Much of 1991 had slipped past and we were well into August when I finally found an opportunity to move into town. I was overjoyed to say good-bye to the Hansen's and hopeful that town might offer some solutions to the troubles I was having.
One of the men I'd dated had introduced me to Terri, who was on the lookout for a room-mate. In his defense, he'd hinted that Terri was a bit of a loose cannon, but once again, I was desperate and I didn't much care if there was a place in town to live.
On a Saturday, I moved in, hauling black plastic trash bags filled with clothing and a mattress someone had generously donated to my cause into Terri's place. That was pretty much it. I had nothing to call my own but those few items and some kitchen goods. A crock pot, some cheap cookware and a carton of cigarettes.
In the beginning, Terri and I seemed to get along well enough. She was honest in her assessment of herself. She told me that she sometimes got a little crazy with anger. She told me she didn't trust anyone after the things she'd been through. She didn't particularly want a friend, just someone who'd help pay the rent and keep a reasonably tidy house.
We spent a little time swapping stories, but for the most part, kept to ourselves. Within a week of moving in, it was already time to pack up again as her lease was up and she'd found an apartment she liked better. I agreed, so together we moved into a two story older apartment complex on Prince Road. Our new place was quite spacious, which made it seem that much emptier given our lack of furniture.
I'd brought my cats, Checkers and Sapphire Blue with me and the four of us seemed to get along pretty well. I quickly found a new job waiting tables at Coco's restaurant and began to feel like I was making progress.
Terri and I would smoke and talk in the evenings when we weren't working. We had no TV so there wasn't much else to do. It seemed like it was working out all right.
I'd been dating a guy I had met at the call center off and on. Cole was very different from me in that he was attending college, part of a business fraternity and seemed to be pursuing his goals with a decent measure of focus. Still, we'd been friendly and had dated casually for a while. At this point, the dating had ceased but he'd sometimes invite me to join he and his group of friends to go dancing at the Wildcat House.
Given my emotional state, it's safe to say that each time he extended an invitation, I got my hopes up that he might be interested again. One night, October 8th, 1991 to be exact, Cole invited me to join the dancing and so I'd gotten a ride with him to the Cat House. We pulled up and were outside chatting with Cole's buddies when 'HE' pulled up, motorcycle humming.
Cole and company instantly lost attention as the new addition zoomed onto the scene. Though Cole was super into his hot, yellow motorcycle, I'd failed to notice much about it, or how he looked on it, or to be honest, any other guys on motorcycles. But this new fellow's bulging biceps and trim figure yanked my full attention. Hmm, no that's not strong enough, he caught the attention of every fiber of my being. It was as though every single neuron I had zeroed in on Mr. Teal Motorcycle guy!
Mr. Teal pulled off his helmet and revealed a chiseled jaw, blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. All 6 feet 2 inches of him stepped confidently off his speed machine and I lost all ability to focus on anything else. Butterflies were having their way in my stomach, it was a veritable 'Marioposada'!! I'm sure we were introduced properly, but I couldn't tell you anything much about it. All I can say is that I was very impressed.
I remember following Mr. Teal and the others inside and thinking 'this guy will never talk to me'. He looked to me like a frat boy and I knew who I was. I wasn't in his league. He was definitely too cool for the likes of me. Everyone seemed to know Mr. Teal and he seemed to get along well with the gangl. I, on the other hand, felt decidedly on the outside of the crowd.
Inside, where it was darker, I watched him, waiting for an opportunity to make a connection. He appeared to be single, at least for the moment, though Laura, one of Cole's friends did appear to be interested in him. The night wore on, we danced a little, chatted a little and smoked a lot. I kept waiting for Mr. Teal to invite me to dance, but to no avail.
Finally, around 10:00 PM, we were out there on the dance floor, initially in a group but after a while, it seemed we were dancing together. 'Now we're getting somewhere' I thought. I was pulling out all my best moves and so was Mr. Teal and I was thinking we might actually be impressing each other a bit. Suddenly, Cole came on the floor and barked that he needed to leave and I needed to go with him. He seemed irritated.
I don't recall what I said, but whatever it was, I intended it to hint to Mr. Teal that he could give me a ride home. Sadly, Mr. Teal didn't take my bait and so I sulked off the dance floor with Cole and we rode home in silence.
I was half-way to love already. Not that I'd actually talked to Mr. Teal enough to know anything about him. But I'd seen him, he was pleasant and that was enough for me. I wanted to know more.
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