I was so sure it was love…
my children are older than I was when we first met. I was a sophomore in college, you, Mark, were my anthropology professor. I was immediately taken with your dark, smoldering eyes, a glimpse of power.
I learned quickly that I could make your bad moods disappear. I’m not sure you noticed it but within minutes your childish grumpiness would turn into a low, throaty laughter. You sat behind your desk, head thrown back in laughter wearing your dirty, beige, cable knit sweater,t he one you wore almost every single day.
It was the first time that I had ever felt such intense emotions in my life like a stagnant flower suddenly coming to life again, bursting to bloom. He flirted, his stares were a few seconds too long, my cheeks flushed with pleasure, my green eyes stared back.
There was a moment, captured in my memory, when I sat in your office and I held your young daughter in my lap and happily played with her hair. She cooed so sweetly with contentment. I hadn’t looked at you at all but lifted my eyes for a second to find your eyes staring hungrily into mine, your mouth half-open.
You had awakened in me a budding sexuality that I had rarely felt before. I was naive, I had felt attracted before but never this way. I went from being a girl to a woman without him ever touching me.
I remember sashaying down the hall to see him, for the first time after summer break, 25 pounds lighter, noticing my hips move and my ass, firm and tight, feeling wonderful. Back in the seventies, we wore black leotards and jeans, clogs and my brown hair was lush and long. He definitely noticed the change with his long stare, I felt beautiful for the first time in my life without his approval. I loved the way I felt, my hair in two long brown braids which he used to tweak, as if we were both in middle school.
I’d like to think he was being “good” for me, to spare me pain and himself trouble but I heard, more realistically, that he had gotten into a lot of trouble in the past and this was his enforced “no-fly zone.”
Truly, this man was a louse, a monster but I was caught in the whirl of his intensity and his charm. I felt sorry for whoever he was married to although ultimately she divorced him. I knew I thought I loved him, more likely it was too many years of blind infatuation.
If you ask me why, I obsessed about him I honestly can’t tell you. Maybe it was the game
of not getting what I wanted that was so appealing, maybe it was the first sensation of awakening sexuality. I’ve always been attracted to “the first dance” of romance, where you feel the flush rise to your cheeks, and your eyelashes stay closed a couple of seconds longer than usual. It’s all a game, a wonderful, sensual, romantic game.
The only think he did for me other than not having sex with me was this: he hated graduation, he never attended. When I found that out he wasn’t going I was devastated. He asked me if it meant something to me if he attended or not. “Yes” I said but he made no promises and we never spoke of it again.
“Commencement” as I’ve written before, is a nice way of saying good-bye. During the procession, I saw him standing in line in his black robes and colorful ribbons, his majestic glory. That was the one thing he did do for me, he came to graduation for the sole purpose of wanting to make me happy.
I never regretting loving him nor did I regret continuing to love him, if it was really ever love at all, because it was a love that was intense and pure. One sided, of course, but it took me from being a girl in love to being a woman to love without him ever knowing.