To quote the old Mickey and Sylvia song, “Love is strange.” There is no ordinary on that carousel, and sometimes you need to jump off before the music ends. That’s how it was for one summer entanglement that I had in Boston.
Sally was well over six feet tall and was introduced to me by a friend. She was the first woman I had dated that I had to look up to physically. There were some early warning signs that all was not going to be pacific in the relationship. The Grey Menace, my cat, ran away and hid when she came into my studio apartment. Previously if he had not liked a woman, he’d hissed, snubbed her, or walked away. But this time, he ran under the bed.
Sally was just the sort of strong, intelligent woman I thought I liked. Discussions were deep and intensely felt. The love-making turned out to be in the same vein. When the latter happens, it sometimes, no, often leads to clouded perceptions.
Everyone comes equipped with a kit of preferences and prejudices that help to define them. We all like to believe that ours are our property solely. But as Margaret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.” I liked to believe that I was irresistibly handsome, intelligent, and a great lover. Some may or may not have been so, but it would be very egotistical of me to say that. In other words, I was a pretty average guy stuck on himself. Sally came with her batch of quirks as well. She wouldn’t go sailing in Boston Harbor with me; her pastor insisted that the sea was the home of Behemoth and Leviathan, and therefore evil. I reminded her that we all swam in the ancient sea of life’s origin based on the salinity of our blood. She insisted that when we married I would have to give up these heresies. She began to insist that I start attending church with her, and when I resisted, she tried to beat me up.
I admit to cowardice. My packed my bags, prooved this. The very next day, I took a train to Philly.
I didn’t return to Boston’s Beacon Hill for several years. Friends told me that she would show up at the Harvard Gardens, Old Testament in hand, declaring that when she found me, she was going to beat the Devil out of me.
She never found me, but one day a year later, I spotted her. The guy I assumed she had married was walking about four paces behind her long and tall shadow with his head cast down. I sighed in relief and said a brief prayer for as Psalms says, “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”

3 Replies to “Sally”

    1. This one was fiction. But fiction informed by people I knew, and experiences I had.
      I had a girlfriend who inspired my writing of Sally, but thank God I never had an actual Sally!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: