In the summer of 1980, I lived in Sacramento California. I had just finished music school and went back to California to look for a paying gig. I lived near 22nd and P St. It was a duplex and I lived on the bottom floor. I worked around the corner at the newspaper, loading papers on the trucks.
One day I noticed a woman sitting on the porch at the house on the corner. She was tall, had dark skin and wavy black hair. I assumed she was Italian or Greek. The more I saw her, the more interested I became. Walking over to her house would take a lot of nerve when we did not even know each other.
A friend, who lived a few blocks down the street and she always passed by the house on the corner on her way to the store. Her name was Peggy. One day I stopped her and told her about my interest in the woman who lived on the corner. I asked her if she could mention my interest. She said she would have no problem doing that for me. We were friends who sometimes spent time together and I had thought that might be a problem but it was not.
Peggy came to my house days later and told me the woman’s name was Laura and that she was Italian. She was from New Jersey. Laura told her to tell me to come talk to her whenever I wanted. Even though, it would still take some nerve to walk down there.
One evening I was sitting outside and Laura came out and sat on the porch. I told myself that it was now or never. I got up and starting walking down the street. I was walking slow but it seemed like I was running. I stopped in front of her house, looked at her, and walked up the steps, sat down next to her and introduced myself.
Our conversation went in a hundred difference directions and it was natural. I did not want to go home but I knew I had to leave at some point. I told her that I would like to talk to her again if possible and she agreed.
The next day I got a phone call about a paying gig in San Francisco and I had to be there that evening. I packed my stuff, put it in the care and drove to the Bay Area. It did not dawn on me until later that I had left without telling Laura. I was so excited about the gig that it never crossed my mind.
I never went back to Sacramento. A couple of years later I sent her a postcard from Italy. Years later in Hawaii, while driving on the freeway, a car passed me and the woman in the passenger seat turned around and started smiling at me. I knew real away it was her. She was with someone and I knew that getting together would be out of the question. They were going to the North Shore and I turned off the freeway before them.
I attempted to locate her, but I found she had moved back to New Jersey and may have gotten married. I have few regrets, but I regret taking that gig, I regret not going back to Sacramento. Sometimes I wonder if she ever thinks about me and I wonder about what might have been.
© 2022 Don Robbins