Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Potter Stewart Film Society (fiction)

note: this is an older story that I recently revised. One of the weird coincidences is that I redrafted this story with a main character, Havelock, who went to Columbia High School in New Jersey in the early 70's and worked as an apostle for ultimate frisbee. Oddly the same week, someone on (dedicated to frisbee folk and the like) picked up on this blog.

In that spirit, I'm putting this story here, even though the ultimate frisbee thing only gets a passing mention in the actual story. CL


At the time, it was my kind of joke, more clever than it was funny. Havelock didn't particularly care for it. He had, however, made all the important decisions and it was nominally our venture. So instead of calling it something obvious like the LawSchool Film Society, we named it for the Supreme Court Justice who admitted that he couldn't define "pornography", but knew it when he saw it.

Actually, Havelock made his preference apparent when he got our posters printed. As he unrolled the top one onto the formica table we would use to sell tickets outside the law school's auditorium, I saw right away that the only thing anyone would see was Havelock's logo "Movies for a Buck". It took me a few seconds, but I eventually did find, "The Potter Stewart Film Society Presents" in small letters just above Havelock's super boldscript motto.

I was actually more relieved than upset. After all, Havelock was a man of his word. He just happened to have a knack for separating your assumptions from his actual promises. I guess I should have taken my own reluctance to do the same as an early sign that I wasn't going to be a zealous advocate for the first amendment, hero of the people, as I had imagined, or the thirty second floor, Savile Row Slick, who rented his brain for hundreds of dollars an hour to corporations, as my parents had perhaps fantasized for their only son, or for that matter any kind of attorney in between.

It was 1979, I was in my third year at a top ten law school, and as aware of the fact that my adult life would be more detour than determined climb to the top as I was that Ronald Reagan was about to be president and increasingly popular for eight years. I took Havelock's poster as just another sign that nothing around him ever turned out quite the way you'd expect, which, to me, was the best reason of all for going along with him when he got us into the movie business. After all, I sometimes convinced myself that I hung around with Havelock just to have "Havelock" stories to tell my other friends.

Havelock's poster caused problems right from the beginning. You see our movies weren't really a buck, at least not the first time. You had to be sharp enough to catch the fine print, smaller even than the letters identifying us as the "Potter Stewart Film Society", which said "With fifty cent membership." I spent the first seven weeks of the series arguing with offended freshman business students and wisecracking dateless testosterone pumped dormies. It never seemed to help that even at a dollar fifty we were at least a dollar cheaper than any other place showing movies in Berkeley on or off campus. To them, it was the "principle" that mattered.

When I suggested to Havelock that they might have a point, he dismissed it with a shake of his head and a single derogatory, "California".

If anything typified people from New Jersey, particularly the ones who had come to live in California, it was that they were absolutely convinced that two things in California would never be up to their standards, pizza and its people. Both apparently suffered from the fact that they lacked the substance that Trenton, Orange, or even Upper Montclair indelibly imparted on their progeny. Havelock and I discussed it at length more than once on our twilight wanderings through the Pepto Bismol Bermuda Triangle defined by Telegraph and Durant. It usually started with Havelock refusing to go into a place called "New York Pizza by the Slice" with me.

That was the other thing about people from New Jersey, most of them took a proprietary interest in anything redeeming about New York City. If I ever tried to get us to stop at New York Pizza, Havelock would respond, "Forget it… I'll get a burrito and meet
you out front."

I now know how I, the native Californian, should have answered. I should have told Havelock that the burritos next door, with their limp shredded lettuce, playdough refrieds, and dishwater hot sauce, didn't measure up to my standards. Instead, I always made the mistake of apologizing for the pizza.

Havelock would then launch into one of those uninterruptible, more acid than the air in Newark or the water in Passaic, breathless blasts which usually ended with my joining Havelock for a burrito.

"No one in New York puts sprouts on pizza, the guys who roll the dough don't have blonde hair and pigtails and ride skateboards, the crust takes like stale Wonder bread, and how can you have ferns inside a pizza parlor? Sometimes I don't know what's the matter
with this place."

"You mean Berkeley?" I asked.

"California," he spat out the word.

"What's the matter with California?"

"Everyone out here has principles. They don't want other people to pollute their water, cut down their trees, discriminate against their sex, color, or religion. Everybody else has to be politically correct. But do they have principles? I mean New York pizza. Show me someone in there who's been east of Lake Tahoe."

