Chapter 22 Excerpt: Unrealistic Ideas of Love that Lead to Romantic Failure

Chapter 22 Excerpt: Unrealistic Ideas of Love that Lead to Romantic Failure

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Keegan and I spent our days barefoot, naked, and free. We went swimming, digging frogs out from under the house, and running through the woods naked. We loved swimming so much we would do it anywhere. My pool, the neighbor’s pool, it didn’t matter.

You might one day walk into your backyard and find toddlers you don’t know, swimming unattended in your pool, submerging themselves and holding their breath to keep from getting caught. And he read to me. I thought when I fell in love my husband and I would read to each other. I had no idea what adults did with their time.

I was a little girl in the seventies raised on fairy tales and women’s lib which is pretty confusing. Keegan was amazing and he was always looking out for me. He had good food at his house too. Things I liked that we didn’t eat at home. I preferred the packaged items like chips, crackers, raw hot dogs, and any drink that began as a powder. If it was good enough for astronauts, it was good enough for me. As far as I was concerned, he was perfect. His mother was so sweet with her wild hair and polyester jumpers.

We would fill up on junk food and retreat to the crawl space to look for frogs. Occasionally, we would make our way down the street to Bill’s house. Bill was a veteran confined to a wheelchair. He had a chain link fence and six kids. We would play, kick the bucket. It involved Bill rolling his wheelchair around the backyard kicking an empty coffee can with no label. We all screamed, ran, and kicked the can though I can’t remember why. People always asked what we’d been up to and laughed when we said we were playing kick the bucket. I never got the joke.

I’ve always liked slightly older men. Keegan was five and I was three. He is to date, the single most exhilarating love of my life, and the man against which all others are judged. I don’t mean up until age four, I mean until now. It was a time of reckless abandon and freedom.

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