|July 14, 1989: The Big S|
Since it was late, we went right to bed. I slept on a spare mattress in Seth's room, without a sheet, using some bundled shirts as a pillow. The next morning Seth told me I'd cried out during my sleep.
After breakfast we walked around town. I hadn't realized that Durango was in the mountains, but it was, and they were beautiful. Seth told me that Durango was a strange mix of tourists, college students, and local color. "Or to put it in Midwestern terms: Chicago, Bloomington, and Martinsville."
It was good to see Seth. He was a friend from college, who had opted to spend his summer working as an intern for the National Forest Service, rather than go home to New Jersey. He was losing money, but he was gaining field experience.
He liked to call himself "The Big S," which was a joke, because he was quite short. He was also quite handsome, with dark eyes and curly black hair, but he always denied that he looked Jewish. One day a rabbi singled him out of a crowd of students on campus and exclaimed, "You're Jewish!" He slapped a yarmulke on Seth's head and thrust a scroll and a piece of fruit into his hands, then instructed Seth to tap the fruit and scroll against each other as they chanted. Seth had no idea what holiday they were observing.
Still, he claimed that he did not look Jewish. Seth was a little strange. And in spite of his good looks, his intelligence, and his (usually) amiable disposition, he had not had much romantic success. "I don't know what's wrong with me," he said. "I'm 22 years old and I'm still a virgin. It's not healthy!" He laughed at himself. "And it's just as hard to get laid out West as it is back in Indiana."
I asked him about his housemates, two of whom were female.
"Well, Bonnie and I get along pretty well, and she's good-looking in an Aryan sort of way. But all she ever talks about is her boyfriend Richard." He pronounced the name with disgust. "To me it seems like a completely parasitic relationship. But maybe that's True Love.
"As for Laurie, she's extremely quiet and aloof. Most of her time she spends reading. She doesn't seem too interested in getting to know me. Plus she's moody and kind of matronly, so I don't mind if she keeps away.
"I did meet a woman at a chatchka shop here. She started talking to me first, and so I figure what the fuck, right? Our first date went pretty well. Who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky." He sighed. "Probably not, though."
For supper we went to a local place, sort of Durango's equivalent of Bloomington's Runcible Spoon, but a little less ragged around the edges. I had a veggie reuben, a half-pint of raspberry alee, and a couple cups of French vanilla coffee (which the waitress forgot to charge me for).
And we bullshitted about what to do tomorrow.