I knew that Havelock knew perfectly well that I was a native Californian. He just took it that I was some sort of exception.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we'd known each other since high school. We'd met at one of those summer institutes for kids who weren't particularly gifted at anything but had scored well on the PSAT. In other words, even though hewas a New Jersey Jew and I a San Francisco Chinaman (his phrase), we came from
the small circle born into the two decades of fear after Hiroshima
and before the Cuban Missile Crisis who were about to overpopulate
the eighties with doctors, MBAs, would be novelists, therapists,
and, it goes without saying, lawyers.

Oddly my only really certain memory of Havelock that summer was biting him on the arm to avoida tackle in corridor football. Havelock, it seemed, was an all city safety. The rest of the summer, after the bite got infected, he decided to call me "that rabid bastard" which seemed to mean that I was all right.

To be honest, I had never meant to bite Havelock. I had been
laughing so hard that my mouth happened to be wide open when he
reached across my face to block the right side of the corridor.
Perhaps it was my own California "principles" which caused me to
never tell him what had really happened. Somehow I thought that
he'd eventually figure it out. Once the movie series started, I
was sure that he'd at least begin to suspect that I was far from
a "rabid bastard".

You see, I would buy any excuse whether it was a pimply freshman who claimed to have forgotten his wallet and had only eighty five cents for Casablanca to frat boys in high school letter jackets who insisted that they were just going in to get lecture notes from a friend in the front row at Last Tango in Paris.

I had, after all, gotten through Stanford getting extensions from
soft﷓hearted professors and begging for mercy in blue books. How
could I say "no" to lines that I'd used myself but with different
words. Right from the beginning, it was Havelock who would say
"Sorry, guy" or "Read the poster" for us. With his beard and
prematurely white curly hair, Havelock looked at least enough like
the devil so that even the most aggressive wheedlers just turned
for the double doors muttering "sleazy fascist law students" under
their breath once Havelock interceded.

Whatever they really said never bothered Havelock.

"Thankyou" he would taunt them back. "Come next week for "The Last
Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces" Do you have a copy of our schedule?"

Before I knew it, he would be sitting down next to me beside the
gray metal cash box, checking the numbers on our roll of carnival
tickets against the stub number he faithfully wrote down at the
beginning of our Friday evening and stuffed into his wallet. The
numbers, it seemed, were always too low for Havelock's taste.

"I don't believe this place." He would pound the table. "What are they doing? Watching tv in the common room, panhandling on telegraph, overpaying for shitty pizza. These are real movies.
In New Haven, we did twice this business."

I would look around our auditorium. When the sixteen millimeter projector we got from audio-visual services wasn't rattling, you could see the tear beginning in the upper right corner of the roll out screen. A pair of speakers, bought for ninety nine dollars each on sale at Pacific Stereo, stood ready to fill our auditorium with the high quality sound from our projector's built in thirty watt amplifier.

"In New Haven, it snows. No one dares go into town." I would
say until I segued into my mantra, "It'll get better. They just
have to get used to the idea.

"Maybe they did and just didn't like it. Sixteen people came
to see the "Goldrush", forty eight showed up for "The Graduate",
and most disappointing of all less than a hundred appeared for one
of our sure bet money makers, "The Paper Chase".

Apparently, most of our classmates preferred the real library upstairs to watching Timothy Bottoms chase Lindsay Wagner through the stacks of some unidentified Ivy League Law School in Cambridge.

That Saturday as we began our own "Paper Chase", picking the
candy wrappers off the auditorium floor at the end of the last
show, Havelock was too preoccupied to even talk about his other
major contribution to law school culture, the football pool which
had come to dominate the Student Association bulletin board. In
six weeks, Havelock had transformed the board which was mainly
graced by announcements for the Amnesty International Moot Court
Competition, a prize for the best student essay on poverty and the
law, tear aways for at least three Bar Review courses, and a sheaf
of ethnic and women's associations announcements, into a mandatory
stop even for many who didn't partake.

For three days, those whowere into it had talked constantly of the prospect that weekend of Havelock winning three hundred dollars if Danny White managed to throw three touchdowns against the Lions. Rumor had it that Havelock had fixed his pool somehow, only no one could figure out how. In case you were wondering, yes some did take it upon themselves to complain about the way the pool flaunted the law, but they quickly got a lesson in the true deeper mysteries of the law when they discovered that three professors and the dean of students were prominent players in the pool. If you were wondering about the other matter, Danny White threw three interceptions that
weekend instead and Havelock only covered with the entry fees he
took off the top.

