The telephone rang as soon as I got home that evening and it was the Captain, whom I will call M from now on. He asked if I would go to a baseball game the following day. It was a Saturday afternoon game. He did not have to say any more. I did not know what baseball was except for what I had deduced from headlines in the paper. I had read and cried over Lou Gehrig and I had heard about Babe Ruth. But if he had asked me to go observe how the city cleaned out their garbage trucks, I would have said yes.
It was the New York Yankees we were going to see. The stadium was impressive. The crowds were loud and even booed when the center fielder got up to hit. (I'll remember his name in a sec) We were sitting high up. It was a gorgeous day and poor M had to tell me what the heck was going on. I tried not to be intrusive, for he obviously was so happy to be there. So I slowly leaned about three outs and four balls and all that. I told him I would change the rules and give the hitter some credit for a long ball even if the outfielder caught it. He laughed and it made my stomach hurt. He was so cute when he laughed.
He told me they were not allowed to talk about their orders. But I got the impression their departure was imminent. We had supper in a delicatessen on our way home. He gave me wonderful gift before he left. A kiss.
A week went by.
I was devastated. I knew they must have left USA and I wondered if I would ever see him again. And then the phone rang. It was M. He said he and a few other officers were told they could have leave overnight. Could I meet him for dinner.
We had dinner. He and his chums from Ft Dix were staying at the Biltmore. We joined them. There were a few minutes of dancing. Then M said: Let's go to my room. There we talked into the night. We cuddled. We made love. At five am he put me in a cab and he joined his fellow officers in another cab and that was the end.
Until 1998.. My husband had died earlier in the year. We Friends of the Library were standing waiting for art projects to be delivered. We waited and waited. I looked down to see what section we were more or less leaning on. Turned out to be a bank of Telephone books. My knee was practicly touching the one devoted to the state were M had lived before the War. I said, once I knew someone who came from this area. I took it out. Turned the pages and there in full print was M's full name, address, rank and an md attached.
As soon as I got home I called him. He vaguely remembered me. Didn't know if I came from Switzerland or Sweden. He did say he had saved all the pictures I had sent him while he was overseas. He was in the midst of finishing his memoirs and the book was coming out in a few months. He was a great man and he had accomplished a lot. He had three daughters with his wife whom he had married before he dallied with me.