Those opening words from The Fantasticks come on my mind each September. Once again that time of year has come. Do I still remember?
In August I was in the United States for vacation and a training week. I found myself one day at Main State, the State Department's headquarters building in Foggy Bottom. As I walked the hallways, I thought back to my first year at State in 2004-05. I had just left a career of long standing to start anew, and I walked those hallways in a suit and tie. Most of the time I had a knot in my stomach as I tried to prove myself in my new profession. (See Looking for George Kennan -- or -- The Day My Universe Changed (2002-11), Part 2.) But do I remember what it felt like? Walking those same hallways in 2012, I found the memory had faded, overwhelmed by a happier present.
|Reunion Lunch with CSC/NASA Friends|
|With My Marvelous Son|
|With Kyna, Repaying a Hug|
|My Little Home in the Maine Woods|
|At Home in Maine|
|With My Sisters in Maine|
After Maine it was back to Washington for a week of training. As I sat in a room with two dozen strangers, I thought how wonderful it was that no one knew my life story and that there was no need to tell it. I was simply RM from Embassy Bucharest. As I walked the streets near the Courthouse Metro one evening, it dawned on me that I no longer wonder anxiously whether I pass and that if I perversely wanted to attract stares, I would need to put on a suit and tie.
Try to remember the kind of September, When Life was slow and oh, so mellow. As much as I loved the score of the Fantasticks through the years, those words never seemed to apply to me. My life was always full of carefully hidden inner turmoil. As I landed at Bucharest's Otopeni Airport after my four weeks in the US, I knew I had come home to the magical land where, at least for me, dreams are kept beside your pillow. Oana, Raluca, Nadine, Kyna, and so many others here both in the LGBT community and at the Embassy have made my dreams come true. If I should look back deep in December in some still-distant future, the ache I will feel will be for the beautiful memories of these friends, these times. The beauty of my present will be the memories of my future. May this be true for us all.
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Jerry Orbach sings Try to Remember from the original cast recording of The Fantasticks.