I guess I was nineteen years old. Nora, who I'd spent a lot of time with in Washington, D.C., was now living in Greenwich Village. She invited me to come up and spend the weekend with her.
In retrospect, I realized that the reason Nora had invited me to her Greenwich Village apartment for the weekend was that this was to be the occasion when she would finally go to bed with me. But I managed to start an argument over something trivial and she wound up throwing me out instead.
Walking through the streets, I encountered Bill -- the only one of Nora's friends I really knew -- who said, ``No problem. You can stay with me tonight.''
I had my father's car, so we drove way uptown -- maybe 140th St. or 180th St. It was about 1 A.M. Bill assured me that there would be no problem in leaving the car double-parked over night. He rang the doorbell of an apartment on about the twentieth floor where, to my shock, he explained to the young woman who answered the door that we needed a place to stay for the night. After a short argument, she let us come in.
Her two roommates were not there. Bill was joking about which of the three would be the best one for me to sleep with. The embarrassment this conversation caused me charmed her, as did the fact that I had bowed when he introduced me. She gave us the bedroom of one of the missing roommates. It had a big double bed, so it seemed to me to be okay to be sleeping in the same bed with another male.
The next morning, none of the three women were there and we made ourself breakfast before I drove back home to Washington.
I guess that one of the reasons I've always liked the poems of Kenneth Patchen is that they remind me of a few experiences like this in Greenwich Village.