Our plane banked high and drifted under clouds. Room for forty,
we were only four. I had chosen my seat judiciously: same row
but other side of the aisle; she looked cautiously at me. I debated
how to break the ice (I’m never any good at that). Later
I was sitting next her. Introductions included first names
only; at least I got her number as we swept low along the Potomac
almost within grasping distance of the capitol’s dome. Over water we buckled
seat belts, confusing straps in each other’s laps.
That morning, Hartford had snow as Lou and I fought suitcases
to the airport. Earlier on wakening, he had said he would not fly
because of snow; I laughed and told him to shower so we could leave
our room to half full beers and a dried fir tree in the corner
which mimicked Christmas. At the airport we kidded about it’s being international.
He had a hard time believing our plane with two lonely props; I told him props
liked heavy weather. On the runway, I saw it was all ice (didn’t bother
telling Lou). Behind us sat two Smithies, Lou and I could tell from their giggles,
and we told cookie cutter jokes, quietly so that could not hear. In Philly
we hugged as roommates will
and I got back on. He was going to Atlantic City where gambling is quite legal.
I thought to myself. But what will she think of me – hair too
short and face begging for razor? Her blonde hair fell straight
toward breasts hidden beneath layers. Somewhere
over Maryland, I moved closer so we could talk without
raising voices (a sea of seats separated us from the other
came found to common friends – including my high school buddy;
why didn’t he ever introduce me?
That night, one quick phone call arranged date; real, but no ideas on where too go. Even
as I walked to the door to pick her up: no idea. One long stemmed red lay on the front
seat; I too
to bring it to the door. What would parents have thought?
No awkwardness in conversation
and even a quick idea as the what-to-do. Got lost
in southeast Washington; able to weave out through heavy traffic.
Much later, while she slept soundly home, I caroused
with mutual acquaintances. Clarke, ever not the gentleman and quite drunk,
So what’s it like going out with a virgin?
Calm, my eyes met his green gaze:
But will he ever know?
Copyright 1983 by Peter A. Stinson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.