2005-09-13 - 11:38 p.m.
I thought of Mark B on the anniversary of Sept 11th.
The first thing I ever said to him was "Chivalry is not dead!" as he graciously held a door open for me in the 80s when courtesy seemed to be a lost art (or not yet a found one among HS students!).
I am glad the writers of this piece won a Pultizer for this article which pays him homage along with other deceased from 9/11.
The one sad thing for me is that I can't comfortably offer condolances to his wife. I recall Mark talking about her. I think I was one of the few dates in his life (maybe the only ones) he went on with anyone other than his wife. I think in some strange way when I met him at Albany where he was a college student judging the NYState Lincoln-Douglas Debate tournament I shone in, that I was lucky to have had a friendship and dated him in the brief hiatus he had from the real love of his life. She was his high school sweetheart. I was the college fling. I however don't think she necessarily heard about me-- and there really was not much to tell regarding my place in his life-- except that I was the person he dated that made him realize how much he really did love his HS girlfriend whom he later married. I think I was the obligatory date he went on as in our culture there is this thought that if a man has only dated one woman that he hadn't really explored and somehow settled. (OK- well.. there was also this fantastic attraction and amazing intellectual stimulation we shared....Hmmmm.... ) but I do think that stupid philosophy that you can't be happy in a relationship unless you have REALLY checked out who else/ what else is out there which I think is so silly and destructive is in part the reason Mark dated me. So Mark dated me ever so briefly.... and I think in doing so clarified just how unique and special and RIGHT his love for Juliette was.
The profile of Mark really did capture him rather well- except that the writer couldn't have known about his suprising uncharacteristic spontanaeity . But then again, maybe that is something few people experienced.
I however recall meeting him at some insanely early hour for breakfast in Albany after refusing to sneak out to meet him in the middle of the night. We instead stayed up talking on the phone each night of the weekend tournament as I was a GOOD girl. Mark's intentions didn't exactly seem PURE to me-- Oh yes he had that excitement of being RISKE....which I wasn't interested in! I recall his boldness in watching me compete in my rounds. Bold as I was a student and he was one of the "adult" judges (though not a judge of my rounds! He was there as a FRIEND which itself was bold!) He was unabashed in his interest and his flirting with me publicly throughout the whole tournament.
It was as if he and I didn't TRY to flirt, but had to make effort to try not to! I recall writing in a journal at the time how NATURAL our flirtatious interaction was, and how hard it was to hide it so he and I both didn't get into any trouble since he was considered one of the ADULTS and I was the student.
One of the reasons he stopped dating me was that I couldn't go meet him at the LI bar he hung out at with his friends the following summer! I was too young, and not rebellious or free enough to do so! I had too early of a curfuw... and I lived too far away under the domain of my old fashioned parents. In short, I wasn't wild enough for Mark. But then there was that other factor too.... He truly loved his Juliette . I am sure that summer that Mark gradually blew me off and eventually stopped calling, was one in which Mark had reconnected with her.
I feel sadness for his wife Juliette's, and his childrens' loss. She loved him and had him in her life since they were in high school.