I watched Havelock draw a twenty and a ten from the bottom of the cash box for Wiley the dark)haired seven o'clock shadowed first
year who ran our projector between joints and visits from new customers for Havelock's betting ring who frequently brought along
bottles with pictures of wild turkeys and guys named "Walker" who
always seemed to wind up the evening staring up at us from the
bottom of the grade school green metal trash can in the door corner
of Wiley's booth.

"I don't know if were going to do this too many more times,
Wiley. You and the Student Association are the only ones making
money off of this."

Wiley stroked the hair on his cheek, stuffed the money in the
front pocket of his lumberjacket's shirt, grunted, and disappeared
into the early A.M. Neither of us knew where he lived, how old he
was, or even where he grew up.

"Havelock," I said, "We're not thinking of giving this up.
I mean they just need to get..."

"Used to our going broke." Havelock cut off my answer.

We moved to the projection booth where Havelock counted up the
receipts while I thumbed through an Audio Brandon catalog covered
with my thumbprints.

"Why are we doing this?" I asked idly.

Havelock shrugged, "We like movies."

"Here we go, The Incredible Mister Limpett", for forty five
dollars" I said or maybe "The Shakiest Gun in the West", they're
running a special both for sixty.A A"How about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Ma and Pa Kettle go to Venus for thirty five, Bonzo and the Killers for a hundred and seventy five." Havelock had the catalog memorized better than I.

"I'm not sure that we'd know a money making movie if we saw it here." I said as I tossed the Audio Brandon catalog on the pile
of Disney, Columbia, and Liberty Discount.

"Know it if we saw it?" Havelock repeated my words in a way
that let me know that he was getting an angle. I knew what he was thinking. I knew too that once we said it, neither of us would be able to resist it.

"Every semester in New Haven, they used to show Deep Throat
and make two thousand dollars." He said.

"They used to show Behind the Green Door in Palo Alto."

"One weekend, would pay for thirteen weeks of "The Conformists" and "Blue Collar".

"Maybe a new poster," I suggested,"Will you know it when you
see this?"

Havelock's mouth thinned and turned down.

"Why don't you let Wiley and me take care of the posters?"A AI would have objected more strongly but my one embarrassing promo attempt for the "Maltese Falcon", dark complex allegory of greed and mythological longing in dense horizontal black and white, had to be replaced by Wiley's "Bogie, the Fatman, the Falcon.The streets of San Francisco. One of those "You mean you haven't seen
it?" flicks)See it now, see it often, see it for a BUCK."

It turned out to be one of the few films that made money for
us. After that, Havelock tried everything he knew to get Wiley to
do the posters every week, but the projectionist didn't feel like
writing "copy" on demand. For a few more minutes, Havelock and I
talked about the difficulties of ordering a porn movie in sixteen
millimeter. I had no good idea where to get one.

Havelock had never ordered one either but had some ideas. Nonetheless, by the time we locked up that night, I knew that I had stepped into the x-rated movie business. Havelock always found a way to get things done.

The prospect of becoming a pornographer didn't disturb me. A combination of shyness, severe acne which persisted past adolesence, and the fact that I was your basic nerd had helped to preserve my virginity into my early twenties. I had been to x*rated movies more than once. I didn't go to laugh at them, even if they generally ranged from pitifully bad to laughably bad. It just felt comforting to watch women take their clothes off, perform sex acts with men who were often less attractive than I, and know that they wouldn't look back at me and look away. I always told myself that there were more wholesome outlets, but I was at least certain that I knew that was all they were.

A few days later, I was headed out the door of my eighty five
dollar a month apartment for one of my thirty five unsuccesful job
interviews that fall when Havelock called.

"We got it." He said.

"Got what?" I asked, pretending that I hadn't given it much
thought since Saturday night.

"The movie."

"The porn movie?"

"No, the National Geographic Documentary on Finland."

"How," I murmurred as I waited for Havelock to launch one of
his usual stories which always included at least three tiers of
friends of friends, one name which was publicly recognizable, and
one improbable but totally believable event.

Whammo had paid Havelock to organize a dog frisbee catching contest in Versailles and Jim Ryun had entered his Border Collie, "Miler". He had organized a Science Fiction film tribute and Harlan Ellison had shown up for the screening of "A Boy and His Dog" and sat in a back row unrecognized by everyone but Havelock and some of his Sci Fi friends.Havelock's one word answer disappointed me at first,


"I told him about it and he asked me what day we needed it."

