It wasn’t for a very long time that Jana Taylor was my girlfriend. In fact, I can safely say that, aside from some one-nighters, the time I spent with Jana was shorter than any other romantic interest I had. Having said that, I must say that every moment I spent with her was a sheer delight.
Jana was a naturally beautiful girl, not needing or wearing exorbitant amounts of make-up like as the other girls from that era were accustomed to doing. One of the greatest things I remember about Jana was the way she smelled. She always smelled fresh and clean, as if she had just taken a long bath. For special occasions she would put on a dab or two of vanilla-scented perfume. Now, whenever I smell vanilla, I am reminded of her.
Sadly, I didn’t spend as much time with Jana as I wanted to. I met her through my girlfriend at the time, Wendy Isaacson. So, our relationship began on a purely plutonic level. I must admit that, from the onset, I wanted to be more than a mere friend to Jana.
You see, from a very early age I became enthralled with the beauty of Marilyn Monroe. I had seen pictures that the nude photoshoot Ms. Monroe did on red velvet. Even though she had died many years prior to this, I was still smitten with her beauty from those images engraved in my mind. When I first saw Jana Taylor, I saw in her the likeness of Marilyn Monroe. She had the same facial features and hairstyle. Also, she moved like Ms. Monroe and exuded a sensuality that was far superior to the other girls of her age.
However, it wasn’t merely a physical thing I had for Jana. I spent numerous hours talking to her at her home, about everything under the sun. She was a great conversationalist and possessed a great sense of humor. I learned through our chat sessions that she was having problems with her boyfriend, Jeff Templeton. She told me that he wasn’t romantic enough for her, that there was no passion in their relationship. I waited for my opportunity to show her just how passionate I could be.
My opportunity came one autumn day. It was the first snowfall of the year. Wendy suggested that we drive up Farmington canyon to see the effects of the new snow upon the valley below. One of my friends, I can’t remember who, and Jana joined us. We drove up the canyon a fair distance, almost to the top, to a campground. Because it had been snowing, there were no other cars or people around. We had the whole canyon to ourselves.
I can’t remember if we drank any alcohol or used any drugs, but we probably did. Such was common practice for us then. I do remember that Jana and I started throwing snowballs at each other, while Wendy and my friend sat chatting at a wooden picnic table. Jana and I chased each other through the forest, exchanging volleys of snowballs.
For some reason there was a moment. I don’t remember how it happened, but there was a moment, a moment where Jana and I connected on a higher plane. Perhaps it was due to some drug-induced mental haze, but it felt like our souls touched.
We were still within eyeshot of Wendy and my friend, but it didn’t seem to matter. We stopped running, looked at each other, and dropped the snowballs we were holding. Then, we began walking toward each other. As I walked toward Jana, I heard a little voice in the back of my head yell, “Don’t do it! Your girlfriend is watching. Your friend is watching. This isn’t right!” I didn’t listen to the voice and began running towards Jana. She did likewise.
When we met, we immediately began hugging and kissing. It was deep passionate kissing, with the kind of feeling that Jana told me she wanted. With Wendy and my friend watching us from a distance, undoubtedly in disbelief, we fell in the snow and continued to kiss. It seemed like we made out for hours, but in all likelihood it was probably just a few minutes. Then, we had to face the music and walk back to where the other two were. Holding hands and cuddling, we returned.
Now, one would thing that they would have been extremely angry, especially Wendy. Surprisingly, they weren’t. As I look back now, I wonder if they didn’t share a moment of their own as well. Regardless, it was a good feeling to know that I didn’t have to go through mental hell from either of them. On the way back, Jana sat up front with me and Wendy and my friend sat in the back, as if it was planned that way.
After I had returned Wendy and my friend to their respective houses, Jana and I drove to a nearby park and continued our make-out session. There was some light petting and heavy French kissing, but no sex. In fact, there never was any sex between Jana and me. We had a few more romantic interludes together, but no sex.
What I find odd about that whole period with Jana is the fact that neither of us broke up with our significant others until much later. In fact, when we did break up with them, it wasn’t because of our relationship. The other relationships simply weren’t working out. I find it incredible now, but I guess we were okay with being two-timers. The thrill of it must have been what kept Jana and I seeing each other, because once our other relationships ended, our relationship ended also. I left for my Mormon mission thinking I would never see or hear from Jana again. Surprisingly, that wasn’t to be the case.
A few months into my mission, I received a letter from Jana. In the letter, she stated how much she cared for me and how she wanted to get back together upon my return, almost two years later. She said that she would wait for me and thought we might even think about marriage. Now, that was something quite unexpected for me, but in a good way. Given my mindset at the time, it was just what I was looking for. I wrote her back, expressing my feelings of love for her. I’m not quite certain if either of us really knew what love is at the time, but we acted as if we did through our letters.
After receiving a letter or two from her every week for several months, the letters stopped coming. I wrote her a few letters asking what had happened, but I received nothing back. Then, a few months later I received a letter from her stating that she had met a boy that she had fallen in love with. She said that she had an accident at work, injuring her leg, and this boy, a coworker of hers, had helped her. He had spent a lot of time with her after the accident, with therapy. They had grown close and she said that she felt he was the one for her. She apologized for not writing me sooner, but she was confused, torn between her feelings for this boy and her feelings for me. Obviously, I was heartbroken. My spirits were devastated. My calendar girl had left me. I never saw nor heard from Jana again.
Several years after this, while working for America West Airlines, I worked with a girls whose name was Jana Taylor. Of course, that being a common name, it wasn’t the same Jana Taylor. But, my experience with the Jana Taylor I had in high school led me to use a repeated question with this Jana Taylor. Each time she passed me in the airport terminal, I would ask her, “Why!? Why did you leave me!?” Of course, she thought I was quite crazy, but I never did explain to her the reason for my heckling. Poor girl, she probably still wonders what that was all about. On the other hand, probably not.