Goodbyes From Listeners: Steve Miller

Twenty years ago, Steve Miller's girlfriend left him for another man. Now a writer living in Los Angeles, Miller tells the story of the cold night they parted ways.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

All right, here's another slice of heartache for you. More of a comic tragedy, really. It's a goodbye essay from our listener Steven H. Miller.

Mr. STEVEN H. MILLER (Listener and Professional Writer, Los Angeles): My girlfriend - we'll call her Rosebud - came down from Dartmouth to spend Thanksgiving with me in New York. But on Friday, she decided to go back to be with her other boyfriend, Rod, for his birthday. So I knew it was over. A blizzard was burying the East Coast. The train from Washington, D.C., through New York and up to New Hampshire was running four hours late. Rosebud and I bought a bottle of peach brandy and strolled around. Midtown Manhattan was all steam and slush, so the cold wasn't uncomfortable, but the conversation was. At 1 a.m., I took her aboard the train. I knew it was really our last goodbye. While I lingered on a last kiss, the train began to move. I ran to the conductor, who said, we're four hours late. We're not stopping. I had to ride to the next station, the suburban town of Rye, New York. The station was locked up tight and hemmed in by snow drifts. So I stood on the frozen platform sipping peach brandy until a southbound came by at 6:30 a.m. It took three days to get the cold out of my bones, longer to get her out of my heart. I'm happily married now to someone else for 20 years. After Rod, Rosebud became a lesbian.

BRAND: That kicker from listener Steven H. Miller, a professional writer in Los Angeles. NPR's Day to Day continues.

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