As an undergrad I was an engineering student at an average school and I was an average student. I always kid that on my diploma it reads “Graduated (just)”. My grades left an awful lot to be desired. I took a few years off after graduation and played for a while in industry before going to graduate school. I call my undergraduate degree my mother’s degree because of the attached “prestige” although I think it was largely in her head but she was proud of me so who am I to question it. I have to say that it has helped me make a decent living over the years as well. But graduate school, and its attendant degree, became what I called “my degree.” I didn’t do my graduate work in engineering, which would have been hugely helpful to my pocketbook, but in U.S. history which had become an avocation and true love.
At the time I was working at M.I.T. and one of my co-workers suggested I should go to Harvard for my graduate work when he heard what I wanted to study. I told him he had to be kidding that I wasn’t smart enough to get in. But when he told me how he had done it I decided to give it a try and sure enough, I got in. Now I should tell you that it is my opinion that the truly hard portion of Harvard lies in its undergraduate programs and its professional degrees, business, law and medical schools. Still, at the outset I was totally intimidated by where I had landed. I wanted so much to succeed and so feared failure. By the end of my first semester I had gotten all As and found I was up to the challenge. My focus became 19th century American reform movements but I was required to take a couple of other courses that were a little removed from this area. I found that I could actually combine the two by taking a women’s studies course in a course called The History of Women and Women’s Work. It was listed as a women’s study course so I filled that requirement but since it was based on the women’s movement as it was started by Elizabeth Stanton in 1840 I actually stayed with my reform movement agenda.
The course was given by a woman name Dr. Lynn Holzman. Lynn was a Canadian from Calgary who had earned her degrees at Wellesley, Smith and Columbia and had landed a position in the Harvard History Department. The department at the time was chaired by a man who had won a Pulitzer Prize a few years before. Lynn was a pretty woman in her mid-30s, long curly brown hair and hid her body well beneath a cross between hippy style dress and the then popular Annie Hall look. So when the course started there were about twenty five women, two other men and me. By the time the course ended there were twenty four women and me. Half of those women wanted to cut my balls off and feed them to me as they were of the militant variety of feminist but the other half of the class, having detected those undertones, drew close in support. One of the requirements was that each student had to give a lecture on some subject after mid-term but still well before the end of the term. I went first and had chosen Margaret Sanger and her role in birth control and eugenics as much subject. Now the eugenics portion got added after Lynn had told me very strongly how much she disliked Sanger, pointing to her own Jewish background and saying Sanger’s eugenics was key in Hitler’s Germany. I should qualify my calling her Lynn by saying that from the very first I wanted to have some sort of relationship with her and that of course did develop.
“Not only will I prove you wrong about her [Sanger] but I’ll get you to like her,” I challenged Lynn.
“I’ll tell you what,” she retorted, “If you can just get me to change my mind about her I’ll give you an A for the course.”
That was a challenge I couldn’t refuse although I had taken all the challenges of grad school head on and done very well discovering my here-to-fore unknown knack for being an excellent researcher. But I was really pleased that she took an interest as such in what I was doing particularly since I had had a school boy crush on her from the first day of class. When she lectured I watched her lips move totally entranced with their form and movement. I also watched her eyes, dark and gorgeous. I have long been a sucker for the brains and beauty combination in a woman. But the other thing was I had never before had a crush on any teach I’d ever had. I suspect that’s largely due to the fact that by the time I started noticing the opposite sex most of my teachers were either men or much older women who just didn’t catch my eye. When I first saw her I guessed Lynn to be in her late 30s. I was 24 at the time and had never been so taken with an “older” woman. But there was something exotic and alluring about Lynn that I couldn’t resist.
“So how goes the research?” Lynn asked me one day after class on the steps of Grossman Hall as we were both departing.
“I was just going over to Widener to get a couple of articles so I can start finishing up.”
“You’re the only student who hasn’t asked for help and I have to tell you, Peter, bahis firmaları that’s usually not a good sign.”
I was taken aback by her notice and felt a defensive mood coming over me but then I also thought I was really pretty pleased with what I had done thus far. Then I said to her, “Well, there is one thing I could use some help on.”
