When it comes to serializing my 93 diaries, I received some great advice not too long ago from author and all-around fabulous bicoastal writer Gwen Davis. Gwen said to imagine my best friend as the audience, including only those vignettes that she would find interesting. With that objective in mind, then, I will take you back in time--specifically to 1993.
I was 19 years old. Home for me that year was London, under the pretext of studying abroad. Truthfully, I chose to be a temporary resident of England’s exhilarating capital city for two reasons -- I had become smitten during a previous family vacation there and wanted to explore it like a local, and I needed a breather from the all-female world of my beloved alma mater, Mount Holyoke College.
If I majored in anything that year, it was a crash course in the opposite sex -- the good, the bad and the heartbreakers. Without any further ado, I now open the vault to volume #45...
Sunday, October 31st, 1993
Commonwealth Hall, University of London
Yesterday I didn’t wake up until 1pm, due to a late night of fooling around with my floor mate Eduardo. I decided to stop in his room to ask if I could borrow his squash racket.
In keeping with the deal we’d made the night before, we acted as if nothing had happened between us. Surprisingly, I had no problem asking him for the racquet and then leaving. I was quite pleased, though, when Eduardo made an oh-so-subtle reference to our marathon kissing session. As he handed me his racquet, he smiled with the naughtiest glint in his eye. His friend didn’t notice -- but I certainly did. I left with a self-satisfied grin on my face. He can’t forget about our rendez-vous that quickly, I thought.
* * *
[Later that day, I was running late for dinner with longtime family friend Uncle Alf. Eduardo and dorm mates Camilla and Gaby agreed to give me a ride across town to Uncle Alf's house.]
As we all piled into Edu’s car, Gaby quipped, “Driving Miss Melissa!” a reference to the movie, Driving Miss Daisy. I laughed but remained focused on trying to find Uncle Alf’s street because we were slightly lost.
Finally, we arrived at Avenue Road. I thanked Eduardo for the ride. He advised me to be careful crossing the street because I was on the traffic-facing side of the car. Being cocky and way too nonchalant, I said something like,
“I’m from New York, I know how to be a pedestrian.”
I was in such a hurry that I ran across the road looking to my right, forgetting that traffic was two-way and also coming from the left. Suddenly, a big white truck came out of nowhere and knocked me onto the pavement.
Despite the jolt, or perhaps because of it and my fear of being completely run over, I managed to stand up right away. Eduardo and Gaby jumped out of the car and were immediately by my side.
“Are you alright?” Eduardo asked worriedly.
I attempted to respond but the impact of what had just happened hit me with extreme force. I collapsed.
* * *
Needless to say, I became a much humbler--and more alert--pedestrian after this little episode. Stay tuned for details about the rest of that fateful night…including the comfort I found in another man’s arms.