Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Don’t you forget about me…
Hey, hey, hey ,hey
Won't you come see about me?
Memorial Day weekend 1991
I was finishing up my last year of college.
And even though I knew on the day I left for college that things were over between me and my high school sweetheart we still tried to make it work for sometime after that. It was messy.
But now, by now it was finally put to rest and I was “done with men”.
Yes, at the ripe old age of 22, due to my vast experience with the opposite sex, I was done with men.
Are they even men at this age?
Anyway, I had vowed off men but a group of my girlfriends were heading into Manhattan for Fleet Week.
I had declined to go.
But I did tell them to bring me back a sailor.
The next day there was talk of all the sailors, the fun, the Intrepid and how I should definitely go with them the following night.
Once again I declined.
My best (bestest, sweetest, dearest) friend in college M3 (there were 3 Ms in college; me, M2 and M3 and we called ourselves the M & M & M’s. I know silly) had met a sailor (I’m just going to call him the K-man) and she was trying her best to coerce me into going into Manhattan with her the next night.
“Just for fun.”
“It’s not like you are going to meet the man of your dreams there anyway!” “Come on please”
I love her so I said yes. And at this time in my life we did everything together.
So the next day I went.
I would love to write about how magically the city was with the lights and the streets full of service men but I went with a puss on my face and an attitude.
And this was Manhattan pre the glitz of Sex in the City and of course pre the devastation of 9-11.
This was the nitty gritty Manhattan. This was before the “Disneyfication” of Times Square.
Oh, yes, Manhattan was still magically but with a much darker edge back then.
But I was not looking at the magic of Manhattan’s city lights or the life that filled the streets.
I was looking for a way out.
And I made sure I took my own car so I wouldn’t get “stuck there”.
There is nothing worse than being stuck in Manhattan when all of your girlfriends are hooking up with sailors and you’re sitting there with a face on.
I made sure I could escape.
I figured I would go for an hour. An hour and a half tops and then I was out of there.
So, we got ready (and hey, I did try to look cute. I’m not a complete idiot.) and headed off into Manhattan. Me, M3 and two other college girlfriends.
M3 was meeting the K-man in front of the Intrepid at some certain time they set up.
We waited in front of the Intrepid. Me with my puss on my face and M3 anxiously looking all around trying to pick her sailor out of a sea of sailors.
Then M3 saw them. The K-man and he brought along a friend.
“There he is”
Two sailors walked towards us.
In the first second I thought: “Fucking great!! M3 set me up!”
But in the second moment, in the moment I laid eyes on one of the sailors all I could think was “Please God don’t let him be the K-man”.
“Please don’t let him be the one that is with M3”
“Pleeeaaaaseeee don’t let him be the K-man!!!”
And he wasn’t and the attraction was instant.
He was the most beautiful man I had ever laid eyes on.
It truly was love at first sight.
That urban myth I had heard about but didn’t think existed.
I am here to tell you that “Yes. Yes it can happen” but sadly I am starting think only once in a lifetime.
We gravitated towards each other.
We lost ourselves in each other as we strolled the city streets.
We laughed. We talked. We kissed.
I took him home. Yes, I know. Say what you will but at that time I didn’t care (and actually I still don’t)!
It was magical.
More magical than Manhattan could ever dream of being.
We spent the night together.
And the next night together.
And the night after that.
We were totally caught up in each other.
And the city, the magnificent city of Manhattan somehow still stayed in the background.
This time it was me that came alive.
Full of life and light.
Oh and I should mention that he was a sailor in the Royal Navy so he had that quirky British accent where everything he said just sounded so sweet.
We told each other that we would never forget one another.
We said it would only be for these few days.
On Monday he had to be back to his ship by 7:00 am and at 5:00 am in my quiet, dark bedroom he was whispering about going AWOL.
Or stowing me away on the ship.
We knew this couldn’t be and so I dropped him off in front of the Intrepid.
We said our goodbyes and said we would never forget.
And I honestly thought I would never see him again.
Until three weeks later when I received a postcard and a phone call.