As Promised

Yesterday, I said I would elaborate on my connection with Leonard Cohen who wrote the song "Hallelujah" on yesterday's link. When going to college in the late 60's and early 70's music was a big deal. There were no computers (well, except for the giants in the basement of the engineering building) and one's term papers where typed on a manual typewriter. Just picture that.

Anyway, since I was going all of 80 miles "away" to school, I had to stay in a dormitory the first year. You were automatically partnered with a roommate. None of this finding your own or renting an apartment. So my roommate turned out to be from Shaker Heights, Ohio. I'd never heard of it, (not Ohio silly) Shaker Heights. It's a well to do suburb of Cleveland. Her name was Rachel, and she was in love with everything Leonard Cohen. She was also crushing on a guy she met at a camp in Canada where she was a counselor every summer. His name was Marcus; they were star-crossed, age and religion-wise. I can't really say they were lovers, but he was a lover in her dreams.

She brought her entire Leonard Cohen LP collection and portable record player with her and played it more than often. When I think back, I can see where an I Pod would have been a real blessing. I do like his music but back then, it had a very depressing quality to it which is the thing that drew lovesick teen girls to it I think. I myself was into Santana (yes, he was around back then), The Doors, Janis Ian, of course The Beatles who where kind of off on their own little journeys about that time. I liked The Temptations, Otis Redding, The Four Tops...oh and so many others.

But Rache was stuck on LC and Marcus. The following summer, she was mortified by her love. She'd invited him down from Canada to a wedding for a family member and he showed up in a sport jacket and sandals. Her beloved, her knight in shining armor had failed her...sandals! She felt she would never live it down.

As time wore on, she gradually gave up the fantasy since she was pretty much indoctrinated to marry a doctor or a lawyer. Her father was a psychiatrist and she wound up following in his footsteps to become a therapist. In her late 20's she finally found her doctor and they married. I had the fortune to meet her again about 7 years ago when at an experimental aircraft show in the northwest with the idiot I am still married to, though have tried to divorce for over almost 5 years.

Her ideal husband was pretty disappointing in my opinion. A kind of scrawny, wiry, short guy who had a mean streak, a huge ego and no qualms about involving me in humiliating her. He brought up a number of embarrassing things just to make her feel bad about herself in front of me. I was so surprised. What made this more shocking was that this was a man whose mother had survived the holocaust. As his mother had gotten older, he bought the land next to theirs and built a house for his mother to live in.

It was just so incongruous with his treatment of my friend that I felt sorry for her for being with such a jerk. Little did I realize what was just a few years down the line in my life.

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