Meeting Mrs P.
by, 06-21-2012 at 12:59 PM (465 Views)
We are all victims and beneficiaries of fate. Life is a tapestry of if onlys and thank goodnesses, a maze of crossroads and possibilities stretching and widening away back from the point we occupy now. When I look over the chances and co-incidences that have brought me to where I am, the best and most shining example of happy fate was meeting and pursuing unto marriage the young girl who became Mrs P. Everything good in my life now, seems to stem from that.
I was part of a 2 man raiding party on the Girls dormitory block at Agricultural College. The year was 1979, we were away from home and were drunk on cheap beer and freedom. We had gained the first landing in the face of fierce resistance from Kate, Rachel, the two Janes and Peggy, who were throwing jugs of cold water down the stair well. (Where are they now?) A door opened at the end of the passage and she stepped out of her room.
So often do I think of that moment, that I no longer trust my own memory of it. Perhaps truth has been tided up by a desire for narrative, emphasizing some parts and disregarding others, it has caused time to stop and stilled the shrieks and screams that must have been going on all around. I remember staring at her as I stare at her now in my mind's eye. Her slim figure is framed by the narrow corridor, she stands under a light, her hair is shining like a golden halo. She has on a long skirt and polo neck sweater, old-fashioned but good quality. She is pristine and perfect, she is smiling. That's the tableau I remember. I like to think that I also saw the need in her, she was new, she wanted to join in, to be part of the gang, she wanted me to throw that cup of water over her.
That water was intended for Kate. Up until that moment all my attention and lust had been focused on her. The raid was part of an ongoing flirtation we were carrying on. I may have had all the romantic nous and emotional sensitivity of a Walrus, but earlier that evening she,d tipped a packet of peanuts into my beer – so I knew I was in with a chance. The water was meant for her.
So there I was at what turned out to be the crossroad moment in my life. Did I pause to choose who to bestow my liquid favour upon – the vibrant earthly Kate or this ethereal cool beauty in front of me? When I looked into her eyes did I see the promise of a life together, the years stretching away into the future, did I see weddings, kids, Grand kids, shopping trips to Ikea?
She looked at me. I looked at her...