This is an old memory, that visits me. I wonder how many men have had this experience and how they survived it.
I'm back in Tasmania as a young man of 24 years, I had just returned from a 12 month tour of duty in New Guinea, and now I have been posted to Hobart with a Squadron of Australian Engineers, they were going to repair and reopen an old conscripts training camp in preparation towards the increase of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.
It was my first morning on base and I went into the mess for a cup of coffee during the afternoon break, and there she sat! in her uniform, with her hair up, maybe 19 years of age and very pretty.
As she was the only person in the mess, I walked over to her and introduced myself and sat down, I was full of confidence, she smiled at me and we chatted like old friends, she was a full time clerk at the base here in Hobart.
She said she was aware of the rumours going round, of my units return back from New Guinea, (120 new male faces on the island) she said with a sweet smile.
Rumour had it, there was more girls than boys? on the island, due to the boys leaving for work on main land Australia.
As she had never been off the island she was just so full of questions.
I looked at her across the table, she was a good looking girl, with dark hair and green eyes, her skin was clear except for the few freckles on her nose, which only added to her allure,
Every question she asked, she opened her eyes wide and looked into my soul and smiled awaiting my answer.
I felt I had known her for years, she waved her hands around as she spoke, her fingers were long and their skin was ivory white, she was so beautiful, it was surreal.
I was captivated by her by her feminine charms, as she weaved a magical spell around me, she tip toed through my feelings creating ripples in my life, she entered my heart without even touching me. an unbelievable feeling, how cools that?
I was standing back in my mind ,watching myself, this had never happened to me before, I was stunned.
All of a sudden she jumped up and broke the spell saying " she had better get back to work" and as she went out the door she looked back straight into my eyes and with a sweet smile said" I get off duty at 1700 hours" and she was gone.
I was in a state of shock! so I went for walk down the street to clear my head and assess what had just happened to me.
My life plan had been to get my Commercial Pilots Licence and get a job with an Airline, when I get out of the forces.
But now all I could think of was this girl I had just met and what would happen now, I could not bear the idea of not seeing her again I was waiting outside the barracks for her to come out and we went down town and had more coffee and a chat, until late in the day, after that it was unbelievable I was a love sick puppy!
I couldn't stay away from her. I didn't want this, whatever it was! to stop, it had to be Kismet!
I thought I would awake soon from a crazy malaria induced dream back in my bunk in New Guinea! but thankfully that never happened.
We went on to become real friends even soul mate's and lovers, she supported all my mad ideas I had for my future in aviation.
I had to go to Melbourne to write the Commercial Pilots Licence exam and I missed her so much.
I arranged to do the flight test in Tasmania. crazy!
We had developed this open empathy between each other, our understanding was so intimate about our feelings,and thoughts and motives we understood with just a look between us.
Then as always fate stepped in, I got offered a real good job in Europe, it gave me the opportunity to see my family again, all that I wanted. I spoke with Jo, she said "you have to go, see your family? check out the job and come back and get me"!
I was full of mixed emotions, in them days Europe was a long way away, and it was difficult to get a job.
I was excited about the whole thing, but I was fearful of what I may lose, the last two years were magical,
I should never have taken that job.
The price you pay for your ambition! can be can be extraordinarily excessive in cost to your physical and emotional well being.
So off I went! full of promises, which to my shame I never kept, I meant to go back but somehow I never did, until it was to late? there was always some sort of excuse to put a trip home off, till the next time and memories fade with time, we wrote and I phoned but they were guilt ridden experience for me.
Jo was always so nice never complaining and showing interest in what I was up to, I thought if I had a guardian angel Jo would have been mine.
I got word that she had got married and I truly hope her life was happy. But in reality it, was a blow to me, "I crashed and burned !" I realised I had left it to late, What a fool I'd been.
Now in my twilight years, and on reflection, I would like to right the wrongs I have done over the years and reach out to Jo and say, how sorry I am for wasting her precious life so selfessly.
Now I'm full of thoughts, of what might have happened! if I had done things differently.
If I could just reach out and touch her! once more, my world would be a better place?
But that's not going to happen, there's no going back, it's what you call a self-inflicted wound!
I chose my path through this life of mine, not fully understanding what time really was, until it was to late, with all my regrets they still give me no rights, So I must remain quite.
I would give up all my tomorrows just to feel her hand on my face again.
You are always on my mind.