When I moved to NYC in 1983 at the age of 23, I was very much in love with a woman a few years younger. I had starting dating her a year earlier, when she was a senior in high school, after I had flunked out of the only college that accepted me, having flippantly asserted Native American heritage on the application.
I had left her for three months to take an extended Outward Bound course. My father proposed this, he thought me at loose ends. Many years later my brother Steve told me that my parents thought then I needed help – professional help. I didn’t know that Outward Bound had a reputation for straightening out troubled kids. Was I troubled? I didn’t think so, just a little disgusted with myself for not having back packed Europe instead of wasting a year at a backwater college with a ridiculous male to female ratio of 3 to 1. Almost every other senior in my high school was college bound and for the first time in my life I caved to conformity. I doubted my brilliant iconoclastic spirit. Turns out time is never wasted, but that’s another story.
While I camped and rock climbed, my lovely girl friend had expanded her sexual horizons, which was perfectly natural. In contrast, I had become very clear about my feelings and wanted to be with her exclusively. After I got back, she kept having these incidents of getting drunk, accidentally falling into bed with other boys, and then apologizing. I knew they weren’t accidents, she was just having fun and I wondered why she couldn’t admit this.
In hindsight I guess she liked the idea of a boyfriend, she really wanted monogamy to be her thing. I was quite the idealist then and would have preferred her to be honest with herself, but I was very much in love and willing to be patient. She was so much younger after all.
In the fall of 83 she went off to college and I moved to the darkest, dirtiest city available, New York. We had decided to maintain the fiction of a traditional relationship.
Gina sold socks on the bleak, bustling winter streets of the East Village. I think that’s how we met. I guess I struck up a conversation with her and flirted casually when I occassionally bumped into her, she was pretty but slightly goofy looking. She had unlikely ears. Gina might have been quite taken with me, but I was concentrating on maintaining my simulation of long distance monogamy. Gina was an exotic creature, a blip on the periphery of my radar screen.
I had just visited Storrs, CT, where my gorgeous girl was a freshman. A friendly young stud dropped by after I arrived, he seemed super curious. Her guy on the side, turns out, alas. I was oblivious, on fire to share my latest discovery – LSD. My roomates kept a vial of liquid acid in the fridge, a sacrament supposedly sourced from the ace chemists following the Grateful Dead shows. I had brought a blessed sugar cube for each of us. She balked, so I proposed to demo the experience for her. That night we made love, and I shot stars out of my dick.
On the train back to NYC, I still had the one cube left. What the heck, I dosed again. I emerged from the subway at the St Marks Ave stop, where the big black cube sat on it’s corner. It was a cold, snowy evening, and the power was in me. I strode magnificently across the square and there was Gina, at a fold-out table with the sock dude. I saw her clearly for the the first time. “Come with me,” I said, and she did.
We got back to my chronically overheated apartment and I spoke to her of the wonders of the universe. My roomates were elsewhere. She shed her heavy coat and a few other layers and we settled onto the couch together.
She was animated, graceful and fun. I kept getting flashes of skin through her floppy pullover and eventually I said, “I need to see you.” As I undressed her, I reverently proclaimed her magnificent beauty. She was a dancer and her body was the most exquisite I had ever seen. I remained chastely clothed, I had a girl friend after all, but to deny myself the sight of Gina was unthinkable. We talked for hours, happy new friends snuggled together, her naked and cozy, I raving and glowing with the holy fire.
This was the East Village in 1983.