“What’s that?” She asked looking a little pleased with herself.
“Well, I’m not sure I entirely understand her relationship with Emma Goldman.”
“Great but I can’t talk to you now about it.” Lynn put down her valise and searched through it for her day planner and finding it flipped it open. “Can you meet tomorrow at 4:30?”
“Sure,” I replied.
“Okay but they’re doing some plumbing work in my office so we’ll have to meet somewhere else.” Lynn thought for a moment and then said, “How about we meet in the Grossman Library, there are some offices up there and I’m certain we can use one.”
“Great, I’ll see you then.” I said as Lynn put her day planner away and hurried off towards Widener Library. The truth was I didn’t really need to understand more about Sanger’s relationship with Goldman but I figured I could make points with Lynn so she’d look more favorably at my report.
The next day flew by and I had to rush to the library to make my appointment on time. As it was, however, I arrived a few minutes early. As Lynn hadn’t specified where to meet her I sat down at one of the tables near the door that leads into the library. A few minutes later Lynn hurried into the library.
“Sorry I’m late,” she said half out of breath. Everyone who went up to the fourth floor library of Grossman Hall did so by the stairs so Lynn’s being out of breath was understandable.
“But you’re not late,” I said looking at my watch, “it’s just now 4:30.”
“That’s sweet of you to say but I know I said we’d meet at 4:15 and now it’s, well, I’m late.” No matter how well you get along with a professor at Harvard it’s never a good idea to argue with them when they “know” they’re right. “Okay, so I’ve got us an office just down the hall.”
Lynn went into some detail about Margaret Sanger’s role in birth control in the lower east side of New York and then Emma Goldman’s involvement with the labor movement and the women of the lower east side.
“So did they have an affair?” I interrupted Lynn.
She seemed a little caught off guard by my question but quickly recovered and answered, “No, although there was no shortage of such rumors. Goldman, though not a promiscuous woman, did have her share of affairs. She surrounded herself with celebrities of the day such as Jack Reed, Eugene O’Neil to name a few and she was a little caught up in that. Sanger wasn’t famous yet so I doubt Goldman saw her that way although it isn’t unreasonable to suspect such as Goldman did equally like women.” So Lynn continued on giving me some insights but really nothing that I needed for my lecture. But what this did present me with was a situation where I could stare into her eyes and enjoy being in her presence. More than once I found myself drifting far from what she was saying.
“So does that help you?” Lynn asked.
I noticed that only fifteen minutes had passed. “Yeah, it does,” I lied, “I think it’ll help with the direction of my lecture.”
We sat there silently for a few moments when Lynn asked, “Why do you keep looking at me that way?”
“What way?” I replied defensively.
“You know,” she said looking for the right words.
I decided at that moment to be honest and I was honestly terrified of what I was going to say. I fear mostly her reprisal. “You’ve got such beautiful eyes.”
Lynn blushed very noticeably and for once a woman not known for being at a loss for words she found herself in exactly that situation. “Thank you,” she responded first looking down and then up to me.
“I’d like to go out with you,” I said to her shocking even myself with my words.
“You’re my student. I can’t go out with you. It’d be wrong.”
“Why? I mean I’m not some poor undergrad looking to score an A.”
“I know but it’s not ethical. Listen, I need to get going so if you don’t have any more questions . . .” her words trailed off as she stood up and gathered up her belongings.
I stood up too and then did something that, when I look back upon it now, I cannot believe I found the courage to do. I took Lynn’s hands in mine and said as I looked into her eyes, “I just know you’re a beautiful woman who I’d really like to go out with.”
Lynn looked quite flustered but gathered herself enough to say, “Listen, if nothing else there’s an obvious huge age difference. How old are you?” So I told her and she continued, “I’m almost 15 years older than you, you could be my . . .”
Lynn wasn’t sure to go with it so I replied, “kid brother?” I hoped I had said it in a way that lightened up the situation.
“No, I can’t do it.”
“Oh come on,” I whined just a little bit, “it’ll kaçak iddaa be fun. We’ll just go to the House of Blues or something.”
