Along Came Daryl Part 1
This true story is really for women. I say this because only a woman can understand it. And not just any woman. Older women like myself. I write this to remind me of the unforgettable moments I had and to really find out if other women feel the same way as me. Now this happened about forty years ago. I write about it in these times where women are in the news for doing things, mainly teachers, and they are being vilified for their actions. I hope this is not too long. I am no writer but I tried to be as detailed as possible in describing everything.
It happened when I was still working in the medical field. I was a nurses aid at the time. I was also studying to become a certified nurse. It was summer in New York. Anyone who knows New York in summer, knows how hot and humid it gets. I had finished my shift(6:00 AM-2:00 PM) and I went to visit my friend Nina. I liked going to her apartment. It was much better than mine. She was slightly older than me and she had helped me through some personal issues. Nina was a social worker. When I stopped by her apartment, there was a young man there. He was so cute. She introduced me to him.
His name was Daryl. He was this lean, curly headed guy with beautiful hazel eyes. His smile was contagious. Daryl was Nina's nephew visiting for about a week. Nina's husband worked overseas in the Middle east somewhere. He was never around since he worked out of the country. He must have made good money considering the type of apartment for he and Nina. Daryl was the only male I had really ever known through Nina. Daryl was visiting from California. He spoke so different from us New Yorkers. He was so different from us too. Well, it was California, right? But there was something about him. His youth. That part of me that wanted to go back in time. To feel young. To be young. And I wasn't old, by any stretch of the imagination. But Daryl had that youth that I wanted in me. This was a lonely time for me. Who am I kidding? I feel alone so often. And here was this young man smiling and talking to me. It had an immediate impact on me.
Nina had to take a phone call so I had a few minutes talking to him. He told me how much he enjoyed walking around exploring Greenwich Village and how the mix of people in public fascinated him. With the young, old, rich, poor, artistic, business, ethnic, religious and non-religious all blended in the streets. I remember him saying that the energy in New York City hits you all at once with little time to digest it. Whereas in California, the energy is spread out and you have to go and find it. All I remember is wanting to know more about him.
When Nina finished her phone call, I told her that I needed to go to the store. I asked if Daryl could go with me and I invited him right there in front of her. I could show him the neighborhood. She said yeah, no problem.
Walking toward the store, I couldn't resist my attraction to Daryl. Here was this tall, handsome guy walking with me and I was short and a little chubby, I think. I did have my hips and curves still. And Daryl was so nice, so affable. Full of sunshine. He talked so confidently and I just had to take my chance.
See, I hadn't been with a man for quite some time. My previous boyfriend, if you can call it that, was out of the picture. It was a nasty breakup. He was an abusive man. Anyhow, that was what Nina had been helping me with. That and issues surrounding my relationship with men.
So, I said to Daryl, "I have to stop by my apartment real quick. Is that Ok?"
He said sure. So, he followed me to my apartment and I made the excuse that I needed to pick something up. My apartment back then was very simple. Studio apartment. No bedroom. Just a pull out sofa on a less than ideal carpeted floor. The kind that absorbed smells like Arroz Gandules or some other PR dish. I didn't have much of anything to decorate it. I also wasn’t making a lot of money back then. I had a stand up divider that I had put a few cut outs of cartoons that I liked.
I headed to the bathroom. I really didn’t need to pee. I just wanted to freshen up. A little mouth wash. Wipe down a little. I wanted to be ready for any potential action. At least that what I was hoping. I don’t know what I was thinking. What was I expecting to happen right then and there? I figured that he would get the hint. Heck, I just met him and brought him to my apartment.
Daryl stayed by the front door in front of the stand up divider. He was still staring at the cut out cartoons there when I came out of the bathroom. I wonder which cartoon he was looking at. I remember having a cartoon illustration of a potted cactus plant. The cactus with all of their thorns were actually penises growing in the pot. I always liked that one. Penis like cactus. That was my experience with men anyway.
I asked if Daryl needed to use the bathroom and he didn’t but he saw my television and the HBO box. This guy lit up like a Christmas tree.
