We'll have to change our jaded ways
But I've loved these days"
|Don't put her on a pedestal, buddy.|
What life is, you who hold it in your hands";
(Slowly twisting the lilac stalks)
"You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
And smiles at situations which it cannot see."
It's completely dishonest to say that all love was betrayal and brutal to the emotions. Sometimes love comes and we do not give it the respect it deserves. Sometimes we just want a good lay. Sometimes a mediocre one will do.
In the WLSC music department, friendships came easily. Music people bond just like any other department. The bonding was enhanced by the "us versus them" mentality of the times, the roaming frat herds and the dictum held by all non-music majors on campus: music and theater majors were gay. Therefore, gays should be killed. At the very least, they should be beaten or verbally harassed. This was a universally held belief. Hard to believe? Such were the good old days (I might add that, in some places, very little has changed.).
Certainly in the 70's, the WLSC student body seemed to be dominated by sports frat boys who looked upon the fine arts department as some type of nesting place for all homosexuals. When the "normal" students would pass our hallowed halls to attend music appreciation, they would look at us as if we were living in a leper colony. Looks of curiosity (Is this where the faggots bugger one another?) and looks of hostility (Don't try that shit on me motherfucker, I'll smash your face.) - that's what we got.
I remember one flute major girl, who had a "civilian"boyfriend, who tried to explain to him why someone would stand with a flute and watch themselves in a mirror. The look of absolute bewilderment and disgust was priceless.
When we stood outside the music department for smoke breaks, we would hear the cordial and friendly cries of TKEs who called us all manner of names. TKEs began to symbolize the hostility and ignorance of the masses. When the new TKE pledges were going through the cruelty of pledge week, I never had sympathy for them. If you were going to join an organization that was filled with so much prejudice and ignorance and be humiliated while doing it, you were outright stupid. Word was, they were abused in many unsavory ways and there was an old house somewhere where this abuse took place. More on this later.
But I digress.
Amidst this obsession by the mob mindset, the music major was isolated. The art students were just thought of as weird, so they were allies. In short, you had to look close "to home," so to speak, for a "friend."
The V Conundrum
Ok kids, this is the part of the story where things get sticky. What happens when someone nice, reasonable, cute and compatible comes along?
You fuck it up like everything else in your life. "I am a nice guy," you tell yourself this lie. "I am different than those neanderthal, football bearing fratholes." Perhaps in truth, I was separated only by a thin line of curiosity about artistic and philosophical matters and a better command of the English language. Human nature abides in all, even the social outcast dope smoking musos. I was no genius, no prodigy and my wings never flew above the fray and the squalor. I just resorted to the same mind and soul numbing agents as the frat boys did. I just did it with more class. At least that's what I told myself.
But I digress.
Youth has a special brand of callousness (And youth is cruel, and has no remorse).Why? Is it the rational acknowledgment of the superior powers of life within the body? Is it the sheer arrogance of inexperience? I don't have the words to define it. I just know that the only value to outgrowing your youth is that some small mercy of understanding comes with age. With old man's eyes, I would never behave the way I did back in those chaotic college years.
V was a very sweet natured local girl who was a voice major. Voice majors generally tend to have a rather high opinion of themselves and generally being a very fussy lot, but V was different. She was earthy without a hint of diva. A sweet smile, she was cute and so easy to make conversation with her.
What was the problem then?
Perhaps her attraction to me was felt too easily. Maybe I was part of my own frat that included my music major friends and I wanted to show off for them. Certainly, I was not willing to show an emotional vulnerability. Call it bad timing or immaturity, I'll agree to them all.
After a party, she and I found ourselves alone, listening to the soft folkie music of Michael Johnson. This was nice-no desperation of trying to impress her, just easy conversation. She was definitely a "what you see is what you get" personality. No head games.
V and I had some tender moments together (including a special one involving an unlikely discussion of the Bible), but I never pursued her as a steady girlfriend. All was undefined. I was afraid of commitment for sure. Typical young male stuff.
While I was under the impression that she wanted to be more than a causal hookup, perhaps she realized that I was not good boyfriend material. Perhaps, all the while, was she held the reins.
I did my usual: strutted, puffed out my chest and dicked around until the bridge was burned.
Kim was a freshman percussion major. She was someone who appeared during my senior year.
Again, cute, nice disposition, not demanding. Why didn't I pursue seriously? Hell, she played marimba like a whiz. I loved (still do) marimba. Maybe that's what started us talking.
She even chose me as a person to interview for one of her classes. Out into some field we went and she listened as I prated on and on about half-baked ideas of ecology, the meaning of life and how great music is compared to blah blah blah. The conversation certainly would have a major cringe factor now. If she has a cassette tape of that, it's be a great laugh.
The teacher didn't think that I was so interesting either as Kim told me that she didn't get a very good grade. That should have been the first clue that I was clueless. While I honor the intention, clearly there was nothing but nonsense and contradiction coming out of my 9 volt mind.
The Kimster had more morals than myself and we soon were at odds about how far the physical aspect of our friend-relation-whatever should go. You can guess what my vote was.
Sad to say this, but I have no recollection of how things ended. It probably just died of attrition.