“The House of Blues?” Lynn queried. I had obviously struck a note with her. “You like the blues?”
“If you’re talking like the Allman brothers,” I paused trying to think of another blues singer and saw Lynn’s quizzical look. It occurred to me that somehow she didn’t know who they were but then I followed with, “or someone like Muddy Waters, yeah, I love the blues.”
I could see acknowledgement come over her face and I knew I had said the right thing. “Okay, Friday night, we’ll meet there, Dutch, agreed?” I felt a bit like she was playing the parent to me but I quickly agreed to her conditions.
Friday was two days away and the time seemed to drag by. When we met there it was crowded but we got a table well to the rear of the room. I don’t remember who was playing that night, someone named Big Jack I think, but I do remember we both ordered white wine and enjoyed the music. The situation was such that it pretty much required our sitting very close to each other which of course suited me. Somewhere during my second glass of wine I thought I felt her leg first brush up against mine and then it remained touching me. That little bit of a touch seemed electric to me and I dared not budge. Towards the end of that second glass of wine I found myself glancing more and more at Lynn, looking at her face, her eyes. I wanted to look at the rest of her body too but as usual she was wearing a very loose fitting blouse and dress. But still, I remember thinking how she looked like she was closer to 30 than 40.
Somewhere during our third glass of wine I put my arm around her back. Lynn looked first away from me and then towards me and smiled albeit weakly. Still, I rationalized, she hadn’t done anything to deter me so I took that to mean it was all right. A few seconds later I rubbed her shoulder a couple of times and stopped. She didn’t say or do anything so again I took it as passive acceptance.
I think it was somewhere around our fifth or sixth we both felt the urge only Lynn spoke first, “I need to find the lady’s room.”
Her eyes were inches from mine when I said, “Okay, I need to go too but I’ll wait until you come back so we don’t lose our seats.” Our eyes were still locked and just like one of those movie moments I took the opportunity to kiss her quickly and lightly. Lynn pulled back as if shocked but she didn’t say anything right away.
“Why did you do that?” She finally asked. I didn’t know what to say and before I could collect my thoughts she got up and said, “I’ll be right back.” As soon as she returned I hurried off to the men’s room. I expected her to say something about the kiss when I returned by she didn’t. So once again I put my arm around her and again she didn’t resist. I took that as tacit acceptance. I wanted her so badly at that moment and of course where we were didn’t lend itself to much of anything more than what had already happened. The one additional thing I was able to do, and which she did rest, was running my hand through her hair as it hung on her shoulders. Although I couldn’t believe she could feel very much from this she actually seemed to take pleasure in it and of course I was getting great pleasure from it.
Finally we left and as we descended upon the streets of Cambridge on that cool spring evening I felt like a kid in high school who was out on a date with his new girlfriend. We had only gone a few steps when Lynn said, “Well, I need to be getting home.”
I wasn’t nearly ready for the evening to end so I quickly said, “I’ll walk you home.” It then occurred to me that I really didn’t know where she lived and my assumption that she lived somewhere near Harvard Square was probably way off base.
“Thank you but it’s not necessary. I just live over on Brattle Street.”
“If my father ever heard that I allowed you to walk home alone I’d get killed.” I left out the part that my father had been dead for several years at that point so he was hardly in a position to object but my real point was, though poorly related, he expected me to act like a gentleman.
“Well, I don’t want your father killing you.” I was going to fix my omission until she said that and decided to delay it for another time. Brattle Street lead right off Harvard Square into one of the nicer and pricier neighborhood of Cambridge. I hoped she lived at the far end of the street which was a least a mile by my calculations. As we walked we talked about the evening’s concert sharing our thoughts on how well the performance had gone. Just as we were passing Longfellow’s House Lynn stopped and looked at the house and said, “I love this house. I think it’s the most beautiful house on the street.”
