Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Story Chapter 6: February 25, 1969

Carl Larsson

I'll never forget That Tuesday. I sat at the table in our "apt" studying the biography of Martin Luther "auf deutsch." It was slow going. The book was 800 pages long, and I was getting paper cuts from my German-English dictionary. Finally I decided I would just read and see how much I could absorb from the few words I understood. (Basically, I was inventing his life in my imagination.)

Another Marty

Suddenly I had an epiphany. I moved over to the couch to explain my new insight to Dee:

In the 14th century, church services were spoken only in Latin and the Bible was only in Latin. Martin Luther's congregation spoke German. Stained glass windows illustrated the stories—they were the main translation people had. Since they couldn't understand the Gospel as it was being taught, they had to make up their own version, based on what was familiar to them, just like I was doing with the biography.

Die heilige Familie

Luther got the church all upset because he wanted to hold services in German. Eventually he even translated the Bible into German. At last the scriptures were available to regular folks and they could study things out for themselves. Without understanding most of the words, I had caught the spirit of Marty's life.

As I was telling Dee my thoughts, I started feeling very strange. My heart started racing, and I could feel my pulse pounding. Tears tickled my eyelids like I was going to cry. Suddenly, without a doubt, I knew Dee was going to be my husband. I lost track of what I was talking about, and then I saw Dee looking at me in a very searching way. I said, "I don't know what's happening to me." He said, "I don't know either, but it's happening to me, too." He stood up and said, "I think we're supposed to get married!" in a panic-stricken voice. Then he turned quickly and left.

I have since had other personal inspiration, and I now recognize the pounding heart, the tears, and the overwhelming knowledge of truth that comes. But I had never experienced it before. I don't think this kind of revelation comes to everybody about who they should marry, but it came to us That Tuesday.

After Dee fled the scene, I sat there wrapped up in what I was feeling and what he'd said. One of my first thoughts was, "OK, I know he's The One. I guess we need to get to know each other, and fall in love."

Salzburg in the Rain

I waited all afternoon for him to come back. Finally I went to my room, and then down to dinner. He never showed up. It was pouring rain outside, and I was starting to really worry about him. What if this had given him a heart attack? What if he'd just run away? Had I imagined the whole thing? Maybe he didn't say married . . . he could have said harried, or buried . . . maybe he just thought we both had the flu . . . maybe he had dashed out because he had to throw up. All the certainty of the afternoon was fading into doubt. I'd never heard of this happening.

It was Fasching, the traditional Austrian carnival season, and there was a dance that night. Everyone was going. I didn't know exactly what to do, so I decided to go without Dee. I was outside when a car pulled up and he got out. He rushed over to me and hugged me with one arm. "Everything's fine," he said, and miraculously everything was. On the bus he told me about his day.

He had felt the same sudden knowledge that I had felt. It was scary and unexpected, but definite. Needing to think, he had gone walking. When it started raining, he dropped in on one of our professors.

Doug Tobler, 1969

He didn't know Dr. Tobler very well, but he trusted him, and found himself pouring out his heart about our experience that day. Dr. Tobler didn't seem skeptical, which calmed Dee down a bit. Something similar had happened when he was dating his wife Carole. He said that although they were young and poor, getting married was the best decision he'd ever made. They lived on $5 a week for a while, but didn't regret their choice. He advised Dee to "Go with it. See where it leads. You have a few months. Just see what happens."

A sense of peace settled over us, even though we were overwhelmed with what this meant. It was a little like the Martin Luther book. We didn't really understand it, but we had caught the spirit. We would have to wait to translate it all and decide what to do, but in the meantime we could trust our feelings.

That night at the dance I saw a whole new side of Dee. He was dancing the Twist! (That was way before my time. I danced the Surf.) We had so much to learn about each other, so much to talk about. It was beyond exciting. I'd never felt this way before.

"Sehr schön."

On the bus home we cuddled and whispered. An endearing little lady in a hat with a feather was sitting across from us. She smiled wistfully, and told us love must be wonderful. "Die Liebe müss schön sein." Jawohl.


mama jo said...

what a fun moment to let us's always fun to talk about love....

kenju said...

Marty, I just got cold chills reading this, and remembering my own story of young love. You told it so well!

Thanks for the visit, and welcome to blogdom. I will come back.

Bev said...

ah Marty, you have lived the life I could only dream of.....

Stie said...

I absolutely love how you are taking us day-by-day on your little love story...glad to also have it written down somewhere. Keep it up!

MissKris said...

Oh my...I'd have fallen in love with him, too...what a GORGEOUS guy...and you weren't shabby yourself, haha! What attracts us to each other is such a strange thing, isn't it? Especially if it endures forever. Society poo-poos monogamy...and yet there are those of us around who prove it STILL is done! I'm thinking you're just a few years older than me??? I'm 53, graduated in '72. I do have a brother who graduated high school and got married in 1969...they're still married, too! (When I finally DO get to visiting, I really VISIT!) ;-P