Gary Rinsem

Tami's Last Call

One of the most dreadful memories of my life because it was the last time I heard Tami's voice, but I didn't know it would be the last time.

December 1985

I got a phone message on the ship, the only one ever. I called home and was told that some girl was trying to find me and wanted me to return her call. Nobody could remember the girl's name and they had trouble even finding the message. I was about to hang up, it didn't occur to me that it could be Tami. It was pure shock to hear from her.

I didn't have anything to write with or to write on. I hung up the phone to dial before I forgot the number. I was thinking by now she is truly a woman. I need to know if she is still the same person I love, to know that the person I love is still inside her. How can people only love one person at a time? How can you decide that this one is the only one you will love? It's stupid! It's the reason there are so many problems in society centered around intimate relationships. People are brainwashed into thinking they can't be open. They are brainwashed into thinking there is no such way to be. When they find themselves having feelings for someone other than their spouse it just ends up hurting everyone. Really, to think that there was only one person in the world for you, and no others are worthy of your love, that you won't get even more understanding of yourself by loving one more, is just stupid! Ooops, rambling again, sorry girls!

Tami is the old love that I long for. I long for BB and the girls when they're not around but it's only the women I currently know. I wonder if it's because she has certainly changed since I last saw her? She was still quite young, she had a way to go so maybe I long only to know that she didn't change too much. And I'm still rambling.

Anyway, on the phone there was a bit of small talk, how are you, where are you, etc. I explained that I had nothing to write down her address. I gave her our address on the ship and asked her to send me a letter and photograph of her. I promised that I would reply with a letter and photograph of me as soon as I got her letter, when I would have her address. BB were bugging me while I was on the phone, they wanted to listen, they wanted to talk to her too, they wanted "three ears to the phone". It was freezing cold and raining so I just made it a short call and we agreed to share letters. BB liked that because they could have a part in writing the letters and getting to know Tami before they asked her to come visit us. I keep telling them it would take a long time before introducing Tami to our lives, and the girls, also we don't even know what she wanted. They have eternal optimism, it's not a bad disease but they never get over it.

I wasn't planning on going home for Christmas but this phone call changed my mind. The girls cried that I was giving up the party and BB wanted to go with me. Christmas with BB and my parents? My family? My family would freak out. It would ruin their Christmas and I finally got BB to understand. When I got home I asked for the message from Tami and was told it was gone. I spent Christmas trying to find anyone in town who might know how to contact her. None of our old friends had heard from her and I couldn't find her parents. My brother remembered the name of the town where she lives but that is all I have. I hoped she had also gone home for Christmas and maybe I could find her to know why she called. Was it nostalgia or does she still miss me? If she missed me I don't know what I could do because she would never understand the person I found myself to be. I still love her as much as ever and I want her in my life, the girls would all want her in their lives, BB say they would love her unconditionally because I do, but Tami would be shocked and never understand.

A few weeks later

It's been weeks and still no letter from Tami. I figure I'm a lucky man when it comes to women because all the women I know are actually close friends. We all share a bed, or would if we could find one that covered the entire penthouse. I've managed to find women who are very open and I think I help bring it out of them. No free thinking clutch would have me otherwise. It makes me lucky because there is nothing like the feeling when you are in bed with women you can talk to. This is when you know you've become real friends. When you can tell them the plain truth about who you are deep down and know it won't detract from your love or your friendship. At that point you know you are very close, more intimate than most people can ever imagine. It's when you know that is the reason your love and friendship exist. Few people can imagine being this intimate within themselves, they don't even know who THEY are, much less knowing their one and only (at the time) mate. For them, even imagining this love would be a difficult task.