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Anslem Gentle

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Member Since: Mar, 2003

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Close, But yet……
By Anslem Gentle
Wednesday, June 25, 2003



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A chance at love, or at least a quick kiss, slips through my fingers. Again.

Close, But yet……

Donna was my high school crush, well to be honest; she was one of them anyway. I first met Donna in the tenth grade at Reid Ross H.S. I was young and she was beautiful. This distant infatuation lasted for the next two years. She wasn't the only girl I was interested in back then, but she definitely had a spot in the dream/fantasy/wish-I-had-her rotation. I seriously doubt that Donna gave me a passing thought. This didn't really bother me. I had a large rotation. Anyway, we became and stayed friends until she graduated in the spring of 83’, a year ahead of me.
I didn't really give Donna much thought after she left Reid Ross. I'm sure I was busy replenishing my rotation with other cheerleaders and the like. This was the case until my first day back at Campbell University for the start of my sophomore year. I was walking across campus that day and guess who I ran into? Naturally, the same old feelings came back again. I found out that she had just transferred from Mt. Olive College to finish her last two years at Campbell.
We talked a bit and caught up on what each of had been doing the last few years. It was then that I realized that the situation was different from what it was back in high school. When I last saw Donna, I was 16 and extremely naïve. Back then, I had a vague idea of the purpose that women served on this planet. I was now 18 and although I was far from a wise old man, I had still grown up some, and had discovered that their sole purpose was to drive me mental in the most delightful way. Foolishly, at this point in my life, I considered myself a man about campus. I was just beginning to come into my own. In short, I had game. It will come as no surprise to the reader of this story that I am still that naïve, blissfully. We were both college students now, without the confines, constraints and peer pressure of high school. In my mind, it was a level playing field and I had as good a chance as anyone, and I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away. Donna said that she was going to the Back-to-School party at Shaggers, the local bar/nightclub/dive. I said I would try to be there. In reality, I hadn’t even thought of going there that night, but now it was my mission in life.
That evening I went back to my dorm room and met my new freshman roommate, Sanders. All 6'9" of him. I immediately realized that he wasn't the brightest fellow in the world. I asked if he wanted to go party and he just looked at me and said “uh”. Anyway I was only in there long enough to take a shower and change. I had met some guys from the R.O.T.C. course and we had arranged to go to Shaggers together.
When we got there we proceeded to quench the thirst of a thousand camels. I heard the next day that the Campbell students went through 17 Kegs of beer that night. All of this from a University that didn’t allow drinking on, or off, campus. Donna was there, looking radiant as ever. My group hooked up with her group and much frolicking was done between the two. Much later that evening, I don't know how much later because I was shit-faced, Donna and I started dancing to this rather provocative song. As I think of it now, it must have been a song by Prince. His stuff always gets me into trouble. Well she was in the same shape as I was, spiritually speaking, and I guess we started getting very close. I loved every minute of it. Here I was hooking up with a girl I had coveted for years. I had found my own personal Holy Grail. The night and the dame were mine! Or so I thought. Apparently some esteemed members of the local community (townies/rednecks) didn't approve of me dancing with this blue-eyed blond. Because right about then, a friend of mine grabbed me by the shoulder, and told me that I should sit down because I was "causing the natives to get restless." I looked over my shoulder and saw that the good ol' boys had stopped playing pool and were just standing there looking at Donna and me in the most unfriendly manner. I looked my friend square in the eye and said "Fuck 'em" I had been waiting four years for this moment and I would be damned if a bunch of inbred rednecks were going to stop me. This would have been my response drunk or sober. It was then that a bunch of hands picked me up, kicking and screaming, and dragged me out of the club as I was calling out Donna’s name, and threw me in the car for the 10 mile drive home. Since I was in no state to fight with my buddies, all I could do was to bring into doubt weather their parents had been married prior to them being born. To this day, I firmly believe that they did the right thing. I only wished they had grabbed her too.
I awoke the next morning with the worst hangover of my young life. I felt as if every nerve in my body had been drinking tequila. Straight up, no lime, no salt. And when I managed to open my eyes, there stood the Jolly Black Giant, asking me if he should call a doctor. It was not the best of mornings. It would all have been worth it if something had come of Donna and me the night before. I really believe that we could have had a relationship of some kind. The chemistry was definitely there. I saw her again a few days later with her old boyfriend from high school, Walt. They had decided to get back together. Paradise lost, again. This was one of my first lessons in the fine art of negotiations with the opposite sex. I have learned many more since then, but none ring more true than the one I learned that day. "The likelihood that two people, no matter how much they are attracted to each another, will get together, has a lot to do with timing." Since that time I like to believe that the lesson has not been lost. I like to believe that I have learned to make the most of any situation, to not hold back my emotions, to be bold, to go after what I want. But in reality, I just don’t take dates to redneck bars anymore.


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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/24/2005
well done


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