Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marylou - Part I: The Scoop

It was the early 1970s, perhaps 1971. I was unattached, about thirty, and had pork chop sideburns and hair long enough to pull it from opposite sides and touch it under my chin, not long enough for a pony tail, just combed straight back.

On a Friday night at the Board Room (the third floor of a "99" restaurant in Boston), I was approached by Brad, a Board Room acquaintance of about my age. "Donnie, I have two girls here who need directions to the White Rhino. I know one of them from work. Whaddaya think?"

"I'm in."

We walked over to where the   young women  girls, perhaps in their mid-twenties, were sitting and Brad introduced me to Marylou and to the one he knew from work, whose name I have long since forgotten, this being the only time I ever met her. We're going to need a name for her if we're to get through this story, so let's call her Sandy. Believe me, if that was actually her name we have a major coincidence on our hands. (As for "girls" vis-à-vis "women," well, that's what younger women were called at the time in all but the most cutting edge feminist circles, and that's what they'll be called here when referring to this period. When referring to later periods we'll use "women.")

I learned that they were planning to meet two other guys at the Rhino - dates, but not boyfriends, and in fact a blind date in Marylou's case. They were on foot, and Brad solemnly pledged to drive them to their rendezvous after a round of drinks. Things went well, there was some laughter, and then it was that time.

As we prepared to leave, they invited us to join them and their intended dates at the Rhino. (WTF? Are women really oblivious about this sort of thing? How pleased would their dates have been if we said yes?) Brad disingenuously accepted for both of us, looked at me and said, "You follow me, OK?" Well, why not? We split up, Marylou riding with me. In no time at all I could see that we were going in a direction not remotely in accordance with the girls' plans. To this day I don't know whether Brad talked it out with Sandy or we just "kidnapped" them. In any event, they'd been scooped.

Before long we were at Brad's apartment - in Cambridge, I think - and no one raised any objections as he led us in. The apartment was a 1970s style passion pit with sunken living room, hidden speakers, lush and comfortable furniture, a full bar, and a vast selection of mood music.

He disappeared briefly and the rest of us checked things out: books, records, etc. Brad returned, heading for the bar with a bottle of chilled champagne. POP! Ice bucket, four glasses, done deal. Brad dimmed the lights a little and led Sandy to a sofa, so I led Marylou to another. Each couple sat sort of sideways, perhaps two feet apart, half facing each other and half facing the other couple.

Well, you know how it is when people meet each other for the first time and really get along. It was comfortable and it was fun. The four of us talked about any number of things, all interesting to all of us. Lots of smiles, more laughter, more champagne.

After a while Brad got up and really dimmed the lights, leaving us with about one candlepower, according to my memory. He turned the volume down but left the music audible, walked back and sat down inches away from Sandy. I reached out a hand for Marylou, who took it, smiled, and moved to me.



lass said...

and then?!?!?!

BrokenDownProgrammer said...

And then . . . as it says at the bottom, "Continued in the next post."

lass said...

Stammering...but, but, but, I don't "wait" patiently. This blog will kill me if you do this much. I HATE cliff-hangers.

lass said...

Just want to go on record with my opinion that authors who leave you hanging have a bit of sadism in their personalities.

BrokenDownProgrammer said...