Photo reblogged from yehyehgrace
A Transatlantic Love Story, Part III: May I Be Your Possession
Continued from A Transatlantic Love Story, Part II …
A week or so passed while I figured out English life on my own. In the supermarket I found jelly but no jam. At the all-American KFC, when I ordered a “chicken and a biscuit meal” they thought I wanted chicken with cookies. I wore white socks, light blue jeans, and occasionally overalls, all of which were desperately uncool in “Europe.” I referred to Europe as something different from England. When I had to pee I preferred to hold it instead of asking where the “toilet” was, and when I quietly whispered to a pharmacist that I needed medication for a yeast infection, she loudly declared, “Do you mean thrush? Do you need medication for thrush?” Yes. Yes, I did, but I didn’t know that until I paid for the box, got home, and read the little instruction manual cover to cover. I stuck out in England when all I wanted to do was blend in, so to make myself feel better I ate lots and lots of Cadbury Creme Eggs, which they happen to have all year round.
Then one night, in this chocolate-induced state of horrifying fashion, I headed out to the student bar still in total disbelief that English campuses not only had bars but dance clubs, too. Four real life English guys sat at the table with the other Americans I knew, clinking enormous fish-mouthed glasses of beer. I squeezed next to one of them, a dark-haired boy with sea green eyes speckled with brown, a gray button-up shirt, black “trousers,” and a thin silver pinkie ring. I’d met him on a previous night when he was zipped up into a coat and nursing a hangover. His name was Mr. Levine and he made films. I’d never in my Midwestern life met someone who actually wanted to make movies, and this guy wasn’t joking. He had determination, tenacity, ambition, and drive—characteristics that I had only ever seen so vividly in one other person. Me.
I told him how I wanted to write a novel. I would get into grad school at Northwestern, land a magazine job, and work on my books at night. He studied Norwegian, was moving to Norway in June, and would start his own production company, Snoffnugg Films. Snoffnugg meant snowflake, he said, but he just liked the sound of the Norwegian word on his tongue. So did I.
Then I lost track of him. We lost track of all of the boys, actually, maybe losing them to English girls or Norwegian or Spanish. In the club I was just one of six American exchange students dancing like fully clothed strippers without polls, in a circle, to music we didn’t know the words to, and wondering what the semester would hold, hoping it would bring adventure, new languages, new places, new ideas, and maybe a whirlwind romance. Then there he was. That green-eyed boy appeared behind the circle. He tried to dance his way in, another exchange student taking it as a queue to gyrate her ass into him, grabbing for his hand to place on her hip in the way we did back home to rap music in high school gymnasiums, but that wasn’t the way here. He backed away. He was leaving. I saw him leaning into a crowd ready to envelop him. A raspy voice sang out across the dance floor:
I believe that fate has brought us here, and we should be together, babe, but we’re not. I play it off but I’m dreaming of you. I keep my cool but I’m fiending.
I stretched my arm across the circle of lonely girls, grasped his hand warm in my own, and pulled him through to me. We were eye-to-eye, green meets blue, electric. I’d never fallen in love before but suddenly my emotions hit warp speed, no breath, and all I could think was, What the hell am I doing? I’d just broken off an engagement. I was miles away from home. He moved closer to me, and we danced to …
Here is my confession. May I be your possession. Boy, I need your touch. Your love kisses and such. With all my might I try but this I can’t deny. I play it off but I’m dreaming of you.
He walked me back to my dorm that evening, and we waved to each other a goodnight.