When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. Now, some almost 3 years later, that has not changed. Within a few months, I will close in on 1000 posts. I believe some of them have actually been read. I have revealed things about myself that my mother never knew (though I am sure she suspected). I tried not to commit libel. But, looking back, I find there has been much melancholy to my posting. Though there is much I laugh about in my past, most of it is viewed by me in a wistful manner. Do I rue the things I have done in the past? Possibly.
I should talk about Darlene. I met her through another girl whom I met through a woman my brother knew.
My brother had been roaming about while I had been going through boot camp and some schools in the Navy. After I got stationed on the Brinkley Bass and had returned from my first WesPac cruise, I got in touch with a woman he knew (whose name escapes me) who lived in the San Pedro area. She introduced me to Disneyland and to Elsie. Yes, Elsie. An unusual name and an unusual girl. Too young, though; only 16. But quite beautiful. This was not all that unusual in California, especially in and around Los Angeles.
We dated a couple of times but didn't hit it off well enough. I was a little apprehensive around her, she was (as they say) "jailbait" for a 20 year old. Instead, she introduced me to Darlene who lived across the street from her. Darlene was not as pretty and not all that unusual. Which made her stand out. But she was "legal" and that certainly helped me relax.
A mousey blonde (almost brown) who stood 5'1" and weighed maybe 98 lbs, she was not impressive. But she was smart and good and kind. She had passion, too. About life, about love, about music.
She was attending a community college when we met and eventually went on to Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo. And, I hope, a happy and fruitful life.
I did my best to corrupt her, morally and otherwise, because that is what I was at that time in my life. She did her best to resist but probably didn't stand a chance. I don't think I had a lasting effect, though.
She was originally from Minnesota (not sure exactly where) and, I learned later, adopted. This had shaped her life, as I am sure it would have done to me.
We liked the same music, though she leaned more heavily on the light ballads of Simon and Garfunkel and Chad and Jeremy, while I leaned toward the Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, and Country Joe McDonald. And the Doors. The darker side of music in those days.
If I could sum up the relationship, it would be this song:
Simon and Garfunkel - The Dangling Conversation
It seemed an appropriate vision of our future.
I treated her badly. And I tried not to lead her on but it was almost impossible not to. I would say she led herself on. Her mother once told me she thought Darlene was in love. She didn't say with whom but it was pretty obvious.
We saw each other for about a year and a half. We shared dreams and passions, we groped and stumbled through the emotional entanglements of youthful relationships. I broke her heart one time too many one late afternoon in Long Beach when she showed up at my apartment after I had taken some LSD and was drinking (Ouzo... good stuff) with my roommate in preparation for a Led Zeppelin concert that evening and I never saw her again.
I suppose there is always someone in everyone's life that we wonder about, a past love we lose track of but always wonder about.
Darlene is mine.
I hope you look back on our time, Darlene, and think of me kindly. Or at least not so badly as I do.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago