That night, I went to my room and cried myself to sleep.
With colleges now starting before Labor Day, I’m fascinated to note that I didn’t begin my college career until September 12, 1971. As noted, I was attending the State University College at New Paltz only before my high school girlfriend was attending there. And well before I got there, but too late to apply anywhere else, she had dumped me for another guy.
She apologized but said she had started seeing someone else, so she had to break up with me.
Here’s a new thing I’m doing on this blog: a periodic recollection of my freshman year, into the beginning of my sophomore year, of college. These were significant events that had medium-to-long-term consequences in my life. If I had the discipline, it’d be an essay, or one way-too-long blogpost.
I won’t be writing them even every month, but in September of this year, then in February, May, June, August and October of next year; maybe a couple other times. I’ll probably link back to the previous episodes, but I’m not going to write the whole thing then chop it up. But the background from the previous segments should inform the subsequent pieces, if I do it write, or right.
I went to college where I did because my girlfriend was already there. But that didn’t exactly work out as I planned.
In the fall of 1970, I was in the second half of my senior year at Binghamton (NY) Central High School, and I would be graduating in January 1971. Meanwhile, my girlfriend, who was six months older than I, was a freshman at the State University of New York at New Paltz, about 150 miles away, in a small town along the Hudson River about halfway between New York City and Albany.
At some point, around 2:30-2:45 a.m. on what was by then her actual natal day, everyone had left the office except Lynn (who fell asleep on some furniture), a Vietnam vet who was in love with Lynn and kept staring at her, and me who kept watching him.
When I was in college, I was co-editor of a thrice-weekly newsletter, inexplicably called the Wind Sun News, sponsored by the Student Government. They instituted this publication in no small measure because the editors of The Oracle, the student newspaper, decided that political issues such American involvement in overthrowing Chile’s Allende in favor of Pinochet was more important to cover than the prosaic issue of college politics.
I had a very good friend then, who I’ll call Lynn, mostly because it was her name. She had been kvetching about turning 20. It was a Wind Sun News night, when a bunch of us would work from 8 or 9 p.m. until around 2 a.m., and occasionally later. Normally, Lynn would be there, but her friend Pam convinced her to go out to dinner with her because she “needed” to talk to Lynn about her relationship with her boyfriend. It was an effective ruse because Pam apparently DID talk to her about the beau.