December 14, 1977 Civic Center, Cedar Rapids Iowa: I Wanna Learn a Love Song
L was into Harry. I wore a chambray denim shirt with black velveteen collar, cuffs and stays. We held hands in the cheap seats—You can always count on the cheap seats! We were seniors in high school, in love, although we never said so.
That spring L started playing soccer and quit calling me. Ended up marrying one of our high school classmates, had two daughters, re-embraced religion and became a paperback writer.
June 28, 1979 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Outdoors: A Better Place to Be
It was my idea. Hot and humid, and eventually a thunderstorm passed over. I wore denim cut-offs and a gauzy white top. My college boyfriend B waited with me in line in the rain for Harry to kiss me for the sake of world hunger.
Beginning of the end. A few months later, I would meet R, the man I would marry.
April 24, 1980 Kiel Opera House St. Louis: Dreams Go By
My 20th birthday. I got and paid for the tickets myself. I started crying mid-concert, because Harry was singing all the songs in the wrong order, and I felt responsible. I cried all over R’s short sleeve button down shirt, and he said he was honored. May 6, 1981 we eloped.
July 16, 1981 Harry died. I kept the mustard yellow T‑shirt with the line drawing of a guitar for a long time.
Got divorced in 1992, but I still feel like a widow.
A graduate of Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers, Julie Benesh is recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant and her writing can be found in Bestial Noise: A Tin House Fiction Reader, Tin House Magazine (print), Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Gulf Stream, Cleaver, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and other places. Originally from Iowa, Julie now lives in Chicago where she works as a management consultant, professor of business psychology, and higher education leader and teaches creative writing at The Newberry Library. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org