I found my first husband, on LinkedIn. My partner in crime and marriage for the 8 years when my first novel takes place.
I don’t know why I didn’t ever think to look before. It was as if a ghost appeared on the screen. His picture is blurry but I see the person of 30 years ago in that blur. Perhaps that explains why he has not aged in my mind. Like my brother, Duncan, he ceased to live on beyond that point in my mind’s eye.
Ironically, he is standing in an obviously tropical backyard, with his best impression of Warren Zevon’s “Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan.” pose. He has a rubber human arm in his left hand. The hand of said arm is holding a tropical cocktail and he is grinning into the camera. Yup, somethings never change.
I hope the woman who loves him sees his childish delight in life, and humor in all that is absurd. I would have preferred to see him with his poison dart gun collection from Irian Jaya, but that’s the Roger I remember. He looks healthy and happy and I am pleased.
I thought about sending him a message. The last time, over 20 years ago, that I had his email I sent a message. Jeffrey, my second husband, and I were contemplating a trip to Australia I wanted to know if he would meet me for a cup of coffee if I flew into Jakarta. He carefully explained that Indonesian wives do not recognize “first wives” and his life would be a whole lot easier if I didn’t contact him again. I was hurt but respected his position. So to connect on LinkedIn was probably not going to make him happy.
Then I thought about the novel. I hope it doesn’t make him sad or impact his life in a negative manner. I don’t mean to hurt him with my memories. There were many good ones. We were young and life required us to move on for the next chapter to unfold. He was always 100% honest with me about his feelings, what more could I ask?
I will protect his anonymity for as long as I can. Here is the “NH Yankee” sitting on the steps of a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal in September of 1982. One month later I would return to the States; the marriage and our life together would be finished.