It’s no fun waking
up alone. The other side of my bed was cold and sterile. Okay, so Lola and I
were still at odds with each other. But damn it, I missed her cute little ‘get
up sleepyhead’ as she’d kissed me awake, the cute little way she brushed her hair, and of course, her cute
little…well, need I go on? You know what I mean. Hey, I’m a guy, it’s allowed. The thing is, as much as
I was bewildered and a bit angry with the way she’d acted, I missed her.
But how could I redeem myself ? I’d told her the truth. I had fallen for the person she was, not her body. But I’d
also have been damned if I hadn’t said that.
Like Ski had said, just
say what they want to hear. But how was I to know what? When you get right down to it, women are a foreign species in the
way they think. I was beginning to believe the old joke that our brains are divided into two spheres, only theirs are located
in their skulls and ours, well, you get the idea.
So this morning I was
torn between keeping the things the way they were which was the close but non-
committed type of relationship that we’d had, or, if she’d ever let me come within ten yards of her again, take
the plunge and ask her to marry me.
These two words kept sending shivers down my spine when I’d begun to think
of them after Ski had pointed out that it was probably the only solution to the impasse. The problem is that I know I’m
just not husband material. I’m gone, a lot. I have a dangerous job aboard
Seaview. I have an even more dangerous job with ONI, and add the occasional SEAL assignment, well, what kind of bride should
have to endure almost continual periods of separation, and the very real potential
of becoming a widow each and every time I go to work?
But Ski, bless him, not
just a loyal crewman, but a man of the world as far as women were concerned,
had assured me ‘Miss Lola was kind of used to the way we did things and that if she didn’t want to take on the
responsibility she’d let me know soon enough’.
But I have to ask myself
if I’m I ready for the same responsibility. I mean, marriage to my way
of thinking is a pretty hefty lifelong commitment, and can pretty much mean kids, too. I know Lola’s on the pill and
we’ve never really discussed kids. But if we married, well..don’t
most women want babies? Me, a father? Chip would agree I’m sure, that I’m, like him, a bit too much of a kid myself,
and would probably just tell me to do what my gut told me to do, which, unfortunately is telling me it doesn’t have
So I still need someone to tell me that I have plenty of time
to make that kind of decision. And that person isn’t Harry. He’s
been giving me subtle, if amused hints,
for months now, about his Captain ‘living in sin’. He’d accepted the fact, but he claimed that he didn’t
exactly have to like it. No prude, but he still kept on and on about wanting
me to be happy. In his mind, marriage must equal happiness, despite the fact
that he’s never leaned in that direction though he’s had more than a few opportunities himself.
I had a couple of hours
before I was to meet him on the golf course, so I got out my address book and gleaned through it, waiting for inspiration
about who to call to strike. Someone I could spill my dilemma to .
Sharkey? No good. He’d
just say ‘Ah Skip, just do what your heart tells you.’ But the problem is it doesn’t know! Cookie? He’s
got a family and seems happy enough, but he’s happily fulfilling his Reserve stint teaching at the Navy Cooking School.
Patterson? He’s dependable, truthful…but he, too, was out of town and it really wasn’t a good thing to involve
one’s crew with one’s personal problems. I’d already told Ski too much.
Then I saw the J’s. Yes, there was only one choice.
My fingers were actually
trembling as I punched in his number. Relief swept over me when there was no answer. “Skipper? What’s wrong?”
Will Jamison’s voice came over loud enough just before I was about to place the receiver back on the cradle.
wrong Doc…er…well, sort of not…um…you see…I …uh….I need to talk with someone…about
a little problem I have…”
I should have known when you came back from that camping trip with your friend Joe that you were hiding something. Fever?
Muscle aches? Bruised ribs? Headache? Upset tummy? Snake bite you didn’t tell me about?”
“Will! No, it’s
nothing physical!” I yelled. Would that man ever stop his mind from exaggerating
possible ailments? Okay, so I have come back from assignments or even simple shore leaves a bit the worse for wear but this
was not one of these times!
“Where are you?”
“Uh, I’m heading
to the golf course…”
“Awfully early for
a T-time, Lee. “
“I can get in a
few practice puts before Harry arrives, okay? Look, Will, I just need to talk
about something. Can you meet me there? The clubhouse is open for coffee…”
“All right, all
right. I’ll see you there in about a half hour. In the meantime see if you can vent some of that frustration by hitting a little round ball by whacking it with a 9 iron. “
And so I’m heading
there now, wondering what Chip, Angie and Lola, and Harry, are having for breakfast…and if she misses me…and if
I should go with it or not…damn. Why can’t I make up my mind!
Lucky Chip only has to
judge a beauty contest. I have to decide the rest of my life.