It was the period between the end of my relationship with Maria and graduating from college. The final semester I spent in the USVI, so it had to be Fall of ’77. Emotionally I was caroming between misery and anger, loneliness and “I am a rock, I am an island” bravado. I had one actual GF for a short time, and a couple of dates.
This might have been a lesson learned, though.
But there was, almost, maybe, “Phyllis.”
Phyllis was kind, smart and shared my interest in several authors. It also did not hurt that she looked a bit like Diahann Carroll and somewhat like Lena Horne. She also was seeing someone.
One day, the Dormitory Grapevine brought the news that Phyllis and her BF (I’ll call him “Jim”) had parted company. Phyllis was single! I found the news about Phyllis to be of extreme interest.
Although horny twenty year old boys are not known for class, restraint or subtlety, I hesitated. Mainly because for a long time I weighed all my actions against the possibility of a rapprochement with Maria. I didn’t want to be unavailable if she beckoned. On the other hand…PHYLLIS!
Finally I screwed my miniscule courage to a handy sticking post and went over to Phyllis’ room. I knocked, prepared to be charming. Phyllis opened the door and I was bathed in the warmth of her 10,000 watts of beauty. She smiled, happy to see me, wanting to share the wonderful news that she had JUST gotten back together with Jim (who waved happily at me from within the room).
I gulped and pasted on my own smile. Then she asked me why I had come by….
Luckily she had borrowed a book from me a few weeks back. I cleverly remembered this and told her that I needed it returned to look something up.
She gave me the book, we said ‘bye, I wished them well, and that was that. I am not sure if I ever saw her again. I hope her life has been wonderful.
Would she have said yes? Probably not. She knew me, knew about Maria, and the reek of horny loneliness must have been hovering around me like cartoon flies on a cartoon turd.
This might have been a lesson learned, though. Nine years later, despite a whole raft of reasons to hesitate, or simply walk away, I acted in a way that most would have called rash, ill-advised, or stupid as hell. That time, her name was Gina.
A hyper-annuated wannabee scientist with a lovely wife and a mountain biking problem.