I didn’t know how to respond except a mumbled agreement. As we stood there stare at the house I thought I felt Lynn lean into me just a bit from the side. My mind raced with thoughts of how best to kaçak bahis take advantage of the situation. One of my thoughts was to do nothing which I quickly discarded as not being acceptable. Just as the moment I felt Lynn begin to move I wrapped an arm around her and pulled her so that she was looking into my eyes. I thought she might object so before she could I kissed her. As my mind adjusted to the moment I decided it needed to be something more than a peck so I kissed her with a slightly open mouth. At first she didn’t respond but as I broke the kiss I brushed my lips back and forth against hers. Lynn responded to this by kissing me. That was all I needed to insert all the passion I could muster into our kiss and I could feel Lynn responding in like fashion. Our kisses had gone from simple and light to wet and passion filled. I had my hand in the small of her back and pulled her into me as much as I could. She in turn had her hand behind my head and was running it through my hair.
Finally we broke our kiss and I said in a pant, “Oh my gawd you’re wonderful.”
Lynn replied in a breathless fashion, “I haven’t done that in, well, a very long time.” I didn’t know what to do or say next so I kissed her again with as much passion as before. This time I felt Lynn’s hand run down my back over my ass and back up my side. As she was doing this I simply pushed a hand up between us and cupped her breast, a breast that had gone totally unseen and what I found was fairly firm full breast. Lynn gasped when I first touched her breast but her passion in the kiss continued unabated.
Our moment was broken when someone in a passing car yelled out, “Get a room!” We broke our kiss and laughed. Lynn took my hand and we started walking again this time in silence. It was as if all the words had been expended but this silence was the friendly amorous sort that was most enjoyable. We walked for about a half mile and turned down Channing Street towards Mt. Auburn Hospital. About half way down the street she stopped and said, “This is me.”
I desperately didn’t want the evening to end yet and since I couldn’t think of anything to say I kissed her again. I was very pleased when she returned the kiss and accepted their escalation to the previous heights of passion.
Finally she broke the kiss and said, “Listen, I need to get in. It’s getting chilly out here and I’m sure you need to get home too.”
I wanted to give her this great answer that would get her to immediately understand how the evening needed to go on but instead I heard myself say a limp and almost pathetic, “no.”
We stood there in silence for a few moments. Finally Lynn said, “Well, I suppose you could come up for a cup of tea and get warmed up.” In truth I hated tea and the last thing I needed was to be warmed up. If anything, I needed to be cooled down. I may have been a little naïve back then but I wasn’t stupid and wasn’t about to miss a chance to go inside with her. “I rent a room here and the old lady I rent it from is probably asleep so we need to be quiet.” I agreed as she unlocked the front door and pushed her way into a very large living room. Lynn turned on a table lamp and led me off to the rear of the house and the kitchen. Lynn was about to turn on the stove under her tea pot when I pulled her around to me and said, “I have a confession. I really don’t like tea.” I didn’t wait for a response instead I kissed her trying to once again light our fires and allow those of the stove to rest. Lynn seemed equally interested in kissing so things quickly escalated.
My mind moved towards being more comfortable so remembering a sofa in the living room I led Lynn back to the living room and sofa where we continued our kissing. Now I felt like a kid back in high school kissing his girlfriend at her parent’s house. I loved it! It wasn’t long before I once again inched my hand up between us and over Lynn’s breast. Again she didn’t resist my advances so this time I took the opportunity to caress and squeeze her breast. I had only been doing this a few seconds when she put a hand between us and pushed herself away and said, “No, we can’t do this.”
“Why?” I asked.
Lynn seemed pressed for an answer but then said, “Because,” and then paused and continued, “because Mrs. Cummings would be very upset if she found us here like this.”
“I thought you said she was asleep.”
“Well she probably is but . . .”
“Well, we’re being quiet so we won’t wake her up or anything.”
I couldn’t believe such a simple minded response would throw Lynn so but it did seem to have that effect. I took advantage of the pause in our conversation to resume our kissing. We probably kissed for ten minutes and the heat between us was noticeable. Then suddenly Lynn pushed me away and stood up and said, “I need to get to bed and you need to go home.”
Encouraged by how far things had progressed I got up and pulled her to me and said, “You don’t want me to go do you?” I gave her a kiss, short but very warm and looked into her eyes.
“No, I don’t but you still have to go.”
“I don’t know you and I don’t go to bed with someone on the first date.”
“So this was our first date?”