Romantic, elegant, wistful, they’re snapshots of this favourite of mine, the memoir of an old girlfriend of John Kennedy, Jr.
Come to the Edge is a gorgeous memoir, and it deserves to be better known. Christina Haag writes movingly of her time with JFK Jr. I wrote more about the book here:
I did not know how long it took to get over such a love, and that even when you did, when you loved again, you would always carry a sliver of it in your stitched-together heart.
No matter how many times you fall in love, it always comes at you sideways. It always catches you by surprise.
Bradley Whitford was from Wisconsin and he was irresistible. Lanky, sweet, and original, he was blessed with a rapier wit, but more lethal to me were his gifts as an actor. I had never gone out with an actor before, and our fights were frequent and passionate. (…) They were also over quickly. After one stormy argument in Sheep’s Meadow, he carved our names in a park bench near Tavern on the Green; and when he when he played Astrov, or as Orlando, gushed, “But heavenly Rosalind!” I hoped he was thinking of me.
Seeing a place for the first time at night gives it a kind of mystery that never leaves.
Invincible, fifteen, and jazzed by the spark of danger.
Redbrick and granite, [Brown’s Carrie Tower] reached high into the bright sky. I loved the tower, loved walking by it, and always went out of my way to do so.
The four green-faced clocks on each of the sides were worn by weather. They no longer kept time, and the bell had been removed, but the tower had a story. At its chipped base, above an iron door, the words LOVE IS STRONG AS DEATH were carved into the stone, a memorial to a woman from her Italian husband after her untimely passing almost a century before. I stopped for a moment and looked up. I wanted to be loved like that.
Some days I succeeded in not thinking about him at all.
It was that time in late spring that aches with possibility, the time when it’s forever cold in the shade, sometimes warm in the sun, and hovering always is the errant promise that there will be more.
There are places one falls for as deeply and devotedly as for a lover.
It was the beginning — the time when you’re sure, when you know by the way he looks at you across the room, by the way he stands or says your name, that he is yours.
At this point in the story, it’s best if the girl storms off in a fury or, better yet, takes a lover. I did neither.
He had his sayings, and I had mine, and “love conquers all” was hardwired in me then like a catechism.
That’s the thing about timing. It has nothing to do with the love.
All will be well. Seventeen years later, I knew her meaning. You will find the courage to walk with grace through whatever life gives you.