The next morning on the drive to work, I realized I didn’t dream about Marilyn in the last little while—I fantasized about her, and daydreamed about our possible future, but that wasn’t the same as the way it had been.
I was looking forward to the morning lecture and being with her again, but the aura of mystery had abated, and much as I hated to admit it, I began to miss it.
I wondered if that was all. Would we now settle into middle class life and I become, like Abe, a chaser of skirts?
Suddenly, Marilyn’s dark eyes appeared before me, superimposed on the road, her red lips moistening. I knew in my heart, a humdrum marriage would never be my fate.
A smile curled on my lips and a thrill of joy coursed through my veins. I couldn’t wait to see her again.
The Clock Tower bell was chiming ten as I began my lecture on Class Relations During the Great Depression.
On the screen at the front of the hall, the November 1932 cover of The New Yorker was displayed, showing an well-to do gentleman and his young son, strutting, nose in air, past a gaggle of street urchins.
I began describing workers’ strikes and the wealthy classes’ reaction to New Deal legislation, when the door opened at the rear of the hall and Marilyn appeared.
She was wearing a red V-neck cardigan and a tweed, calf length, button-down wrap skirt. Her blonde hair fell slightly over her eyes. The very sight of her froze me in mid-sentence.
Thankfully, in the pause, a hand went up to ask a question, and I was able to recover my poise.
Marilyn smirked from the back row, obviously aware of my discomfort. Nevertheless, the rest of the lecture went off well, and by the time the room cleared, she was sitting patiently waiting.
“Good morning, Professor Lennox,” she said coyly.
The blood rushed to my head, as if she had said, “Happy Birthday, Mister President,” and I’m sure both greetings had the same effect.
I wanted those cold kisses—the silken touch of her skin—but feigned nonchalance.
“Are we on for lunch?”
She smiled and the room lit up.
It was hard this time walking across campus. My arm wanted to circle her waist and pull her close to me. I found it hard to look at her without feeling gravity drawing me in.
I responded to her as if she were a color—pupils dilating—everything growing brighter. I loved listening the sound of her voice and inhaling her perfume.
I scarcely know what we talked about on the way—the weather was warm—more like a summer’s day than the third week of March. By the time we settled with our soup and sandwich, I was finally less distracted and more able to carry on a conversation.
“It was really like that in the Thirties, you know,” she said thoughtfully, as if remembering, “—a lot of anger from common people and resentment over the way the rich flaunted their wealth.”
I nodded. I knew certain decades were marked by an attitude of mind that could only be acquired by living through them.
The more time I spent with Marilyn, the more I was becoming convinced that she was really from the 1930’s.
But how that was possible, I had no idea
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.