Meeting the elusive Speaker–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 5

Catherine started planning a movie night, and we planned to play Dungeons and Dragons on Saturday the 11th.

Cugan called me to chat several times before then.  He had a musical phone number and a soothing, gentle, pleasant-sounding phone voice.  He said he liked playing D&D at about noon, but Catherine told him it was hard to get me up before then.  He’d been to Ireland; I was jealous.

Catherine also called me on the phone a few times.  When I told her Cugan had been to Ireland, she said, as one of the reasons I should go out with him, “He’s a world traveler.”  Then, “Just listen to how soothing his name is.”  She cooed, “COO-gan!  COOO-gan!”

At first, neither Cugan nor I said much to each other about dating, despite how pleasant and chatty our phone conversations were.  It was an unspoken understanding, and I was too nervous to bring it up.  But then Cugan said with a smile in his voice,

“Is Catherine pushing you as much as she is me?”

****

One day at lunch, Persephone and Phil sat with my friends and me.  I don’t know why Phil sat with us, since Persephone had broken up with him for good and none of the rest of us liked him.  Maybe he just wanted to stalk us.

Persephone and I sat across from each other, and somehow got on the subject of men.  I went on and on about Cugan and Stimpy, and how fun it was to date two guys at once.  We both laughed about it.

Phil said nothing at all to anyone.

Then, all of a sudden, he got up in a huff and left.  He didn’t come back.

?????!!!!!

I was both amused and mystified.

Why should Phil care who I dated?

It was five months now since he left me, and he made it clear he did not want to come back–even dating Persephone instead and telling her he loved her and wanted to marry her.

I sometimes wonder if he planned to get back together with me.  If so, this discouraged him.  But by now, I had moved on, and–with so many new prospects–no longer wanted to shackle myself to my abuser again.

****

On Tuesday, March 7, Stimpy and I went on a triple date with Krafter and Sharon, and Ish and Pearl.

This was the first time Pearl met Ish.  I think we dressed up a bit.  We went to Country Kitchen at 6pm.

We had fun, though Pearl wasn’t sure about Ish, and the guys all kept going on and on about computers.  Pearl thought Ish was too old for her (at 30).  Now, if Turtle had been in her place, you know she would have drooled all over him!  Darn statutory laws….

Soon after this, Pearl met W– online and agreed to go on a date with him.  He was between eighteen and twenty, probably more like eighteen, and a good friend of Flezter, who said, “Don’t hurt W–.”

After the date, however, Pearl came back complaining of the psychotic time she had.  I forget if W– himself was part of this, or if it was just the circumstances, but I think he was.

I don’t remember much of the details, but I do remember that near the end of the evening they stopped at his house, where he soon argued with his family over something.

That night or the next, W– said to Sharon online, “Should I talk to Pearl?  I’m afraid she thinks I’m psycho!”  I think Sharon encouraged him to.  Despite all this, W– did seem like a nice guy.

****

On or before Wednesday, March 8, Speaker ignored me whenever he came online.  I got mad at him for this.

Then in the late afternoon, just before dinnertime, he called Sharon.  We never spoke to him outside of TCB before, so this was quite an event.  Sharon wanted to give me the phone, but I grumbled,

“If he even wants to talk to me.”

He did, so I took the phone.  Speaker was surprised and, I think, amused that I was mad at him, and explained what had been going on.  (I think he was just playing around.)

He said I had “a cute Southern accent,” which surprised me because I didn’t have a Southern accent, just a mix of S– and South Bend accents.

Of course, my mom sometimes sounded Southern with her lower Michigan accent, so maybe some of that rubbed off on me.  South Bend is right next to the border, so there is a lot of intermingling, yet there is a distinct difference between the accents.  Michigan’s accent is “rougher,” more “country,” with the old folks saying “dinner” for “lunch,” “davenport” for “couch,” and “crick” instead of “creek.”

Speaker had a cute accent, himself, with a strong “o” in his “no’s,” even stronger than in the local accents.  I believe he was from M–.

I said I wanted to meet him, but he kept saying no, and “Why do you want to meet me?  You don’t want to meet me.”  He said it all playfully, making me wonder how serious he was.

I finally talked him into meeting me, so we decided on Wednesday at 6:30 in the Campus Center lounge.  We’d have dinner at Burger King, and then watch an episode of Doctor Who in my apartment.

I figured these things fit Krafter’s specifications for safely meeting a BBS user: a public place first, and my roommies would be in the apartment the whole time.  He said he’d be wearing a blue coat, not zippered; jeans; and a black shirt.  His hair was brown.

