Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Dream

The lovely Opal Bonfante, Big L radio DJ and Gala TV presenter, has been pestering me for the back stories of the wonderful women who have broken my heart. For me, the question is when I would tell these stories. Things come up when they come up. This afternoon, I was having a nap when I dreamed about my first fiancee, Kelly Lucas. I tended to refer to her as Lucas, when speaking about her to others. In my dream, we were back together, but she seemed younger than she would be now. It was like she hadn't aged since the last time I saw her, which was early 1987.
Lucas and I met around this time of year, in 1978. We were both attending Syracuse University. We met at a recruitment meeting for sweethearts for my pledge line, as I was pledging Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, at the time. She attended the meeting with her roommate, Seneca Judge. One, or both of them, were invited to the meeting by my line brother, Paul. When we first met, Lucas and I didn't get along. We argued at the meeting. Yet, in the following weeks, I fell for her, hook, line, and sinker.
Things didn't go well, at first. I used to go visit her in her dorm room. She would tell me how she had decided not to be involved with anyone, because some guy she was seeing had messed her around. Like a stupid puppy, I hung around, willing to be a "friend." All of a sudden, she'd announce she was dating someone new. I would feel awful. Somehow, I eventually got her to agree to a date with me, during the Thanksgiving break from university, or was it Easter? I don't remember exactly, as it was almost 30 years ago. She spent the holiday at her family home, in the Bronx, while I was at my family's home, on Long Island.
I drove to pick up Lucas at her family's apartment. She wasn't ready on time, I remember. At school she always wore jeans and T shirts, looking a bit boyish. I waited in the living room of the family apartment. When she came out of her room, I was shocked. She was in a dress, with tights (pantyhose) and make up. She looked gorgeous. She ended up explaining that she was late because she had to buy new pantyhose, as she had put a run in the pair she was originally going to wear. She went to a lot of trouble for me. We went out to dinner and a Broadway play, or was it the play then dinner? Anyway, we saw "Dracula," starring a then, little known, Raul Julia.
Even after the date, our relationship seemed to go on again, off again, for a bit. I remember asking her to be my date for a company Christmas party, thrown by a radio station I was working for. That would have been December, 1979. She declined, however. I remember taking her to a series of scenic overlooks, on different hills around Syracuse, so she could see the city lights from different sides on the same night. At some point, she was in my apartment, which I rented between 1979 and 1982. I remember kissing her on my settee (couch). It was the first time I ever kissed her. The kiss had to be prior to June, 1981. Just when things started going well, she started receiving prank phone calls. They seemed to occur every time I was due to pick her up for a date. We suspected another girl, whom I had been seeing when Lucas and I were off, named, ironically, Kelley, but Kelley denied it. I suspected another guy, who fancied her. One day, I showed up at her apartment in Syracuse, to take her to see "Kagamusha: the Shadow Warrior," by Akira Kurosawa. She came to the door stone faced and said she had received another of the calls and wasn't going with me. I told her that would be exactly what the prankster wanted, as it was obviously someone who wanted to cause friction between us, but she wouldn't budge. I remember going to see the film on my own and feeling miserable.
For months after that, I drove past her apartment and looked at it, but had no contact with her. In June of 1981, while on vacation in California, I sent her a postcard, telling her how much I missed her. I received no reply. That's how things stayed until the early autumn of 1985. At that time, I was working as a flight instructor, on Long Island. Out of the clear, blue sky, I received a call from Lucas, after not hearing a peep out of her for over four years. She said she had heard I was teaching flying and wanted a lesson. I gave her instructions on how to take the train out from the city and picked her up at the train station. I took her for an introductory lesson, but it turned into a sightseeing flight. I flew her around New York City, circling the Statue of Liberty just before sunset. After the flight, I persuaded her to go to dinner with me and a movie.
In the weeks that followed, I would meet her in Manhattan after some class she was taking, then drive her home. There was a complication. She was living with another guy. They had bought an apartment together, in the Bronx. She confided in me that their relationship was sour. She said it felt like they were just roommates and hadn't had sex in eight months. I kept on seeing her. A student of mine wanted to fly to Boston, one weekend. He was going to bring a woman and said I could bring someone. I invited Lucas. She told her "boyfriend" that she was going for a flying lesson. At the last minute, the student cancelled. I suggested we drive and still go, so she and I did. We went on a whale watch cruise out of Boston Harbor. We kept making excuses to see each other. Finally, it was the Christmas party at the flight school where I worked. I invited her and she agreed to come. I picked her up in the Bronx and drove her out to Long Island. We were early, so we stopped at my house and watched MTV. As we sat on the end of my bed, I kissed her, again. This was only the second time in my life kissing her. She kissed me back. We definitely were not "friends" any longer.
We went on to the party, which I can hardly remember, as I was high as a kite, and not on drink. I drove her home, then spent a restless night in bed, thinking about her. The next morning, I had one student scheduled. I decided the weather was too bad and cancelled the lesson, taking the rest of the day off. I called Lucas and she invited me over for breakfast. Her "boyfriend/roommate" was away for that weekend. I raced over to the Bronx, definitely exceeding the speed limit. After breakfast, we watched "It Seems Like Old Times," on cable TV. When the film ended, we started kissing, sitting on their bed. What could we do, the TV was in the bedroom? Suddenly, she started unbuttoning my shirt. I finally consummated my love for her, seven years after I first fell for her. Afterwards, she confided in me that the first time I had kissed her, back in my apartment in Syracuse, if I had kissed her again, I could have had her then. Sometimes, you live the dream.


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