Paradise Lost – Revisited

By John Napolitano

“I thought you were going to call me?”

I looked to my left to see if the question was meant for me. It was. Standing there on the Penn Station platform was Lorraine, the blonde I had met on the railroad a few weeks earlier. She was extremely attractive and I was very interested. 

Caught off guard, I started to fumble my words. “I lost your number. Really.”   It was the truth, but she wasn’t buying it. We had met as we were both getting off the train in Mineola. I asked her out.  I didn’t think she cared.  Guess I was wrong.

We took the train together back to the island and it was very pleasant. Well, what the heck I thought to myself, I’ll give it one more shot.  “Are you free for dinner…?” I began to ask.  To my surprise, she said, “Tonight? Nothing. Where are we going?” She smiled. I wasn’t sure if she was interested or just hungry.

 Dinner was fun.  As we finished Lorraine asked, “What are you doing now? Do you want to go for a walk?”

“Sure, where do you want to go?” I asked.

She replied, “How about over to the park in Roslyn?”

“Let’s go.”

The park was fairly empty and we found ourselves in a quiet section. We both seemed to have the same idea. As we embraced and began to kiss it seemed to push us both over the top. This was worth the wait.

We stayed there for five or so minutes when Lorraine suggested, “Why don’t we go back to my apartment.”  

“I was hoping you’d say that,” I said.  

“I noticed.” She grinned.

As we were walking, we saw a father and his young son standing beside the pond watching a family of ducks swim past. The boy was making quacking sounds to attract the ducks. As we walked on, I started quacking too. Lorraine smiled.

I took my next step and began to fall. Not to the ground but into … nothing.  What is happening? I asked myself.  I was falling into the @#$%ing pond!   My body began to rotate.   Now I was facing skyward.  There was a splash as I entered the water and then … silence.      

I stood up. I was soaked. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the kid and his father. Laughing hysterically. Those two pricks.  Steady boy, I said to myself. There are much more important things at stake here.  I turned to my right and there was Lorraine laughing harder than the kid and his father. Dear God, what just happened? One moment I was on my way to the promised land and the next I was floating in a pond filled with duck crap.  

And here we are, 39 years after that fateful evening, still together. And Lorraine still loves visiting the scene of the crime.      


John Napolitano is a native New Yorker of 60 plus years. He was recently forced to walk the plank by his last employer and says he couldn’t be happier. This story and the others he has written are all true.

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