"You have cable?" He asked. "In California, we don't have that yet."
His innocence was magnetic. I pounced,"Would you like to watch TV?”, I asked.
He hesitated and said,"Uh, sure."
"Ok, I said. I wanted him to start watching TV right that minute. I didn't want him to leave. But, I had to wait. I had a store to visit and had to get back to Nina’s soon. “Be sure to ask your aunt if it's ok for you to come by here tonight to watch TV.Ok?” So, we left. We walked down the street back towards Nina's house.
Daryl asked, "You're not going to the store?"
I said, "No. I just realized that I have what I need."
And what I needed wasn't at the store. Daryl had the something that I needed.
Walking back towards his Aunt's, I asked, "So, you probably have lots of girlfriends back home in California, right?"
"No. No girlfriend at all", he said.
He even said that I probably had lots of boyfriends too. I replied no and he said that it would make sense since I was cute with my long black hair. He called me cute! His wonderful smile all the way. Here I was in my medical scrubs, 5’ 0’, chubby big butt and all. What did he find cute about me? My face, my long black hair, my body? I was no runway model, that's for sure.
I had big breasts. Maybe that's what he liked. And being so short, big breasts look bigger. My hair down to my butt easily since I was so short. I don’t know. He was young. That's for sure. But how young?
I asked,"So, you're like eighteen. Right?"
With no hesitation he said,"yeah."
So, here I was, this thirty-three year old woman walking with this young man down the street. It was refreshing to imagine what could be. The long hours between work and classes didn’t allow for much of a social life. So, I was going home every night alone. Watching TV alone. Eating alone. For women, I was moving closer toward that proverbial ticking biological clock, which for me, had clicked loud given my fertility issue at the time. But I was far more consumed with the barren feeling of heartache, longing for the love of a good man. I remember wishing Daryl would hold my hand. I needed that. Women understand this. Being alone and lonely is horrible. I craved for companionship. For affection. For touch. And so much more.
My personal issues that Nina was helping me through were difficult and the deviant nature that I lived with could not be contained.
We got back to Nina's place and I began talking with Nina while Daryl disappeared. It was a while before Nina got another phone call. I looked for Daryl and he was in the kitchen.
I said to him in a very low voice," Daryl, when are you going to ask your aunt about watching TV at my apartment tonight?"
He started shivering. Physically shaking. He was turning red. Like he was afraid. What was happening? Without noticing, Nina had come into the kitchen and saw us. She asked what was going on?
I said," Daryl was going to ask you if it's ok if he can watch cable tv at my place tonight."
Nina asked Daryl if that was the case. Daryl started stuttering. He couldn't speak. He was shaking. Nina was furious at me.
She grabbed me by the arm and led me out saying, " How dare you. That's my nephew. What are you thinking?"
I protested in vain and like that I was kicked out of her apartment. I was embarrassed. I was confused. What had just happened? I went home with ideas stewing in my mind. Then I was angry. What had I done wrong? Nothing. I must be missing something here.
I was so focused on the incident that I couldn't eat that night. More frustrating was the idea that I wouldn't have a chance with Daryl. Instead of fantasizing about what could have been, I went to sleep without the nightly touching and pleasure I gave myself.
My imagination was my only escape from my troubled life. Nina had ruined the possibilities. I really was upset.
Next day, I worked my shift carrying around resentment. I was stressed and on my way back home in another sweltering day. I was irritable. I hadn’t felt it like this in some time. The kind that inflames. I think it affected me physically or maybe it was just my medical scrub pants riding up my crotch.
At any rate, I came home from my shift and I wasn’t in my apartment for more than fifteen minutes when there's a knock on the door. I open it and it's Daryl! My mind starts to run wild. What the hell is going on?
"I'm sorry for what happened yesterday Carola. I really am. Please forgive me. My aunt is just trying to protect me I guess," Daryl says.
He was wide eyed. Not relaxed at all. I was about to freak out. I literally grabbed his arm and yanked him into my apartment and closed the door.
"Listen Daryl, I can't have any problems with your aunt. Does she know you're here right now?"