I was fifteen and deeply moved. I was fifteen and in love and my parents made fun of me, laughing at my pubescent tears and my long, boring letters to Thomas’s father (since Thomas himself did not seem to retain the same depth of feeling that I did and had, after several months of heart-wrenching letters, finally admitted that he had since fallen in love with some dark-haired girl named Meredith who looked an awful lot like Tatum O’Neal, who, at the time, I thought was at the pinnacle of beauty and desire by preppie boys everywhere. I was no Tatum O’Neal. I was more like a bad version of nobody. There was no equal actress with whom I could compare, except perhaps Bette Davis, who had similar eyes in some ways (or so I was told a few times, which caused me great distress because she seemed so old, until Kim Carnes wrote the song and made it somewhat cooler to have Bette Davis eyes – then I was proud.) So Thomas moved on, and I never heard from him again. I did stay in touch with has father, who I’m sure thought me a real nut, but humored me nonetheless and wrote me lengthy letters about his life and about his experience in the Korean war.
For months, I pined. I went to the old Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and sat high up on the hill reading Marcus Aurelius Meditations and preparing myself to start college in a few months. I was still a kid. Barely sixteen, and being thrust too soon into the world by some accident of differences in the European and American educational systems and pushed ahead by too many grades, too soon, and while I was tested intellectually prepared for this leap into society, I was in no way prepared for it emotionally. College girls had already learned the rough lessons of first love and had moved on. By now, they were on their third or fourth boyfriend, serious or not, and few, I found, still held onto their virginity. IT was not, at the time, a hip thing to do (as it became for Generation Next – who seemed to hold onto it for many years longer than previous generations had). I was sorry that I had read so much freaking philosophy and philosophized my way out of what likely would have been one of the best experiences of my life, which would have been to lose my virginity to Thomas who at least, if he wouldn’t be the forever guy, was certainly the right guy for the right now, and it would have been good and sweet and all the things I think it should be for a young person just venturing out.