Sunday, January 23, 2005


Love Story

It's fairly obvious that the sight of Steve pulling himself out of Central Park lake and rushing up to me as I headed (at a leisurely pace) toward the Rambles will stay with me forever. Never learned why Steve fell (or was he pushed?) into the lake. He was so happy to see me -- unusual in itself. In school we talked, but not that much. We weren't "friends" in any real way. He was "nice enough" yet somehow never held my attention. Perhaps it was because he didn't seem to need it. Steve was very assurred. Or rather he seemed that way. "Hail Fellow Well Met" defined him. Deep voice, hearty laugh, moved through the halls with complete control. The world was his -- or so it seemed. For anyone pulling themself out of Central Park lake can't really be called "assurred" or "controlled" -- even though everything else about Steve's manner was as before. But there he was suddenly wanting to talk to me -- suddenly wanting to pour his heart out to me about Nelson who he'd loved and lost years before. This was 1975. Their affair had come to a very dramatic halt in the mid-sixties. That he's known Nelson at all seemed so strange. Nelson was a Golden Boy -- the Perfect WASP. Blonde, tall, snotty, impervious, impregnable, gorgeous-beyond-belief. Steve was a Mook. Everyone wanted Nelson. Steve got him. In the yearbook there's a photo of Nelson and Steve, leaving the building one fall afternoon. Nelson is to the right of the shot staring directly into the camera. Steve is to the left staring at Nelson and gesturing with his hand, much like a figure in a Caravaggio. Behind them and approaching fast is Margot -- looking partially at the camera and partially at Nelson, who she wanted. I recall a party this future Wiccan priestess and NPR commentator gave at her mother's apartment where several kids were invited over only to find that its real purpose was for Margot to try to find a way to get herself alone with Nelson. Rather embarassing -- but that's what adolescence is about, isn't it folks? Steve wasn't at that party. Steve was seldom seen in Nelson's public presence -- which is why the yearbook photo is so rare. It's almost like a snapshot that the Red Squad (perpetually parked in front of Music and Art to keep an eye on the "Red-Diaper Babies" who went there) would have taken. It complimented Steve's tale of woe -- getting thrown out of Nelson's wedding, with Nelson locking himself in the bathroom until Steve was shown the door. How do you love a man who didn't love back, who didn't known how to love, only how to fuck? Needless to say this was the last time I saw Steve. In the yearly class announcements he's listed as "missing." Nelson's still around somewhere. He didn't show at the '99 reunion (the last one I went to), but others did. And none of them knew a thing about Nelson and Steve.

I am the keeper of this love
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