Two Beds Become One – A Penn State Story Part III
February 22, 2018 § 2 Comments
Halloween, 1982 was coming, and we had at least two parties to attend to. If you have been reading parts I and II, then you know that we usually partied at Steve’s or Susan’s brother’s place. Steve’s place usually on a Friday or Saturday, and we usually caught the television show “Cheers” over at Marty’s place every Thursday. In 1982 official Halloween was Monday, but no self-respecting college kids are going to wait till then, so Saturday night was the night for Parties, and both Marty, and Steve were hosting that night.
I had been living with Susan now for almost 8 weeks. Long enough that we had spent a fair amount of time together, as friends. When I took the place, there were all the wise cracks from everyone concerning “living” with a woman, and are you sleeping with her yet, blah, blah, blah. Everyone who brought it up, including my Dad, I told the same thing. We are roommates, nothing more. We hang out together as friends, but I am respecting her space and being a complete gentleman. No wise cracks from me, no sexual innuendo, nothing to misconstrue. Straight on the up and up “When Harry met Sally” kind of friendship.
My routine was still pretty set. I was still working late hours and coming home long after she retired to her bed. Now that it was cooler, when I came into the apartment, she was usually covered up with a blanket. In those early days in September, I would come into a 75 degree room with stale air, the window wide open, but nowhere to get a cross breeze from, and there spread out over the top of her sheets was Susan in her night gown. She was decent, but I could tell she was a woman. I kept those observations to myself, though I may have shared some part of that with my cycling friends. Maybe some workmates.
In the morning either she would be gone, or I would get up, dress for a ride and head out. Little did I know that when I was getting ready, Susan had an eye open, and bore witness to dressing down in skin tight clothing to go ride in. She never let on to me, but I suspect Diane, our neighbor, heard a lot about it. Some times when I came home for dinner, Susan would be over at Diane’s chit-chatting away. From my perspective at this time, I was clueless, so this is really an exercise in hearsay. The facts were that although I had certainly noticed I was living with a woman, we kept the sexual tension on ice. Mostly by not mentioning it.
I almost forgot about Pat and Geno. These two were like parents to me at school. They adopted me, along with certain number of other students, and I adopted them. Of all their young college friends, I would like to think that we had a closer relationship, but I could be fooling myself, and it isn’t really germane to the story. Pat and Geno were relentless. “Oh come on Eric! You mean to tell me you are just living together as friends?” “Have you talked about taking it further?” “What are you afraid of?” “You have a beautiful young woman living in your apartment who you seem to be socializing with on a daily basis, and you aren’t an item?” Even to Pat and Gene I maintained there was no hanky panky going on, and we were just good friends.
So, Halloween arrives, and we decided we would attend both parties. We would start at Steve’s place, and then work our way over to Marty’s place later. It made sense. Marty’s place was 1/2 a block away, so after a night of partying, who wants to walk a mile and a half home? We didn’t!
I don’t really have to remember too much about Steve’s party. Beer? Check! Gin? Check! Quarters? Check! Eat before we arrived? Check! The usual cast of characters were there, and we did our usual activities throughout the evening, and when it was time, we left and walked to Marty’s place. His party was, of course, in full swing, and most people were in full hammer mode by then. Marty was happy to see us, welcomed us in, and I am pretty sure that what went on here, was pretty much the same that went on at Steve’s place. When we had had enough, we said our goodbyes, and we staggered the 1/2 block home.
What happened next? To the best of my knowledge, like so many weekends before, this was the only time we ever went to bed at the same time. I am reasonably sure we dressed or undressed for our respective beds, and went to them, but neither of us fell asleep. Pretty sure we started talking, and I am damn sure that at some point Susan made an overture, which I recognized, shy tall dumbshit blacksmith’s anvil that I was, as an overture, and it wasn’t too many seconds after that before there was one bed on the floor, where the hanky and the panky, alcohol influenced and all went down, and when it was all over, the daylight began to flood through the windows, and the birds were a chirping away in the out of doors, I am pretty sure we looked at other smiled, and kept up a good thing.
Over the course of the next couple of days, we started to talk a lot more intimately, and we both discovered that each HAD noticed the other in ways that went beyond the Platonic ideal. I told her how sexy she looked in her negligee all those many nights I came in late, and she told me what a fine ass she thought I had every time I suited up for a bike ride. I guess that we had in fact been dating for 8 weeks. Not your standard run-of-the-mill dating, but more like those hard core chaperoned can’t be left in a room alone vanilla ice cream type dates where the two daters aren’t even allowed to be alone, except that we were alone most of the time, and living together, and our own commitment to ourselves is what kept the relationship straight as an arrow clean. Who knew?
Once word got out, everyone was pretty happy for us. “I knew that was going to happen!” “A blind cat could see where that food trail was leading!” “Why did it take 8 weeks?!” There wasn’t a single person that questioned the sanity of it. To them, what we had before was insane.
To add to that, as clean and non-sexual as our relationship was, so also was our language. I did not swear once, while in Susan’s presence, nor apparently did she in mine. Almost the next day she asked me “Don’t you ever swear?” “Fuck yeah!” I replied. “I swear all the time, just not when I am with you. I was wearing my polite and gentlemanly face.” It turns out that one of the things Susan used to go over to Diane’s place to do was to swear. She needed that release, and Diane provided that for her. We decided then and there to swear more, but more importantly, it became a game to see who could swear first, to the other, every day. There were some loose rules. Like, I couldn’t come home after work after midnight, wake her up and say “Shit!”, and win for the day. That was not fair. Similarly, she couldn’t wake me in the morning and do the same. Once we were both awake, then game on. On the other hand, if we were out together, and the big and little hands crossed 12, then it was not uncommon to hear one of us shout across a noisy room “Hey Eric? Shit!” and everyone who knew us would look to me for my disappointment at getting beat again. Sometimes our friends would remind one of us. It was a silly game, but it was our game.
In case you are not familiar with the tri-mester system, Penn State had 4 equal length terms of classes, so a standard school year was three terms to everyone else’s two semesters. A term lasted 10 weeks, and if you do the math, we got together around week 8, so unless you forgot how this story began, I had taken this place on the condition that I would only stay 1 term, and then I would find a place for myself and my dog Sven. That part of the story will be continued in another posting.