There is nothing as sad as seeing an old lover who has been hit by hard times. Wasn’t it just yesterday when we first met, both of us young and naive, two individuals from different cultures, but with so much in common?
It was the summer of 1986. You told me stories about your childhood in Tokyo. I took you to my mother’s home for your first Passover seder. We made love in Central Park. You murmured like a cat as a stroked you, laughing and saying, “Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty.”
Then, you moved back to the land of the Rising Sun, where success was waiting for you. We knew this was your destiny.
You became a superstar, and stopped returning my calls. I tried to forget you, but wherever I went, I saw your loving, trusting face — on lunchboxes, keychains, pencils. Everyone loved you, but only I truly knew HOW to love you.
A few weeks ago, a blogger went on Twitter and asked what would happen if she stopped blogging. Most begged her not to stop. I tried to be helpful and gave another view. “If you quit blogging, people will be sad, but within two weeks, everyone will have moved on. Better to focus on those who really love you — your family and friends — because they will not abandon you. Audiences are fickle.” Others on Twitter called me cruel and hateful towards this fellow blogger, when I was just trying to speak the truth.
The truth IS that audiences are fickle. Every few months there is a new superstar, a new flavor of the month, and then — like Meg Ryan — you stop getting the good movie roles. Do we all have ADHD? Are we bored so easily with each other? How else to explain the constant look-out for something new? Is there any other reason for a Kim Dardashian to be talked about other than a need to have some new useless celebrity around for a few months?
I was in Manhattan yesterday when I saw her again. At first, I didn’t recognize her. Could this have been the same lover that I had once held so closely in 1986? The same international icon, beloved by millions, but none more than me — now wondering the streets of midtown Manhattan, alone and unrecognized?
But I recognized her. I recognized the look in her eyes. She asked me to join her for lunch. She brought me to this unpretentious fast-food “soup cafe,” so completely unlike the five star restaurants that she had once visited as she traveled the world as a good-will ambassador, dining with rock stars and diplomats.
We talked about old times, the mistakes, the heartbreaks, the ups and the downs. It was nice to catch up with my old friend, my passionate lover, but time becomes a wall, a barrier without a door, and after we finished our soup, it was time to go our separate ways again.
“Goodbye, Kitty,” I said.