Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Saturday Afternoon in 1986

I was 22 years old. My friends and I had gathered near Chicago for a reunion. It was a 3-day party with lots of booze and anything goes shenanigans. My friends were wild women, but within our little group, I was the restrained naïve intellectual one. I was too inexperienced to be anything else.

We were staying in a hotel outside the city but had decided to spend the day downtown. No one wanted to drive because we were tired and hung-over after days of drinking and mayhem-making. It was easier to melt into an uncomfortable seat on the L and let somebody else drive.

The train was nearly empty so we spread out and relaxed in relative silence. After two days together, it seemed like we were all talked out. Our together-solitude was inturrupted when a man near me tried to start up a conversation. I don’t know why he picked me. Maybe I looked easy. Maybe I looked stupid. Maybe I was the only one who made eye contact.

The man was unremarkable, except for his persistence. Eventually, I decided he was interesting and let him draw me in. I don’t know how he ended up sitting next to me. I don’t know how we started kissing.

We kissed each other for the rest of the trip. It could have been 10 minutes or 30. I wasn’t keeping track. My friends and a handful of strangers were witnesses to my broad daylight spectacle, but it didn’t seem to bother me. I just kept kissing the man, whoever he was.

When the train stopped, everyone exited. The man said goodbye, left the station, and presumably went on with his life. I think I went with my friends to the Art Institute to look at pretty paintings.

A few years later I wondered if it had really happened. Had I mixed up my dream world with reality? I mentioned it to one of the girls. She confirmed my Saturday afternoon make-out session on the train. She also reminded me that the night before I had told her a secret about something bad that had happened to me.

Mad scramble to push the pain away? Inane attempt to gain control? Frantic need to feel normal … anything better than what I was feeling?


At 8:53 AM, Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

It's funny how these seemingly innocuous connections can affect us for so long. And how the sequence of events that led up to it seemed so logical and natural at the time, but now is completely inexplicable.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Theresa, you were kissing me. Please come back!


At 10:16 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

Wow. Quite possibly you were kissing the universe, and got away with it.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger theresa said...

AC - It's funny how I don't think about something for 15 years and then POP! It's up in my face again. I like to think that my brain tucks things away until the time comes when they're useful.

David - Since your name is David, it's entirely possible.

Ron - I don't get away with much. I always tell on myself.

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing quite like drunken kissing on the El.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

If you were the restrained, naive one, then I guess you were doing something to push some other feelings away. Your own analysis in the last paragraph is the one I'd go with.

My challenge word for this: tweck

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

What Larry said - perhaps you were subconciously trying to "prove" that you weren't such a naieve goody two shoes..

But, was he a good kisser? ;-)

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

At some point, we all do things outside of our 'norm', and what people come to 'expect' of us.

Sometimes, we stay there ....

At 8:35 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Popeye - I'll have to try it drunk sometime.

Larry - Perhaps that was the birth of my wild, impulsive self.

Laurie - As a matter of fact, he was an exceptionally good kisser (and I'm a picky bitch when it comes to kissing).

That kinda makes me wonder about the guy. What kinda guy goes around making out with women on the train in the middle of the afternoon?

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

beautifully said. we're all looking for something better. the ultimate high of life. But attempting to attain happiness is the obstacle.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Jodes said...

thanks for the comment on my blog!! Great post.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Blaze - I think you're saying that playing with the norm and challenging the rules is part of learning about ourselves. If so, I completely agree.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger ZooooM said...

hm. Wish I had anything good to add to this other than "wow, interesting and wow, as usual so moving."

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Aisha T. said...'s weird how something jolts your memory and your remember it as if it just happened. In this case, totally understandable! Finding contentment in life, an everlasting quest.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger JayneSays said...

I could be barking up the wrong tree here, but if the secret you told your friend was of a sexual nature, then I would suggest the train kissing makes perfect sense. I can elablorate, but only if you want ; ) Great post.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger nosthegametoo said...

Hello Theresa,

Random memories have random effects on people... I know they do on me. Every now and then, I think back to some of my silliness and I wonder, "what the hell?"

The good ones are great, and the ones that aren't so good are a lesson. But beyond it all, it shows how wild of a ride life can be.

Peace and Love Theresa.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

What was the guy wearing?

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Julie said...


I am way to shy!

At 12:18 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Stephen - Yes, this life can be quite an amazing adventure.

Jodes - Hope the b-day was great.

Zoooom - Yeah, this was an odd post. I've been wandering around in a weird, dark place in my head lately.

Aisha - About the time I think I'm content, I realize I've laid my picnic blanket on the railroad tracks. But those moments of ignorance are sweet.

Jayne - You don't have to elaborate. It's enough that I know you know, and you know I know you know ;)

Nosthegametoo - Excellent point (as usual)

AC - All I remember is that he wasn't icky and I liked kissing him. I don't even remember what race he was.

Julie - I'm way too shy too ... really, who knew?

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

I guess you'd have to ask yourself what was the underlying trigger that caused you to do something you normally wouldn't do - the Man or the Moment.
Was the guy so overwhelmingly handsome and charming that his allure was irresistible? You'd think that if that was the case you'd at least rememember some of his physical characteristics, hair color, wardrobe, etc.
Or was it the Moment - the confluence of events in the swirling maelstrom of your life that temporarily blinded your inhibitions and laid your heart bare - the target becoming secondary?


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