Continued, A Love Story

“Sunny Day! Monday, May 14th, 1979 … 70°!”ContinuedLoveStory1

Yeah, it was exactly as the journal reports.

And then two things happened, one illusory, perhaps, the other nearly forgotten:

“Continued, A LOVE STORY

“Today as I got off the 16A, on my way to Literature, that exceptionally beautiful girl in my class was walking ahead of me, clapping the heels of her clogs against the pavement, beautiful shoulder-length blondish hair, so soft, wonderfully catching and playing the sunlight…

“Well…

“I happened ahead of her as we got up to the Pharmacy building (where we have Lit) and I held the door open for her as she walked up. We walked together, side-by-side, inside, said I: ‘I think we’re a little late…’

She: ‘Yeah I think … we have a quiz…’
I: ‘Hedda Gabler?’
She: ‘Hedda Gabler.’
I: ‘Oh! I wasn’t here on Friday…’

She walked on, not looking back, and headed for her usual seat, and I to mine.”

That was the first thing.

The following Monday, May 21, I wrote in the journal: “Hail! Tormato! Rejoice! Forget their planet, Hail yours!” The entry was in longhand, punctuated with “round and round and round and round” (think: The Beatles’ “Fool on the Hill”). It seemed like a good idea at the time, so I kept going. For four entire pages. Nonsense. Blather. Pretentious bullshit. Was so proud of it that I had to go show it to someone.

So who could that be?

Thérèse Marie Williams. The girl whose name I thought was Lisa, of course.

Except there’s a backstory to May 21 that I’d almost forgotten, until recently discovering a “letter to no one” I wrote on July 27, 1992.

You see, when I left Minnesota in 1984 for school in Iowa City, Thérèse and I parted company. She’d sent me a Christmas card in December 1983, married some guy she worked with at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and moved to God-knows-where.

As so often happens in life.

In 1993 we finally reconnected in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So, the “letter” was actually a way for me to gather memories about her to aid my search: “…that’s where I first saw Thérèse,” it reads, “usually in the TV room of Geoff’s [Morrison’s] floor, watching TV alone.” She was slender and short, with expressive dark eyes and long brunette hair. “Right when I saw her I wanted to know her better.”

On that spring day I’d stopped off “to see her in her dorm room, which she shared with a roommate [named Paula].” I’d just finished The Crowded Room and wanted to show it to her. She seemed impressed.

At least I’d like to remember that she was impressed, since I have no facts to refute it.

“Probably not long after May 21, 1979,” the letter continues, “if not that exact day, as I read to her in her dorm room the journal entry I’d made … looking over it now, it’s terribly pretentious, but I recall trying to make it like a song … she chuckled at the lines—”

And there the letter ends.

ContinuedLove2But re-reading the 1979 journal now brings it all back. Yes, I was in Thérèse’s dorm room. Her roommate Paula was away, or likely stepped out to give us some privacy.

I threw down my blue nylon backpack and sat next to Thérèse cross-legged on her bed. “Presently,” the entry intones, “I am sitting here, abstracted… Funny, my words, like apparent fingers…They move.”

Thérèse grinned.

“Presently,” it went on, “I am thinking of Michelle. Not her. My idea, her name attached to that slipping ghost like nothing that I am allowing to slip, abstracted. Damn then, that idea that hurt me badly. Behead that ghost. … Round and round and round and round:” [Big pause, for effect.] “My college studies.”

Thérèse laughed.

I ended slowly, like a pendulum winding down. “I am hungry, very hungry, but I cannot be fed. Not presently. Perhaps tomorrow. No water today. Round … round … round.”

Then I leaned over and kissed her on the lips.

And there she sat for what seemed like many minutes, stunned.

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~ by completelyinthedark on January 3, 2014.

3 Responses to “Continued, A Love Story”

  1. I love love love this blog. I don’t often say it, for a very good reason: My delicious blogs, the ones I like the best, I read under the covers on my IPad late at night, and I seldom comment. I realize this is selfish, so on occasion I try to make a shout out. It doesn’t hurt that we are of the same generation, but there is more sameness even, than that. I appreciate you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Curious readers may be interested to learn I had a surprise call from Thérèse last night–not because she reads the blog, but just our annual yearly catch-up. She’s still living in Santa Fe, and has a wonderful boyfriend in Boulder, Colorado. We chatted for over an hour, and I’m so happy to still have her in my life. 😀

    Like

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