It's 1994. Bill Clinton has passed a year in the White House. I keep playing Sheryl Crow's "Tuesday Night Music Club" over and over, and it becomes my favorite album ever. In that summer, I become fascinated by the concept of a double feature, when the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has an ad in the Lifestyle section that says, "Come for Angels in the Outfield, stay for The Lion King." I've never seen restrooms so crowded in between films at the GCC Coral Square Cinema 8 in Coral Springs.
Somewhere in that year, April or May, I'm at Universal Studios Orlando with my family; a one-day visit. It's the day after my part in a bowling tournament, the reason we're in Orlando from Coral Springs, 4 hours south. I didn't rank high enough for the next round, so here I am, at a better deal, since the most fun I got out of that tournament was the big arcade at that alley, causing me to nearly miss my turn twice. I love bowling, but that was one instance of boredom.
We traverse pretty much the entire park. E.T.: The Ride. The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. Kongfrontation. Nickelodeon Studios, where we sit down to watch them tape three opening challenges on "Legends of the Hidden Temple" for separate episodes.
At one point during the day, someone comes up to us and asks if we want to take part in a survey, what turns out to be a taste test of juices with the labels covered up. I notice that one of them is Ocean Spray, but that matters nothing to me, not with what I've seen.
A temporary vision.
A brunette about my age (10) who knows just what I like, even though she doesn't know me.
Mature. Even at that age, I like 'em that way, and it must stem from reading since I was 2. Nothing that I read in those books brought on this preference, but considering that my 3rd grade teacher once called my parents in for a conference because I was reading on a level far above my classmates with some John Grisham novels I brought to class to read, I expect a bit more.
I wish I remembered our conversation. I wish I remembered exactly what she looked like, beyond the long hair and those brown eyes that seemed curious but didn't want to ask the questions outright. I know, it sounds a little silly, but you come upon something like this in a theme park, just like that, and you wonder how on earth it managed to happen on that day, in that spot.
Of course, the severe disadvantage for me was not prying a bit more, like trying to extract a phone number or something to keep in touch. Saw her briefly, talked a bit, and that was it. Of course, this was at a time when I thought every girl I was attracted to would be unforgettable, like years later my memories of them would still haunt me. And then, you get older, and those preconceived notions become disposable notions.
But right then, wow. I don't remember if I asked her where she came from, to compare the distance between that and Coral Springs, but I wanted her with me for the rest of the day. No chance, though, since it was time to go.
I do recall that in line for Kongfrontation, there was a girl named Bridget in line behind me, and we had a longer conversation than the one I had with that taste test goddess. Bridget was a little more bubbly, excitable, but that didn't work for me. Like that brunette, I prefer mystery, time to explore in conversation what a person is, what they like, what they don't like, what they want in life. Now that stems from books and also having written my own, which required exploring facets of the lives of so many actors from nothing. I had to start from nothing and find the books and read them and get out of them what I needed. That works for me with women, too. I don't want to know everything right away, but just some trait, some manner of speaking that makes me want more.