Thanks Bone for always picking such amazing words. I know it ain’t easy.
Here’s a link to a great op-ed piece by Paul Auster about being 21 in the spring of 68 and looking forward to graduating and being drafted.
It goes with the story I began several weeks ago.
Dinah lived several blocks from the beach now. When she finally had the choice she found she didn’t want to live on the bustling beach. Once a month or so she rented a hotel room that faced the ocean, and soaked in the smells and sounds of the ocean. Every six weeks she went back to New York for non stop socializing. And doctors and dentists.
Dinah didn’t want to be a New York elitist; her boyfriend was the town police lieutenant who teased her about her elitism but loved it and never tried to invade the space she made between her and the rest of the world. He compared her to a wave that looked as though it was going to break big time but came in gently. Rarely they would discuss the many nuances in that sentence. He was a cop with a Master’s in American Lit. His thesis had been on Capote. Somehow she found all that out when he spotted her comparing coffee’s in Kroger’s. He didn’t ask too many questions about the past she had come to a small Southern beach town to break from.
Dinah came from the world of live in the moment. Here she reflected on the past when walking on the beach, oiling the banister in her robin blue Charleston type house, or placing shells on one of the canvases that sold for way too much money. Honestly she had no idea what she was doing. People reflected about her work and made too much out of it. She just enjoyed placing found objects on canvass and painting over them with milk paints she mixed herself.
Today she couldn’t get into her work at all. It felt so meaningless. Jordy, husband one to three out of six had a new CD out, and she really hadn’t meant to memorize it. She remembered the most banal things about Jordy. The first time they had married had been a joke. She was eighteen and he was nineteen, in 1969. When her parents found out they insisted on an annulment. She refused not because she wanted to be married to Jordy but because she didn’t want to do what her parents thought proper.
The divorce had happened six months later, in the Dominican Republic, after she had walked into their basement apartment in a house on the Long Island Sound and found Jordy in bed with a girl she was kind of friendly with. He insisted it was meaningless. Dinah believed in few things but one of the things she truly took seriously was fidelity.
She would picture Jordy in bed with that girl over and over again. She tried to ignore him her Sophomore Year but wherever Dinah went, Jordy went. When she thought she was almost in love with Kent, the golden boy, they went to a school dance. Like all dances it had an absurd name: The End of the World.
Jordy’s group wasn’t supposed to be playing but they substituted for another popular Long Island college/bar band. Jordy sang four new songs she knew he wrote for her, and then “Dinah with the dancing eyes,” the song that was going to make him famous.
“Stop,” she thought. “I can’t love a man who writes beautiful songs about me. What else is there? What do we have in common? Why am I going to break up with Kent tonight?”
Because, just because.
Somebody took a picture of Dinah staring at Jordy and somehow he was reflected through her eyes. The picture would be on the album cover. If every picture tells a story that picture told more than either Dinah or Jordy could consciously process.
The draft had ended. Jordy had a high lottery number. Dinah wouldn’t marry Jordy again for three years, but she could drop out of college with him and go on his first tour.
The End of The World dance had been the beginning of Dinah’s real life.