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  • When I was a college freshman at St. Lawrence University, returning one night to Dean Eaten Hall where the freshman girls lived at the time, from the Student Union, I decided to climb the hill between and see the stars and view, rather than take the road back to the dorm like I usually did. I was rewarded by a splendid view of the sky and as I rotated around for a full view, I discovered something else. I was at eye level with some of the higher floors of the boy's dorm, and in well lit rooms without drawn curtains, boys stood naked as they changed their clothes for bed or prepared to shower. I knew I should turn away, but I was transfixed by the view.

    Finally, not wanting to be a peeping Tom and worse yet, not wanting to be spotted at it, I turned. A boy about my age stood in the grass beside me. He was smiling, and then laughed out loud.

    "Like the view?" he asked. I was mortified. But he was smiling and sounded friendly.

    Then he calmly gave me another view. Close-up and personal. In the dark, he was well lit by the glow of hundreds of windows from the boy’s dorm.

    "I'm a flasher," he said, smiling sheepishly, “I can't help it.”

    "Oh," I said, not knowing what else to say, wondering if I should be afraid, backing up a little.

    "Don't worry," he added, "I'm harmless." He put himself away and walked me to the dorm. “I’m David,” he said. He had blond hair, blue eyes, a round sweet boyish face.

    That was 49 years ago and we're still friends. He never has harmed me. At least, not intentionally. I have met other people since than who told me they were harmless, and weren't.
  • I have a number of stories about David as a flasher. For example, him inching his penis up over the table edge at a restaurant when he, two other kids and I were eating together and the waitress was heading for our table to take our order. And my slapping (gently) his hand to make him put it away.

    And his standing outside my dorm waiting for me, taking himself out and my running to block others from seeing him. Especially the girl’s Dean, who was terrifying.
  • David now tells me he was never a flasher. I have many memories of him as a flasher, but who is to say my memories are right and his wrong? But why would I remember him as a flasher when I don’t have other friends I think of as flashers? Why very specific memories, very clear? (Were they dreams? I don't think so!)
  • Image: Dancing statues, Cranbrook (by me)
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