Back when I was a freshman at the University of Delaware, two guys lived at the end of our hall in Russell A. They were high school classmates from Long Island, Dan and Paul. I’d like to briefly discuss the matter.
Dan had a mullet. He had been the starting quarterback as a high school senior, and showed me a highlight tape of his greatest plays. I was perplexed as to why the highlights lasted approximately 40 seconds until another Dan, also a classmate of the two, explained that Dan No. 1 was a miserable quarterback with minimal arm strength, zero mobility and a father as the team’s head coach.
Dan the quarterback was quiet and guarded. Friendly, but not outgoing. Ultimately, he met a girl at Delaware, fell in love and dropped out. I believe they got married, and I’ll guess the mullet is long gone.
Paul was more interesting. He was a pretty normal looking guy with charisma by the oodles. I’ve never seen anyone approach women with as much confidence and swag. One time, Paul and I were in the Christiana Mall in nearby Wilmington. Paul could pick up a noodle off a wet surf board, and as the young women passed he greeted every one with, “How you doing?” or “What’s going on, beautiful?” Ultimately, one stopped. Her name was Roxanne. She was a high school senior in some nearby Maryland cow town. Pretty, as I recall.
Anyhow, Paul arranged for us to go to Roxanne’s house the following night. She had a friend, he told me. Her name was Suzanne. Yup, we had Roxanne and Suzanne. They lived in trailers in a field. Their parents weren’t home. Perfect sitcom setup.
We hung out in the trailer. Paul was Don Juan. I’d never even kissed a girl. I was introduced to Suzanne, but had little clue what to do. Before long, Paul—arm wrapped around Roxanne’s shoulders—said, “OK, you guys have fun …” and left with his lady friend.
Awkwardly, I looked at Suzanne.
Awkwardly, Suzanne looked at me.
I probably uttered a grand total of 20 words, staring blankly at a TV screen that wasn’t on.
Twenty minutes later, Paul returned. “OK, Pearl,” he said, “let’s go.”
I have no idea what happened that night. Did he get laid? Make out? None of the above? But I do know, in a middle-of-nowhere trailer, Paul was a God to me.