Sony DSC F717 Digital Photo, Photoshop enhanced, inspired by the story told below and the song that follows.
Decades ago I lived in a one bedroom apartment at Rendall Pl. in Silver Lake, CA. It was a quaint little place. There were only two units built above a two car garage with a single entry way and walk up to the individual flats on either side of the stairway. The layout was identical in both abodes. My neighbors were a young very good looking couple. She was an up and coming model and designer. He was the lead singer songwriter of a popular band in SoCal. We were very cordial at first but gradually warmed and became more than passing acquaintances. I attended different venues at their invitation. We partied all over town. We ate together, had cocktails often and shared many a joint during our late night chats.
These two were very into each other. They were so hot that you could actually envision yourself romantically with either one of them as I did on more than one occasion.
Anyway, as I mentioned before our apartments were identical which made it difficult to keep any animal urges quiet enough so that we couldn’t hear each other. You see, our beds were in the exact same position on either side of our bedroom walls through necessity. There was no other way to fit a bed of any size unless one knocked out a wall. And the walls, huh, they did nothing for privacy. I could hear every grunt, moan and fevered whisper, and feel their bumps, grinds and vibrations as I lay alone in my own bed.
Not being much of a voyeur, I convinced myself that I wasn’t interested in their coupling. I made half hearted attempts to shut out the sounds and the visions they conjured up in my mind by meditating. That didn’t work at all. I’d throw my arm over my head in frustration. When I did this my hand would thud against the wall. My God, I could even feel the heat permeate right thru to my side.
‘Wait a minute, did I just hear, did they, did one of them, did both of them just say my name?’ It had to be my imagination.
I could feel hands on my body. One thing for sure they didn’t belong to me. One of my hands was clenched tightly by my side and the other was still pressed against the wall above my head. ‘Oh wow!’ I could feel myself becoming him and then becoming her and then him and her again. I panted and writhed in the grip of this unnatural commingling. Until, with the suddenness of thunder after already having seen the lightning strike in the distance, my whole consciousness was shattered into a million slivers that fell like broken crystal all about me. I slipped into a deep sleep the likes of which had not been felt since the Titans of lore slumbered. ‘Damn you Timothy Leary and those trips I took once upon a time.’
This went on for over a year, the strange relationship of theirs, of ours. Was I attracted to them and were they attracted and attached to me? Nothing more than long hugs and pecks and kisses ever passed between us. So neither one of us ever bothered to try and figure it out. Besides, too much scrutiny would invite the wrong kinds of conclusions. I avoided all flirtations from either of them and was careful not to do any flirting of my own. I was content with, what was to my mind anyway, the mystical thing we shared.
That following summer was busy for all of us. We got together socially as often as our schedules would permit. The young lady’s career was beginning to take off and required her to travel quite often. I was also traveling courtesy of the off shore oil drilling company that I worked for. The young man was heavily into the rock scene, his band played gigs up and down the West Coast.
One weekend I was returning from a four day symposium in New York and was so dog tired that I left my luggage in the hallway and climbed into bed fully clothed and promptly fell to sleep. I would awaken several times through the night to the sounds of the boys in the band practicing as quietly as they could, some new material, playing poker and generally shooting the breeze. They’re numbers dwindled until there were only one or two more band mates with my young neighbor. At some point they must have gone out, when I came awake again there was only stillness in their flat. I got up, undressed and snacked on something, took a pee and went back to bed and to sleep. Around, 2:30 or 3:30 in the morning. I awoke to the sounds of love making. I assumed the girl had returned and that they were catching up on lost time. I was too tired to participate however and went back to sleep.
I didn’t see much of them in the next couple of weeks because I was so busy and rarely at home. When I did see them the dynamic seemed to have changed, something was wrong. There was tension between them that made our conversations uneasy. I gave them their space.
One day I saw them having a heated discussion and saw her snatching her hand away from his. They rushed into their apartment. That same night I heard angry whispers coming through the wall and sensed something beautiful coming to an end. Around midnight their voices became more strained but still hushed. I heard him say “Come on, stay. Let’s work this out!”
There was no reply. There was only the rustling of clothing and the dragging of something across the bare floor. He continued to implore her not to go as I heard her high heels going down the stone stairs. He shouted “Fuck you then!” and slammed the door shut behind her. I heard the outer door slam shut seconds later. Saddened, emotionally and physically drained by what was happening to my young lovers, I fell into an exhausted sleep.
A week went by I didn’t see either of them and heard nothing coming through the walls. Their mail was in piles at their door.
That weekend I was out partying with some of my own friends and came home rather late. Their mail had been collected and I could see light coming from under the door. More than a little high, I made my way into my apartment and proceeded to get something to eat hoping to stave off the morning after hangover.
I staggered into the bedroom, undressed and started eating my snack on the side of the bed. I heard the young man’s anxious pleas coming through the wall as he spoke to his missing lady love over the phone. There was crying and apologies and more crying and uncertain promises that gave way to his hopeless confession…
We Were Going Down
(It Only Happened Once)
RoyAllenHunt © February 4, 2007
It only happened once, we were out having fun didn’t mean to do you wrong, I really didn’t want to do you wrong.
You were out of town nobody else was around. A few drinks later we were going down. It was just that one time. I can’t tell you a lie. But it wasn’t anything about you it was just something I thought I wanted to do.
It only happened once, we were just having fun. Didn’t really mean to do you wrong. I didn’t want to do you wrong.
I know it’s hard to take. And I Hope you don’t think it’s too late, too late for us. I wish you’d come back to try it all again. I wish you’d give me one more chance to prove that I can be everything you need. It only happened once. Why don’t you believe me? Why don’t you believe me?
Remember when we used to be everything to each other the very air we lived and breathed? Remember how we made plans to travel all over the land and what we would do when we got back to our little house of romance. We’d shut the door on the world outside and in our loving nest we two would hide.
It only happened once, we were just having fun. Please come back home!
You were out of town nobody else was around a few drinks later we were going down, down, down. It was just that one time I’m not telling you a lie. No, I’m not lying.
Alright, okay. Maybe I always felt this way. Maybe I even thought about it before and I hope I won’t do that anymore. Baby, please…don’t let us go.
It only happened once, we were out having fun. Didn’t really mean to do you wrong. I didn’t want to do you wrong.