I am going to be working on my book intensively from now through the new year. Might add posts to Courting that are really blog entries and not book material. Will try to comment as often as I can.
If you’re here from Michele’s welcome! Thanks for stopping by and this post is a bit long even for me, but it’s worth it.
Ever since my parents had discovered that I hadn’t actually graduated from college as I hadn’t applied, our relationship had been frostier than usual. I had an advisor, took all the classes and did an internship; I had even excelled in school for the first time since elementary school.
At first I had assumed that I wouldn’t be accepted as I had done miserably at my first college, and never completed a semester during the year I went to NYU. It was easier to hide from the admissions office and myself, and go to school non-matric. In 1970’s Boston people could do things like that.
I had completed all the course work, and Boston in 1975 was a city undergoing major racial problems, and really it wasn’t home. Two years earlier, at 22, I had visited my sister, Elka for the weekend. at her shared-for-the-summer, Cambridge triple decker, met the people in the duplex on the other side, moved in with them, began waitressing at a diner Elka worked at, and accidentally moved there.
Cambridge no longer felt exciting to me, and I found the Boston school desegregation to be profoundly depressing.
I needed to be back in New York with my friends from my first college. I needed the New York sarcasm and sensibility, even if my parents lived on Long Island, and officially I was living in their house. Hell I even missed Waldbaums, in the strip mall near the development, where my mother had taught me to pick out fresh fruit years before, as I hadn’t lived there since high school.
It hadn’t been difficult for my father to find out that I hadn’t graduated from school. Though I had been living a lie for two years I wasn’t very good at important lies; and my parents had always been able to see through me. Sometimes it felt as if my body was transparent to them; they always say through the part of my brain that wasn’t covered in moss muck.
My father, Max Savage, CPA, investor, store owner, high stakes poker player, and professional father had arranged for me to be matriculated, after the fact, and get my diploma the following spring. It helped that the professors in the department had liked me; I had even been accepted to the grad school in Urban Studies and would be given nine of my undergrad credits. Max had arranged the acceptance and begged me to go..
As all my friends had left Cambridge which had become filled with hippies who were at least six years behind the times, Boston was plain unacceptable, and most of my friends were in New York having a great time, I refused Maxâ€™s offer to pay for both school and living expenses.
When I had been living in Cambridge then Boston, he had paid for school; I paid for everything else. Since I still had the money from my very short marriage which basically consisted of the wedding, worked, and paid little in rent, it had been almost affordable.
Courting Destiny Pia Savage
My best girlfriend from my first college, Shelby, had been a waitress at Max’s, and was now an assistant art director at a large publishing house. She quickly found me a job at Wondrous Wearable Art where her boyfriend, David was the sales director.
Wondrous Wearable made airbrushed and sequined tee and sweat shirts of the great divas of the day including Barbara, Liza and Diana. The cotton was good but the fit was loose. I neither took nor owned one as I couldn’t understand why any straight woman would want to wear a gay icon on their chest, but as quickly as we could make them they flew out the door and into New York’s better boutiques.
For somebody who had been living a lie for two years I was amazingly honest. The one and only thing I had ever stolen were books in Junior High. My mom had soon discovered that and her disappointment in me had been punishment enough.
Wondrous Wearable wasn’t exactly a career move. Minimum wage was two dollars an hour; most of my friends made a dollar or two an hour over minimum wage in assistant management positions, where they were learning careers, at reputable publishing houses, department stores and movie studios. I made $250 a week; off the books which made my father even more angry.
As Assistant to the President, Neil, most of my job consisted of answering the phone and telling people that Neil was in a meeting, out to lunch or a variety of other stories. In reality he was in his office shooting heroin and having sex with a wide variety of classless girls who were my age or younger and already needed extensive dental work.
There was nothing charming about Neil. His long hair was greasy and stringy; his face was pockmarked and if I had met him on the street I would have considered him a bum who could easily try to pick pocket me. At my first college I had known people who died from heroin overdoses. I thought heroin was a stupid loser drug.
I spent most of my day with the art director, Phil, who drank brandy, smoked joints and bad mouthed Neil. The smell of the brandy would make me want to puke but I would smoke with him. Phil and David made sure that the company ran; I made sure that people thought Neil was really running it.
My job wasn’t demanding but I was scared to look for a real one. I was afraid that any real interviewer would look at me and see that I was a fraud. How was I supposed to explain why I didnâ€™t yet have a college degree?
I couldn’t even work a mimeograph machine, answer a switchboard, or type on an electric typewriter without making a mistake a word. I wasn’t fat, but I had breasts and hips when my girlfriends were lacking in the breast/hip department, and had long legs that went on forever. I wanted their bodies. They wanted my nose
The one thing that was perfect about me was my nose. Having grown up in a Jewish/some Italian world, this failed to impress me. My face was supposed to be angelic; I wanted character. My eyes were deep set and changed color with my mood
and or clothes. My cheekbones could be Slavic or Irish. I knew that men found me to be appealing but I couldn’t understand why.
Shelby was one of my ideal beauties. Shelby had perfect round check bones, huge eyes and a generous mouth. She had a Dr. Rose nose job, the previous spring; though I thought she had been even more beautiful before it.
In our Junior year of high school half the girls in my class had Dr Rose nose jobs. They had gone in with pictures of my nose and ended with slightly too short nose bones with perky tipped nostrils that flared upward. I could always tell a Dr. Rose nose as they looked nothing like a natural nose.
I almost never snorted coke as I didn’t want anything ruining the one perfect thing about me. Shelby wasn’t really into David; she was a girl who always needed a boyfriend, and had been slightly jealous of me since my on again off again college boyfriend had insisted that we get married shortly after I had arrived home from traveling in Europe with people I met on the plan and a six month stay in Israel, in what should have been my Junior Senior years at school.
There was one problem. We didn’t marry each other; we married our idealized person. Wasn’t either of our faults. It’s easy to be in love with a dream but not easy to be married to it/