Yeah, like eating at 5:30 p.m. at Stouffer dining hall. Where were we, some retirement community in Florida? I found eating as if there was an early-bird special was obscene, but I did it anyway. That's what The Hall wished- as if it were a huge, single-brained creature and we were simply it's limbs, entrails...doing its bidding.
Lesson from my brother. You weren't put on the hall with these people because of compatibility. You're all together randomly. There is no magic to it except proximity. I heard, but I'm not sure I listened. This Hall was unusual. It was a thing unto itself. (Like Theodore Sturgeon's Homo Gestalt from More than Human.) I remained the gall bladder of The Hall, and they were my buds, my posse. I was the girl among a bunch of guys. (A place I was very comfortable with being the only girl among my brothers and also the cousins who were young enough for me to play with.) Boys, girls, whatever. Friends are friends, right?
No, dodo brain. I should have taken the hint real early on. Maybe even the first week. A couple of the boys suggest to me and my roommate to play strip poker. I was smart enough to know that they were going to cheat (and it was beyond obvious, they used no finesse doing it whatsoever) and that my roommate and I are going to lose and lose bad. Which we did. Why would I take part in such a thing? I did it to prove a point though I don't remember what it was. But it sure was important. (ahem)
Okay, you now have a bare-assed girl in your room. Oooooo. What did those two boys expect? An orgy? What were they planning on doing with me? Well, nothing. They hadn't gotten that far in their hysterically funny plan. I sat there. I looked at them. (Sounds like Lola.) They looked at me. Guess the game's over; I'm going back to my room. Goodnight.
My roommate who chickened out about going bare-assed thought I was hysterically funny and totally kickass. I don't know about that. But really, what are you going to do with a couple of naked girls (one partially) who have zero interest in you who you haven't paid for? Not a damned thing. Maybe that was the point.
Perhaps those boys (the two who participated in the "game,") assumed I would be easy. Oh lord no! To sleep with you, I have to believe something real is happening. That may mean I'll sleep with you on the first date, but not because I'm easy. I did not have a toilet full of boyfriends (ever). I've had frightening few. (Three?) And only one of them was just for sex. The gorgeous, drool-worthy Australian grad student who made me feel hot again after surviving (barely) what had become the relationship from hell. I consider the former therapeutic. Like a spa treatment. So, I've only been in love twice. Thank the gods for saving the best for last. (Thank you all for sending me Chip.)
One of the boys on the hall became enamored of me. He was my puppy dog. But I was so afraid to pull the trigger, so to speak. Coming from Paul D. Schreiber High School of the Port Washington Union Free School District, I came with zero experience with situations remotely like this. I could only guess. Finally, February, I guessed yes. And I had the best of the rest-of-the-second semester. Fantastic. If only life were really like that. But we all know it ain't.
I could tell by the tone of the letters I received from Hawaii. (Hawaii? The boy spent the summer in Hawaii with his best buddy, a real ladies' man (a jock/stud type). My boy also went feeling confident that he was able to get women to sleep with him. (He should really thank me for that.)
Back at school. My sweet boy has turned asshole and cheat. (At school too?) This wasn't supposed to be in the script. Of course it was. I just assumed I was falling short in some way, and I'll fix it and we'll go back to what it had been, because wasn't it fucking wonderful before? I approached the problem intellectually. Because I've always found solutions to anything I've had to deal with. And I could deal with this, because I knew he loved me still. (He did.)
Forget any sober levelheadedness. I was as emotionally immature as they come. Hysterical tears. Often. I was also completely convinced that I'd never find anyone who'd love me again. Foolish girl. I demeaned myself big time by allowing him to treat me like shit. And all my freshman buddies. It's like a divorce. The boy got The Hall boys. Did I expect otherwise?
Well I got The Hall girl and two others who we hadn't known before our junior year. These three are my babes. Then there's David who I met first week freshman year. He and the babes are it. I'm no longer angry at my boy. I love talking to him. He has stuck by me through my whole nightmare. Thank you Mark! We still connect. Neither of us quite knows why, but we do. And that's good.
Hey, I didn't lose all the boys either! Not by a long shot. This makes me very happy. (And weepy too.) and I have Rich now to add to the pantheon. Painfully, my boy Cliff who stuck by me through thick and thin is gone. A huge loss for me and a huge loss for so many lives he touched. I was just lucky he found something about me to love. He was easy. You couldn't not love Cliff. If you didn't, there was something wrong with you.
It took me about three years with a few welcome breaks to finally cut the chord with my boy. Love is not enough. Love is never enough. Love and loathing can exist together. Some things have no solutions.