Monday, January 9, 2017

Staring At The Stars

Charles, Tommy and me, the three of us decided to get an apartment together while in college. Tommy knew Charles from high school, they graduated in the same class and though I knew Charles I didn’t really know him. Tommy well, that was another thing entirely. He was my best friend, my brother from other parents. I was two years ahead of both of them and had spent those two years off and on in college occasionally going to class.

The place we found to live in was in the southern part of Tahlequah just off of highway 62. There was a small cluster of one story apartments, two to a building, all around each other and we got one with a standard three month lease. On the other side of us were these girls from Tri-Sigma sorority whom I passively tried to impress by playing my music loud and by laying on the hood of Tommy’s car at night where I would stare at the stars. I was young and dumb, what do you expect?

The question to ask though is did it work? Did I impress them? Since they never spoke to me or even acknowledged my existence I would say no. Overall the Tri-Sigs were known to be a bit stuck up so perhaps it wasn’t totally an indication of my lack of importance on the social scale. Yeah, I can’t even keep a straight face as I type that bull. I wasn’t anybody that mattered in their world. I was just a nothing occasionally seen but never heard.

My personality consisted of being a nervous bundle of insecurity with a bad self-image and very low self-esteem. A single “Hi” from one of them would have made my year.  A smile accompanying that “Hi” would have had me walking on heights I’d never known. They didn’t owe me anything of course and that is exactly what they gave. After all these years I cannot recall any of their names but I’m sure I knew who they were then.

But those nights spent on the hood of Tommy’s car, now they were worth remembering. Staring at the stars made me realize how small and insignificant we all were in the grand scheme of things. It wasn’t just me feeling the way I did. Somewhere else another person could be having the same thoughts, doubts and dreams as me. Those stars and the night sky made anything seem possible. Childhood sci-fi dreams lived on in my vivid imagination as I stared upward. The future was infinite. Maybe there was somebody out there that would actually like me for me. I’m talking of the female persuasion here.

What wasn’t infinite however was our time in that apartment. Before the three month lease was up Charles deserted Tommy and me. He found a better deal I guess. Tommy and I ended up moving into a two bedroom cabin with our friends Gary and Chris in a speed trap little speck of a town west of Tahlequah named Hulbert. It turned out to be a better deal for us too. No rent or utilities and only a minor infestation of field mice. And when I say minor I’m understating it on a grand level but it was okay considering everything else.

That part of Tahlequah we lived in is very different today. The city expanded and grew and that little area disappeared, consumed by the ever growing hunger of big business and the expanding economy of a college town. Where we spent those three short months no longer exists except in my memories. I wonder if anybody else who lived there remembers that place. Even if it is just an occasional thought every few years or so, it still counts.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

1 comment:

Teresa said...