A SAD MEMORY, A TRUE STORY ABOUT A TIME WHEN EVERYTHING WAS HUSHED. AND NO HELP WAS AVAILABLE.
In the late 1950s, those women who went to college with me were locked into our dorm rooms at 7PM. We could only leave to use the bathroom. There were upper classman floor monitors. Freedom depended on your grade average.
After first semester we were allowed to stay out until 9PM on weeknights. Weekend curfew was 11PM. The fraternity houses had open bars. It was animal house all the time. Hazing was normal. Kids got drunk. The laundry man delivered drugs, but cigarette machines were not allowed in the dorm lobbies.
Most of the ‘girls’ claimed that they were virgins. Books by Henry Miller were hidden in drawers. No one wanted a bad reputation.
The girls on the second floor
Of Cottage House
Had a secret:
Mary found a fetus in the toilet.
Not quite a baby in the toilet
Almost a person in the toilet
No one knew what to do about it
No one knew what to do with it.
No one had ever seen one before.
They thought about flushing it
They thought about scooping it
And then burying it.
If they told the housemother
She would question all.
The police might come.
It would create a scandal.
No one wanted that.
They wondered if it belonged to Mary.
After all, she was the one who found it.
And then it just disappeared..
There was nothing in the toilet.
No one knew what happened to it.
No one asked.
No one really wanted to know.
Somewhere there is a mother. Perhaps, she was in Pre-med with me.
Maybe a music or Ed major. In any event. She knows what happened.
It is her miserable secret. Her regret. Her sorrow.