, it was really dumb to have driven all that way. We checked into the hotel and started asking for suggestions on how to find someone in a hurry. Bartenders are no help at all, they just laughed at us having fun. We elected to go to bed and think about it in the morning. The idea of being there didn't make any more sense in the light of day but we tried everything we could think of to find her. Today I realized I have no way to find her.

From a couple moments on the phone I suspected that she was unhappy and that she missed me. It's probably wishful thinking and it doesn't matter because I can't give up the loves I have, to be monogamous with her. But I never want her to think for a moment that I don't still love her. I care far too deeply for her to think I treated her in any way less than she deserves. I'll hope I am wrong, that she was happy and just felt like talking to an old friend, but I would have shivered for hours in the the cold and rain to talk to her if I had known she wouldn't send the letter or that it would have helped to cheer her up if she was sad. I could have called home from the penthouse to get the number again, and called Tami just to talk. But who knows, maybe she has nearly forgotten me by this time, maybe it was nostalgia which caused her to call, maybe to her I am already a part of ancient history. I was unprepared to hear her voice on the phone and it hit hard when she said my name. She sounded happy to hear my voice but she also sounded unhappy. I was freezing and fighting with BB to keep the phone to my ear so I don't know what impression I might have made on Tami. For the first time I doubted that I really knew her. There were always times when she couldn't tell me what she was thinking but I always knew that I knew who she was.

I didn't spend much time talking to her because I was far too cold and wet, I was thinking about going to the penthouse where we could take a hot shower and go to bed. I didn't even say "I love you" and that hurts the most because I fear it may have hurt her. If I had told her, even if she was uncomfortable hearing it she would always know it was true. It's been so long that hearing it now would have finally made the impression I wanted to make when we broke up. She may have thought it sad for me to still love her after years have passed or she might have flown through the ceiling with joy. If she thought it was sad it would only be due to the fact that she doesn't know my life now. If she was joyful at hearing me say it then it would have been with the wrong understanding. Either way she would finally know that I will always love and want her. As it is I left room for doubt because I didn't say it. As it is, in the future when she thinks of me she won't automatically have reason to believe that someone still wants her. The next time in her life that she is lonely or is looking for someone to love, she will have reason to doubt that I am the person who already loves her. This bothers me and I can't find her to fix it. I want her to know that I still love her, I want her to have the option of spending her life with me because I want her to spend her life with me. I still desperately want to be with her every day. According to Bren, you have no choice with true love.