Regarding a Ms. Nanette Himmelfarb (if that's what her last name even is anymore).
Every once in a while, an individual has no choice but to bring on their own misery by digging deep into the dark recesses of their mind just to recover bits and scraps of memories of old relationships.
Don't ask why. It just happens. The slightest instance could trigger this action. A song playing in a department store or on the radio... a keepsake box you find under the bed or shoved in the back of a closet...
If one was to go snooping in the closet, the small one in the corner of my bedroom, they would find a whole mess of things. A few articles of clothing (on hangers, of course). Shoes on the floor. Some books. Other miscellaneous possessions. But look in the back and they would find a rather plain and smallish shoebox, the one with the crushed lid.
No one really knows much about the Mark Cohen pre-Bohemia. Actually, they know absolutely nothing. Not one thing, except for the basics. "He's this Jew from Scarsdale. Wants to be a filmmaker. Blah blah blah." That's all they seem to know. What they don't know is that in that shoebox are all the things he's ever received from Nanette Himmelfarb, childhood friend and almost-wife. Almost. Emphasis on that part.
She was the Rabbi's daughter. Lived a few houses down from me and my family back in Scarsdale. Lived there from the day she was born, some time in September, about three months before my 1st birthday).
We were friends from the very beginning. It was one of those cases in which the families of the kids in question were the best of pals and always insisted on being in each others' business. We were close. Incredibly close.
I was in many ways responsible for Nanette ever since she started school. Walked her to school on her first day of kindergarten, made sure everything went well. Always was parental to a degree.
She taught me how to tango just weeks before my Bar Mitzvah. Mom insisted I learn how to do something somewhat productive. Something that would make me a "well-rounded young man". I completely hated it at first, but my excuses didn't stop Nanette from teaching me. After that first afternoon...
I had tripped over her feet and fallen to the floor, bringing her with me. And one thing led to another and she kissed me. We didn't think much of it, but still. She kissed me. And I kept wanting to spend more time with her. And vice-versa.
We were "an item" throughout high school. Cohen & Himmelfarb. Completely inseperable. The ideal couple. Never fought, never frowned, always together... Nanette was the reason I started in photography. Well, not the whole reason, but part of it. The old 35mm I have stashed away in the closet was a birthday present from her my sophmore year.
We thought that we would be together. Forever. One of those "soulmate"-type things. We entertained the idea of getting married more than once. She was the kind of girl Mom would love to have around. But when I graduated high school... That all changed.
I was accepted to Brown. I would have to leave Scarsdale. Leave Nanette. Instead of keeping the relationship long-distance... she dumped me. Cheated on me, even. At least, that's what she wanted me to think. I know she lied. She lied to detach herself from me as easily as possible.
Some of the details are blurry, fuzzy even. I can't remember much. The box is hiding under my bed now for future reference.