Heather and Jeremy, not sliding per se, but
actually dancing on the pine floor.


Meeting Heather

Meeting Heather in an ordinary house would have been a considerably less colorful experience. But I didn't live in an ordinary house. I lived in a downtown building, you see.

Jeremy and I had become friends, even though I was quite a few years older. He lived at the time with Jordan in an apartment in Shawnee. However as time went on, Jordan went off and got himself engaged to be married, and Jeremy realized that one day soon he would be found without a roommate.

I had been thinking about getting into a place where I could spread out my sound contracting tools and paraphernalia and do some recording. So one day I told Jeremy, whom we called "The Edge," that I might be getting into a place where I could spread out my sound contracting tools and paraphernalia and do some recording, and how would he like to join me there. Make it an all around bachelor pad was one way I phrased it. The Edge (who was not a member of U2, incidentally) liked the idea, and soon we spotted a building in downtown Tecumseh which didn't suit our purposes one bit, but it was cheap, and so I bought it.

A little remodeling was all it needed to turn it into an apartment. So, beginning in March or thereabouts and ending just a few weeks later in December, I managed to remodel the place in such a fashion as to make it into a bachelor pad with plenty of room to store tools and paraphernalia, etc. I had help from Jeremy along the way. I also had help from Jordan and John and Jimmy and about 37 other people who pitched in simply because they were friends and were perhaps fascinated with the idea of someone living downtown in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. I should mention that my parents got in on the action to a very large degree. In particular, my dad did, without whom I would never have met Heather in the colorful way that I did. It would have taken so long to remodel the place apart from my dad's help that Heather would have been married to someone else by the time I got around to meeting her.

The story of the building known as 107 N. Broadway and precisely how it came to be an apartment could fill an entire book, and it really isn't the focus here. I only mention it because it was long and skinny and therefore presented a unique configuration. The apartment was situated towards the back of the building, and even though it wasn't particularly long and skinny itself, the manner in which it was laid out provided a long and skinny place whereon to meet Heather. The two bedrooms lined one half of the apartment, and the other half was an open kitchen/living room type of space with a pine floor. At this time, there were no actual living arrangements in the traditional sense. In other words, there wasn't a couch or a television or a fern. In short, all the kitchen and dining equipment was against one wall of the room opposite the bedrooms, and the space which remained was about thirty-five by eight feet of open pine floor. As one opened the door to the apartment, one was faced with an expanse of pine floor which begged the beholder to engage in some sort of unknown sporting activity.

Jeremy and I lived here for some time quite free from sporting activities. Then one day Jeremy met Heather. They hooked up at the insistence of a mutual friend and hung out in Oklahoma City a few times before Heather journeyed down to Tecumseh.

I was out somewhere passing the time on the particular evening when Heather journeyed down to Tecumseh. But on account of my historical tendency to turn in early, I did not remain out somewhere for long. That is to say that at some point in the evening before one would consider it to be actually late, I arrived at my front door and proceeded through it only to find the door to the apartment standing open and Jeremy in his socked feet (and all his other clothing except his shoes) situated near the front door in a position that could only suggest that he was about to make a mad dash for the apartment. This he did shortly after saying hello to me. He ran for all he was worth across the tile floor of the large front room, through the apartment door like a Thompson Gazelle being chased by a cheetah through an apartment door, and proceeded to slide, first on his feet, then on his side, across the entire length of the kitchen/living room pine floor.

Shrieking and cackling of the female type erupted from within. I approached the apartment with what could have perhaps been considered a look of mild amusement. I was accustomed to seeing Jeremy attempt these sorts of maneuvers at church in front of the youth group of which he was the fearless leader. But a female with the sort of admiration for such maneuvers as was currently on hand was a new thing indeed.

It was Heather. I'll not keep you in suspense any longer. It was she. I met her. However, it was a short introduction, for her turn had come to slide. Jeremy proceeded to spray a fresh and highly dangerous amount of furniture polish along the length of the floor, and Heather headed out into the front room to begin her approach. It was an admirable slide - several yards short of Jeremy's, but admirable.

Next, I tried it. Being the non-athletic type who was rapidly approaching his forties, the crowd, mercifully, did not place the same expectation upon me as it had the young, athletic types. However, it was surely the longest slide I had ever accomplished on a pine floor, and I enjoyed it a good deal. Jeremy considered his old roommate to be a solid sport, and Heather shrieked and cackled all the more.

So that is how I came to meet Heather. In time I would come to refer to her as Crazy H.P., finding her to be more spontaneously combustable than at first imagined. But I knew right then and there that Jeremy had found his mate, and indeed, it turned out to be so. By the second December of our habitation in 107 N. Broadway, Jeremy had married Heather and moved back to Shawnee. I remained there alone for a few more years. Eventually, the space began to take on a more traditional appearance, in as much as it acquired a couch and a television. (Ferns never suited me.) A rug also took up residence. These changes precluded the possibility of sliding from one end of the room to the other, but no matter. I had already met Heather.

© 2015 Dane Tate