|Endless possiblities exist for the weather in Texas. However, Houston is usually muggy, hot, and likely to drop a quick and unexpected "Texas shower," especially in the summer.
They say, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute and it'll change."
I didn't carry my umbrella unless I was sure rain would fall. I don't like umbrellas. My particular unbrella, I loathed..
You can only cause a scene with a giant yellow umbrella. Opening it, closing it, trying to maneuver in any coordinated manner and to still maintain one's dignity--I found just about impossible. I had the type and sized umbrella that golfers use, the extra large variety. I even hate the concept of umbrellas, but rather than get soaked during the 15 minute walk into class, I carried the damn thing, sometime.
Weighing the risk reward in my attitude about umbrellas, I decidedit was better to look like a half-dry walking weirdo with a yellow tent on her head than to be sitting, totally drenched, and still dripping, from a good healthy unexpected downpour. Classrooms are always so cold on rainy days, plus you can't take notes on paper when you're wet. My giant yellow umbrella was better than trying to pay attention in class, rainsoaked and freezing. Like I said, I used the umbrella only when its use was to be immediately necessary
It was raining when I began the walk in to campus for my American History class that Tuesday afternoon. I became entranced in the discussion about politics and the life of which ever President we were currently reading on. After such serious focused brain activity, when class was over, I did what I always did. I gather my purse, book, and notebook and started the long walk to where my car was parked on a distant lot.
My brain patterns associated with remembering the yellow umbrella disappeared because the sun was shining when class let out. I didn't realize I'd left my funky, but very functional yellow unbrella next to the chair I had been sitting in during class. It was the only umbrella left in the household, due to several of my previous brain connections that didn't happen.
You have to remember lots of stuff in college. So, basically, I was an empty head and forgot my umbrella after class. Everybody occassionally has a forgetful moment. When we're not thinking about it, I believe God steps in and leads us on our best paths. The way things worked out, I can;t believe fate could work any other way
I had no sentimental attachment for the damn circus-sized umbrella, but I needed something to keep the rain off me in the future. Either I had to buy a new umbrella, or get to campus EARLY the next morning and try to retrieve my yellow umbrella. I don't do things early. Some of us just aren't morning people. My peak productivity is much later in the day.
I attended the University of Houston as an off campus student. I lived at my mother's house, and communted in my Dad's 1963 blue push button Dodge Polara. Daddy had died one month before.
When parents die, life changes. The rug of life comfort was pulled out from under my feet, and I was still going through the emotional grieving process, but somewhat detached from it. Loss of a loved one hurts a lot. Life still goes on for the living.
I was now driving Daddy's car to school. It was a fine set of wheels as a hand-me-down vehicle, till the timing chain choked it to death. In 1974, it had a style all it's own, like me. A bit uniquely put together, with an engine that could run plenty hot, given the right notivation.
I knew John as the tall, thin, long haired blond guy I'd spy on as we waited outside for the American History lecture hall to empty, and then fill with our section of students. This guy had a sexy sway to his walk. I watched him from afar the whole semester. He never noticed me. The lecture halls in college are the size of old style giant movie theaters. There are lots of people waiting around between classes. Literally hundreds go in to class when literally hundreds are coming out.
The walk into campus from the parking lot that day was shorter than normal, because I had arrived early and had been rewarded with a ten minutes closer parking spot. I had to retrieve the yellow umbrella I had left behind the afternoon before. I'd gotten up early, got myself dressed and driven across town, and now I need only stumble in my half sleep to where the yellow umbrella surely waited my fetching return trip.
The University of Houston has a very large campus. From my experience, going to college involves lots of walking.
As I parked the car, I gathered my essentials for my first class as a semi-awake zombie facing the dawn's awareness. Beginning the track to the tall building on the far side of the parking lot. I suddenly recognized "the sway" in front of me. Sometimes I wake up very quickly. Some days, you wish you'd put on all your make-up.
I saw an opportunity, and I went for it. Girls don't have to be wall flowers anymore.
I hurried around cars, ziging and zaging, so that I arrived at the crossing signal light when he did. I was waiting for the light to change standing the to him. My heart beat wildly.
I was a girl with not a lot of man stalking confidence. I don't have an outgoing personality so that I can just walk up and start talking.
I have been told, however, that I've got a great rear. I was wearing tight black jeans that day, with a little yellow crop top. I darted across the street when the light changed, and tried my best moves, literally in front of his nose.
As I approached the Psychology Building, I felt a soft touch on my shoulder.
He asked, "Aren't you in Dr. Dresden's American History class?"
I know my face flushed. I tried to act non-chalant, but interested. Collecting emotions and gathering my best self-confidence takes effort. I made my best effort.
We walked and talked, me telling of my yellow umbrella, and he, interested in my plans for the weekend. It was Wednesday.
Before we parted directions for different classes, I had a Saturday night date with a cute guy! That cute guy! Prince Charming had arrived in my life!
I wanted to turn cartwheels across the grass, but instead I was cool, and smiled, and gave him my phone number.
"Thank you God for having me forget my yellow umbrella," I muttered aloud as I road the electric stairway to my American history heaven.
History may seem dull to some peole, but I search for repititions in patterns of scociety's ways, and try to learn a lesson of life philosophy for myself.
They say everything happens for one best purpose. I believed it that day. God was with me, I had an angel sitting on my shoulder, or the gods of Olympus were smiling on me. It all felt so right.
The yellow umbrella was still in the classroom where I had left it. Life couldn't have been better.
I impatiently awaited Saturday night, with an obsession that obliterated some important biology lab facts. I thought I passed the quiz, but I preferred 100%.
Some students just aim for 70%, in order to make a passing grade. Their purpose is to just get by. I want to do better than just get by.
