Corazon

      I was lying on my bed resting this morning from my bad night’s sleep, when I remembered my Mexican boy friend. Sorta boy friend. We never went out on a date. And he was married. And flat on his back in the hospital. And he was Mexican-American, to be u[-to date.

To start at the beginning, I lived for a time in The Blue Triangle, a women’s hotel run by the YWCA in Oakland, California.  One of the people who became a friend was Priscilla, a recent high school graduate who worked at the candy/cigarette counter at a nearby Veteran’s hospital.  She was a very friendly girl and at least one of the guys who bought cigarettes pleaded with her to come visit him in the hospital in the evening. I don’t think she felt comfortable going by herself so she asked me.

     What the heck, I’d never been in a Veteran’s Hospital before so I agreed. And of course, the hospital was full of men. That had something to do with it. We’re talking 1957 here. The Veteran’s Hospital was busy since any guy who served in WW II could use it. Priscilla and I found the guy who had asked her to come and see him. He was mobile and was getting out soon.

     He introduced me to another man who was in bed with weights attached to his feet. He couldn’t get out of bed. He asked me to sit down on his bed.

     Oh. Sit on his bed? Then I would be right next to his body. And I was. And he clamped his hand on my thigh.  Did I scream? No, I’m sure I blushed and felt very daring and dangerous.

     I went back to see him again and we began talking to each other on the telephone. I had paid extra to have a phone in my room. One night he called and said in a dead voice that he and his wife had gotten back together.  Okay. The end.

Only he called again in a week or less and said, in a cheerful voice, We’re separated.  I said, No, I couldn’t take the changes. Sadly, he hung up.  And I couldn’t.  Hanging out with a guy like that was, for me, a very dangerous thing to do. Part of me was relieved.

The end of this story is that both Priscilla and I, at different times, made a date with the original guy. He stood us both up!

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