By ice rivers
I got to my dorm room before my other roomates. The room had a bunkbed and a single bed. I didn't know which bed to take or whether I should wait for my roomies to arrive and we'd decide together. My mother gave me her last bit of pre-college advice.
"Take the single bed".
That's some great advice.
I took the single She helped me make it.
They said goodbye.
I was on my own.
I lit up a Newport and realized nobody was going to stop me.
Smoking was still a big deal in 1964.
I exhaled and the smoke never looked more beautiful. I blew exquisite smoke rings and rings through rings.
Eventually, my two roomies showed up. They were both big guys. Rob was from Utica and Louie was from Auburn.
I left the room while they got unpacked. I explored the rest of the dorm.
When I returned, me and my roomies began to feel each other out. They had settled in the bunkbed...Rob on top...Louie below.
Louie was a basketball player and Rob had left his girl back in Utica.
We decided to take a walk uptown, into the village and get a pizza.
I had never had a pizza before in my life. First day in college, first day with new roomates and about to have my first pizza.
We walked up the hill to Main Street past the fountain of the bear and made our way to Pontillo's pizza.
I was pretending that I'd done this many times.
We sat down and Rob ordered for us.
While we waited for the pizza, we talked about why we chose Geneseo State and why we wanted to become teachers. We were so young and so earnest.
They had a juke box in the pizza joint. I played two songs. Pretty Woman and Baby I Need Your Loving.
I told Rob that I played Baby I Need Your loving out of repect for the girls we had left behind and Pretty Woman for the girls we would meet.
Baby I Need Your Loving came on first and it arrived as our pizza was served.
I had no idea how to eat a pizza so I watched as Rob expertly spun the pizza around and separated the pieces.
We were in semi-formal mode. We hadn't laughed or cursed at each other yet.
Rob removed the first piece of pizza abd put it in his mouth just as the Four Tops were singing OOh Ooh Ooh Ooh, Oouh Ooh, Oooh.
The piece was too hot and Rob stated going "Ooh ooh ooh" in pain just as the Tops were singing Baby I need Your Loving."
While he was oohing and aahing in pain a big gobby string ofcheese ahd slipped off the pizza and was stuck to his chin all the way to the pizza which he had pulled away from his face.
He looked hilarious.
I tried not to laugh at his pain but couldn't help myself.
He didn't mind. He laughed too and so did Louie.
Louie and I decided to wait a little bit before we took our slices.
I was very careful with my first bite of my first slice of pizza.
I've eaten a lot of pizza since then and not always as carefully.
Soon I would meet a pretty woman but that's another story.
Whenever I hear either of those songs, I think of that day and that pizza.