Play on!

From music IS the food of love (which is Part One of this story):

She spotted him across the floor, dancing with a group of people she didn’t know, and sidled between other dancers to come right up to him. The song ended. This was their moment. They looked at each other.

The lights came on. It was midnight, time to clear out the hall. The dance had ended before the tape was finished.

part two the sequel

The boy looked straight at the girl.

“Wait here. I’m going to get the tape. We’ll have the rest of the dance somewhere else.”

He left her alone with a large group of his friends. She stood awkwardly waiting, wondering if she should try to talk to anyone, wondering how long the boy would be gone, wondering how in the world he was going to pull this off. (She found out later that the boy knew the guy running the music for the dance and simply told him, “Peter, we need the tape.”)

Mission accomplished, the boy led the group out of the dining hall and over to a nearby dorm. There was a student-run cafe in the basement which had a large lounge area that would be the perfect size… but they were having a foosball tournament and it was packed. There was another such cafe in the next dorm over… where they were having an open-mike poetry night. The group had lost people to attrition at each of those cafes, so the boy led a smaller contingent to the lounge on his own floor… right into the middle of a movie night.

Undaunted, the boy directed everyone to his own dorm room. The girl was a bit puzzled, as most dorm rooms on campus barely fit the standard two extra-long twin beds and two built-in desks. This particular door opened to a massive room: A queen-size bed. A sofa and armchair. A coffee table. A globe that lit up. Stereo components stacked on crates of records. Every square inch of walls and ceiling covered with posters. (A large storage room had been converted due to a housing shortage; halfway through the year, the boy’s roommate moved out to live with other foreign students and the boy had that huge room all to himself.)

On her way in, the girl made a point of looking at the standard RA-issued construction paper name tag on the door. The boy’s name was David.

The girl’s name, of course, was Lori.

There were only five or six people left in David’s entourage by this time, and we all filed into the room as he went to the stereo to put the tape in so we could keep dancing. Just then, someone else burst in.

“Dave! Ivan’s throwing up in the bathroom and we need you to help us get him into the shower!”

David ran out to help; we all found places in the room to sit down and wait. The others talked amongst themselves, of people I didn’t know and plans I wasn’t a part of. I sat on the sofa looking around at the walls: Tears for Fears. Humphrey Bogart. Depeche Mode. A stop sign. U2. Kirk and Spock. The Police. Disneyland. Crazy 8s. “No Parking.” Ages and ages passed, and David did not return. One by one, people started calling it a night, but I stubbornly stayed.

So did one other guy.

He saw me looking at the posters and asked me about music. It turned out we were both from Southern California, so we were familiar with the same radio stations and many of the same bands, which helped keep the conversation going. He also liked Depeche Mode, but he was not the Depeche Mode guy, so the whole time we were chatting, I kept one eye on the door.

I’d almost given up hope – we were getting into the wee hours of the morning by now – when David finally came back from having dragged his very inebriated floormate into the shower, hosed him down, cleaned him up, and gotten him safely put to bed.

Obviously, we would no longer be having a dance, since almost everyone had gone back to their rooms. I wasn’t leaving, though; I’d planned to reconnect with the Depeche Mode guy and I wasn’t letting any series of mishaps get in my way. (Or, apparently, the presence of some other guy, since he was still hanging around.)

David took up a seat on the floor by the turntable and started pulling out records, asking me if I’d heard certain songs and then putting on all the ones he raved about. (He made a point of asking me to listen to a specific New Order song, one I didn’t know; I found out later that it made him think of me.)

My hopes of getting to talk to David one-on-one were destined for disappointment, as the other guy never showed any inclination to leave. In fact, he was the one who proposed going to Bannings (a 24-hour diner and self-proclaimed “Pie House”) to get some dessert. He had a car, so the three of us piled into his 4-Runner, with David in the passenger seat and me in the back. We ate pie. We stayed up all night. It was our first date: David, Lori, and the other guy.

And so it began…

“Oh, you’ve got green eyes / oh, you’ve got blue eyes / oh, you’ve got gray eyes / And I’ve never met anyone quite like you before.”

– New Order, Temptation

Did you miss Part One? Click here.

2 thoughts on “Play on!

  1. You can never have too much New Order, right, RJ?

    I actually wrote a lot more “epilogue,” but David thought it was too long-winded. Perhaps in May – which will be 30 years from when this takes place – I will post more.


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