Fraternity weekend was in the spring of ’66 the only formal event of the year. The brothers wore ties and the girls wore some kind of evening dress. A dinner party was held in Saratoga Spa at a restaurant with a full size swimming pool surrounded by an attractive terrace to attract summer tourists.
It was getting dark when I saw Sally eyeing the pool through the glass wall that separated the people eating from the pool. “I need to sober up I’m drunk,” she said. “Please don’t strip naked,” I said. Nothing was out of the question with her. “I’m thinking more of a swan dive from the 10 meter board.”
As usual, I couldn’t say no to friends and became entangled in her madness. I would follow people to the doors of hell to be in their lives. “After I dive, you have to follow me,” she said. It was more of a dare than an order but I agreed confident she would not be that stupid. Everyone stared in awe at her perfect swan dive. Her long hair trailed like blond streamers and her formal dress caught the wind making the plunge into the pool look surreal.
“OK, your turn,” she said as she shaking the water from her hair. I looked and felt like an idiot as I climbed to the ten meter board. I dove in with my madras sport coat, white shirt and pants. As I climbed the ladder out of the pool the colors from my madras coat created an abstract stain on my white shirt. The jacket bled out in tears of color everywhere.
At that time of my life, my behavior was erratic and I usually didn’t care what people thought because life was all about me. I was too drunk to feel humiliated but as the owner of the restaurant came running at us I felt out of control and full of shame. At my age I was running to dodge the consequences of acting like a stupid kid. I was following Sally as she ran to the car, swerving for what looked like a short cut but I ran into a metal fence post. Bloody and drunk I got to the car with the keys.
Sitting in the car soaking wet, we decided driving back to the frat house was too far. The last thing I wanted to see was Mom and Dad but my home was only a 30 minute drive, so we headed to see Mom and Dad. Once we were off the turnpike we looked for a spot to park on an access road. It was pitch dark and tough to find an area big enough for a car. I saw what looked like a grassy spot and cautiously pulled over and parked.
We completely undressed and hung our clothes all over the car to dry. I passed out in the front seat, while Sally curled up in the back. Early the next morning I heard a tapping sound on the windshield, so I forced open my bloodshot eyes to peek at the noise. “Can we play through?” I heard someone ask.
Next: Where are the keys? What the hell is going on? Driving down the highway naked with no place to go.
The articles published here by babyboomers.com are small excerpts of a
268 page manuscript titled “The Courage to Surrender” that I would
like published. Call 678.361.4709 for information on the manuscript.