"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Saved By a Memory
de-flow-er Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English deflouren, from Middle French or Late Latin; Old French desflorer, from Late Latin deflorare, from Latin de- + flor-, flos flower -- more at BLOW
1 : to deprive of virginity
2 : to take away the prime beauty of
3 : my general goal when on a date in 1979
It was Christmas break, 1979, and I was back in my home town with a raging appetite.
And not for food.
By this time in my life I had already taken up the habit of drinking heavily, and had recently graduated from beer to whiskey. Or both at once. I tried out almost every bar in town. There really wasn't a lot else to do.
After only a few days home, I came across an old friend of mine, Mary (not her real name.) Gosh, she had turned out cute. She was on Christmas break too.
Now, I knew Mary from church. She had never seen me outside of that atmosphere. Mary was a good girl, had never been in any trouble, had never run around, and an impeccable reputation.
A perfect target, as far as I was concerned.
Our first date was to a New Year's Eve party at my house, I believe. I also remember that I got myself really sauced up that night.
On the way driving her home, we pulled over to the side of the road to neck a bit.
I asked her out again only a couple of days later. This time to a movie I think. Afterwards, we were driving around town and I ended up at my father's office.
Which I had a key to.
I suggested going inside, and she readily agreed. We went into the conference room, and I stopped along the way to get the bottle of wine I had placed in the fridge earlier that day. We shared the wine as we sat on the couch, lights out of course, enjoying the moment.
I'll leave out the details here, except for one.
A while later, after we had been making out, she looked me in the eyes and said, "Cliff, you could make love to a girl if you wanted to."
Her face was bright in the moonlight. Her eyes, wide open and dark as a doe's, sparkled. Her cheek, neck, shoulders were flushed with the heat of the moment.
I took a deep breath, and sat back while I looked deeply into Mary's eyes.
"No, Mary, that's not for me. That's for someone else, not me. Not that I don't want to, understand."
Of course, all of the hormonal parts of me were really upset at what the vocal parts were doing to me. "What, are you crazy??!?" the hormones screamed. "You paid for a movie, a bottle of wine... What are you doing??!?"
And somewhere inside of me, a spark of spirit rallied to let me know what was right and proper.
I took Mary home the same way I had picked her up.
I wish I could say that from that day forward, things were better and I acted more gentlemanly. I can't. There would still be one more, one more who was a target I couldn't resist. One more that was the worst of all.
But for the rest of that Christmas break, I stayed pretty much to myself, contenting myself with having a few drinks every night in the local discos. Then it was back to college, back to studies, and one of those moments where your life takes a left turn.
Control thy passions, lest they take vengeance on thee.