Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Microstory 1847: First Husband

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a slut. I try to tell people how I met my first husband, and they get hung up on the first part of it, which sort of throws off the flow of the rest of the story. Did I have relationships prior to him? Yes. Did I have relationships after him? Yes. I would ask that you kindly hold all questions until the end. I would rather just not bring it up at all, but it’s kind of important, because you’ll otherwise wonder what I was doing in that hallway in the first place. So. I don’t remember the guy’s name. It was Brad, or Gad, or something dumb like that. He had to go to class, but he said it was cool if I slept there. I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, but I’m really bad about waking up, so I took him up on his offer, and stuck around for the next couple of hours. When I was finally ready to go, I stepped out of the door at the same time as the guy across the hall. We smiled politely—I recall it being quite obvious what I was doing there, but also how totally nonjudgmental he was about it. We kind of had this moment when we didn’t quite realize how hard it was going to be to get down the hallway at the same time. We happened to be moving at the same pace, so right there, I would say it already would have been a meet-cute. Except, like I said, I wasn’t ever going to see the other guy again, so maybe we wouldn’t have even exchanged information. We certainly had time, though, after the next development. We both froze when we saw the same thing. There was a giant snake in the middle of the hall, blocking our way. I don’t know what kind it was, but it was one of the ones that wraps itself around its victims, instead of biting them. Or maybe it bites them too. Or maybe they all bite; I don’t know. I’m just saying it was freakin’ huge. It was surely someone’s pet that got loose and got lost. So we probably weren’t in too much danger, but neither of us knew one way or the other.

The only safe way to react was to get ourselves on the other side of a door. I remember thinking days later how strange it was that there wasn’t an emergency stairwell at the end of the hallway. It just ended at someone else’s room, and I don’t think he was there at the time. Neither was the dude I had just spent the night with, and the locks were the kind that automatically pop into place when you close the door, key or no, so I couldn’t get back in. Being the gentleman that he always was, my future husband, of course, let me sit in his room. You might ask why we didn’t try to call for help, but first, yelling down the hallway seemed counterproductive, because what if that freaked the snake out? He seemed pretty chill, but again, we couldn’t know that. Secondly, this was the early eighties. Lots of dorms installed phone lines in individual dorm rooms by then, but not all of them shelled out the money for it, and my school really wanted to budget for academics. I admired that back then, and I still admire it now. We generally didn’t need phones. The payphone by the front desk was good enough for the era, because most hallways weren’t infested with snakes. We got to talking, and found out what we had in common, and what we didn’t. It was nearly an hour before we heard a commotion outside. A couple of guys were a lot less nervous about it than we were. They picked it up, and carried it up to the third floor together. Evidently, they knew who it belonged to. And us? Well, as you know, we eventually got married. He will always be my first love, and if there’s an afterlife, I honestly hope we meet again, because I know that he and my second husband would get along so great.

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