The last two weeks went by quickly. At work it seemed like they were trying to get everything they could out of us before we went back to college. Most nights after work I was exhausted. Plus, it was tough getting together with Jackie as she was working nights most of that time. We didn't get to have that great "good-bye" scene but it didn't matter much since both of us knew I would hitchhike back north to see her in a month. Moving back to school was mainly a matter of getting a half ton of vinyl LP's, giant speakers, a receiver, tape deck, and turntable into the back of the Olds. Throw in a duffel bag full of jeans, t-shirts, Chuck Taylors (black low cut, natch) underwear, toiletries. A footlocker of stuff. Don't forget one of those coil things that you put into a mug of water to heat it up for soup mix. The priorities were right-- tunes always came first. Dear ol' mom rode along to drive the car back home. Once she left it was time to explore the new digs.
I was on another part of campus for my sophomore year. There were about a dozen new 4 story buildings down by the river and they were the first suite-type dorms on campus. And... they were the first co-ed dorms. I had a single room in a suite that had two corridors off a living room. I shared a bathroom with 5 other guys in my hall-- there were 12 of us total in the suite and there, right on the other side of our floor, just past the elevators, were 12 girls, er, college women. Of course this meant little to me as I had all the woman I needed just 210.6 miles to the north. I was so committed that when I saw that little single room I didn't think, "Cool. A nice private room in which to have wild sexual activities with co-eds!" No. I thought, "Cool. I don't have to share a room with a dipstick like Petey this year. That means private jerking-off at least twice a day. I wonder if I packed enough Kleenex?"
As it turned out my freshman roommate Petey was actually a suite-mate, but he lived down the other corridor. That was cool, somebody around that I already knew, but not right next door. Our Resident Assistant was Jill and she lived on the women's side (duh!) of our floor. I knew this because she had posted notices calling for a floor meeting for 8PM. I spent the afternoon and evening helping other guys move in and setting up my room. Stereo stuff took up half the closet, clothes took up another quarter of it. The posters went up on the walls: Van Gogh "Starry Night" print, Picasso's line drawing of a woman's ass (at least I hoped it was a woman!), a blown-up B&W photo of Hendrix in concert. My footlocker, emptied of towels and sheets and now covered with a small oriental carpet, doubled as a groovitational cocktail table. There, all set for a year of matriculation.
Around 7:45 I went out to the living room and most of the guys were already out there meeting each other. Anticipation caused a group decision to be punctual for the meeting. We didn't care too much about the meeting, but most of us were interested in assessing the talent on our floor. As we were exiting our suite there was Jill coming over to get us. My preconceived notions of a female RA being a prison matron narc went out the window. Jill was lovely, with very long, straight, black hair, a great tan, and a friendly, wide smile. We gladly followed her over to the women's suite where there were 12 girls who, no doubt, were waiting to see how intelligent we seemed. After all, that's what women care about: smarts-- not looks. I was the last guy through the door and there was already general cacophony and mayhem. As my eyes scanned the room I saw one young lady looking directly at me. As soon as our eyes met she jumped up and ran across the room and shouted, "Wil!" as she threw her arms around me. It was Diana. You remember Diana I'm sure. (Arrogant jerk! Like we've read all of this stuff from the very beginning! Some people work for a living, clown!-Ed.) OK. So maybe you don't know Diana. She's the attractive redhead who flirted shamelessly with me in Molly's very own dorm room. I believe her words were: "If you ever get tired of Little Miss No Tits, let me know." "Believe" nothing, that was exactly what she had said.
Diana dragged me across the room to sit next to her on the couch. Jill "Wow-she's-really-pretty-I-can't-believe-she's-our-RA" Thompson went through all of her agenda items... fire drills...dining hall...drugs...alcohol...overnight guests...etc. When she was done and the subsequent questions were over Diana grabbed my arm and said, "Wilson, I can't believe we're on the same floor. This is so great. A bunch of us are going uptown drinking and you have to come." A beer sounded pretty good and getting a beer with a half dozen girls along sounded even better. As it turned out about a dozen of us from the floor ended up hiking uptown. We ended up at The Union, not the student union, a bar called The Union that had the best jukebox in town. Lots of good Stax/Atlantic stuff along with the better rock singles. Everybody was excited to be back at school and it was loud and wild at the bar. Diana was talking to me all night but I couldn't hear half of it over the din. I did notice that she seemed to stroke her longneck beer bottle a lot, and she used just a little more lip and tongue than needed as she was drinking from it. Maybe it was just my imagination. The truth was that the entire time I kept thinking how much fun it would be if Jackie was at The Union.