Fifteen Years

Our first date was at a Kansas City Royals game. I remember it being a day game against the Detroit Tigers. I believe Chili Davis homered. I believe the Royals lost. One thing I remember for certain: Margo -- she was Margo Keller then -- had to pay for the tickets. I had forgotten to get cash.Margo told me that the Royals had always been hugely important to her and her family. They were a team that filled her imagination. She grew up in a tiny Kansas town called Cuba, which is near Belleville, which is near Concordia, which is not too far from Salina. At that point, I had not heard of any of those places -- maybe Salina. She talked about what it was like to grow up in a small town. I talked about what it was like to grow up in Cleveland. She said her high school graduation class was 12. I asked, probably too quickly, if she was class valedictorian. She was. I said that was good. I couldn’t be seen with someone who finished second in a class of 12.I’m not much good at talking about love -- not good at all, in fact -- but what I remember about that first date was something that probably doesn’t sound too romantic. I remember how uncluttered and relaxed and genuine it was. I had been led to believe that love was supposed to make your insides hurt, make you tongue tied and self-aware and anxious.

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