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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SoRo Romance

We met on a Friday night in the middle of spring (we’d actually met before that and said “hello” but she doesn’t remember). It was the last day of law school exams. All over, small parties had erupted in different homes. Everyone was dealing with the sudden combination of exhaustion, relief, and elation. I was happy to be done with exams and even happier that I had three weeks of nothing to do.



Just as all roads in the ancient world led to Rome, all parties in SoRo lead to Crossroads. Crossroads is a large bar/space that serves several different purposes as the primary spot in a tiny New England town filled with liberal law students and life-long residents. It’s a dive bar with cheap beer, it’s a giant outdoor patio and horseshoe pit, it’s a back room with pool tables, and on a night when the  entire law school is hanging out and celebrating, it’s a dance hall; the whole place was thumpin’.


I arrived with about a dozen friends from an earlier house party. It was late, but not late for a Friday night. I bought a beer and worked my way through the crowd, trying to say hello to people who were graduating or heading off for the summer. After a little while, I noticed this girl on the dance floor. She had arrived earlier with friends, and was celebrating her last exam of her first year. I watched as she moved around laughing and smiling; she seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to love her. Unfortunately my friend, Chris, also spotted her and was pretty confident about his chances. So we made a bet over whether Chris would get a kiss by the end of the night. Chris figured that he wouldn't have a problem because, even though she had been dancing with some other guys, she seemed willing to dance with him and he had faith in his own persistence. Sadly (and unexpectedly) for Chris, I hadn't yet begun to talk with the cute blonde girl; it’s like making a bet on the likelihood that the Yankees will win a game, only to discover later that you’d been talking with Derek Jeter.


I began dancing, trying to surreptitiously edge my way towards my objective, who was grooving like whoa to the music. I arranged an introduction. We started to dance, and dance and dance. It got later and later: midnight and beyond. Her friends started leaving. She suggested I go with them, so we head to the big gazebo on town green. Everyone always wants to keep on spending just a little more time out in the nice early summer weather. We talked and talked discussing all sorts of things, and the night grew deeper. After a bit, it got a little cooler and we went over to her car to get her jacket. At the car, we kissed, and upon leaning against the car, released the emergency brake. The car began to roll downhill towards the green. At that exact moment, her friend wandered by, and we had to scramble to keep the car from rolling over the friend and onto the green. We kept the car (and friend) from catastrophe and I walked her back to where she was staying. I got her phone number, which I promptly lost, but saved myself by emailing her two days later.


Chris bought me a drink the next night.