And then I fell in love with a beatnik chick: Sasha, where are you now?

mo beatnik

Back when I first went off to college I also had my first significant exposure to a female who was definitely a departure from the naive highschool girls I was used to. Sasha manifested in my sophomore year and I have never forgotten her. This is a brief excerpt from a sort of memoir I have (perhaps foolishly) been toiling on. I hope you enjoy.

She wore her jet-black hair severely pulled back in a kind of bun; had cheekbones lesser popsies would die for; a large-lipped and sensual mouth; huge dark eyes with an Oriental cast to them; wore leotards and skirts and black, always black, turtleneck pullovers which accented her strikingly trussed tits. I was very much and instantly in love with her. She also scared the crap out of me. She was a person who shouted intimidating sophistication from her every pore and was also an avowed communist. Or so she said. sasha

Sasha (I’ve changed the name here and that’s not really her in the photo but it’s not a bad facsimile if memory serves) was kind of a proto hippie. Or actually more of a retro-beatnik who was also intensely political. She intimidated me because she seemed so sophisticated. In retrospect I think she was likely a poseur, but for a naive Burnaby boy she seemed like the real goods. And while she intimidated me she also attracted me. Her manner was aloof as she sat sucking on Export A cigarettes – in the days when you could do such an outrageous thing in a classroom – and looking like a character from a novel – a Salinger novel and the sort of female who would have made a Holden Caulfield cream his undies. I was Holden in a few ways back then.

Anyway, as Sasha shared her odd cryptic (and always unsmiling) drolleries with me and made supreme judgments on our prof (whom I rather liked) I never thought for a moment she actually noticed me as a male personage sitting next to her who was idly wondering what sort of underwear (if any) a beatnik girl wore. Then one day, and utterly unexpectedly she hit me with:beatnik

We’re going to Victoria on the weekend for a demonstration and I was wondering if you’d like to come with me?”

Well, blow me down with a bolt from the blue in an unacceptably mixed metaphor, but so flabbergasted was I by this that I verbally seized up and wondered if I had heard her correctly. Accompany her? Did that mean stay with her? Like overnight? I was, at that consideration, gripped by an awful terror.

I sputtered out a negative response, muttering that I had a commitment and maybe some other time and whatever other platitude I could muster. In response Sasha merely shrugged and didn’t look disappointed at all. I mean maybe she was utterly crestfallen but her face revealed no such thing.

She was that kind of girl.

I, unfortunately, was the kind of boy I was. Just a little less worldy than I thought.

I wonder what she’s doing these days.

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8 responses to “And then I fell in love with a beatnik chick: Sasha, where are you now?

  1. I still fondly remember my “first love” – as different than my “first date”. They are, I believe, very special, whether or not we married them. They taught us something important about ourselves. And still, more than 50 years later, I think of him and hope he is happy.

  2. You could always try Facebook…

  3. What’s she doing these days? Probably wondering why she is going to die alone. Sure, all the boys said how beautiful and tempting she was but even in college she got turned down for dates. Little did she know until too late that she was described as ‘aloof’ and ‘intimidating’.

    Signed, an aloof and intimidating woman who always ends up with an older man

  4. I was very un-worldly. Everyone always said I was naive and gullible. I blushed very easily and the boys found it entertaining. Half of the time (okay, 95%) when people told “off color” jokes, I laughed with them but did not get it. One of my female friends would explain to me later on. I wanted to be a little wild but was too scared to try (mostly due to being afraid my father would find out). I woukd look at a young lady who seemed so worldly and wonder if she had “done it.” Never knew if it was all show or not.

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