I met Crazypants in college. We were both in the same figure drawing class. I was 18, she was 20. She struck quite the impressive figure, curvy as the Stanley Cup with a bodacious tail and enormous jugs. I noticed her instantly. She had a penchant for wearing sundresses all the time which only further emphasized her attributes. But what really got me all hard in my slacks, was the fact that she didn’t shave her armpits. Glorious tufts of hair bushed out from underneath her deeply tanned upper arms. I’ve always had a thing for women with hairy armpits. My family is French. It’s in my blood.

I was mesmerized.

Every Thursday I’d drool over her, adjusting my rod every two goddamned seconds. My crotch was dusty with charcoal. She knew it too because one day she came up to me after class and started up a conversation.

“You’re always staring,” she said. “Did you want to say hi?”

I did.

We exchanged phone numbers and later that night back at my dorm the phone rang. When I picked up all I heard was a dial tone. I star 69’d and a gruff, masculine voice barked into the receiver.

“Yeah? Speak!”

“Huh? You just called me mister,” I said, taken aback.

“Whaddyatalkin’?”

“I just pressed star 69…you called me.”

“Star what? I already told ya’ buddy, I didn’t call. What is this?”

The guy was getting really upset, but I persisted. I was a pain in the ass when I was kid, I really was.

“Why did you call me mister, what’s your problem?” I said with a taunting laugh.

“Alright…”

Click. He hung up.

It was an amusing little episode, I chuckled over it with my roommate and quickly forgot about it. A few days later, I ran into Crazypants on the quad, and she explained what had happened. She was involved with an older guy and by older I mean way older – 63 to be exact. She was over his house that night and had called me but quickly hung up when he entered the room.

“Jesus.”

“Yeah, we had a big fight about it,” she said, eyes downcast.

“Sixty-three? Seriously?”

“Do you still wanna go out with me?”

“Sure…I guess.”

Only I wasn’t so sure anymore.

Something was not right. There was a vague slur to her speech, almost imperceptible, but it nagged at me. Still, this was a genuine girl asking me out on an actual date. The only other time I’d ever been propositioned was on a bus trip to Buffalo when some gay guy knocked on the bathroom door while I was taking a shit, asking me whether I wanted some company. We both agreed to meet up at her place Friday night at seven.

When I arrived, Crazypants greeted me with a warm smile. Deeper in the foyer, I spotted her mother – glass of white wine in hand. I soon discovered that her parents had rented a little cottage just off campus so her mother could stay with her during the school year. It was all very strange, but young as I was, I never made the connections. Her mother kept asking me if she could get anything for me and really made a fuss. I’m sure she was delighted to see a teenager standing at the door instead of some grizzled sexagenarian.

We took her car into town and wound up at a Roy Rogers. Over a bucket of fried chicken she got serious.

“I have to tell you something.”

“Okay then,” I said, a prick of unease jabbing my spine.

“Well, it’s hard. I really hate talking about this.” She was fidgeting all over the place.

Of course my mind sprung to what was on everyone’s mind at the time. It was the era of immune deficiency, when sex equalled death. My thoughts raced. Had I sipped out of a glass back at her place?

“Just tell me…don’t build it up.”

“Okay, well you see…I’m on medication.”

That did it.

“Oh my god! Do you have AIDS!” I heard myself blurt out.

“What? No! Why would you think that?”

“You said you were on medication!”

I could feel the panic sneaking on like a black cat in a back alley. These attacks had started after I’d smoked 11 laced bong hits earlier in the semester. I almost died…or at least felt like I was dying. I’d suffer from them for years afterwards.

“For my head,” she said with an odd titter. “I’m something called bi-polar. I’m on lithium.”

I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about really, but at least she didn’t have AIDS. I was relieved and polished off the rest of the chicken.

We went on to date for a couple months, but I eventually dumped her when she began acting increasingly erratic; calling my dorm room in tears at all hours of the day, claiming her mother was trying to poison her, saying that the FBI was trying to recruit her for covert operations. It got pretty scary. When I broke up with her outside of class, she grabbed my hand, fast as a Venus fly trap, and bent my fingers back. She brought me to my knees. Just before they went snap, the art professor came to my rescue, managing to pull her off me. She ran off screaming down the corridor like a banshee. I never saw her again – she dropped out of the class. I heard later that she’d left school completely, returning to her home town of Braintree in Massachusetts.

Crazypants was the first in a long line of girlfriends with issues. It makes me wonder, what came first the chicken or the egg? Am I drawn to these women or are they drawn to me? Am I putting something out there, some pheromone that drives the disturbed from the woodwork like termites? I know I’m not crazy. Neurotic yes but most assuredly not crazy.

I was never quite the same person after that relationship with Crazypants. I didn’t see women as these idealized creatures anymore. They had been knocked off their pedestal. They were human.

Years later, I saw her walking in Central Park. It was cold…February cold. She looked worn down, dead-eyed. An ancient geezer hobbled along beside her, clinging to her arm for dear life. I felt strangely heartened, obviously they’d made it work.

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I'm a writer/editor with a penchant for saddle shoes, pontification and fried pork rinds. Equal parts gadfly, cut-up, provocateur, philosopher, and silly-willy. My personal heroes include Reggie Jackson, Elvis Costello and Philip Roth.

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