New York City, NYU campus, late January 1995 I returned to NYU's campus from a lovely winter break with my family in Chicago with renewed purpose. My first semester had been enjoyable, but I had not managed to date anyone. I came back with my eyes open, curious who I might meet and fancy.
On the first or second day of class, I saw Husband standing in a plaza, speaking to a mutual friend. I had met Husband and the other gentleman from the Political Spectrum club, a nonpartisan political discussion group, l but did not know either one well. At the end of the first semester, I had been elected as secretary of the club and Husband treasurer. I ran up to them and hugged Husband. It was nice to see him. We chatted and went our separate ways.
I saw him again at the first club meeting. His excellent points were not only intelligent, but very funny. I thought about how much he had made me laugh the first semester, too. I noticed his lovely red hair. I found the way his watch rested between his hand and his red-haired arm to be weirdly charming.
New York City, Rubin Residence Hall, February 1995
I was moving to a new room down the hallway. As I returned to my old room after hauling a load of my stuff, I saw Husband standing outside his friend's room. I grabbed him from behind in a bear hug and he offered to help me finish moving. He came into my room. Everything left was piled on my bed. I grabbed the corners of my sheet, wrapped the stuff it in, and slung it over my should like a hobo pack. "What can I carry?" Husband asked. I handed him Theo, my beloved stuff bear companion. "Please see that he gets to the new room unharmed," I told him solemnly. Husband handled Theo with respect and dignity.
A few days later, he called me. He was filling out some official forms to get funding for Political Spectrum's spring budget, and needed to know my social security number. We spoke for more than three hours. My new roommate should have punched me in the face, as she was trying to sleep and the phone was near her bed and I was an inconsiderate, oblivious asshole. She did not.
The Sunday of Presidents' Day weekend, I went to hang out with some friends who lived down the hall. I was about return to my room to do some work when one of them mentioned that Husband was coming over to load some software onto his computer. I stayed. Husband arrived with approximately 900 disks to do the task, as that was what software installation required in those unsophisticated times. Hours later, he asked me if I would like to watch the video his mother sent him, "Aladdin." I accompanied him back to his dorm. Unfortunately, he fell ill during the film. I went back to my room around 3 am. I knew what I had to do.
I waited until Tuesday and called him. "I was thinking I'd like to see a movie this weekend," I told him, "but I don't want to go alone. Would you join me?" He readily agreed.
Greenwich Village, February 23, 1995
I donned the best outfit I could put together: a black tunic with orange tapestry trim, a turquoise skirt, rainbow striped tights, and blue Doc Martens shoes. Husband met me in the lobby of his dorm. We walked to the theater together. I was not sure he knew that I meant it as a date. At the theater, Husband approached the box office. "Two for 'Pulp Fiction,' please," he said. I offered him money for my ticket, and he declined. I wondered if he treated all his friends to violent hipster films or if I was special.
Afterward, we went to Cafe Borgia. We ordered mint hot chocolates. They tasted like some dropped a Halls mint cough drop in them. We laughed. I paid. On the way home, I realized that I left my ear muffs at the cafe. "Want to go back and get them?" Husband asked. "No, it's OK. They were doodie brown and I have a spare neon yellow pair at home," I told him. He did not run away.
We stood on the corner next to my dorm and continued talking. It began to drizzle. Cabs slowed down, thinking we would get in, then honked angrily when we waved them away. An hour passed. I didn't know what to do. Should I kiss him? What if he still did not know it was a date? I said I needed to get to sleep (I had a 7 am bus to DC the next day), and he leaned in and hugged me. My heart beat faster in his embrace.
I liked this guy a lot.
Upper West Side, February 24, 2011
I like this guy a lot.