Some people just aim for 70% of life too, not really realizing it. A post mortum examination Einstein's brain tissue showed even he hadn't used up all his brain cells.
We have such potential in our lives, but we don't explore. I suspect it has something to do with either courage or apathy, maybe both.
John called me on the phone that evening, as he said he would. I carried the long corded phone into my yellow bedroom and shut the door.
I wanted complete privacy while I talked to Prince Charming. There are some things that mother's don't ever need to overhear. Privacy is a constitutional right in the good old USA.
European elevators and American traffic stop lights aren't private places anymore. Security cameras are everywhere. Big Brother seems to be always watching.
The world has changed unbelievalby in the past thirty years. We learn and adjust, and society goes on. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad.
In our daily routine we often run across annoying people with cell phones hollering their personal business to everybody within earshot.
I find that annoying, though at times I've done it myself. Means of communication change with time. When you don't have to be hooked to a wall plug to talk, the whole world changed. Our society is constantly adjusting, and so are we.
After Daddy passed, my relationship with my mother changed. We'd lived in the house in Houston two years, and my bedroom was the smallest one, but I claimed it as mine.
I chose this particular room of the house as my bedroom because it had yellow walls and green carpet, shag vogue though it was at the time.
I'd seen a picture in a magazine once, and had thought the combination of colors looked so cheery. Green like grass and yellow like the sun felt right.
I felt cheery as I lay on my bed, stretching the phone cord as far as possible. I learned about this person whose body I had admired from afar.
His voice kept me enraptured. Closing my eyes, I could see him as we talked. We were on the phone almost two hours.
We both commuted to the University of Houston from the southwest side of town, and both spent a lot of time driving and listening to the same radio station. He was a sophomore, majoring in accounting.
My areas of study were history and English, having been totally confused by a male foreign graduate student with a heavy accent. He had the sad job of trying to get me to understand calculus. I was struggling with math.
I faired so poorly in understanding that I eventually went to the testing center and asked for help. Help is always there, somewhere, but you have to look for it. This type of activity requires more than 70% life effort.
I was trying my best in college. Though I achieved above average grades in high school, college was requiring more efort than I'd previously exerted.
Schools, counselors, and other social workers have vast resources to help individuals identify interest and abilities so that they overlap in life.
I had begun with a major in accounting. The second semester I changed my major to history. So we kind of had business courses in common.
We both smoked cigarettes, and we both smoked marajuana. The year was 1974. That Saturday night, after we smoked a joint, we went to the movie theater and saw "The Conversation," with Gene Hackman.
We stood in the huge lobby of the Sharpstown Theater, rich in architecture, and curtains. The dark red velvet curtains hung from the high ceiling, dim lights and spotlights casting shadows of romantic and regal ambience.
The lobby was crowded with people milling about. John took my hand and led me through the crowd. We parked ourselves in an area that was less crowed than the refreshment stand, and talked in low private tones.
I felt romantic, respected, and very alive. I was beginning to fall in love. Like the character that Rene Zelwegger played in the movie "Jerry McGuire," he had me before "Hello."
The month was March. I removed my large grey wooly sweater as the heat of the crowd absorbed into me. John took my sweater, and promised to keep me warm if I got chilly. I knew he wasn't talking about returning the sweater.
His hands always seemed to be warmer than mine. I hoped he didn't think I was a cold fish. I didn't want to be a cold fish. Cold fish is only good for eating from a plate.
The touch of his hand in mine stirred a physical passion I had not known to that point in my life.
I was 18, living the lyrics of the Alice Cooper song by the same name. I didn't know what I wanted, but I wanted it.
I was, you see, one of those girls who didn't date much in high school. It wasn't that I never got asked out. Only goofy guys asked me out.
The ones I was interested in, wouldn't have given me the time of day. So, I didn't date guys much, but my girlfriends and I would talk.
Now, I was actually on a date with someone I wanted to be with. He was tall, blond, handsome, and acting like a perfectly chivilrous gentleman. He acted like he wanted to be with me too.
That sounds silly, but you never know where you stand with people, especially at first. When beginning a relationship, it's somewhat of a rhetorical situation.
Gene Hackman particularly impressed me, as I was impressionable that night. Anytime I hear of Gene Hackman, or see one of his movies, I think of John. The love I developed for him has remained in my heart for thirty years. That's 3/5 of my life so far, if you're the mathematical type.
We smoked a left handed cigarette in the car after the movie, and arrived back at my parent's house. He walked around and opened the big heavy door of his '68 Chrysler, took my hand as I got out of the car, and walked me down the driveway towards the back entrance to the house. We stopped just outside the chain link gate.
The moon was full that night. His shadow against the brick wall looked like that of a Greek god. His broad shoulders, narrow waist and hips were perfected by a set of long arms, with gentle fingers.
Our relationship became physical at that point.
He kissed me, first gently on the lips, and I felt his hand slide across the arch of my back. Chills spread over my body, and I leaned my body towards his, touching, exploring his physique.
I ran my fingers through his soft, beautiful, blond, hair which fell in a wave just past his shirt collar.
His body pressed against mine, and I returned the physical momentum that built. Hands explored. Passion rose.
"I've got to go in," I said, breaking the moment, and coming up for air. I had to stop what was happening. It was happening too fast. I had to cool down the heat of what was happening . I cooled it down and heated it up again. I came in the front seat, and he came after the two of us got in the bak seat.
"Will you call me?" I asked demurely, trying to cool the fire qs it phased down, and heart rates returned to normal..
He did the next day, making plans for us to have dinner with some friends he had known in high school.
Pam was his old high school girlfriend, and Paul was her new married spouse. They had an apartment, and we didn't want any parental supervision. We didn't get any.