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May 5, 2007

Once Upon A Time

We met in the Spring of 88, In a Marriage and Family class. We also had a research class in common that semester.

I was comfortable in my very loose 501's, t-shirt, tennies, white socks, and quite often, a somewhat oversized, purple, flannel shirt. I rode a mountain bike and carried my seat around with me so it wouldn't be stolen while it was locked up. Not only did I carry a backpack for my school things, but I also wore a fanny pack- as a purse. My hair was shaggy. I was always just a tad late and had to walk past the instructor to get to my seat in the back. I'm sure I was quite the sight. I have a picture in my mind...

She wore keds, ankle length, peach, lacey, socks (although, I must point out that I have been corrected many times- they were not lace- just sort of holey, in a feminine kinda way), Bermuda type, peach, plaid, shorts, and matching shirt. She wore a "walking wallet" to hold her essentials and also carried a backpack- don't most college students?? Long, blond, permed, hair and sat towards the front.

After class we exchanged glances and the pleasantries. Somehow we discovered we had mutual friends. I felt a pull towards her and would look forward to seeing her at our classes. When I asked my friend about her, I was assured she was a straight, Christian girl. And although we shared the same major, we had never met before. Still there was this draw. She was so familiar.

The semester moved forward and we started spending more time together. We would talk and talk and talk. She asked me to go shopping with her to pick out a graduation outfit. We had dinner, once. Hung out at the park with a six pack more than once. I introduced her to Tracy Chapman. She drove a red convertible rabbit with a black top with personalized plates that read 'sokari'. I drove a small brown toyota pickup truck with a shell. I have this one memory of sitting in a parking lot in the car for hours, talking.

My girlfriend told me I could only see Käri during daylight hours. I laughed. We were friends, fast and furious friends, but only friends. Really.

I had just come out, sort of, November 87. I was in my first relationship with a woman. The coming out experience, for me, was awful.

A woman I had befriended, confessed she was falling in love with me. We were out having drinks. I can see myself- sitting, feet on the chair, chin on my knees, arms wrapped around my legs, shaking. There was a realization on my part, that I was also attracted to her, but I was straight. I liked boys, men. The more "grizzly adams" type the better. A few hours later I received a phone call telling me a close friend had, quite literally, fallen over dead on his college campus. I spent the next 3 or 4 weeks in quite a state. I was depressed and confused. I couldn't eat and lost about 30 pounds. In the end, it was Brent's dying that was the catalyst in helping me figure out that you can't help who you have feelings for or fall in love with, man or woman.

While Käri and I were getting to know each other, she confessed that she had been secretly involved with another woman for a few years. They were both involved in a Christian organization through school. As a good Christian, the other woman could not admit the relationship was happening and so it was never discussed.

Nothing, but a lot of time and talking passed between Käri and me and as the school year ended, Käri graduated and moved out of town. I gave her a parting gift of a roll of toilet paper and she left. We saw each other once, early in the summer, each with our respective girlfriends and that was it. Until October of 88.

To be continued.

8 comments:

Tracey said...

Written well. I'm interested in the next installment!

Sandy. said...

Your crisp clear memories paint the picture so well.

Waiting for "the rest of the story."

Sandy.

TruLove said...

OK, Trish, I gotta ask! Why a roll of toilet paper? You never mentioned that when you told me your "story".

MommyNay said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh do continue!

Beth said...

I'm really wondering about the toilet paper, too! I've been lurking on your blog for six months now (and am a huge fan), but the curiosity about the toilet paper has finally forced me to post something.

Tricia said...

I remember giving the toilet paper. I remember laughing about the toilet paper.

I think the toilet paper was so she would be prepared on the drive home- just in case. Perhaps it related to the 6 packs in the park...

Honestly, I can't quite remember. Nineteen years ago is a long time.

Sandy. said...

And we're all still waiting for the "to be continued."

Come on already. :)

Sheesha said...

Yes please - Paul Harvey moment! And now here's the rest of the story...Please!