Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Looking back on that first night, I have no rational explanation why Lynne fell in love with me so quickly and completely. I was an eighteen-year-old focused on work, friends, and competing on the world stage in a silly little game called foosball. Really no different from any other kid, then or now.
Maybe reasons don’t matter though. This is a story of two hearts. Whether we were in the same room or a thousand miles away from each other, like a spell of weaving, the magic of love was doing its irresistible best to bind our hearts together.
It was only a few days after that fateful first night. Lynne phoned to offer me a plane ticket to Chicago. She had gift money from her family and wanted me to be at her pre-graduation party. We had been talking every day and were hot to see each other again. I didn’t hesitate.
I don’t know how she managed it, but her big house was empty when we arrived from the airport that Friday night. We made love for the first time. Our hearts were so ready, our bodies so instantly tuned to each other, we loved more like we were already one than two, our ecstasies intertwining in a soul-shared harmony.
I don't need or want to go "X-rated" here. Anyone who has been in love will know what I mean. It extraordinarily intense, almost beyond intimate. She cried afterwards. I held her close and whispered comfort in her ear.
Later that evening, her parents came home and the rest of the weekend was filled with her family and her party. Mom and dad were very, very kind, considering. They made me feel welcome and I slept on the couch downstairs by the fireplace.
Lynne was evidently a very popular girl. There were over 300 kids at her party. I do believe she introduced me to every one of them. My flight back to Dallas came way too soon.
Early that summer, I drove my van up to Chicago to see Lynne again.
Her parents were already at their lake house when I arrived, so we made sweet love in her canopy bed. We couldn’t get enough of each other that night. Every memory is of ecstasies intermingling and joy uncontained.
Saturday morning, we drove out to the lake house in my van. We had a great time swimming and going for rides in her father's boat. When we headed back to Chicago that next evening, Lynne rode with me. It was a two-hour trip. I remember she couldn’t stay in her seat. She kept moving over to sit on the carpeted floor and wrap her arms around my waist.
We talked while I drove. We weren't saying anything in particular, but about an hour into the trip my heart took a giant leap in my chest. I finally and overwhelmingly understood, I was as much in love with Lynne as she was with me. I told her how I felt while still driving down the highway at 65 miles per hour. In retrospect, I can see how stupid that was.
In that moment, rational thought had taken wing right out the window of my van. Lynne was my whole world and she wanted to make love. I pulled over into the emergency stop lane on the right side of the highway without a second thought. We shed our clothes and were immediately consumed by the heat of passion on the shag floor of my vehicle.
We were deep into making love, when some sixth sense suddenly rang alarm bells in my head. I looked up and saw flashing red and blue lights reflecting in my rear view mirror.
I jumped up and quickly pulled on my jeans. The reflection of a police officer appeared in my big passenger mirror, heading toward the van. I climbed onto the seat and rolled down the window.
He shone his flashlight in my face and wanted to know what was going on.
I am sure my response was pretty incoherent. I believe, I said something about a declaration of love. He requested my driver’s license. I pressed the lock on the glove box to get my wallet and a bag of marijuana fell out onto the opening lid. The beam from his flashlight glinted off the golden buds.
I stared in horror. When no immediate, “Get out of the vehicle and put your hands over your head” was forthcoming, I turned to look at the officer. His flashlight was shining directly on the pot, but his eyes were firmly fixed on the back of the van.
I turned my head a bit further and could see Lynne out of the corner of my eye. She was on her feet, bent over, struggling into her own jeans. Her long blonde hair falling over her shoulders partially obscuring her breasts, which were swinging back and forth enticingly as she tried to get into her clothes in too frantic haste. Even that small glimpse momentarily hypnotized me. I do believe that police officer was completely spellbound.
I recovered quickly, quietly reached out, slid the baggie off the glove box door, and shoved it between my legs. Then, I pulled my wallet out and handed my driver's license to the policeman. He politely asked me to wait while he took my license back to his patrol car.
I stashed the pot further under the seat and threw on my shirt. By the time he got back, Lynne was fully dressed and seated on the driver’s side, looking beautifully flushed and a little afraid.
The policeman handed me back my license and told me it was illegal to park on the side of the highway. He also let me know we were in luck, he had just gotten an emergency call. He returned to his cruiser and took off, sirens wailing. We finished the drive back talking in awed tones about what had just happened. Our shared feeling was that God must be personally looking out for us.
Today, I would add something about "Lovers and fools". As I recall and recount this, it still seems pretty unbelievable to me, but cross my heart, it all happened exactly as I described.
I went up to Chicago four more times that same year. Twenty-two hours straight up. Catch a few hours sleep in the back of the van so I’d arrive refreshed. Spend the last leg of the trip in a state of high anticipation.
That is, except for the trip up at Christmas, when the last three hours turned into six, as I battled a storm dumping feet of snow in my path. I kept the van at a steady thirty miles an hour and corrected right every time the back wheels drifted. Even that major storm seemed nothing more than a minor obstacle to the longing in my heart.
That Christmas trip contains many other still powerful memories for me:
The wind chill was sixty below, the night Lynne took me downtown to see the little mechanical elves enacting Christmas passages in the Macy's and Gimbels storefronts. Even dressed in five layers of clothing, I was far, far colder than I’d ever been in my life. It didn’t matter. I reveled in her joy and wonder, as she pulled me from one Christmas scene to the next.
We were sitting cross-legged, facing each other, almost nose to nose on her back porch, watching the snow fall and drinking wine when, as though we were speaking with one mind, we began finishing sentences for each other. When we realized what we were doing, wonder overtook us and the magic of the moment bound our heartstrings ever tighter.
Her family treated me like I was already a member. Her father even took me to an off-off Broadway show. I still have dreams where I am in her neighborhood, or in her home visiting with one member of her family or another. Snow is thick on the ground and Lynne is always, always about to arrive.
My sixth trip to Chicago that year was in the spring. We loaded up my van and I brought Lynne back to Texas to live with me.
End of Part II