August 2004

4 Jun

This all started in the summer of 2004. I had been in college for a full year studying photography and then something really bad happened in my life and I needed a break from everything. I quit my job and took the semester off from school. I spent the summer reading from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I fell asleep. I was reading in the park one day when I met a woman that I eventually started working for. I took care of her one year old son at random times throughout the day while she went to the gym or while she was drawing a nude model… anyway moving right along…

I had just started watching this little boy when I met someone who I will refer to on this site as, “Sugar”.  It was August, the end of summer and I was leaving work where I had been watching the boy in Rittenhouse Square Park, as Sugar would say.

I stopped by a Chinese restaurant to get takeout for dinner. I ordered a spring roll and steamed dumplings and sat down on the bench to wait for it. While I was waiting a tall, handsome man wearing a blue suit and caring a brown leather briefcase walked in. When he approached the counter to place a to-go order himself the man at the counter already knew his order, chicken and broccoli, extra broccoli.

I didn’t realize this until much later but I actually picked him up by saying the following, “So, come here often?”  We chatted for a few minutes after that. He asked me if I went to school in the area and I answered that I went to art school just down the street. I asked, “How about you?” and he said “School? I haven’t been in school since 1984.” I replied, “1984, that is the year I was born.”

His food was ready pretty much right after that and he said it was nice talking to me or something nice and to that effect and he walked out the door. Then he turned around and opened his brief case. He pulled out a business card and handed it to me and told me if I ever needed anything to give him a call.

I read that business card. He worked for an insurance company. What help with insurance would I need. No, I really knew what he meant though.

Days passed and I decided to email him and in his response to my email he asked me out to the restaurant of my choice. We started dating almost exclusively right after our first date.

We were on our way to dinner at Smith & Wollensky Summer 2005

That was six years ago. In the time we had together a lot has happened. We have traveled to six countries together and two more on my own. I have moved seven times, all within Philadelphia. I got my Associate’s degree in photography and then my bachelor’s degree. I have gone through one mental break down and three years of therapy. I have a niece and a nephew now and one goddaughter. I have acquired three orange cats. I interned for my greatest photographic inspiration of all time, Mary Ellen Mark and volunteered on an Elephant Sanctuary in Arkansas. I had laparoscopic cholecystectomy and have become a vegetarian. He was by my side through all of these things in his own unique way and on March 11, 2010 something came over me. I couldn’t be with him anymore. We sat in a Mexican restaurant that we went to regularly and I tried not to make a scene but something was different and something was wrong. I didn’t make the decision to break up with him, my body did and as I sat there crying I couldn’t eat. We had to leave. We walked back to his apartment and I sat there and told him things I never thought I would say. “Every time I said I loved you and we would be together forever I meant it.” I never thought we would not be together but I need to be on my own now.” These were some of the hardest things I have ever said in my life and I am tearing up as I sit here in my apartment alone and write this. He was the living version of all of my dreams and for six years I have called him Sugar, which he will always be to me.

Molecular structure of sucrose aka: Sugar, tattooed on my left forearm 2008

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