"Where? How? What's Wiley's connection?"

"Ask Wiley. Who knows how he does anything."

The next day, Havelock had the poster printed up.It said "Porn Night, One Buck" in his usual bold letters at the top then three more times until well down below once again, I found "The Potter Stewart Film Society Presents."

"What do you think?" Havelock asked.A A"What do I know about these things?" I asked back.

"I'm asking." He said as he ran his fingers from one
identical line to the next.

"Do you really think we should call it porn night?" I asked."Maybe if we just had the name of the movie."

"You really want it to say "Sex Clinic Girls? and High School

Havelock held his poster flat with both hands as if he were
trying to reimagine it.

"What is it you're worried about?" he said.

"I don't know." I said.

"If it causes a little controversy, maybe we'll make more money. Look if nothing else, at least it'll be interesting."

Havelock rolled his poster up and disappeared into the clear and present dangers of Con Law Class.

I knew what was worrying me and I'm sure Havelock recognized it as well. As best I can put it, it was the fall of 1979. In the sixties, adult movies had been daring, political, some kind of
strike against repression. A few years later a paradox evolved.
Most of them were so inane that they weren't much fun to watch
unless they were illegal. Now something was changing.

In my first year torts class, two women in the front would make the professor correct himself anytime he slipped and used the term "reasonable man" test.

"Reasonable Person." They would say and O'Flaherty would politely correct himself then make the same mistake a couple Socratic exchanges later.

Once O'Flaherty got flustered and made the mistake of asking what difference it really made. One woman insisted that a reasonable woman would not behave the same way as a reasonable man. For instance, she suggested a man might shoot his wife if he caught
her in bed with another man, but a wife wouldn't. Since most of
us suspected that she was having an affair with a married classmate, we didn't take the rest of the argument all that seriously. O'Flaherty then jokingly suggested that some women he'd known might shoot them both then burn down the house. Someone filed a complaint with the dean against O'Flaherty. Classmates talked about whether or not O'Flaherty was anti)woman.

A few months earlier, I had run into the first girl I had ever
kissed. Ironically, we had met at the same summer institute where
I had met Havelock seven years earlier. I had lost touch with her
a few years earlier when she left college to go to work full time
for first an anti)apartheid group then the United Farm Workers.
I wasn't surprised at all to find her behind a table in White Plaza
where groups ranging from fraternities and the Future Farmers of
America to the Spartacus league recruited new members, but I was
surprised to find her helping to organize a group called "Women
Take Back the Night" which gave tours of Boston's combat zone,parts of Times Square in New York, the Tenderloin in San Francisco, and raised awareness of the exploitation of women in the media.I was even more surprised to see her holding hands beneath the table with the woman sitting next to her. When I tried to say hello, Adrian wouldn't even acknowledge that she knew me in front of her friend.

When Havelock started putting the porn night posters up two weeks in advance, they were quickly covered over with grafitti. "Porn Exploits Women" and "Stop this Trash."

In other spots, the porn night posters had been torn to small
pieces and left defiantly on the ground. Even Havelock's football
pool results had been written over with more grafitti."End male

Each day, Havelock returned with more posters. He even askedme to help him replace the ones that had been grafittied. I did, but insisted on doing it only after midnight.Every day, Havelock had more news of porn night developments. "I'm going to be on the radio" he told me, "I got a call from a reporter yesterday."Clearly, Havelock was enjoying himself. By Friday, December 7, the thirty seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor and our first pornnight,everyone seemed to be talking about it, and Havelock was clearly enjoying every controversial bit of it.

As it happened, I got there late. I walked down the steps where almost twenty years earlier a lovesick but psychotic graduate student named Podar had stabbed the unwitting object of his desire,a woman named Tarasoff and filled our casebooks with all manner of
bizarre issues just because he happened to dose a still anonymous
psychologist with client)therapist privilege paralysis by telling
him before he did it. Now any therapist in California who finds a
lawyer on his or her couch, before they talk about burnout, divorce, and feelings of personal alienation, makes small talk about Tarasoff Warnings. Perhaps I was getting mine. From those steps, a hundred and fifty yards away, I could see the line of ticket buyers stretching down Bancroft like so many food vendors carts during lunch hour. Around them, an equally formidable line of pickets blocked the entrance to the auditorium where I was supposed to be selling tickets.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder and I nearly jumped across the traffic island separating the Podar steps from the fraternity whose members had gotten themselves suspended a few months earlier when they chanted "Hitler had the right idea" during a Hillel House
gathering next door.

