Her Name Was Fiona
Her name was Fiona, and I was completely intoxicated by her beauty. She had long flowing blonde hair, a beautiful face, terrific body, an inviting aura, and a great care-free attitude. There was nothing not to like, and I drank it up completely. But like anything taken in excess, there’s usually an inevitable hang-over to deal with.
Fiona and I went to the same high school together so when I found out that she was also going to the University of New Hampshire, I thought that was the perfect ice breaker. Freshmen year we were in the same Intro to Wildlife class, and I approached her under the auspices of doing homework together. She agreed, and we arranged to meet up over the weekend.
That Sunday I swung by her dorm room. She gathered up her stuff and we headed out onto the grass yard in front of Hamilton Hall. The sun shone down on a large group of students lying in the sun, playing Frisbee, and otherwise just enjoying themselves.
We picked our spot and sat down on the grass, me Indian style, her lying on her stomach, head propped up with one hand, bare feet kicking up and down behind her. Where was I exactly? New Hampshire? I couldn’t think straight. What were we doing out here again? Oh, yeah studying. I was studying alright, but it wasn’t my homework. Instead I was fixated on the way the sun made her hair shine like gold. And the swinging of her feet hypnotized me into a stupor.
Time flies when you’re drunk. That year I lived on the 9th floor of Christiansen Hall, and every time we went up drunk, it seemed to take a split second. We called it the Lightspeed Elevator. That day with Fiona was similar. I felt like we were out there for only a minute, but it could have been hours. All I knew was it was over too soon.
We talked on the way back to her dorm, and I asked if she wanted to get together again. She replied sure, and said to call her. Of course I called that night and asked if she was free Wednesday. She wasn’t. How about that Thursday? No. She said maybe the week after that.
I called her a few more times and it followed a similar pattern. I offered some days and times and she was invariably busy. The interaction was quickly morphing into that scene in Swingers when Mike leaves the escalating pathetic series of messages on his girlfriend’s voicemail. My antics didn’t quite reach Mike’s level of awkwardness or pathos, but you get the idea.
One day after class I offered to give her a photocopy of my schedule so she could pick a time, and a look of surprise (or was it disgust?) spread across her face. “Look, Will,” she said. “I don’t need a copy of your schedule. I think you’re coming on a little strong and you need to ease up.”
And with those words, the buzz wore off.
My head started to pound and my stomach tightened in nausea. And it hit me. I was being…creepy. I swear to this day I had no idea up until that point. And it certainly wasn’t my intent. But when you’re drunk, the first thing to go is your judgment (some say inhibition, which is really a variation of the former), and I really had no idea. I apologized profusely. I didn’t realize I was coming on that strong. I swore I would leave her alone (and I did). How many gulps of her beauty did I partake in? I thought it was only one or two, but apparently I had chugged from the beer funnel of love and someone snuck in some 160-proof Devil’s Springs vodka at the end.
I appreciated the verbal slap to the face, because it sobered me up and quick. And Fiona probably prevented me from making an even bigger ass of myself later with serenades, poems, and flower deliveries all of which I subjected future targets of my intoxication to in later years. Like most people, sometimes I need someone to tell me when I’ve gone overboard, and I always appreciated it when it was the woman of my affection to be the one with the strength to tell me. Fiona was the first.