Though a relative stranger, she leapt into my arms, and I felt immediately uncomfortable since I didn’t know how to handle such familiarity with one of my distant younger sister’s friends. In a few minutes I realized that for an 18-year-old, Lindy was quite an attractive young woman…one who typically had been voted “most popular” in her class.
Yet, she was still a young lady that I wouldn’t actively pursue, especially now.
After arranging to rent a cheap room by-the-night from a woman who worked at the U. Embassy, we picked up our mail at the American Express office. When I’d last seen her she was a petite, five-foot-tall blonde in a pageboy cut, with a tiny body still carrying some baby fat and looking no older than fifteen.
I was surprised to see that Allison’s sister Lindy had written me of her whereabouts, since I hardly knew her. What I now held in my arms was a taller girl with a blonde ponytail and peaches-and-cream complexion, which contrasted beautifully with the dark green sleeveless blouse she was wearing.
A couple of months before leaving our west coast hometown with packs on our backs – and our thumbs in the air to hitchhike to New York for ship passage to England – we bid adieu to our friends through a succession of parties.
One such gathering was around Easter, where I happened across a high school acquaintance.
We’d usually end up dancing our asses off at basement clubs on the Left Bank, then I’d take her home on the Metro – Paris’s version of the underground subway – and deposit her on her mother’s doorstep, still considering her a little girl…my younger sister’s friend.
On the last night she went to the loo after we’d consumed a few beers, then we walked along the Quai de la Tournelle just next to the river.
At base, my reckless image was a harmless projection I used to cover my innate shyness and lack of confidence.Regardless, my teenage female classmates loved to play in my jalopy’s backseat for reasons common to many girls of that age.Those who participated quickly passed their exaggerated tales on to their younger sisters.My reputation as a love-’em-and-leave-’em wild child was therefore still alive by the time the younger girls reached college age.But by 1961 I was at least trying to steer a course that was more mature.