"Geez, I didn't mean to scare you."

"What have we done." I murmurred as I nodded in the direction
of our film series.

"There are already a couple hundred more people inside.You won't believe it. We've got to go in through the back way.I got a key from the janitor. "

I followed Havelock through the hallway.

"I don't believe this. I don't believe this." I kept saying
out loud.

"What don't you believe?" Havelock muttered. "Sixteen people for Charlie Chaplin and three thousand for Sex Clinic Girls, sophisticated place."

"Just as long as we don't get killed." I said.

"Don't worry, Wiley brought his gun."

"His gun?"A A"Welcome to Tehran." Havelock said.

“Who are the hostages going to be here?" I asked.With thoughts of the mob which had taken the fifty four hostages in Iran a few weeks earlier inspiring even greater confidence in me, I took my folding chair behind the formica table and began selling tickets. For the next half hour, I made change for twenties, handed out fifty cent membership cards about whic no one seemed to complain, ripped tickets off the roll, told people not to bring food inside. Each repetitive act blurred into thenext.

Some years later, a gay classmate of mine once described his pre-aids experiences in a bathhouse and as I listened to his descriptions of anonymous hands and penises,the only image I could
conjure in my own memory impoverished head was that night of selling eight hundred tickets and seven hundred and thirty signed membership cards in twenty seven minutes. When I told him about
porn night, I could never get this same friend to understand.He
kept saying "Gay porn isn't any better than straight porn and there
aren't any women in it. So how could it be exploiting them?"

In the meantime, the protesters marched outside the glass doors, handed out flyers, made up new chants, educated the hundreds of souls from the fraternity factory who comprised most of the swollen ticket line pushing through our doors. When Havelock came out to make the announcement that the first show had been sold out, I had thought that we would get a break, but as soon as he told the crowd that we would sell for the seven o'clock and nine o'clock shows, the line pushed ahead with renewed vigor. I must have sold three hundred more tickets to guys who looked like their namevshould be "Brad" or "Sean", when I heard a woman's voice.

"Give me a ticket," she said.

"Do you have a membership?" I said in my most automatic

"Of course not." She said it in a tone of voice that let me know that she considered me the scum of the earth or at least Telegraph Avenue.

I looked up at a short)haired woman in jeans. Her face bent into a permanent angry scowl. She wore a button on her plaid wool shirt which showed a pink fist and bore the logo "Take back the night." It was the woman who sat with Adrian on White Plaza just a few weeks earlier.

"That'll be a dollar fifty." I said.

"The sign says Movies for a Buck."A A"That's with a membership."

"You ought to be arrested." She muttered as she handed me a Susan B. Anthony dollar and five dimes whose heads had been altered to make Franklin look like Eleanor.

After that, every tenth ticket I sold was to a more or less identical woman, though none of them thankfully happened to be
Adrian. Sometimes instead of a woman, it was an identically dressed man, between all the Seans and Brads and their occasional dates, women who wore makeup and curled their hair. I wondered if I'd ever see these two segments of Cal society in the same room ever again.

When it finally occurred to me to ask one of the picketers why she was paying money to buy tickets to an event she was protesting, her only answer was a curt,"If you don't sell me a ticket, I'll call the police."

I looked up at Havelock, who happened to be selling tickets
next to me.

"Just take their money," he said. "We'll worry about it

At the end of the first show, the herd came out, hooting, thumping each other on the shoulder, offering the protesters demonstrations of what they'd missed. The picketers fought back, "Don't legitimize violence against womenm," they chanted.

The chant was mostly met with silece, except for one loud,young, and unimistakably male,"Fuck you, bitch!" which pierced the night air as it went off in search of the next kegger.

"Nine hundred and seventy two tickets." Havelock told me. "How are we doing with memberships?"

I mumbled an answer then we let the crowd in for the seven o'clock. I have learned, that before anything truly extraordinary happens, there always seems to be a moment of calm. In retrospect, one tends to think of it as eerie, but as it actually happens you are in a state of total unawareness. Havelock and I chatted pleasantly enough about all the movies we were going to show, now that we had made all this money from Porn Night. We were, strangely enough, alone, five hundred people were on one side of the door about to watch an hours worth of colored shadows. Another hundred or so waited beyond the glass doors for the nine o'clock. Havelock and I waited in the zone in between. We could even hear the starting clunk of the reels as Wiley started up the projector.

