Why did we stay together in the face of conflict? No simple answer comes to mind. We both were loners, outsiders in most situations, and exceptionally intelligent. Once, Diane’s first love Bob told her years afterward, “You were too smart for me. We’d have ended up killing each other.” Diane’s life experience kept her from forming close friendships with some women who were her intellectual peers but had never faced the same hardships. My own life was not marked by struggles like hers so much as difficulty relating to people around me who couldn’t see the world as I saw it. When I went to Berkeley I was surrounded by brilliant students and faculty who were my peers. I saw the same qualities in Diane.
When we found each other on the mountain, as if directed by fate, we felt an affinity based on deep recognition of the singular abilities in one another. The way we met, each one alone in the wilderness, intensified the effect of that meeting. I responded to her emotion and her passion, she to my stability and steadfast commitment. In spite of how we might wander or fail, we both felt an overwhelming desire to be together.
One evening in the winter of ’69, at a country western bar in the Springs, crowded with people our age, we danced to a country band and popular songs. One was the recent hit by Judy Collins, “Someday Soon.” Whenever it plays now, it takes me back to that time in Colorado—twenty-three years old, young and crazy and full of eagerness for more life, more love, and more of the world with Diane beside me—and I feel her loss all over again, of the time, the years, and the woman I loved.