Joe was a construction worker. Tall and slim, he had olive skin. His black hair and mustache were calmer versions of Charles Manson's. He dressed in the current fashion, sometimes bought from unisex boutiques: bluejeans, Henley shirts, suede vests, billowing silk shirts, and boots. His shirts had a sensual smell of the skin of a man who had worked outdoors.
In the dimly-lit club, Joe ambled to the table where my friends and I sat, carrying a mixed drink and lit cigarette. With piercing blue eyes, he studied our faces through the smoky candle light at our table, looking for a dance partner. He had many dance partners, including one that none of us knew about. By the time he chose me, I already had a crush on him.
I was petite, well-built,with long brown hair that I curled with electric rollers before going to the club as routinely as I drank an Instant Breakfast before my 7 a.m. class.
My makeup was heavy: glimmering eyeshadow to show off my hazel eyes, and eyeliner and mascara to make them look bigger. With my finger, I applied clear gloss over my cinnamon lipstick to make my thin lips look bigger and wetter. The daring clothes I wore to Hunter's included a midi-skirt with a slit up to my thigh and hot pants with coordinating sweaters, boots, and wide belts. I dabbed woodsy smelling musk oil on my wrists and behind my ears.
Joe and I eventually became regular dancing partners. When we slow-danced together, tightly holding each other, I felt my body warming and sensual feelings rising in my lower body. When he leaned down to French kiss me, I responded passionately.
One night, Joe seemed unusually serious, not at all like his usual singing, dancing self. "Somebody has been spreading rumors about me that I'm married," he complained, studying different patrons through his aviator glasses. "I don't know who it is."
In addition to being a college student, I was a clerk for an insurance investigation company. One of my jobs was filing completed life insurance policies. Kneeling on the floor next to the filing cabinet's open drawer, I inserted completed policies into alphabetized olive green folders. Then, I saw Joe's name. I jumped up, blood red in the face. "What's wrong, Alice," Bob, one of the investigators asked? "Did you find somebody you know"? "Yes, '' I replied, stunned. "Is he married," he continued? "Yes, I answered, with a sinking pain in my stomach.
For about a week, that pain of loss continued. I had trouble concentrating on anything but Joe. First crushes that don't work out are more painful when you find out the man of your dreams is married.