…what I keep remembering is my roommate, Sylvia. Boyfriends later.
I didn’t want to stay at the YWCA, so I was glad to hear of someone who wanted a roommate to share the expenses of an apartment. It was in the 900 block of Charles Street, a nice area of Baltimore, not too far from the Welfare Department. Sylvia and I seemed to get along just fine. I happily moved in.
The small apartment building, six apartments, was owned by another Sylvia who also owned two dress shops. My Sylvia worked in one of those shops. People who worked with them called my Sylvia Little Sylvia and the shop owner, Big Sylvia. No one was either big or little, you understand.
Sylvia and I spend time in Big Sylvia’s apartment play Bridge with her and her deaf son. Big Sylvia wanted her son to socialize. Because of his deafness–he could read lips–he didn’t spend much time with non-deaf people. So the four of us played Bridge.
Sylvia was a good roommate. We had no differences about who cooked–we took turns–and who cleaned–neither one of us. But she was a bulemic. I didn’t know that name then. I was just confused. It never occurred to me that she might be controlling weight by throwing up her dinner every night. Besides, late in the evening, she’d eat up all the leftovers in the refrigerator.
Perhaps it was my talk of going to California that motivated Sylvia to go to Hollywood the following Spring. She was going to live with her aunt and uncle who ran a dry cleaning shop, and work for them.
I’d been thinking of going to California for some time. In the Spring, I started to save my money to buy a car after I was there. I’d heard you needed one to get around. I figured I could afford a second-hand car of some kind.
Just before I left Baltimore, big Sylvia confessed that she’d hoped I’d invite her son to drive to California with me. No, I hadn’t thought of that. Nor did I want the romance that Sylvia hoped we’d fall into. And then, she hoped, fall into bed together. Not on my agenda!