I met my first crush working at Rax Restaurant in the early 80s. Like the other women I have fallen hard for, it never seems to happen right away. I probably worked with Caron for about year before the switch finally flipped all of the way to “She is amazing!”
Of course, even then it still took me awhile to get up the nerve to ask her out, but I did. And she said yes!!! We went on a couple dates and things seemed to be going pretty well when she told me she had also started dating another guy two weeks before we went out. And they were becoming exclusive.
Of course, I still thought she was amazing and the other guy was going away to college so we ended up becoming the best of friends, spending quite a bit of time together when she wasn’t visiting her boyfriend.
So, fast forward a year or two. Caron and I are doing as great as ever and heading out for another night of boozing and live music at Trippers Night Club in North Canton. The place was packed, loud and the pitchers were disappearing just a little too fast when she excused herself to go to the bathroom. Of course, the lines for the ladies’ room can be long so as I waited the need for a bathroom break hit me as well.
Fortunately, she had taken her purse with her so I threw my jacket over a chair hoping no one would take our table and sought relief. On my way back to the table I saw her off in a corner on a pay phone having what looked like a pretty emotional conversation, but I just kept walking.
Of course, when she returned to the table I quipped, “Did everything come out okay?” Her response was underwhelming so I smiled a bit and we returned to our beers.
The relative silence was broken by two things. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston followed by her reaching across the table to tug on my arm followed by two words.
I furrowed my brow and turned my head slightly as I looked back. She wasn’t angry or sad, but a couple tears leaked from her eyes.
To this day I don’t know exactly what she wanted me to say. And I didn’t want to say the wrong the wrong thing because this seemed pretty important to her and I was clueless.
In my wildest dreams, she was asking me to tell her I was still in love with her because she had fallen for me. But you can’t blurt that out and be wrong, can you?
Instead, I could only ask her if she was okay. There were only more tears. I barely noticed we had been holding hands across the table.
As this happened, the song hit its climax:
“And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away.”
She married that guy and last I heard they were doing great. And me? Well, still working on those affairs of the heart.