In 1994, I placed the following ad looking for pen pals in a Tim Burton fanzine called, Everyone Needs a Hobby:
I received a small handful of responses from folks all over the world but one letter stood out. It was from a David Kilmer in Los Angeles, California. We wrote back and forth over the months (our letters are collected and living together in two his and her boxes in our hall closet.) These letters led to exchanges of books, mix tapes, video tapes (I showed him around my home and he sent me the films he had made as well as copies of his favorite films) and eventually, very long phone calls (my Dad was still talking about the phone bills years later.)
In September 1995 we both realized that we had fallen in love. I turned 21 the next month and begged my parents to let me go to Los Angeles for Christmas. A ticket was bought (and the joke was that my Dad probably did a background check on David before this even happened.)
Christmas 1995 seems like yesterday. I hugged and kissed my parents at Logan Airport and stepped onto the plane. When I landed in Los Angeles, David told me later that it seemed like I was the last one off of the plane but what I remember is walking off the plane, not having a chance to see anyone but being bear hugged by David. I remember the walk to collect my baggage, how nervous we both were, the teddy bear waiting for me in the back seat, the drive to his little place on Portland Street in Los Angeles. We spent several hours exchanging Christmas presents and each other's journals.
That night we drove to Santa Monica. As I got out of the car, David asked if I wanted him to hold my hand. I said yes and he didn't let go. We walked the deserted Third Street promenade and wound up on the pier. We were the only ones there except for the fishermen who serenaded us. Eight hours after arriving in Los Angeles, he proposed.
A week later, we were married at Ports O' Call Chapel in San Pedro. That was twenty years ago tonight. My world changed with a little ad placed in a long defunct but still very much loved and missed fanzine to which I will forever be grateful. Happy 20th Anniversary, David. Je T'aime.
The Shop Around the Corner is a film that David sent me back in 1995 and has been a favorite ever since. Perfect for this time of the year.
The Apartment, another Holiday favorite and one that we have watched on New Years Eve over the years.