At first it started as a rumble. We could hear the sounds of
stamping feet. Wiley came out for a moment.

"You want me to stop the movie first."

Havelock went in and asked for quiet. Things seemed to go back to normal then Wiley came out again. When Havelock cracked the door, I could hear it. A steady chant came from the front row,"Cut it off, Cut it off."

Which alternated with a more masculine, much more football
raucous, "Turn it on, turn it on.

"Wiley started the projector again, a few moments of silence, it started again. This time, the same chants, amid the sounds of heated philosophical debate. That's when the fire alarm went off.

Apparently one of the protesters, had ventured out into the hallway and literally shouted fire in the middle of a crowded theater. If ever anyone had devised a live enactment of a Con Lawfinal exam case scenario, this was it.

"I don't believe this, I don't believe this," I moaned.

"False alarm" I heard someone shout. No stampede ensued. The campus police came inside, instructed us to keep everyone calm. A sixty foot hook and ladder appeared on the street outside. Firemen with enormous axes, walked into the theater, all shaking their heads. The alarm which had throbbed away for at least fifteen minutes went off.A few minutes after that, the campus police asked everyone to leave in orderly fashion.The frat types grumble shuffled outside. The protesters went limp in the policemen's arms and insisted on being dragged outside where no one waited to arrest them.

The Captain of the campus police came up to us. "I think you
better close it down for the night and refund everyone their

Havelock and I complied, a dollar at a time. It went smoothly, then this happened. "We paid a dollar fifty, we want a dollar fifty back for each of these.

"I looked up at one of the protesters, no longer limp, standing
in front of Havelock and me with seven tickets in her hand.

"Forget it."Our answer was firm, forceful, certain to scare off all
comers, just the way Havelock managed the situation every time. Only it wasn't Havelock who said it. It was me.

"I want my money!" she shouted at me.

"You got your money, a dollar a ticket."

"Thief" she yelled.

The police captain who was guarding the door had turned toward
our ticket table.

"Give her her money back." Havelock whispered.

I looked on my left. For a moment I couldn't say a word.
“Just give her her money back. I don't want their money."
He said.

I handed over the extra three fifty. The police captain returned to the door. The protester waited quietly for two more policeman to drag her off once again.

The porn night riot made it into fourteen newspapers.Every version of the story differed only in the major details.Havelock and I showed two more weeks of movies and called it quits, not because of the riot but because Wiley got a five hundred dollar a week internship with the biggest law firm in San Francisco. We couldn't find anyone else to run the projector. Other than a few diatribes posted on the student association bulletin board next to Havelock's football poll, some appalled by what happened, some calling the protest an incredible success, porn night was quickly forgotten with the arrival of semester finals a few days later.

It was months later, six days before graduation,when I told Havelock the truth about biting him in the arm.We were standing
in the place where Mario Savio had suddenly become the spokesman
for the Free Speech Movement,in a more memorable Berkeley event
fifteen years earlier.

"Havelock," I said "You know, I'm not really a rabid bastard. It was an accident."

"Don't you think I knew that?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why would I think anyone who spent all that time around Adrian Firestone would be a genuine rabid bastard? She's got to be the stiffest woman I've ever seen."

I started to defend Adrian for a moment, then just stopped.

"You mean, you didn't like me because you thought I was a rabid bastard?"

"Hell no," he said. "Are you crazy?" "You couldn't even say no to those idiot freshmen."

I thought for a moment.

"Then why did you like me?"

Havelock looked around the plaza, open eyed, jaw slightly open in that New Jersey, I can't believe you're asking me this kind of expression.

"Who else around here would put up with someone like me?"

I laughed, he laughed. We walked towards Havelock's apartment.

"You know I never asked you this..."

"Why I made you give back the three fifty?"

After another moment of stupefecation, I asked him.

"I guess it was a matter of principles."

"Principles, you?"

Havelock feigned shock.

"Look, would I let people like that into our film society. We've got our standards you know..."pause. If you have to know the truth, I was scared to death of her.

"You scared."

Havelock studied the cement.

"I don't know she might have had a gun or something."

"You rabid bastard." I said.

We got to Havelock's door just beyond People's Park,shook hands, said good night. I think we both knew that we'd always be friends now and that after graduation we'd never see each other again.


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