Trip Start Jun 10, 1995
Trip End Aug 24, 1995

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, August 27, 1995

Some readers have asked for a follow-up so I'll be as brief as I can: I returned home to find that my beloved circle of friends had dissipated and most of them were no longer speaking with each other. I moved in with a few friends and spent the next year working the overnight shift at a gas station trying to save money in the hopes that Rachel would eventually come to visit. I tried contacting her a few times but the number never worked, and since this was before the era of email and internet (which is hard to imagine now) I think we may have sent a few letters back and forth but even that I'm not certain of.

The following summer I quit my job and found myself traveling with the band 'The Cure' while working for Greenpeace. We started in Arizona and drove almost 13,000 miles across the U.S. and after 23 shows in 18 states I ended up in New York City for the first time, which planted the seed of love for the impossibly big city (I have posted the journal and pics for this trip as well).

Three months later I was back in Wisconsin penniless, jobless, carless (it had been through hell that summer!) and living with a few friends who were nice enough to let me live with them while I got back on my feet. It was during this time that I got a phone call from Rachel letting me know that she was in Utah, but there was just no possible way for me to visit her at that time.

That was the last time I recall speaking with her in that era of my life. 

A few years ago I was lucky enough to reconnect with her via Facebook, and understandably, her recollection of our contact post-trip was very different from mine. She recalls a lot more communication and was very pleasant in writing about it despite the deflated outcome. I'm perfectly okay with accepting I was the cause of that leak, and hope whoever reading this is keen to this fact as well.
It's just one of those things, I guess. You could say it's one of those unrequited love stories but to me it's just a beautiful little story that I will always hold dear to my heart, and if I had to be honest about it I would say that the reasons why I have not tried to reach out further is because A) I will always feel guilty for losing touch with her in the first place, and B) I'm afraid of the reality of our conversations ruining the perfection of it. There is nothing that she could say that would make me think more of her, and to me that is about as purely beautiful as life gets.

I am now happily married to the most amazing woman in the world and I can humbly say that life has been very good to me. I am eternally grateful to be able to have this story, for it allowed me at a young age to have a real idea of what love is, thus setting a very high standard for any future love that would come my way. I could thank her a million times over and it still wouldn't be enough.

I highly recommend watching the movie "Before Sunrise" (and the amazing sequel) as it is the best analogy I've found to what it was the experience was like. Not that I could ever be as charming as Ethan Hawke, but you get the idea. ; )
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