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like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind...

I have this theory that all the major parts of my life can not go well at the same time. Or really, that the best and the worst events of my life seem to coincide rather dramatically. I've openly referred to this as my "theory of convergences", (which I completely stole from Diane Court, and by extension Cameron Crowe - it always comes back to Crowe doesn't it?)

"I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things. I know you have to deal with them at the same time, but I just don't know why they have to happen at the same time. I just wish I could work out some schedule. Am I just babbling? Do you know what I mean?" - Diane Court
"No." - Lloyd Dobbler

I didn't know what she meant either. Until I did. It was November 11, 1990, I was 14. A bunch of us went to go see the movie Avalon - which I think might be a very good movie, but seeing as how we were very busy throwing popcorn and slowly re-arranging our seats from all boy & all girl rows to a more daring "boy-girl, boy-girl" configuration, I really didn't notice. All I know is that Tony Sayegh went out of his way to sit next to ME, and magically enough, three hours (and several frenzied phone calls from my bff Katie McGurn) later, he was my first real boyfriend.

I was suitably giddy (which for a 14 year old girl, means I was barely containing myself from doing continuous back flips) and smiling from ear to ear, and then the phone rang. I lunged for it, certain it would be Tony. But it wasn't. It was my uncle Jeff, who in an uncharacteristically shaky voice, asked for my mother. I could hear my Aunt crying in the background, and I just knew what had happened. My heart dropped into my stomach as I shouted for my mother to pick up the line, and then I covered the mouth of the receiver and waited for him to say what I knew he would, "Gayle, Joe died this afternoon". And I then I hung up. I hung up as if that would somehow make it not true. That my 84 year old Grandfather, who'd been unsuccessfully recovering from a stroke for 11 months, who had deteriorated to the point of mistaking me for my 28 year old cousin, to forgetting his children's names, to needing a nursing home and finally a feeding tube, that this man who I'd just barely gotten to know, was gone. I cried. And I cried more when my father came home and my mother sat him down to tell him his father had passed on. He crumbled, and my heart broke open. An hour later, the phone rang again. This time it WAS Tony, and my heart beat triple time when my mother handed me the phone. And that was the way of it. My first tastes of love and death in the same day, and from that day forward, the theory of convergences was real to me.

Now I'm not sure if it just became a self-fulfilling prophecy, or if my life really did always balance out something good with something bad, but I believed in it. Especially when it came to boys: James came with Mono; Scott created a rift in my family dynamics (and then his house burned down); When Kris and I finally got together my uncle died, my cousin's suicide brought us back together years later; Joe ended up destroying my most precious friendship; and everyone since then... well, there have been consequences for almost all of them. Sometimes it's directly related, sometimes it's coincidental, but as a result - I don't trust happiness. I may give into it occasionally, but it inevitably betrays me. And I'm always, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.