We all felt it coming through the garage that night, or at least me and Dudley did.

There were about seven of us that had taken mushrooms that night and a few of us were standing by the keg there in Don Debitetto’s garage talking about who knows what.

But I’ll never forget that feeling, when suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt, and saw, a ripple in time.

It was more like a swell than a breaking wave, and it just moved through everything and was gone.

Dudley and I had stopped our conversation as it passed through, and afterwards we just looked at each other.

“Did you feel that?” I asked him.



Now fast forward to the summer of ’86.  Jeff and Dudley are working in the city again, while I’m moving furniture again.  My little high school honey has had some kind of affair behind my back with my friend Jimmy Meyer which I didn’t find out the truth about until the following spring.

Then, at the end of the summer, two weeks after Jeff bought that mint used Volvo, Dudley flips us over into a creek doing about 60mph, not too far from the bridge where Ichabod Crane met the Headless Horseman.  So we all headed back to school with various bumps, bruises, scars and a new tale to tell.

Fresh from this latest car wreck and the disruption of my relationship with my hometown girl, I was ready to seriously cut loose for the senior year of college.

Me, Jay Shockey, Tim K., Doug Boyd and Doug’s girldfriend Dana started out peacefully enough playing that Pass-out board game on the front porch of the house we lived in on Gordon Ave., just off Rugby Rd. (known by the sign that hung over its porch – Shady Rest), and ended up the night, as my housemate Slim put it, throwing Frisbee while Mitch threw a chair.

I evidently had become tired of this particular chair that kept getting in my way, so I decided to DESTROY IT WITH MY BARE HANDS.

The behavior became generally less violent but also less sober as the year wore on, and I eventually graduated a full-blown alcoholic.

The first show that Fall of ’86 at UVa. was Lou Reed, supporting Mistrial or whatever that album was (the Original Rapper).  So, Jeff and his buddies came on up from Lexington to Charlottesville (W&L to UVa.) to see Lou and hang out and – fuckin’ party!

So we partied off and on during the Fall and finally ended up going up to Georgetown for Halloween.  Me and Jeff and his friend Danforth and Kathleen Ryan and Lisa Farlow and various other Randolph-Macon girls – about 5 or 6 of us in all sharing a hotel room in Roslyn, Va. so that Georgetown was just over the Potomac River, a short walk across the Key Bridge.

Jeff had a bag of mushrooms that night so we let the others go ahead while me, Jeff, Dan and Kathleen stayed for a little while until the buzz kicked in.  Then off we went.  I think we lost Danforth on the walk over the Key Bridge, then we lost Jeff shortly thereafter and it was just me and Kathleen who we barely knew each other.

But anyways M Street was a zoo, I was tripping and K-leen was the crazy wombat that she is and things went on from there.  She got picked up over a gorilla’s head, then we ran into Jeff again and went to drink vodka shooters (in rocks glasses) in that bar with that reallllly creeeepy couple.

Then we ran into Danforth again, but he had a girl with him, and couldn’t really be bothered to stop and hang w/the likes of us.  Then we lost Jeff again and walked home together over Key Bridge.  I think I remember stopping in the middle of the bridge and holding each other or making out (“mugging down” as Kathleen called it).  But I definitely remember the late night mugging down while everyone else was asleep, while we stayed up ’til the early morn’ listening to the airplanes overhead coming in to land at National Airport.

So from there, we wake up the next morning – one of those mornings that can really only happen in college.  Where 8-10 people (yes, we woke up with a few extra people who had joined the fracas at unknown points during the previous night) from various parts of the country, who barely know each other, can wake up together in a hotel room, still drunk from the night before and have a good ol’ time riding out the rest of the alcohol.

By early afternoon, me, Jeff and Kathleen needed sleep (the early morning bake session certainly wasn’t helping us stay awake) so we headed back to the 150 year old log farmhouse which Jeff’s family had in Fairfax for a nap.  Then up again that night for food and redneck bar hopping!  Trying, just trying to stay out of fights.

Then Sunday comes and its back to school.

“Hey Jeff, what’s Kathleen’s number, dude?”

So I invited her up to C’ville to see REM in early November of ’86, a very good time for the MX missile, half-gram of mushrooms and half-gram of ecstasy makes for a very sweet mix.  This was the year we rented the whole house at Shady Rest, the basement and stray cats and three floors of weirdness.

And the doorknobs, we only had two doorknobs and had to carry them around downstairs otherwise once a door closed, it stayed closed.

So, that night, Kathleen walks in and as soon as I see her down at the other end of the hallway, the door between the hallway and kitchen slams closed and I have to go running around to find a doorknob to get the door back open.

Weirdness abounds!

Alright, so by now, me and Kathleen are flying headlong into l-o-v-e, but as she so aptly put it at the time,

“Don’t you think we’re travelling a tad over the speed limit?”

I wrote back:

“Just call me Sammy Hagar!” (She didn’t get it.)

Now Thanksgiving rolls around, so it’s back home to Patsy’s Pub in good old Grassy Sprain, N.Y. (the next town over to the east from Taconic Heights) but Kathleen lives in Ct. so we’ll be able to get together over the holiday.  OH, yeah!

I meet her in Tarrytown the Friday after Thanksgiving, then drive back up to Connecticut with her brother and his friend, drop them at a party and head on out to the Connecticut bars.

It was a fairly normal evening, but I slept in her brothers’ attic room and wake up the next morning to find that my sweater and T-shirt from the night before have – disappeared- literally.

I put my pants on and go to the stairs where I find the shirt, but no sweater.  Finally, I fix myself up a little and go on down to the kitchen where I get some funny looks for just wearing a T-shirt, but quickly explain that it’s because my sweater has disappeared (more funny looks).

Her mom says it must be upstairs somewhere, so after breakfast I go upstairs and look around some more, then get Kathleen to help me look, but to no avail all this looking.  I had taken it off right next to the bed I slept in and left it on the floor right next to the bed.  So Kathleen gives me one of her brothers’ sweaters to wear and we go to some high school football game.

Later on that afternoon, Kathleen’s dad calls from work.  She asks him,

“Dad, what did you wear to work today?”

“Dress pants, and my black crew neck sweater, you know your brother borrowed that from me again without asking, I had to go up to his room to get it back from him this morning.”

“Uh, Dad, that’s Mitch’s sweater, are you gonna be home early tonight?”

“No, hon, I’ll be working late, you can give it back to him after the holiday.”

Weirdness abounds.

(Phillipse Corner, N.Y., Summer 1998)