UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 1990

13 Feb

The sun warmed the air in Southern California. Mostly late 80’s and some 1990 models of Mercedes, BMW’s and other fashionable cars parked on the university streets at the University of Southern California (USC) Wealth surrounded me in this little Mecca.

People affectionately called USC,  University of Spoiled Children. However, I wasn’t one of them. As a poor student, I tried to look like I belonged there. I wore one of my favorite USC tee shirts, matching shorts and Nike Ari sneakers—probably purchased with my student credit card. My pale blond hair in an early 90’s (a duplicate of  Demi Moore’s style in  the movie Ghost). It resembled pale locks cut off in a bowl cut with a point reaching down my nape of my neck.  I looked like a boy with breasts and long acrylic nails. I wasn’t Greek; they were the wealthy kids who could afford beauty and status at any cost.

The “true” Greeks were the slender, perky breasted sorority girls and the muscled (but often with proud beer bellies) fraternity boys. Almost all Greeks on campus had fake-bake tans from the local tanning salon. Interestingly, the Greek girls would never move for anyone on the sidewalks and made the others walk out into the streets. Scholarly, gray-haired professors made their presence known on campus. They were gods in their own right. The foreign population exploded at USC. They came from every corner of the world.  USC wasn’t a melting pot; it was more like oil and water just shaken in a bottle.

***

I reported to work at King Hall Computer Center that afternoon. As I walked in, my eyes riveted on the Middle Eastern looking dude. This lean, long legged god with a compact butt stood behind the check in/out counter.  Three eager coeds were chatting with him in French. His olive complexion and mop of glorious black curls brought out his angelic brown eyes. “Where did you come from?” I said under my breath.

During the lulls, Mr. Stud asked me questions like: Do you play tennis? Do you normally work at the Taper Hall? And, do you like the Pet Shop Boys?

I answered his questions with: Yes, but I suck at it. Yes I usually work at Taper Hall.  And,  yes I like the Pet Shop Boys.

We finished our shift for the day walked outside together. A crisp breeze brushed against my face lifting my bowlish blond hair up into the air.  He was definitely a Middle Easterner. What country he was from?

As we passed by the Taper Hall residential dining area, across the student fitness club, he said, “I know you from somewhere.”

“You do?”

“Yeah. Where did I meet you?” He inquired.

My mind raced. I didn’t remember meeting him unless I danced with him at a disco or met him at a party. I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know.” I hoped that I had not done something foolish in the past and forgotten about it.

He said, “My name is Adam.”

“Hi Adam, I’m Stevie.”

“Your parents actually named you Stevie?”

Not funny, I thought. “No. My real name is Stephanie. But Stephanie is too stuffy. I prefer Stevie.” I point to myself. “Stevie’s more adventurous.”

“Adventurous. Wow. I thought maybe you were in show biz.”

“Yeah. Thanks.” We stopped walking. “How long have you been at USC?” I asked.

“Too long,” he replied.

This was becoming awkward. I looked down at my watch. “Well Adam, I gotta run. Nice working with you today.”

“You too.”

I needed to walk home before it was dark. The neighborhoods around USC weren’t very safe; especially after sunset.

As I was leaving the campus, I heard footsteps running up behind me. I turned around and saw Adam.

He smiled. “You should take the tram instead of walking. I’ll walk you home.”

“That’s okay. I only live three blocks away.” I was still walking.

“One step outside this campus is a jungle.”

“You’re right.” I stopped walking.  “I live at Troy Hall. Is that too far for you?”

Adam responded, “Not at all. Let’s get you home safely.”

 

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2 Responses to “UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 1990”

  1. Kirsten February 14, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I like the foreshadowing of conflict in ‘oil and water shaken in a bottle’ Love it! I can’t wait to read more about Adam and Stevie. So hot!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • never2late2write February 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      Hi Kirsten. I hope to catch up on my blog reading today. Took a quick glimpse at yours. Can’t wait to dig in.

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