A while back, I drove up to Davis with Daniel, who would end his life shortly after our trip. He was my friend, and sometimes I still talk to him, because I am frightened not to. Ghosts do not like to feel lonely. They can’t tolerate it the way most of the living have to. Other times, I talk to him to ask if it is in him to keep suicide away from me, like it’s a disease you can bargain with. If you think about it, that’s exactly what it is.
Shannon went with us. Just like that, with a sense of entitlement and a packed bag, she got in the car.
After Dan committed suicide, I blamed her. It was convenient, and to a small degree, the truth.
While in Davis, we stayed at one of the University’s dormitories. On our first night, I met a man whose name I can’t remember. I felt an immediate attraction to him. He was significantly older than me, the way anyone not born on one’s birth year seems when in adolescence, but he couldn’t have been more that twenty-two. The years that separated us allowed him to have experiences I only dreamed of, blushing at thoughts reserved as actions for the brave. And that, that was enough for me to fall for him. He had experienced what I wanted. Sex.
He stood in the doorway of a woman’s room, when I first saw him. Their flirtatious exchanges bothered me. Not one to take an imagined rejection well, I approached him, whispering in his ear that he could have me. Governed by his arousal, he stepped away from the woman and led me to a small library on the first floor. It was dark, but not cold. No one could be heard, and it seemed we had the entire floor to ourselves. He was eager to collect on my promise and without preambles, he pulled me to the ground, not carelessly, but without grace or romance. Just a cold detachment, and a need for sexual gratification. Unfortunately for him, and just the opposite for me, my body would reject him entirely.
Try as we did, I was tightly wound, and glad for my body’s innate intelligence, because the more I looked at him, the less I liked him. I wanted to stand up and walk away, but could not think of a way of doing it politely. The last thing I wanted to do was offend a college-educated man. The reputation I was building could not survive such a blow. An intelligent man’s darling, I would cease to be. So, I took it lying down as he went below. On his knees, head down, looking to please a woman who can only please herself. And if I thought the night would never end, God showed he is kind, while proving he is always one to show up during any and all sexual activities. Shannon and Dan burst through the doors in a golf cart. Deus Ex Yamaha. Fast like a lightning bolt, I put on my pants and ran out, never to see that man’s face again.
That moment is gone. It is a memory that will further itself from the reality it once was, with each recollection. Gone and away, like Daniel and the time he spent in my room, discussing his suicide plan. He would not fail again, as he had on previous occasions, and he was right. We all succeed at something.