I notice Rosie’s hollow, sad eyes—the eyes of a miserable woman who has just finished crying.
I remember vividly her first words to me, “Mind if I ask a favor?” Rosie came to me while I was doing research in the library of the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA).
It is half past nine, and the library is nearly empty since it is scheduled to close in a half-hour. I swivel in my chair to look at an attractive brunette with sad eyes and say, “Sure! A favor? What do you have in mind?” “I am a desperate woman.
I need a man willing to make long, slow love to me tonight.” She says this with a muted urgency, half-whispered. I feel quite sure that she memorized this opening line, because, when she gets to the last word, “tonight,” she breaks eye contact and her delicate hands start to tremble.
“Here. Take this seat next to me. Tell me your story.” She slowly sits down saying, “I am so ashamed. I don’t know how to begin.” “You say you are a desperate woman. I also see that you are a brave woman willing to take risks.
I want to listen to you without making any judgments–as though you are a dear friend who comes to me to share some terrible suffering.
Do you think that you can trust me enough to tell me your whole story?” “I would like to try, but I feel so ashamed to tell anyone the mess I’m in.” “In that case, let me hold your hand. This might help to dissolve your fear.” Rosie hesitantly extends her delicate right hand.
I take it very gently and slowly begin to massage it using my two hands. “Close your eyes if you wish and take a few deep breaths, and, when you’re ready, begin telling me your story.” Rosie closes her eyes. As she does so, I notice that the tension creases in her forehead slowly disappear.
I see that she has an attractive face and that her chestnut-colored hair is nicely feathered so as to frame her eyes and cheeks. She is somewhat slender, yet she appears physically fit. Her white blouse has attractive frills, and her blue jeans hug her lower body quite nicely…