****

I went to the Campus Center lounge at that time with my Nyssa cup from Gypsy’s party, and waited for quite some time, watching the TV.  It was just me and the guy working at the information desk.

Had Speaker stood me up?  I got up to go back to the apartment and look for him on TCB.  On my way out, I saw a guy fitting his description right outside the Campus Center.  His hair was about shoulder-length and curly, and though he had unusual features, he wasn’t bad-looking.  (Don’t ask me for details 20 years later, especially with my NVLD.  But I believe his face was kind of pinched.)

He asked if I was Nyssa: To my great delight he was Speaker.  He said he was late because I thought he was from a different place, and gave him the wrong directions, so he had to stop and get new ones.  Oopsie.

We went to Burger King in S–, where we spoke of Avenger.  (The Big Flame War was just an embryo at the time.)  We returned to my apartment and watched the episode of Doctor Who, possibly “Paradise Towers.”  My roommies were there.

I gave Speaker one of my college senior pictures, which had just arrived, and said, “Have a picture of your Nyssie.”  I didn’t like the pictures, since I forgot to remove my glasses, but my friends thought they were good.  They were certainly better than the ones from junior year.

We got along well in person, and often flirted online, but he kept saying, “You’re Stimpy’s Nyssie” and acting like he didn’t want a girlfriend.

I told him Stimpy and I agreed we could date anybody we wanted, but that changed nothing: Speaker said he wanted to be single all his life, despite his complaints about no one ever wanting to date him.  He also didn’t like having to compete with other guys.

In those days my roommies and I still didn’t know why the vacuum cleaner kept spitting stuff out, so there were hairballs and dust bunnies all over the place.  Silly us, it wasn’t broken, just needed a new bag.  Argh….

Since all my life I have gone around in my stocking feet inside, I’d sit down and find blonde and brown hairballs sticking to my socks.  Speaker laughed.

****

InterVarsity had a Lock-In from 7pm on Friday the 10th to noon on the 11th.  It was supposed to be a sleepover in the Ley Chapel basement, but there weren’t enough people, so we made it a party in the apartment.  Krafter and Stimpy came.

At the time I thought I could handle dating two, three, even four people at once.  I felt no need to make a decision yet.  Other people were able to date around.  There was nothing ethically wrong with it as long as the guys knew they weren’t my one and only.

After what I’d been through with Peter, Shawn and Phil, I didn’t want to commit to one person and find out that, yet again, it was the wrong one: abusive, manipulative, deceitful, whatever.

However, I soon discovered that with Cugan I thought of Stimpy, and with Stimpy I thought of Cugan.  Then there was the other guy I wrote to….I felt pulled every which way.

Though even my mom said it was okay to date around, and even though this is the time-honored way to date, it still felt weird, like I was supposed to pick one guy to date and potentially marry.  Still, as I said, I was wary about commitment.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

 

For the first time in five years, my once-friend Richard,

I listened to a song that always reminded me of when we first decided to become friends.  It was on rock radio all the time back then, Wings of a Butterfly by HIM.  This must have been around September 2005.  I loved it and downloaded it, so I listened to it all the time while reading your posts and e-mails and researching Orthodoxy.  So it attached to you.

Because our friendship was important to me, the song became a symbol of that, and special to me as well.  But I never told you about this.

For five years, I have avoided that song like the plague.  Took it out of my playlist, skipped past it on MP3 players and CDs.  Because it made me sob.

I think today was the first time I tried to listen to it again.

And it didn’t bother me.

Heck, I listened to it twice, because I missed it so much.

Now I read that the song is about killing something beautiful and pure in order to attain something you want. 

Which is exactly what you did, murdering our beautiful friendship for whatever reason.

Ville Valo in a Kerrang magazine says that it comes from a Greek mythology that they believed that if you ripped the wings out of a butterfly then they would live forever. Would you be able to destroy something Beautiful to live forever. The first verse tells of excitement “the blood on our hands is the wine” “heaven’s ablaze in our eyes” “we offer as sacrifice”. But the second verse shows the regrets they face but they still don’t have to worry about dying, they have become immortal. But they still want forgiveness. “This endless mercy mile” “hell’s freezing over in our eyes” “gods kneel before our crimes”

A whole slew of songs used to remind me of you for various reasons, but this was the last holdout, the last one I still could not listen to.

And now my life is full of new and old friends, various church activities, and clubs.  I no longer need you to stave off the loneliness.

That’s what happens when you nearly kill a child:

That’s what happens when you treat loyal, loving friends like crap:

That’s what happens when you refuse to apologize to and make peace with those friends:

They get over you.

Good-bye.

 

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