The Nydia Near-Miss

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

I met a redheaded girl named Nydia on one of the dating websites I visited frequently in the Fall of 1996, one of the more adult ones. People who frequented this one were plain about their intentions. They were looking for sexual partners, not just friends or casual dates. They were looking to fuck. The thing I didn’t realize for a whle, because my love for flame-haired beauties was obscuring my vision, was that this redhead was a black redhead.

Of course this didn’t matter much… it shouldn’t have mattered much. I did feel slightly strange though. I guess I wondered what my parents would think if ever they met her. Nobody at Bradford, none of my friends would care. Eventually I got my little weirdness out of the way, and my ashamedness at feeling a little weirdness, and Nydia and I decided to meet one evening up at Berklee College of Music where she went to school.

It was a weeknight, if I recall correctly, the first time we arranged to meet. I drove to Malden and parked my car at the T station there and then took the train into Boston. When I finally got to the lobby of the main Berklee building I looked around for her. There was an Internet lab and I went to check my account at that dating site and also my e-mail. I think at some point I saw what I thought was her.

Eventually, on my way out, we walked right past each other without saying a word. The reality of a me being with a black girl, even if she was a redhead, set in. I felt strange and ashamed that I felt strange and I left. I called my dorm room from a pay phone outside and Rachael answered. I asked about someone calling or her getting me the number, but we couldn’t manage it. I could’ve just gone back in there and found her but I wanted to call instead. God, I was pathetic.

I went back to Bradford and later, Nydia and I spoke on the phone and determined it really had been each other that we’d seen in that hallway. We made plans to get together again soon.