Best Blind Date with Joan

     Best Blind Date with Joan(click to zoom image) Always on a quest for the woman of my dreams, I went exploring the CSLB campus and noticed a women’s dance class met in the gymnasium’s dance rooms. Dancers from many states and countries took advantage of modern dance instructors available during the summer dance program. To be close to the dancers I took my camera case with all my lenses pretending to make a photo-journal report. At the Gym where they assembled before classes, I spoke to many attractive dancers fascinated by their hard but limber bodies, amazing energy, and joyful personalities. These colorful nymphs in pink, purple, green, turquoise, or blue leotards gracefully glided over shiny wooden floors in unison to lively music. Far too many looked interesting, athletic, disciplined, and creative. I had found nirvana. How could I connect with any of these lovely women? What could I say to meet them? Timid and shy, I just watched in awe. On my last day in Long Beach, a friend from the cafeteria named Hal said, “I want you to meet an attractive girl here this summer.” “I have always regretted blind dates. I’m leaving for Law School tomorrow.” “But Dan, she’s a dancer,” Hal said undeterred. Pausing to let his words register, “That’s different. I’m in!”I said with gusto. “We can do a double date with her friend Courtney this evening around six.” He gave me the address of a dancer named Joan. Hal was waiting in the second story apartment she rented. Footsteps warned she was ascending the stairs. Vivacious Joan Fowles from Oak Park entered and immediately I knew this encounter was going to be interesting. She had dark shimmering hair, a smile that showed an inner glow, a face and a body to die for. “Let’s go to my apartment,” I said and took her to my Corvette, put down the top, and sped off with my dancer! Hal and Courtney followed. We walked to the beach, took off our shoes, ran to the water laughing, and put our feet in the shallow surf. The sun was an orange glow that glistened on the rolling waves working their way to the shore near our feet. I mentioned my many photographs of sunsets in my travels to the Far East. “I loved  Florida's sunsets."  Joan said. “When did you live in Florida?”I asked. “My last three years at the University of Florida.” “I grew up in Miami and spent a year at Sanford, Florida that had awesome sunsets. Why did you come here?” “My dance instructor said Cal State Long Beach had a great dance program.” The sun had set and a wind started to blow from the west so I turned her towards me and said, “I have nature slides along with sunsets from the far east and at sea. Would you like to see them?” “Yes. Let’s go.” We ran to my apartment where I set up the slide projector and showed my best slides of sunsets, surf, mountains, volcanoes, and nature from the Philippines, Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Japan. We sipped Cabernet Sauvignon and listened to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart on my stereo and professional tape recorder. I set up my chair behind Joan while slides advanced every five seconds. Near the end I started to massage her shoulders. Her body language and smile spoke she liked my move. Afterwards we danced to rock music and Hal and Courtney left. We continued dancing. I had to know more about her and said, “When is your birthday?” “January 19.” “Mine is January 18!” I blurted out astounded and fastened on her eyes that expressed surprise, “Where were you born?” “Oak Park, Illinois.” “What a coincidence! I was born in Morgan Park--a few miles away.” I approached her. We hugged and kissed. When we touched I felt a fire growing inside—electricity that tingled long afterwards. Was this the woman I had been searching for all my life? As I gazed into her hazel eyes I felt she was. I have heard there are no coincidences—intense encounters were meant to occur. My heart recognized a chance at love when Joan and I interacted. There was no past or future; just the present. We were attracted by powerful forces working their magic. I paused thinking I don’t want to leave Long Beach. How can I prolong this date? On an impulse words flowed, “How would you like to see the Golden Gate Bridge?” She looked at me with that bright smile, “I’d love to.” I was riding a wave of excitement. She was the only woman with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I thought my search for happiness might have finally ended. I had tapped into some reservoir deep within me that awakened me to the possibilities of our future. We spent that night getting to know each other,  sharing some of our experiences, and dreams. After some dancing, I kissed her and held her tightly. We melted entwined in our fairy tale romance until daybreak. The next day after we retrieved her things and packed my Corvette for Frisco. On the way I photographed some mysterious mounds, mellow rolling hills with oak trees rustling, cattle roaming, red hawks gliding, seals sunbathing near flocks of birds, waves swirling, and ocean splashing foam off rocks on the coast.         We finally arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge. The grace and form of the vermilion behemoth struck us both as reaching a fantastic goal with a unique color. I took a photo of Joan at the off-ramp. We embraced and after a deep breath, “I’m so glad you came with me,” I sighed.      (click to Zoom)

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This entry was posted in Memoir "All the Difference", Non-Fiction, Pictures, Writings and tagged , , , by Daniel C. Lavery. Bookmark the permalink.

About Daniel C. Lavery

Dan’s writing shows his transformation from a child to an athlete and a Duke pre-ministerial student where he began to question ancient and arbitrary dogma. He graduated from Annapolis, navigated a Navy jet, and a ship to Vietnam, fell in love, turned peace activist and a civil rights lawyer for Cesar Chavez's UFW. His memoir, "All the Difference," describes the experiences, some humorous and others deadly, that changed his consciousness from a pawn to an advocate crusading for justice against some of the most powerful forces in America.

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